The St. Louis City Museum — a strange and beautiful place (Vámonos Vol. 1)

The City Museum of St Louis is not a museum in the traditional sense of the word and it has almost nothing to do with cities in general or St. Louis in specific.  What it is, is a huge junkyard play-house.  When you first enter it, the building looks like the home of an eccentric millionaire overrun with children.  As you explore further, it seems like its so big it must belong to billionaire because it is much too big and he can’t simply be eccentric, they must be insane to have welded a plane onto a bus onto a metal structure outside of their roof.

Then you slide through the shark tank.

Can you get hurt?  Of course you can!  The city museum is like a huge junk playground you can hurt yourself here in the same way you might hurt yourself climbing the monkey bars.  Except instead of climbing the monkey bars, you will be scaling the outside of a tube that goes into some kind of whale den made out of beautiful mosaic tile.

While I was there I asked one of the many friendly people who worked there if they had ever been sued and she said “All the time.”  Much of the cost of admission pays for their liability insurance.  Who would insure such a strange place I don’t know, but thank goodness someone does.  Because what makes the city museum strange is also what makes it fun.

Between Chicago and St. Louis there are probably a thousand interesting pieces of junk.  Abandoned cars in dirt lots and old railroad tracks that haven’t been used for generations can create a strange wonderland for the adventurous mind.   Flea markets, junk yards and rummage sales hold thousands of things that could be helpful or useful for someone.  Many of the things we pass by could be valuable.  Not in the way things on the antiques road show are valuable, because someone will bid on them at an auction.  But in the way a hammer and nails are valuable when you need to hang a painting.

There is no place I know that has gotten so much value out of so much junk.  If you like junk or sharks or to play, there is no place I can recommend more strongly than the City Museum of St. Louis.

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4 Responses to “The St. Louis City Museum — a strange and beautiful place (Vámonos Vol. 1)”
  1. Nia says:

    Great job describing an indescribable place!

  2. shbh says:

    Thanks for the love Nia. Feel free to include your own website in the track backs when you leave a comment. So everyone else can see little epiphanies and the great work you do there.

  3. Ian Randall says:

    Great article! Shelley and I love this place. It’s dangerous and you can drink there!

    • shbh says:

      Thanks Brother! Next time we are all kicking it down Southern IL we got to hit that up. I am almost certain nobody will be arguing Ford vs. Chevy.

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