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  • Writer's pictureAdam Hlasny

Photo Interlude: Gateway to the West

Updated: Sep 9, 2021

It's been a busy week, and I must confess I don't have a proper post ready to go. Instead, thought I'd share some photos from my brief business trip to St. Louis in September 2015. It was my first (and only) time in Missouri to date. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but I really enjoyed St. Louis - the city had a very solid feel to it, significant in American history and folklore. It seemed comfortable in its identity and place in the American cultural milieu. It was also bigger than I thought. Its city proper population of only 300,000 is but 1/10th of a metro area population closer to 3 million.

I didn't have a tremendous amount of time for sightseeing (sound familiar?) but was able to visit the Arch, take a tour of Busch Stadium, and even explore the neighborhoods a bit after my days of meetings. Hope you enjoy a selection of photos from this unheralded and underrated city in America's heartland.

An ocean of clouds: this dreamy shot is one of my all-time favorites taken from an airplane

St. Charles

This northwestern suburb of about 70,000 was my first stop in Missouri. Its photogenic streetscapes were enhanced by its rich Mississippi River-hugging location and Lewis and Clark history.

St. Louis

Before sharing my photos, please enjoy St. Louis' city flag, an absolute stunner and one of the best municipal flags in the U.S., hands down!

Old Courthouse, site of the 1857 Dred Scott case, and tallest building in Missouri until 1896
At the top!

Arch-tastic view!

I was fortunate enough to tour the 2006 iteration of Busch Stadium, home of the uber-successful Cardinals franchise

Not a bad place to catch a ballgame!

Down at field level

Busch Stadium from the top of the Arch

Washington U. was the site of a field trip from my bike-ped conference. Very impressive campus!
Another arch

Happened upon this gem in the neighborhood of my conference. Had to go in of course!

Who doesn't like a 'world's largest'?!

Took an evening stroll in "The Hill", St. Louis' historically Italian neighborhood and childhood home of Yogi Berra!

Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, home to one of the largest mosaics in the Western Hemisphere

The gold mosaics sparkled and glowed. One of the most magical places I've ever visited, hands down

On my final morning I attended Mass here. Photos do it no justice; it was astoundingly magnificent.

I hope you enjoyed a small photographic sample of my very short trip to the St. Louis area. Seeing and ascending to the top of the Gateway Arch was quite the experience. Downtown was a fine place to walk, but the neighborhoods were where St. Louis' character really shone for me. I'd love to make a return trip when I can devote more of my time to sightseeing.

Sometimes the best travel experiences occur in places that aren't seen as traditional "destinations." Perhaps these unheralded locales leave just as grand an impression because expectations are comparatively lower. Whatever the case, I'd wholeheartedly recommend St. Louis if you get the chance!

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