Thursday, July 26, 2012

this city

Last week I went on an hour-long "riverboat cruise" with my friend Grace. It was really overcast, but the clouds provided a little break from the scalding heat.

This place is down by the river, and I guess it's been there for a long time, but I've never really noticed it. 

 The boat chugged slowly up river, taking us north along the outside of the city, and then turned and went back down, taking us to the bottom. It was definitely a different view of St. Louis than I have ever experienced before.

I've been in boats before of course, but never anything like this. As we sat stationary in the dock waiting to pull out, it seemed like the boat was moving as the Mississippi drifted slowly past. As the boat pulled itself up-river, the water seemed to rush past. When we went down river just a hair faster than the water itself, it appeared to be standing still.

Stone walls lined much of the river, shielding the rocky banks from the city's view. From time to time I glimpsed people on both banks, sitting among the rocks, some fishing, some picnicking, some alone and gazing aimlessly into the water as it flowed along...

We sat on the flat platform in our little chairs with our cameras and touristy hats, snapping pictures of Missouri and Illinois and listening to the fun facts the captain fed us through the speakers.

 In fact, I think Grace and I may have been some of the only people on that boat who were locals. It was very tourist-themed, as you could tell both from the people there and from the things the captain said.

 It was cool to see my city through the eyes of a tourist. I must admit I felt a little proud of us. My conclusion? Saint Louis is a cool place to live. But then, I already knew that.

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