Monday, April 5, 2010

The Bike Path Bench

I don't think one can overstate the importance of recognizing a good spot when you see one. When you know the perfect place to do something, you're that much closer to actually doing it.

Imagine someone comes up to you some Saturday morning while you're out garage sailing with John in the big red truck. The guy says, "I sure wish there was some place nearby to ride my new dirt bike. The closest place I know of is in the Ozarks! You fellas wouldn't happen to know anyplace, would ya? We got some beers."

If you are the kind of person that knows more than a few places to ride dirt bikes within 50 minutes of here by highway, then make a few courtesy calls and prepare to get some dirt in your mouth.

It's not just dirt bikes that require a special spot. Any activity is improved by its proper venue. Imagine a solid earthen cup of fragrant steaming tea in the botanical garden's Japanese tea house on a snowy winter morning. Beside the arching bridges of the coy pond. Now, the cup of tea from the vending machine in the basement of the municipal courts building on day 3 of jury duty.

Good spots are crucial. Without knowledge of, and easy access to good spots, doing anything interesting is difficult. St. Louis is resplendent in spots. Good St. Louisans appreciate them.

Imagine your self sitting on this bench. Your eyes are closed. The afternoon sun is warming your left shoulder. A gentle breeze matches the sound of mostly well-maintained traffic. You open your eyes, St. Louis is strolling by.

It's a parade. From minute to minute its hard to tell if the circus has come to town, or if you've stumbled across the jog wear portion of the Ms. STL College Student Pageant. Either way, you're not grabbing for the remote.

Sandwiched between the Bike Path, gravel running path and picturesque Lindell Boulevard, in one of the largest and most beautiful urban parks in the country, this bench has a prime location. It offers many nice views.

And there is a tree that works as a urinal.

And a trash can.

And you can bring a drink, non-alcoholic or otherwise. Have you ever had a King Dewey? Its Budweiser and Mountain Dew mixed together. Like an Arnold Palmer. Probably two thirds Beer, one third Mountain Dew. On ice.

I like to make one at the Mobil on Hampton in a 32oz Styrofoam cup before I go to the bench. Just get a 24oz can of beer and a 32oz fountain Mountain Dew. Pour the beer into the soda and maybe grab a bag of pretzels. Its nice to have a salty snack when you're using other people's work out regiments in the same way you would a moderately entertaining television program.

I'll bet the bench would be a good place to meet babes.

Its definitely a good place to spend a sunny weekday afternoon. You get to hang out in Forrest Park, but with more interesting traffic and fewer people laying on blankets then at the World's Fair Pavilion. You might encounter a Dance Walker, or a Rolls Royce or a three legged dog. If you're there early enough the Compton Drew Investigative Learning Center Middle School Dolphin Bicycle Club might ride by on there matching black red and silver Mountain bikes. I wanna be a kid in that club so bad, I could do something crazy.

Ice in Styrofoam cup.

I'm not gonna make the hard sell on this. I don't know if this is the best bench in St. Louis or not. But it's a good one and we've been coming here for a while. It's on the map. A good meet up spot.

Don't take my word for it.

Roger Brockman knew this was a perfect spot.


Anonymous said...

Love this.

Ben said...

I want a King Dewey so bad right now.

Anonymous said...

I know this bench well......had to sit on it once upon a time during a long run on a hot st.louis summer day and thought i was gonna pass out.....luckily the bench provided me with the appropriate cushion and support.

Steve said...

Good stuff...

Maureen Grady said...

so great. i cant wait for my next trip to STL (this june!). I am totally doing a tour of every place you have written about.
mark my words. dont be surprised when you run into me at the bike path bench...

DoeHands said...

Ali's always asked me if I have ever done her favorite Lee Todorovich activity; According to her, it's "drinking 40s in forest park and making fun of people exercising" and every time she brings it up I think to myself "wow, that really doesn't sound like something Lee would do that regularly...I feel like he only drinks beer during the day if it's during something active, and I don't think I've ever seen him with a 40 period..." but now that I hear about it from your perspective, I get it. Thanks for filling the missing piece.