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St. Louis got soul!

Posted by on July 19, 2014
Serena in St. Louis

Serena in St. Louis

 

St. Louis was only supposed to be a good stopping point, about halfway between Memphis and Chicago, where we had planned to visit with friends.

Market Street

Market Street

Union Station

Union Station

However, the minute we drove into town, we both got that feeling of excitement we’ve come to know that bubbles up when a town has that special vibe. And St. Louis has it. Maybe it’s the view of the magnificent Gateway Arch, the towering structure built in1965 to commemorate the westward expansion of the United States. We were awed as we drove down Market Street, closer and closer to the 630 ft. tall structure, the tallest monument in the United States. The Gateway Arch has become known all over the world as the symbol of St. Louis.

Or perhaps it is the impressive Union Station, the massive stone Romanesque style building that epitomizes the grandeur of times past, when train travel was elegant and fashionable. Once one of the nation’s busiest rail stations, it is now like a small city inside: shops, restaurants, a hotel and entertainment complex.

St. Louis continued to surprise us when we discovered that three of the top blues clubs were all on the same street, only three miles from our campground. Although St. Louis RV Park is a no frills place —a parking lot with full hook-ups— it is the only campground inside the city, and conveniently located to the city’s amenities, including Busch Stadium and the Broadway Blues Triangle.

When we headed downtown to check out the nightlife, the traffic was terrible and people were swarming both sides of S. Broadway. Then we realized that the Cardinals were playing the Phillies that night at Busch Stadium and we worried about finding parking. Our luck continued, and we easily found a place for Serena in one of the huge lots available for only $10 for all evening.

Broadway Oyster Bar

Broadway Oyster Bar

The minute we spotted the Broadway Oyster Bar with its casual New Orleans style ambiance, we grabbed a seat at one of the wrought iron tables on the cozy patio. I hadn’t checked reviews, but instead let the sight of freshly shucked oysters be our guide. We didn’t know it at the time, but the Broadway Oyster Bar was rated the top restaurant for service in all of Missouri. We sure aren’t surprised, as we had possibly the best waitress we have ever experienced. Lindsay was attentive, fun, helpful and incredibly honest as she guided us to order the best dishes on the menu.

Blue Point Oysters

Blue Point Oysters

We began with the Blue Point oysters, which were out of this world and at $22 a dozen a super bargain. Manny’s choice of Shrimp Voodoo with its spicy sauce worked its magic on him, while I’m still dreaming about my New Orleans style shrimp in a rich buttery wine sauce.

To add to our delightful dining experience, the entertainment that night was also top notch. The stage at the Broadway Oyster Bar is designed to look like an aquarium, the lighting changing colors and the undulating effect made it appear that Big Mike and The Blu-City Allstars were playing underwater.

We moved on up the block to BBs Jazz, Blues and Soups where Mojo Roots Band was just getting started. The young lead singer Jordan Thomas surprised us with some smokin’ harmonica playing. I predict that this Missouri based band with its soulful sound will be hitting the international stage soon.

Unknowingly, we saved the best for last when we headed across the street to Beale on Broadway. The outdoor patio was packed, almost every seat taken. On stage was the riveting blues diva Kim Massie, who is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. The audience seemed mesmerized by a self-absorbed interpretive —evidently one of Kim’s regulars— moved deeply by the arrangement.

Kim is reminiscent of a stage performer from the past, someone who knows how to seduce an audience with her saucy words and bawdy innuendos. A very large woman, she sits back in a chair and encourages the audience to write their requests. Once in a while, she’ll select one and will belt out an unforgettable rendition of the desired tune. Then she proceeds to sweet talk the crowd into tipping generously, or buying her CDs. But everyone is glad to comply, because Kim is phenomenal; her personality is as immense and appealing as her voice. Her range and energy are boundless. We stayed until we were exhausted, and left knowing we had just heard an incredible talent.

St. Louis proved to be a great music city. Watch our video and find out if you too could have gotten lost in that South Broadway Blues triangle forever.

9 Responses to St. Louis got soul!

  1. Hal Staton

    Great music & Video.

  2. Juan Manuel Fernandez

    Comandante asombrado por tu gran talento en el oficio de la filmación, gran narrativa y que música. Con un gran abrazo y hasta la victoria siempre y como hasta ahora.

  3. carol hurst

    and, we’ve love to hear your words of wisdom!

  4. Peg

    Never been to St. Louis but you make me want to put it on the bucket list!

  5. Evelyn Lerman

    Thanks, friends, for your blog. Loved the writing (you are good!) and the video was gorgeous. So happy you’re having fun. Stay well and grow old together. Love, Ev

  6. Manny & Roz

    Hi Carol Hurst! You commented on our blog, http://www.2adventurers.com, and we feel bad as we don’t remember where we met. Have we met in our travels, and where? Glad you like our posts.

    Regards,
    Roz and Manny

  7. Carol Hurst

    Lol!!!! We haven’t met- we r just xtra friendly Midwesterners. I can’t recall how I came across your blog- to be honest- so I guess we r even. :-)

    We live outside of St Louis, travel a lot, and are hoping to unplug in 18 months and travel in our B190.

    I read your blog for inspiration and to live vicariously until we r able to leave for longer periods of time. :-)

  8. Liz

    So what do you think it is about the Mississippi River that makes people want to sing the blues? Some very authentic music there, but one of those guys looked a bit too clean cut to really know the blues, like he probably drove home in a Lexus. Reminded me of a radio interview I heard once with an old blues guy who said ” well, you know, you can’t sing the blues in an air-conditioned room…..”

  9. Margie McCormick

    Bravo Kim & bravo Roz&Manny!

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