|Posted on September 19, 2011 at 9:00 PM||comments (0)|
It's a fall tradition in St. Louis. The crowds don't need directions. The park is crowded, streets are bumper-to-bumper and everyone knows which direction to look. Scroll through photos of the Balloon Glow and the Great Forest Park Balloon Race.
The balloon glow happens before every balloon race. This year, more than 80,000 people saw 70 balloons light up underneath the fall sky. This event is particularly popular for photographers.
With a little heat, a ballon takes flight. The race is always on the third Saturday in September. Since recorded weather history, this is the best weather weekend in St. Louis.
There is nothing like being surrounded by huge colorful balloons. They come in several different sizes and shapes.
The star attraction of the balloon race is the Energizer Hot 'Hare' Balloon. At 166 feet, the bunny is taller than the Statue of Liberty and its ears are taller than the Presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore. The balloon is powered by double burners to produce 30 million BTUs per hour. That's equal to the heat of 5,000 gas grills.
I shot this while flying above Forest Park. It was my first time floating in a hot air balloon and the feeling was extraordinary. I can check 'flying in a hot air balloon' off my bucket list. The Great Forest Park is the largest single day balloon race in the country.
Pilots come from all across the world to fly their balloons above the St. Louis cityscape. I had the pleasure of flying with Denis Sutter. His family has particiapted in races all over the country and has gone through three hot air balloons. Their next race will be in Albuqureque, New Mexico to attend the largest balloon race in the country.
All good things must come to an end at some point and I know from my breif knowledge of physics that whatever comes up must come down. Turns out, we landed in a vacant lot near a house, bringing the whole neighborhood to life.
|Posted on July 16, 2011 at 12:52 PM||comments (1)|
I have made it an unofficial goal to hit all the major microbreweries in St. Louis. If you remember in a previous post, I visited the Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. A few weeks ago, I visited yet another well-known microbrewery in town - Schlafly.
When you first arrive at Schlafly you notice right off the bat they've done their real estate homework. The brewery is at a prime location, situated towards the end of historic downtown Maplewood and reachable from any major interstate.
This brewery appears larger than Urban Chestnut. You can make out the large metal cylinders and piping as you head inside. To the left is where the bar is and that's where I met a couple RUF friends for a drink and a quick bite to eat.
I ordered the Hefewizen, a light, unfiltered wheat beer, served with a lemon to sweeten the flavor. I also ordered a delicious club sandwich, loaded with turkey, bacon and white milky cheese. While Urban Chestnut seemed to stick with the basic food options (meat, bread and pretzels), Schlafly seemed to offer a better selection of food choices giving even the non-beer drinker reason to celebrate.
The brewery offers a list of events to keep its customers in its doors and surrounded by their wide selection of beer concoctions. Schlafly also hosts a few beer festivals allowing amateur beer drinkers (that would be me) to widen their alcoholic experience. In fact, they're hosting a festival called "Belgian Beer and Mussel Mania" on July 22 (talk about an interesting combination).
Both of these St. Louis breweries offer different experiences and different selections of beer. While I can't decide which brewery comes out on top, one this is clear, I'll have to keep coming back for more.
Oh and if you are curious about where the best outdoor drinking spots are in St. Louis. Take a look at this article. The writer features some pretty well-known drinking establishments that are sure to quench your summertime thirst!
|Posted on June 5, 2011 at 4:05 PM||comments (1)|
Last year, The Huffington Post selected the St. Louis Zoo as one of the best zoos in the country. While the admission is free and the exhibits are fantastic, many people outside the St. Louis area might not know of the city's second zoo, Grant's Farm.
Grant's Farm is the 281-acre home of the Anheuser-Busch family. While the family does not live there currently, they do celebrate special occasions at their private estate from time to time. The Anheuser-Busch family shares its land with more than 900 animals representing close to about 100 different species.
The estate does have a petting zoo, but their variety of animals feature more than just the cute and furry. The farm puts on shows throughout the day featuring its two African elephants. They also have zebras, Blackbuck Antelope and Red Kangaroos.
