In This City



For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven,
which is yet to come.
(Hebrews 13:14 NLT)

 

I took the Metrolink to our fair city of St. Louis today. It was an expirement of sorts, a hometown adventure. I was seeking inspiration away from my usual surroundings.

I am not a city girl and I am no longer a country girl. I am a just another suburbanite looking for adventure and glitz in the city. I am a writer, and I have come to realize that as a writer, much of my life is spent in the imagination.

As some of my friends can attest, I come up with these crazy, romantic ideas, like becoming a world traveller in my own city or starting a hiking club or designing a “Bible as Literature” book club. I have a lot of ideas, not that all of them pan out

For my latest adventure, I am recreating the atmopshere of A Writer’s Paris, here in St. Louis. I mean, we do have some French roots, thus our name, St. Louis, from the Louisana Purchase and all that. In Paris, people go to the train stations to people watch and enjoy art, why not see if I could do the same here?

I was a little giddy, wondering what or who I would encounter. In light of my hobo honeymoon, I chose to go down to Union Station, our famous train depot and home to Union Station Hotel. I hadn’t been in a while, so I was pleasantly surprised to find the food court still open and a few people milling around. Mostly locals and some college basketball fans– this weekend the city is hosting Arch Madness. I did  find a few people to watch and very little art, except for the train memorabilia and the architecture in the hotel lobby.

For lunch, I sat at a cafe table in the sunny atrium. I ate my sandwich, while trying to scribble in my journal. I mostly wrote about how I didn’t like my new journal or my new pen, and kept fighting the urge to just go home and be comfortable in my blue thinking chair.




Since I was getting restless, I checked my map for the location of the newly renovated Central Library, then I walked over to check it out. There were some tourists on Market Street walking toward the Arch and a few folks sitting on the benches in Keener Park Plaza.

The difference between St. Louis and other cities that I have visited is the people. Downtown St. Louis is sparsely populated. It feels more like walking through a deserted town, than the cosmopolitan feel of New York City and Chicago. It just lacks volume. Hardly any cars, so you feel foolish waiting to cross the street. The people who are out and about look warily at each other. I found myself mumbling to myself and looking at the skyline. Do people do this in Paris?

Inside the library was quiet, too. A beautiful building with stained glass windows, marble staircases and dark mahogeny tables blended with some modern rooms and seating areas. A potential place for undistracted writing.

But before I could find a writing spot, I noticed on the ornate wall clock that it was 2:10pm, so I quickly peeked around some more rooms and then headed back to the Union Station Metrolink. My surburban sensibility didn’t want to get caught in rush hour traffic on 70 west.

All in all it was a good day: out in the sunshine, people watching and riding the Metrolink. (For $4.50 you can take a roundtrip to many locations in the Greater St. Louis area. I was thinking it would be worth it just to sit on the train and read. Or eavesdrop on conversations, which I know is not polite, but who knows what great dialogue I might catch for a novel.)

Back in my SUV, I tuned into our local Christian station. I smiled as they were playing God of This City by Chris Tomlin.

Greater things
Have yet to come
And greater things
Are still to be done in this city

(Chris Tomlin)

 




 

4 thoughts on “In This City

  1. So glad you enjoyed your adventure: A Writer's St. Louis! Funny. We were in the same area today between a wedding and the reception with hours to kill. I wanted to go to the newly renovated library HQ, but couldn't talk everyone into it. So that will be for a future date w/ my mother or with me, alone. I have always kept a writer's date, and often land in a sidewalk cafe or tearoom. And…..speaking of tearoom, and also near the downtown library, have you ventured to the London Tea Room? It's quite near there and has very tasty tea and food, which is reasonably priced. And as far as I can tell, they wouldn't frown upon your having tea w/ your journal and a good book! =] also, just across from the Library HQ is Christ Church Cathedral. Have you ventured there? I used to go there for quiet meditation and years ago sang in the choir of this exquisite Episcopal church, modeled after a church in England. Glad you are venturing beyond your writer's cave, Kel. Good for you! Oh, and I love A Writer's Paris. Very inspiring and the metaphor is very clever. I had another thought, but I'm brain-dead tonight and headed for a hot tub by candlelight! =]Love you,Lynni

  2. Lynni- That would have been serendipitious, if we had bumped into each other downtown…St. Louis does have one benefit…it does have the small town feel within the city environs…you really can bump into folks you know :)…I haven't been to Christ Church Cathedral, but was interested…sounds like I'll have to make another date downtown to explore some more…the London Tea Room sounds lovely…now that I have ventured out by myself, I feel a bit more confident about returning for another day…spring will be beautiful once the Bradford pears, redbuds, etc start blooming…I saw some greening on the way home…Love and hugs-Kel

  3. Yes, Dawn…I love the adventure of life that can be enjoyed whether I'm in my blue thinking chair or out and about in town. Looking forward to this week…see you Wednesday for "Writing to God"…

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