Thursday, September 16, 2010

St. Louis is just like home...not

You were probably wondering when a post was going to appear here again. Me too.

I was busy enjoying some time in St. Louis, MO which seems to be home of the empty windowless brick building because I saw a bazillion of them in my drive from the airport to the cushy tourist hotel right by the arch where I stayed. In Portland, brick is a sign of stature and success. Most places were wood. In St. Louis, brick is a sign to move on in the winter because that windowless hull you’ve been homesteading in won’t get any warmer when the snows come.

St. Louis is a bit like Portland, OR.

We both have two rivers joining. St. Louis has the Mississippi and the Missouri. Portland has the Willamette and the Columbia. That means traffic headaches for both us trying to go over bridges.

We’re both about the same size. St. Louis has an official population of 354,000 but a metro area population of 2.9 million. Portland has an official population of 589,000 (almost twice the size) but a metro area population of 2.2 million. That means while Portland doesn’t like to spread out as much. I know this to be true because Oregon is fanatical in their land-use restrictions. I have a new motto for them based on these statistics:

PORTLAND…Like a virgin in high-school, we don’t spread!

They can thank me with a big fat royalty check later…

The temperatures seemed to be the same in both cities when I went. It was essentially low 80s and sunny. But in Portland, that meant 32% humidity and in St. Louis that meant 60% humidity. So for September that meant that I could wear shorts, T-shirt and sandals to the St. Louis Cardinals game and not feel like a snow cone for sale once the sun set. Had it been July or Aug the story would be much different. I also have a feeling that while we in Portland get a little drizzle and have to put on a Gortex rain jacket in winter, if you did that in St. Louis in the winter you would be a snow cone.

I got to go to my first major league baseball game at Busch stadium. I don’t think they liked me when I tried to order a Coors beer though. While I didn’t have the traditional red St. Louis Cardinals T-shirt on, I kept from getting beat up by wearing a red T-shirt. Most people were too drunk to notice that mine said “Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania” on it. I think a Saturday Night Live T-shirt would have worked too. SNL is pretty close to STL and people get so confused about acronyms anyway.

During the game (and I’m not a baseball watcher mine you) the lead off batter for the other team was a guy by the name of


I’m not making this up! You pronounce it. Is it


Or is it


They’re right. The intricacies of baseball ARE fascinating. Oh, and in the end the Chicago Cubs did a


on the home team by beating them 5-2. The only saving grace was that we walked around the stadium checking out hot women err...I mean looking around and ended up watching the game from the outfield during the ninth inning…right where they hit the only home run in the bottom of the ninth. I’d say about 40% of the crowd there had left by that time.

Fortunately we had a mob of several thousand to walk with back to the hotel so we didn’t get mugged that evening. It was a distinct possibility because St. Louis is one of the highest crime rates in the country.

Oh, and yes, I did take the crazy tram ride up to the top of the St. Louis Arch. I was absolutely certain something would happen while I was up in that thing but alas, the only thing that happened was banging my head just like everyone does when they get in and out of the tram to the top. That thing was covered in aluminum or stainless steel or something and I was amazed the meth addicts hadn't stripped it for recycling money yet.

All in all, it was a good paid for time because I stayed within the 9 block radius of the arch and stadium where it was safe!


Monkey Man said...

That ride up to the top of the arch...did it about 20 years ago. Still a lot of flat nothing to see from up there. I bet you miss our mountains. Another similarity between St.L and Pdx - St.L was the shoe capital of the world at the turn of last century...Pdx is the shoe capital of the world today. They've both covered their share of smelly feet.

ReformingGeek said...

Can you imagine FUKUNOME being paged at the airport?

I Am Woody said...

St. Louis is a perfect picture of a dying city.

Megan said...

I always kinda wanted to live in St. Louis. But then the Rams went there...

Roy said...

I went up in the arch in 1973; I thought it was amazingly unexciting because there was absolutely nothing to see until you got to the top.

And by the way, the man's name is pronounced Foo-koo-noh-may. Just sayin'.

Janna said...


1. “Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania”... For some reason this makes me laugh. :) I can't decide if it's the funny name, or the fact that they actually have t-shirts made up.

2. Congratulations on not getting mugged!

3. Did you get a St. Louis postcard to add to your collection? (Or did you already have one?)

Anonymous said...

somehow I can't see that virgin motto on a bumper sticker

Subby said...

Wondering if FUKUNOME has ever eaten at Li Ho Fook's?

I'll go 'way now.... said...

All in all, I think I'd rather go to Portland.

Mrsupole said...

Never going to the top of the arches with my fear of heights, so I am glad you did. And what a name that guy has, I wonder what happens when he goes to eat at a shushi bar. He probably has to stay away from the guys with the knives because when they hear that fuk u no me, I am sure they get a little angle and tell him to go get fuk not me. Poor guy can't win for losing.

God bless.

Roy Scribner said...

Sounds like a good time! I don't go to the midwest, much, but whenever I go somewhere in this great land of ours, I am reminded how awesome the west coast is.

lime said...

glad it was a generally successful trip. gotta love some of the names though huh? my husband has a student from west africa this year. i have no idea how to spell the name but it's pronounced "you wanna eeshit"

Nessa said...

It's always a good time when you make it out alive. Hey, that's another good tourism slogan.

Elizabeth said...

My husband is going to love your slogan for Portland. He complains about it's land-use restrictions a lot!

a. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
a. said...

Hey I thought I'd let you know that while my work firewall blocks most blogs as I visit as "Blogs & Personal Sites," your blog is blocked as "Entertainment."

Even the firewall knows how fun your blog is!

Jaime said...

when i was on the law school admissions committee we got applications on the same day from: he sook yu and yu sook hem

my professor thought we should admit them just for the name

GAB said...

I wonder if Mr Gab is having as much fun...being in different states.

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