27 June 2005

the big swelter

St. Louis in the summer is such a challenge I understand why they sing the blues.

I stayd in a walk-up in an old guesthouse in the Soulard destrict. in the torpor of evening standing on the balcony outside my door I felt like Tom Wingfield doing his sililoquy.

yes when you wake up & it's already 80 & muggy it makes for a difficult day of sightseeing   esp for someone like me who insists on learning a new city by walking it. but one must endure that punishment to partake of the glory that is St. Louis.

let's start with the Grand Hall of Union Station. surely one of the most breathtaking structures in the nation. sitting in the middle of its beauty I began to weep. then there are the vintage homes around Lafayette Park which had me singing along with Judy Garland to "Meet Me in St. Louis." & Crown's Candy Kitchen is a delightful soda fountain of the kind I recall from boyhood. the BLT is abundant in B & the generous milkshake is brought to table in its mixing container.

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but the reason I came to the dangerous ozone levels of St. Louis was for the opera. & I wasn't disappointd. Colin Graham has mountd a majestic production of Britten's "Gloriana." Christine Brewer as QE1 is a towering presence.

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