Sunday, June 21, 2009

Welcome aboard



I suppose every city and town has a special place in their community. A hang out spot or fun attraction with a unique cachet that creates magic. Somewhere that brightens your day when you think of going there or brings a smile and a sigh when you arrive.

In St. Louis that place for me is The Boathouse. Located in magnificent Forest Park, it offers views of rolling green space over the horizon of a large lagoon. There are paddle boats for leisurely floating through the waterway. Rocking chairs situated dock side offer reverie while you sip a glass of wine. And dining tables line the edge of the water.

On weekends you can listen to live music. In the fall they bring in a fire pit to extend the outdoor season. During cold winter months, friends gather around a large stone fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate.

The Boathouse has a long history in this town. When I first started going there about fifteen years ago it was nothing but a shanty with a rustic kitchen. You could order a hot dog or a burger and a brew or soft drink. Tables were mismatched and haphazardly placed about.

The dock was wooden and creaky and strung with remnants of Christmas tree lights. Bands would play from a splintered deck and too much algae grew along the banks of the water. It was wonderful.

Then the powers-that-be decided to do a face lift. I was mortified. How could anyone want to replace such a charming, beloved landmark? But every now and then progress gets it right. A delightful main building reminiscent of a Midwestern cottage was constructed. New, safe docks were anchored properly. The menu was expanded and families of ducks and geese set up residence.

Here are a few photos. From all the bright golden glows you will realize that this makes a perfect entry for Mellow Yellow Monday.







What’s the favorite spot in your neighborhood?


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14 comments:

Sally in WA said...

I would definitely enjoy spending some time here! Great photos.

Jo said...

That looks absolutely wonderful. I love those little paddle boats. And of course the kayaks, too. Someone did a very good job there. I would hang out there too. :-)

oh said...

Love the pictures, Py! 'specially the buoys (floats?) I have been there in ages to eat though I often get to the park. So, I probably should. It's funny when you start to look at it what a big city this is. I've been to the Hill, to the Valley, to Old North City (Crown Candy) and to the beloved Hill lately. Anyway, we'll put the Boathouse on the map as a coming-soon adventure!

Kathleen said...

Wow -- such a cool spot. I want to hop right in one of those kayaks and paddle, now, with the stars twinkling above. Do they let people do that?

Favorite spot in my neighborhood? I'd have to say Linden Hills Dunn Bros coffee shop or one of the fishing docks on Lake Harriet early in the morning doing yoga and watching a few intrepid swimmers.

Lola said...

That looks like my kinda place, Pat.
The way you described it makes me want to sit there, on the water's edge sipping a chilled glass of Chardonnay.

The photos are so inviting too. The buoy things are great. all lined up like that.

Ciao my friend,
Lola xx

Regina said...

Lots of yellow. Nice place and shots.
Happy MYM.

ds said...

What a lovely, relaxing spot! I like the buoys (?) too. And your word verification must agree because the word I got is shiphark. Ahoy!

claudie said...

My Aunt and Uncle's cottage always had paddle boats.
Lovely & very refreshing.
Happy MYM
Love Claudie
xoxo

Bruce said...

It is a toss up between an almost hidden bar / lounge near our neighborhood that recently opened up called "The Side-Bar", or the top of Squaw Peak, a moutain perserve in central Phoenix. The very top is usually crowded with a lot of hikers who are very proud that they made it.

Martha said...

Great photos, looks like such a lovely place. I love Towsley Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains near our house. Great post, thank you, also for your visit to my blog.

lakeviewer said...

You inspire me to get out and take some pictures of our beautiful beaches and rivers.

drollgirl said...

wah!!! i wish i was there to enjoy it!!! it looks nice and peaceful and fun and relaxing.

VioletSky said...

That looks a perfect spot. There is nothing quite like sitting in a restaurant by the waters edge.

Word verification: "sweet"

Karen said...

That looks a lovely place to spend time at...

Very cool shots..

The favourite place around here, would probably be the river..or a couple of the lakes..