A Light Road Trip: Day 2

I’ve been in a pattern where I’ve been getting up early most mornings. Since Liz is a light sleeper, I ended up grabbing my laptop and working outside of our hotel room so she could keep sleeping.

I got downstairs around 6:45 or so. There wasn’t any coffee anywhere (I opted not to make any in the room) until the restaurant opened up, so I worked for a while in the library room.

Pretty cool wall decorations.

At 7:00, I ended up going to the restaurant on the ground floor. I set up at a table near an outlet, got some coffee, and did a bit of coding.

A few hours later, when Liz was up, we returned down here for some breakfast.

Our first stop: Green Shag Market.

Hoo boy, this day has a lot of photos. Here we go.

“A New and accurate Mappe of the World, drawne according to the latest discoveries -1682”

Someone made the angels… better?

You can’t choose your neighbors: “Darwin: Discovering the Tree of Life” next to “Sex in the Future.”

The most depressing cookbook.

Their a great couple.

I tend to see a lot of classic Underwood typewriters in antique malls. But this was different: an Oliver typewriter!

A newer Underwood? From Olivetti?

Not sure exactly what this is, but an older phone that worked off a hook.

This was really cool. I don’t know why but I was tempted to purchase this. Totally unclear what I could do with it, but it seemed neat.

Also: Chicago in the house!

A bunch of keys: $3.

Look at this gorgeous thing.

It’s an old style PO Box key! At first, I had a fantasy of taking this and possibly opening up a PO Box somewhere. But I learned PO Box keys don’t quite work out like that, and you can technically return keys so that they can be returned to their rightful owners.

Would be curious how old these keys are. And wonder if they’re as old as the ones I found.

Around this time, unbeknownst to me, Liz was standing behind me. Totally silent. With this on her head.

Old style multimedia center.

I don’t own many records, but feel like I’d want to own more if I had this thing.

There’s an odd and surprising symmetry between the clown and his lamp neighbors.

I’m not sure why this came to be.

Suddenly, Al.

These two very clearly haunted paintings are only $39 each.

One on the left is titled “No sale!” One on the right is titled “Extra!”

There are placards underneath both paintings, which seemed an extra, especially brutal touch.



One of the things Liz purchased was a chicken. Because of course.

On our way to the next location. This made for a very fun and stressful trek, as we were heading towards the trouble.

Outside the Treasure Aisles Antique Mall. We barely got in before things got bad. Hard to really capture just how much rain was coming down here.

The first of many aisles.

Liz, lost among the wares.

Eat more honey.

I think these are Japanese Kokeshi Dolls.

Back in the day when your beer probably had a mascot.

That is one hell of a pivot, Norelco.

I liked how, in the midst of all these antiques, there was this random bit of “Metal Art.”

Some pig.

Bags of legos. I don’t quite understand how selling these pieces like this makes any sense. How are random pieces in a big of interest to anyone?

This may be one of my favorite finds from the weekend. Its packaging feels reminiscent of a Milton Bradly board game, but it’s so clearly not a board game.

Moby Dick Scrimshaw
Ages 12 to Adult

As easy as

1. Rub transfer design onto one half of tooth
2. Etch transferred design with tool
3. Assemble tooth, fill with plaster, stain, sand and wax.

Is this thing a one shot deal?

“Take pride in making and displaying a reproduction of this unique folk art.”

I love that some marketer really tried to make this a kid-friendly thing. I just love how ridiculous this image is.

There was a big bag of powder in the box. Along with some pretty neat illustrations.

An appropriate painting in an adjacent booth.

Not sure I’ve ever seen one of these before.

A Dalton adding, listing, and calculating machine.

An impressively large scale.

I don’t know why, but it feels like this would be awesome to have in the house. Not that we have the space or that it would make any sense at all. But this thing was just super impressive.


Liz, with yet another surprise on. A moment before this, I heard her voice call out “Should I wear this to the winery?”

And then she popped around the corner.


Oh look, a pump wrench.

After browsing multiple booths, there’s this very palpable feeling of exhaustion. So much to look at, so much to sift through.

One of my favorite things: typewriters set up with paper. Because folks inevitably type on them, and I find reading over those little bits of mini-graffiti fascinating.

what are you lookint at

This was a bit sad to see. I love old photos, but know many of these likely got torn out of an album. And will be sold off, one by one, slowly, over time.

An odd find. By artist Wayne Wright I think? Who was a set and puppet designer for Pee-wee’s Playhouse.

A big hello to a big Hello Kitty.

I had a huge grin on seeing these Hulk gloves.

Can’t believe these are from 2003. Make sure you enable Flash so you can watch the animation!

Another fun thing: old yearbooks.

I could get lost for hours, reading over these books/notes.

Back in the parking lot, and the rain’s tapered off some.

There was another antique mall that shared the same parking lot, but we didn’t really have the energy/time to go in.

We hit a few more smaller, one-room shops. Then decided to grab some lunch before heading over to City Museum.

