Driving with Darren

My Friday afternoon outing with Darren took us to this corner: Cates and Clarendon in north St. Louis where I spotted the mini turret. Our tour was limited to the area bordered by Goodfellow, Delmar, Page, and Kingshighway.

Across the street from the turret this abandoned four family:
This building baffled me. Someone started to apply white paint on the top right and stopped. The board up wasn't completed. Can you see how the arches and the quoining resonate.

Those bricks are gold.

Darren applauding the gold brick:

The third corner:
We drove on. Look closely at the columns on the front of this house on Raymond Ave. The capitals had blown out and were covered by siding. No shit, check that out! This was the first time I've ever seen blown terra cotta capitals. I'm guessing the very top of the capital was exposed the freezing water and it blew out the seams. See the other photos below that support my theory.
Truly exceptional brickwork on Raymond Ave:
Blown out capital and a view of the armature:
Brick retaining wall on Academy and Raymond:
Fluer-de-lis above the porch:
Take a drive on Shawnmut for some unique Arts and Crafts homes:
Most shallow building award. Check out the lack of depth:


Crows in Alton, IL

Today Darren and I road tripped to Alton.

I had been telling him about how the crows would gather in my yard at twilight when I lived on McPherson. It was a massive yard with dozens of huge mature trees and hundreds of crows came to roost every evening at the very tip top of the trees. Crows roost communally in the fall and winter.

As I was telling this tale I noticed we were under a flyway with thousands of crows overhead. I asked Darren to stop so I could get some photos of them:

Final application of the crows on my back by the exquisite Sean Baltzell of Tower Classic Tattoo. A reworking of an old Anasazi tattoo. It's still not finished. I'll be adding a colorful background in a few weeks.
Other sights: Brick paved streets, metal signage near the closed steel foundry, three chimneys, The intoxicating brick of The Milton School, the cat in the curtain at Milton School and the drive home after dusk.
Look closely. There's some interesting tuckpointing to the building. It's all vertical, very precise, and never extends into the horizontal joints.
  • Spooky.
    Bronze sculpture in the bathroom of Milton:
    Cat in the curtain:
    Darren with a flying kid in the background. Darren had just said something to me that had me laughing so hard I fell on the passenger seat trying to get back into the car. I can't tell you what he said, I just can't.
    Genuinely curious I asked Darren: Do you think this building is going up or coming down?
  • He just laughed.
    The drive home.
  • 10/31/12

    Happy Halloween

    4230 Gravois is the site of the former National Candy Co.
    The daddy of spooky old Vincent Price once owned this business. Boo and boom. Now an abandoned building due to what happened in the 80s: Corporations VS Unions. You kids had better go out and vote Pres Obama back into office next week.