The beautiful, but also intelligent Jay sent us a link from the HuffPo entitled, “26 Reasons to Appreciate the Hidden Gem of Saint Louis”. This piece was a love fest directed at the Lou. I liked it so much that I shared it on Facebook. Its sentiment was appreciated, but you could tell that it was written by a foreigner. The people of Saint Louis do not refer to their city as Saint Louie. Except possibly in the context of a certain song about the fair and then only if you are Judy Garland singing it.
The other glaring tell was the reference to the Missouri Botanical Gardens as the ‘Botan’. I have never heard that nickname before. Now, I have heard it referred to as ‘The Gardens’ or MoBot. The first nickname shows deference to its stature around town and around the world. The second nickname is even it the garden’s web address, (mobot.org), but never Botan. We went to the Botan today and re-upped our membership there. According to the HuffPo article almost everything is free in Saint Louis. While this is mainly true and you can get into the gardens for free sometimes, we prefer the convenience of going when we like to. The crocuses were out, along with a few other harbingers of spring.
We went from the gardens to the second reading in this year’s Ignite! festival. Today’s offering was a commissioned play. It also was Saint Louis centric. The play involved the Saint Louis art scene and fundraising scene. Again referring back to that HuffPo article, Saint Louis is rated as one of the most generous cities in America and one that is a great supporter of the arts. Fundamentally, the play is about race, in the form of a mixed race couple that had split up before, but during the course of the play is thrust back together again. They are left to hash out old differences and see if they can reunite. The mcguffin that gets the action rolling is a charity project to build a statue of Dred and Harriet Scott outside the courthouse building that condemned them back to slavery. The title of the play, “Every Reason to Hope and Believe” comes from an Abraham Lincoln quote about the Dred Scott decision. We met the author, Laura Eason, after the reading. After speaking with her, I learned that she had written the Reps main stage adaptation of “Tom Sawyer” that we had seen. She also wrote the fourth episode of this season’s “House of Cards”.