Sunday, June 21, 2009
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?