The Sky’s the Limit

Big Dipper with Clouds

The picture with this post is one of my attempts at astrophotography this summer. Compared with attempts from the two previous summers, I can say that I am getting better. Part of my improvement is attributable to better equipment. Part is due to improved technique and part of my improvement was gained through persistence. I’ll keep experimenting and hopefully keep improving.

Anne and I went bicycling today. We rode to Forest Park, but it being a Saturday and today’s weather being perfect, the park was too crowded. We moved along to Tower Grove Park. If Forest Park is Saint Louis’s front yard, with all of its shiny attractions, like museums and zoos, Then Tower Grove is the city’s backyard.

Today the kids were playing kickball in the backyard, the kids being twenty somethings year olds. A couple of years ago they were ejected from the park for public urination, drunkenness and lewd behavior. Park rules specifically state that only dogs can urinate in the park. The installation of Porta-Potties at each field and the addition of a police presence seems to have dried up the problem. Maybe it was the drought though? Later I saw some bathroom graffiti that said, “Drink more! Pee more-er.”

We made our escape attempt from Tower Grove Park and ran into some park prophesiers, three nicely dressed, nice young men. No thank you on the church invites. We were cut off by a Bi-State Bus at Magnolia and then the light changed and we found ourselves in the clutches of the Pretzel Man. He seemed to relish his captive audience, the same way a spider appreciates a pair of flies in its web. Anne and negotiated him up from a single pretzel to two bags of pretzels for her bicycle, when the light finally changed and we escaped the park.

It being about lunchtime, we turned off into the Grove, for a little something. The Grove seemed pretty sleepy at this time of day. The Atomic Cowboy wasn’t even open yet. Fortunately, the Handlebar was open for lunch. The Handlebar is a Russian bicycling bar. That’s what Saint Louis needs more of, more ethnic bicycling establishments. The only other one that immediately comes to mind is the French one near SLU, Café Ventana.

Anyway, the Handlebar is totally into bicycling. From the high wheel bike racks out front, to the multitude of eclectic bicycles inside, to the myriad of bicycling related artworks, the Handlebar is all about bicycling. The back story in the menu has the proprietor, a homesick Russian émigré, Tatyana, learning to love Saint Louis and cycling once she acquired a bike and started riding around town. The Handlebar opened in 2010. Russian food seems similar to the Polish food that I grew up with. We shared a Blinchiki, the day’s special. After lunch we made our way home, to eventually write this blog post.

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