Monday, July 2, 2012

Breaking the Routine

For some reason, one morning last week I decided to break with my morning ritual and jump off the Metro train at the Arch/Laclede’s Landing stop instead of riding through to the heart of downtown.

I’m glad I did. Glad because the walk in is SO much better aesthetically, if not from a cardiovascular perspective. (UP THE HILL from the Landing to the Arch grounds and then a few more blocks into Downtown proper.) I enjoyed the change so much, in fact, that I opted to do it again this morning.

When I walk in from the Convention Center stop, all I see is modern architecture and parking garages with the exception of the Railway Exchange, one view of the Federal Reserve, the deteriorating and all-it-historical-beauty-covered-up-by an-ugly-1950s-façade Mercantile Library, and the Marquette Building. And, the ever-depressing sight of the homeless who sleep along the block of Locust Street that stands along the way.

From the Landing, you get immediate gratification before you even leave the platform. (The platform is within the Eads Bridge expansion.) Through the mid-section archways of the bridge, you get a nice view of the Mississippi AND of the Arch itself. That view is even more enhanced once you go down the stairs and hit street level.

From the cobblestone street, you ascend the hill that borders the Arch grounds. Up, up, and up. As you ascend, Washington Avenue comes into view and the historic Missouri Athletic Club on one side and the Kennard Carpet building on the other. (You can see both buildings in this post. Or, more of just the MAC here.) Then, you take your chances crossing Third Street/Memorial Drive to get to Washington.

Turn on Washington and you’ll note that the carpet building (most recently the Roberts Vista) has now been converted to lofts. A gorgeous wood door entry is now on the Fourth Street side. (More on this building later.) Then, it’s a great view of the Federal Reserve and its plaza area. Up next, the Security Building. And while I’ve walked past it dozens of times, looking at it in the early morning light, I noticed things I hadn’t before. (More to come on this building, too.) Then, I get to zip past the Merchant’s Laclede (one of the oldest buildings downtown) and get a different angle on the Marquette.

And this morning, in addition to all of the different and alternative views, I got to pet a dog and give directions to a tourist.

It really puts a positive start on the day. Amazing what even a small change can do sometimes.

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