And OH MY GOD. City Museum. I knew it was a little crazy, but wasn’t really prepared for the scale of the place. Here’s a description:

Housed in the 10-story, 600,000 square-foot warehouse of the International Shoe Company, City Museum is a mixture of children’s playground, funhouse, surrealistic pavilion, and architectural marvel made out of found and repurposed objects

There were hidden passages everywhere. Small openings one could slide through that would lead to another level. Holes in the floor that kids might pop out of.

I don’t even know how you accurately go anywhere. You just have to keep walking and end up emerging where you emerge.

At one point, Liz and I found ourselves near the middleof the building. Looking up.

We had two options: a 5 story slide, or a 10 story slide.

Against my better judgment, we went for the 10 story slide.

Here we are in line, waiting for the slide. Above us, there’s a slight roof but water was leaking down.

So there were buckets to catch the water. Which added to the sense of danger that I was experiencing. In addition to the fact that we were 10 stories up.

And standing on grates.

And I could see down. Because I’m afraid of heights and kept looking down.

More buckets to catch water. And oh good, a mop.

I kept thinking: if they didn’t pay enough attention to the roof to prevent water leaking in, what else haven’t they paid attention to?

Note that the buckets are right next to the stairs, and I actually saw one person step over the buckets to go DOWN the stairs.

In my head, I was screaming.

Around now is when I started to look at the structure of what we were standing on. As more and more people got in line, and more an dmore folks stood on this landing… I began to wonder what the max capacity was.

There were actually two slides. Around the time we got here, they opened up Slide 2. But most everyone else chose to wait and go down Slide 1 (no real difference, other than Slide 2 is a little wider and so you go slightly slower).

It’s gettin’ real.

See the bar above the yellow chain? Instead of sitting and pushing off, I just grabbed that thing and swung myself down in one motion. Didn’t want to think too much about it.

The slide went on for a really long time. And honestly, was pretty fun. Though I started to get a bit dizzy near the end. And I had a little trouble with my balance once I got to the bottom.

FYI there are cameras at the bottom, so that the person at the top knows when it’s safe to let the next person go.

And oh, Liz captured this bit of video of me, arriving at the end:

Can’t tell now if this is looking up or down. There was a lot of metal, everywhere.

One of two large bank vault doors.

A fun thing to look at in detail.

There were structures like this everywhere: circles of steel that kids could either climb up or slide down. Spheres and tubes made of these linked metal rings, enabling travel from one floor to another.

After wandering around, we found a bar on the ground floor and a semi-quiet place around fewer children.

Relaxing with a much-needed beer.

For someone like me who worries about things and accidents, this place is simply nightmare fuel.

Gorgeous print templates along the wall.

A section that’s encased in water, that Liz was able to climb in the middle of.

We found an old arcade area, and got some quarters to play.

The shooting games were fun, but not super accurate.

This was just a display, but boy would it have been something to see this in action.

Shrine of Shameless Hucksterism

Another arcade area.

A view of the ceiling in one of the bathrooms.

A wedge of wood by the bathroom door. This did not inspire confidence, but absolutely feels like it holds to the spirit of the place.

A different kind of slide that goes outside (which was closed due to rain).

More spiral passageways.

Passageways leading up.

We tried going this way. It’s hard to tell, but that’s Liz in front there.

Waiting our turn. Pretty high up at this point.

Another view of things.

I was actually super impressed at how the steel was set up around the trees.

One of many places that allowed you to slide from one floor to the next.

On our way out, we saw that they had opened up the rooftop and outside areas.

Not sure if you can see that, but there are people climbing from one landing to the next, suspended up there in one of those tunnel things.

A view of the outside area.

The walkways are scary enough. But do you see that ringed tunnel in the middle there?

I don’t know that I could do this by myself, let alone carrying an infant. This place is insane.

A view of the building (and rooftop). It was fun, but man… I can’t imagine having kids and letting them around here.

I feel like ankles are getting twisted every 15 minutes. I’m not clear how a place like this can be legal.

But it’s really quite incredible. And if I were a young kid, this would be the most amazing place to explore. Ever.

For dinner we went to The Fountain on Locust. And got seated in a nice booth.

Liz got a nice soup (trying to save room for ice cream).

I got a sausage entree, which was fantastic. And my strategy was just planning on finding room, when it came time for ice cream.

Liz got a smaller scoop, and I got a sundae.

Reader, I found the room for this.

On my way out, turning around to snap a quick photo of where we were sitting.

We were in the the booth on the far right. And you’ll know this bcecause you can slightly see my backpack (which contained my laptop, iPad, and camera in it) still there on the bench.

Which I forgot about. And left at the restaurant.

The beautiful interior. Amazingly, the place settled down by the time we left.


Luckily for us, we remembered my backpack and turned around before getting too far. The wait staff had found it, and kept it safe for me.

After the lost backpack adventure, we were pretty exhausted… and headed back to our last night at the hotel in St. Louis.

A Light Road Trip: Day 1

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