Sunday, September 11, 2011

More St. Louis Photos

These are from a long warm walk I took earlier today.  I'm staying put now at the hotel - got an early flight tomorrow morning and need to pack and try to get a good night's rest.

Another gated road.  I headed in the opposite direction on the sidewalks, most of which are open, though the roads are closed at one end to thru-traffic.

I did not make a note of this street name. While the sun was hot, the air was still and humid, these side streets with their canopies of green offer some relief from the heat of the day. 

Here is Hortense Place, another gated road.  Pretty imposing, heh?

This is looking out from Hortense Place toward Kingshighway Boulevard.  Hortense Place was inviting, but I turned back to Kingshighway because there were some imposing buildings further down the road I wanted to photograph.

An imposing residence on Kingshighway Boulevard.  During my conversation with a lady I saw gardening outside her home on Westminster Place (coming up later), she told me that houses in her neighborhood some 10 years ago were going for a couple thousand each, and even the big mansions (like this one) were going for under $20,000.  I've seen this kind of destruction of beautiful old neighborhoods happen in my own city, and it's spreading in Milwaukee rather than getting better.  White flight has destroyed Milwaukee proper and now minorities are spreading into the inner-ring suburbs, with more white flight resulting.  I see it first hand, up close and personal, five days a week, twice a day, as I take the regular city bus from my home to the office downtown.  The city has gutted express bus service which used to cater to people taking the bus from inner suburbs and outlying areas to and from downtown jobs.  As a result, bus ridership has dropped as those people would rather take cars than ride the bus through what are, frankly, scary neighborhoods with some scary people!  I guess because I grew up in some tough neighborhoods and have always taken the bus as my primary mode of transportation I'm used to it - but it's getting harder to ignore the kind of people who have taken over formerly middle class neighborhoods and seeing the actual deterioration of the properties in the affected areas.  Gang graffiti all over, nightly shootings, trash and garbage dumped all over the streets, with nobody bothering to clean up outside their houses and storefronts.  Another city area in a death spiral.

This impressive building is modeled on the Parthenon. I don't believe it is vacant, but the following buildings are all for sale and/or lease and are either vacant or mostly vacant.  Sad, very sad.

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