Peak Spring

We sloughed off after the weekend, but got back on the bikes. We had been contemplating revisiting Madison County in Illinois, but people up north are having some sort of bomb cyclone that is dragging high winds across the bare corn fields here. Instead, we let discretion choose the better part of valor. We opted for a city ride. Wind wasn’t the only deciding factor though, news reports said that the gardens had extended their hours, because its Japanese garden’s cherry blossoms had peaked. It wasn’t only just there. Our neighborhood trees are flowering, the park is flowering and as anyone with hay fever would tell you, the whole city has blossomed.

It was the perfect spring day. We launched in the morning with just a hint of winter’s chill still remaining in the air. By the time that we recovered, after the day had warmed, there was enough heat to further hint at summer. Spring in Saint Louis has always seemed to teeter on a fulcrum, one day being winter and the next summer. If this year be true to form, then this is that day when it flips.

We headed out into a headwind, passing through the park. Anne chose to pose beneath some flowering cherries. I especially love the petal grout between the tiles. We toured Tower Grove Park and then lunched on South Grand. This being a weekday, we were able to get in at the Vine, a middle eastern flavored restaurant, probably halal too. We had been shutout last weekend, because it was so popular. The food was great. Afterwards, we swung by the gardens just to see those cherry blossoms.

Sped by a tailwind, we hurried home. An I-44 overpass on Tower Grove Ave. that is under construction, bottlenecked our route and we had to suffer truly deafening noise as we traversed it. We have been experimenting with alternative ways around Tower Grove Ave. On our return we discovered a vast swath, 15 acres, of Forest Park Southeast that is undergoing immediate gentrification. I may be blind, but I just woke to this change on this ride. This traditionally black neighborhood that was just honored this month with the naming of Bob Gibson Way in also undergoing wholesale slaughter. We heard about the 15 acres from a construction worker. It is a Wash U development. It’s not surprising. This low rent neighborhood is sandwiched between the Grove and the all-consuming Wash U / SLU central corridor and enjoys the last un-redeveloped park access. 

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