In three days, I’ve been able to emerge from my shell of my residence hall and venture into the artistic delights of St. Louis.
On Friday, March 6th, on a whim, I was driving back to campus when I suddenly decided I should pop by the St. Louis Art Museum. After all, on Fridays, they are open until 9pm. So, I went, expecting a quiet night of solitude and mindful, artistic contemplation. Nope. It turns out that Friday was the opening of the SLAM’s “Art in Bloom” exhibit, where floral designers around St. Louis emulated different arrangements inspired by the works of art in the museum. So, I did not get a quiet night of solitude and mindful, artistic contemplation. I got a noisy night of joyful interactions with St. Louisans who were willing to engage with me and my mindful contemplations. I was really amazed at how willing others were eager to share their opinions with me. In fact, I made some new friends based on our mutual agreements and well-delivered disagreements. St. Louis has some very artsy people, and many who are willing to support the Arts.
On Saturday night, I joined some old Fonty friends that evening to do some Karaoke at Tom’s Bar and Grill in Central West End. For those over 21, they have Karaoke there from 9pm – 1am. I go there often, and because it is so popular, I never get a chance to sing. Well, tonight, I was lucky- I impressed the crowd with a rendition of Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This.” My friends were proud to call me friend that night, let’s just say. But I made a lot of new friends as well, those who complimented me and were wishing for me to sing again. It’s hard to stay humble when you have a reaction like that, but again, people were friendly enough to come up to me and thank me for a solid performance. St. Louis was friendly, encouraging people, people who are willing to support each other, new or old friends.
On Sunday, to my dismay, I discovered that the Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis started at 12pm and NOT 12.30pm. Ooops. So for future reference, those who want to go there for Sunday Mass… it starts at 12pm. The Cathedral was very full when I walked in, and I had to sit at the back. You know if you’ve been there that the Cathedral is HUGE. So I concluded: St. Louis has a lot of Catholics, who are willing to support this beautiful Church, and who are willing to practice their faith and spirituality, without giving latecomers that snide look of “You’re late, go away.”
That evening, I had the unique pleasure of watching “The Phantom of the Opera” at the Fabulous Fox Theatre tonight with one of my dearest friends, Angela. I have always been on the edge with this musical. I’ve performed songs from it in High School, but I never had the urge to watch the musical or the film. However, despite this, I was still very excited to finally watch it. One cannot deny that the opportunity to watch a famous musical is utterly exhilarating. Needless to say, the musical was fantastic, and I have been singing songs from it all evening. It was much more meaningful that I was able to watch it with Angela, too. And the House was packed. all 7600 seats filled. St. Louis has a lot of people who like to watch theatre and musicals; some take it more seriously than others, but they are willing to come out on a Sunday evening and watch a timeless classic.
What am I trying to say? St. Louis just has a lot of great people who recognize the worthiness of the arts, faith, and spirituality. You’re one of them. You’re a part of this community, whether you are from Missouri or not. And that’s something that’s worth staying for. I can only hope I’ll find a similar community after I move following graduation. For now, I can revel in being a part of this vibrant community. You can too!