Growing up in Jefferson City, Missouri was not quite the Tom Sawyer-esque adventure it probably could have been though this is entirely my fault as I could never bring myself to jump into the Missouri River or even to wade into the mud along the shore. I also had no idea how to build a raft and I look terrible in a straw hat. I did spend a little over a year barefoot though so hopefully that counts for something.
At any rate, my friends and I mostly spent our teenage years escaping to nearby Columbia to see what we thought were punk rock shows. Then, when we got more adventurous we started driving to St. Louis to see bands with actual punk cred like Danzig. On one such trip my friends learned that I had never been to the top of the Gateway Arch and it was decided that this must be rectified immediately.
If you haven’t done this then I have to say that it is a singular experience. The arch was designed and built long before accessibility was a buzzword in architecture. The elevator is a miserable, cramped affair in which you’re forced to sit staring in uncomfortable silence at the people across from you as it, suspended from above by a cable, sways back and forth on its creaky, painstakingly slow way to the top. (more…)