Oh The Things We Can Think

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I was going to write an opus blog post yesterday.  I sat down, thoughts fresh in my mind, and the internet wouldn't connect.  Wa wa waaa.

I'm reconnected and ready to talk.  Opus?  Doubt it.  Still, I missed you.

We are in St. Louis!  First day? All wrapped up with a beautiful bow.  We started our visit off with a bang and went to one of our favorite places in the whole wide world: The City Museum.  It defies explanation.  But I'll try.  I hope you like photos.

The creator saw a bent steel bar and though "Whale!" Its a tunnel that leads to the "caves."

It's a 4+ story playground built in an old shoe factory in downtown St. Louis and is composed entirely of found objects.  Things are donated or cleared out of old buildings, and put to work. Anything you can imagine has been turned into walls, floors, or play structures.  There is not an undecorated surface in the whole place.

Bathroom walls made of bread pans . . .
. . . and one made of glass bottles . . .
. . . and old letter presses . . .
. . . and old gears with marbles in the center.

One in a network of concrete caves . . .
. . . complete with gems and water dripping from the ceiling.  You forget that you're not actually exploring caves.

A company will call and say "We have tons of leftover concrete.  You want it?" and their artists get to work molding it into another cave, animal, stalactite, or stalagmite.  Yes, I know the difference between a stalactite (hanging down) and a stalagmite (up from the ground).  Impressed?  I am.  My husband taught me when we were first dating.  Impressed again?  Me, too.

My man child looking over the rail . . .
Another part of the outdoor playground . . .

. . . and part of the indoor tunnels.
This is the new rooftop playground . . . eleven floors up. Then you can slide down the ten floors.

Anyway, there must be a gazillion tons of rebar in that place. It's the most incredible playground.  I feel young when I'm there . . . like it causes ten year old me to resurface.  There must be a million injuries every day.  It lets you be a real kid, but without adults saying, "Don't climb on that!" or  "You'll hurt yourself!" Chances are, you'll hurt yourself.  I have. And you can climb on everything.

This is my favorite mosaic post . . . and only one of hundreds.

The mosaics are insane.  I could look at them all day.  I can only imagine how many hours were spent creating them.  The patience, the artistry, the devotion to expanding the minds of children.  You have to go there to really understand.  Even then, you can't wrap your mind around it.

Without a doubt, it should be on your bucket list.  Before you're too old to crawl on your knees.  Driving across the country?  Take an extra day or make a detour.  Whatever you have to do.  Here are a few more pics.  I took 127 in just a few hours.  I could have taken more.

Giant ball pit . . . complete with shenanigans.
The ceiling of the main room.

The oddities room.

The giant organ . . .
. . . and miles and miles of stairs and slides made out of the old shoe slides from the factory once housed in the building.
Shoelace factory
Architectural salvage
Trumpet bird
Gear horse

Are there any places like this in your life?  Are they between St. Louis and New Hampshire? Share?

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