Escape From Forest Park



We went biking today and while cycling through Forest Park Anne ran over a squirrel or at least she thought she had. I was riding behind her, so I saw the whole thing. She even emitted a little squeak, which the squirrel did not. She didn’t run over the squirrel, but rather the squirrel ran into her. It t-boned her rear wheel. Maybe it couldn’t see the whirling spokes and thought that it could just run through the wheel. Anyway, it hit the whirling spokes, which tossed the squirrel about a foot into the air. As soon as it landed, it scurried back the way it had come and out of sight again. When I was riding every day in the pre-dawn hours, this sort of incident was a regular occurrence. I took to calling such squirrels members of the Forest Park Suicide Squirrel Squad. When it happened to me, the squirrel would inevitably do a back-and-forth across the trail in front of me and either decide that discretion was the better part of valor and run away, or successfully make the dash between my wheels, or become a rodent speed bump. The first few times that that happened, I circled back around to look for the poor critter, but I never found the body. I was left to assume that no fatal damage was done. I did once witness a squirrel successfully commit suicide. A large man, traveling at a high rate of speed ran over the poor bugger, killing it instantly. It wasn’t pretty.

Today’s weather was exceptionally fine, so the park was exceptionally crowded. We headed over to Tower Grove Park, which wasn’t so crowded. Afterwards, we rode through Compton Heights, with its old and elegant homes. On the way back, we stopped near the building site for the new Saint Louis IKEA, which will open later this year. Unlike every other IKEA in America, this one will be built in the city and not the suburbs. The exterior facing the highway, where everyone can see it is finished, but the exterior on the backside still has a lot of work left to be done. They were working on it today. We had lunch at Kopperman’s Deli in the Central West End. I had their Ike and Tina Tuna sandwich, which was good. Other cute sandwich names include the following:

  • A Brisket, A Basket – Layers of brisket, tongue, turkey and corned beef
  • Tongue Fu – Beef tongue, pastrami and corned beef
  • Beef Encounter – Beef brisket and breast of turkey
  • Turkey In The Slaw – Breast of turkey and hickory smoked bacon
  • Any Pork In A Storm – Hickory smoked bacon and corned beef
  • There Oughta Be A Slaw – Corned beef and Cole slaw
  • Cry Me A Liver – Chopped liver and hickory smoked bacon

The Sunday paper had a new specialty section, the 100 best restaurants in Saint Louis. By my estimation, we have only dined at about a quarter of them. Today, we rode by three restaurants that had made the list, but we haven’t tried yet. Last summer’s scavenger hunt was looking for cakes that were part of the Cakeway to the West art show. I think that this year’s scavenger hunt should be to knock off some more of these 100 best restaurants. Kopperman’s was not on the list.

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