Today was forecast to have the pick weather of the week, so Hubby Tony and I
decided to make it our date day. I researched places that we haven't been yet
(a job that gets harder and harder the longer Tony is retired 😀) and emailed
him a list with three possibilities. Out of the list he chose
Lafayette Square, a historical neighborhood and park in the City of St. Louis.
Tony had an early morning commitment, but when he got home we jumped in the car and
drove almost all the way downtown. We got off the interstate, turned left, then made another quick right when we saw the
Lafayette Square light pole sign.
There was plenty of on-street parking. We got out and started our adventure.
Lafayette Park is the heart of the neighborhood. It was the first public park in the St. Louis area (dedicated in 1851), and some say
the oldest west of the Mississippi. Houses, row
houses, and apartment buildings line the streets
encircling the park.
In May of 1896 a tornado leveled much of the area. Many
of the residents who lost their homes moved to other, newer areas of the city.
After World War 2 the neighborhood declined until urban pioneers began
renovating it in the 1970s. Now both the park and streets are beautifully
If I had taken photos of all the buildings I liked my phone memory would have
completely filled up. However, these 'painted lady' row houses are one
example of what we saw on our walk.
A townhouse building. I love the roof detail.
I didn't get close enough to this tree to know what type it was, but the
mass of flowers were stunning.
Eventually we made our way to the park. Its meandering paths were shaded by
huge trees. A pond in the middle had swans, ducks, and way too many Canadian
geese. When I tried to get close enough to take a photo of the pond one of them hissed at
me and I backed off. However, I managed to get a shot of this guy, sculpted by
Bob Cassilly, who was a local artist.
In the southeast corner we found the Park House, which was built in 1867
for use as a police station. Now it's the office for the Lafayette
Square Restoration Committee. I can't imagine any newly-built public
building being half this ornate!
Tony and I walked for about 90 minutes, then decided we were hungry. Based partly on the name of this restaurant, we decided to check it out.
Mayo Ketchup serves Puerto Rican, Dominican and Cuban food. The restaurant's name is actually a common dipping sauce for fried food in those cuisines.
Tony's sandwich (on the right) had a 'bun' of large, smashed, twice fried
green plantains. It was filled with avocado, lettuce, tomato, pickled red onion,
potato sticks, and garlic mayo
My bowl (on the left) contained white rice, black beans, maduros (fried sweet
plantains), tostones (fried green plantain slices), pickled onion, and avocado. We ate until there was nothing left.
After lunch Tony and I agreed that our feet said it was time to head back to the car and head home.