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St. Louis Art Museum

Welp, I’m back to report on more cool things I found in St. Louis!

First: this past weekend I went to Vintage Vinyl on Delmar for the first time and bought a record. The main reason it was my first time is because until now, I didn’t have an actual record player. But fate has smiled upon me in the form of a turntable in my basement! Technically it belongs to my father, but that’s a minor detail. So basically, Vintage Vinyl is pretty legit. They have not only records, but also new/used CDs as well, and band merchandise. So if you’re into that kinda thing, buy music from a chill local place instead of a mass market retailer! (Cough, Urban Outfitters, cough…not that I don’t occasionally indulge in some UO, but still.)

So what record marked my first purchase? None other than Vampire Weekend’s self-titled first album. Why? Because I’m obsessed with them. Oh, and for the record (HAHAHAHAHA….okay, I’ll see myself out) they are playing at the Pageant in September and I’m sooooo pumped. I’m sure you’ll hear all about it. Anyway.

Oops, how did this get in here?

Second: I also had a chance to glance through the new wing in the St. Louis Art Museum! Like the Zoo, the Art Museum is totally free and always beautiful. From what I could tell from their new wing, it is mainly contemporary art. I did recognize a few pieces from other parts of the museum that had been moved over, but there were definitely some new things. Also, I didn’t have time to go through the entire museum to get a good feel for what else had been moved around. Just means I’ll have to go back! And I don’t mind at all. The Art Museum has always been a dear place for me, and their new modern wing, with its sleek lines and zen feel, is a welcome addition. So all in all, a very pleasant weekend in the city!

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My absolute favorite overall place in St. Louis has got to be Forest Park. In terms of things to do, it has so much to offer, beginning with the award-winning St. Louis Zoo, which I might add is one of just a few zoos across the country that are FREE! They have added a lot of exciting things over the past few years, and they keep doing more. You can never go wrong with a trip here. If you are an early bird like I am, attractions that normally cost are free during the first hour the zoo is open. When trying to take advantage of this deal, do remember that  the zoo has a winter and summer schedule so make sure that first hour is really the first hour.

Just up the hill, you have the St. Louis Art Museum — expansion and new things are going on here too! Did I say it was FREE! Special exhibits often have a free day as well. They have family fun Sundays with special tours and hands on craft activities. And guess what, nobody cares if you don’t have any kids. Art Hill is the place to be for sledding in the winter time and in the summer time… movies right on the lawn on a cool screen with the water fountains as a back drop.

The History Museum has story time on Fridays and Saturdays, and usually in the summer, it offers different crafts and special events. On their lawn in the spring, April-May, and fall, August -October, they have FREE music concerts for all!

There is also the Muny, Dwight Davis tennis courts, raquetball courts, playgrounds, the Jewel Box, Steinberg’s ice skating in winter, beach volleyball in summer. There’s fishing, canoeing, walking, running, biking (w/rentals available), golfing, etc. etc.

Of course I can’t mention Forest Park without mentioning the Great Forest Park Balloon race — everybody that happens to pass through here at the right time should go at least once.

There are some things about St. Louis I wish were a little, but I do appreciate what’s offered here.  What makes it a great place for college students and families as well is the fact that if you’re not too particular about doing any one specific thing, you can often find something fun to do for FREE or at least reasonably priced. There’s even a catalog that you can pick up at the Visitors’ Center in Forest Park that has lots of great coupons.

It’s such an easy walk from campus that soon you’ll be singing, “Meet me at the Muny. The Muny in Forest Park!

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Hello Everyone,
Are you unfamiliar with the St. Louis area? Wondering where to go for some fun? Well, I am terrible with directions, but I will be happy to name some interesting places to go! Especially with Fontbonne’s location, almost everything is in walking distance or close enough that gas won’t be wasted if you drive the short distance. First, the Delmar Loop is best for walking the sidewalks and finding the most random of things. My favorite is Bubble Tea. It is tiny and does have limited sitting space, but the atmosphere is warm and easygoing. The workers genuinely want you to be happy and actually strike up conversations while you are just standing there. Now Bubble Tea has bubble tea, shocker I know. Bubble Tea is a milk tea that comes in multiple flavors. Most contain Boba, which is a chewy ball at the bottom of the drink. It originates from a cassava root and is sweetened when cooked and put in the tea. I, personally, prefer no Boba, but don’t knock it until you try it! You can get Snows, A.K.A. slushes, and some good food like Lo Mein or Sweet and Sour chicken and rice. Besides Bubble Tea, the Loop has Fritz’s, Froyo, Cheeseology, and much more. Just go on down, take a walk, and see where your feet take you!

Also right by Fontbonne, Forest Park is the next amazing place to go. It has acres upon acres of land to roam for hours. The St. Louis Art Museum is located in Forest Park and is FREE! I have spent more than one occasion lost in the collections of the St. Louis Art Museum. The view right outside the Museum is its own masterpiece. You can refer to it as Art Hill, considering its location! Just imagine a giant hill right in front of you, leading to the edge of an expanse of water, which can be classified as a big pond. People dot the area with their running, walking, and laying out on the soft grass. You can go to the Zoo in Forest Park (another FREE attraction). Plus, the Muny is right inside the park and it’s easy to find show times and prices online. Don’t want a buy a ticket? No problem, the Muny does have free seats, but tickets are reasonable and prepare for those free seats to fill up fast! Once a year, Forest Park holds a Shakespeare Festival that is FREE if you want to experience that. Other things in Forest Park include the Jewel Box, History Museum, the Boat House, and Steinberg’s Ice Rink. Granted not all of them are free, but they are all located conveniently in Forest Park. So, Fontbonne is near some pretty awesome stuff. Use that GPS or good old fashion map and find some FUN!

Jeanne!

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One of the greatest things about St. Louis, in my opinion, is the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM). The museum is free to the public and hosts a great collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, and sculptures. I go there quite a bit since it is located in Forest Park which is right by Fontbonne!

Earlier this week, my Oil Painting Techniques class went to the museum and met an art conservationist. He took our class into an underground secure area where artwork restorations are done. It was so fascinating! We learned about how he strips the varnish off of old paintings, repairs them, cleans them, re-varnishes them, and then paints in the missing portions of paint over the varnish. It was really interesting to go into the off-limits area of the museum. It always amazes me how much artwork sits locked up underground waiting to be restored, never getting the chance to be seen by the general public.

Today my wife and I went to the SLAM, because today is Friday and Friday is free day for special exhibits at the museum. The show that is there right now is An Orchestrated Vision: The Theater of Contemporary Photography. It is a lovely collection of staged photographs. I encourage everyone to go and see the show, but I suggest waiting until next Friday when it will be free again!

For more information on the St. Louis Art Museum, or to check out the collections, you can visit their website:

http://www.slam.org/

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.