This place is an attraction for all ages. The children can spend quality time with the goats and the parents can enjoy two complimentary cups of Anheuser-Busch beer in the Bauernof, an old courtyard housing several old-fashion carriages.
A trip to a Anhesuer-Busch estate wouldn't be complete without seeing Clydesdales and Grant's Farm has them. While the majority of the Clydesdale fleet is housed in Boonville, Missouri, Grant's Farm still features some of these iconic beauties for visitors to view.
|Posted on June 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM||comments (0)|
In Seattle it's said there's a Starbucks on every corner. In St. Louis, it's a brewery.
For this Memorial Day weekend my family went downtown to visit one microbrewery in particular, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company. Like a lot of microbreweries in town, their beer is created and sold right on location. When I walked into this one, just a few blocks from the St. Louis University campus, I knew I was in for a treat.
Urban Chestnut is bridging the old with the new, calling their philosophy Beer Divergency. According to their website, this means "a new world meets old world' brewing approach. Many of these start-up breweries function the same way, bringing the knowledge of the past with the excitement and thrill of the future.
If you search "St. Louis Microbreweries" in Google you are bound to get a pretty lengthy list. It appears breweries have come full circle and are retreating back to the old ways of selling and enjoying beer. They are embedding themselves in the community and providing customers with a fresh, wholesome alternative.
But could these establishments bring new life to the St. Louis landscape? If California has its wineries, could St. Louis market itself as the beer capital of the US? I think so.
If you are interested in giving St. Louis microbreweries a try here's the list I got from Google to get you started.
|Posted on April 10, 2011 at 2:08 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on March 22, 2011 at 9:48 PM||comments (1)|
The iPad 2 has been attached to my hip for a full week now and I can’t put it down. When I got the device, I knew I was going to enjoy it. I probably should put it down every once in a while, but I feel like the more I use it, the more I discover new and exciting things about it.
The first thing I noticed when I turned on the iPad is its stunning display. The screen is big, full of color and is easy to read. Now, I haven’t read extensively on it yet, but as far as screen fatigue goes I’m wide awake.
The new iPad 2 comes with the second camera in the front, a thinner construction and a faster processor. But as exciting as those new features are, the best thing about having this device is the app store.
So far I have bought only free apps. I got all the well-know applications right off the bat. I downloaded Words With Friends, Angry Birds, Weather Bug and of course Newsy (represent). But there is one app in particular that I can’t stop saying good things about.
The news app Flipboard is amazing. It pulls in all the “news” from your social networks and displays them in such away that is both engaging, addictive and fun all at the same time. You can physically flip through news stories, tweet them if you find them interesting and send links to friends via email.
It took me a while to finally make the decision to purchase an iPad. Let’s be honest, a $499 price tag isn’t something you spend on a rainy day. It definitely fills a niche market and tenders to the traveller, the die-heart reader and well…the college kid who can’t resist the latest gadget.
I probably know a quarter of what this iPad can do and that’s fine. I see it as investing in the future. Some genius will come along and invent an app that will change the world and who is going to have the device to run that app? This guy.
|Posted on March 20, 2011 at 9:44 PM||comments (1)|
|Posted on March 6, 2011 at 5:19 PM||comments (0)|
I went to the Joshua Radin concert a couple of weeks ago and had a really great time. The music was great, the weather was cold and the crowd at the Blue Note was decent to say the least. As we were waiting for the singer to come out, I noticed all the gadgets people had brought into the venue.
At one point, I had my cell phone, flip camera and point-and-shoot camera all on stage and I wasn’t alone. Gone are the days when you would just show up at concerts and just listen to music. Today, handheld gadgets are making any concert enthusiasts a reporter.
People at the concert, including myself, were tweeting what was happening throughout the night. They were recording their favorite songs so that they could upload it to Youtube once they got back home. People were taking photos of the singer and of their friends using their point-and-shoot cameras.
While the main reason to go to a concert hasn’t changed, the way we behave during those concerts has. Conclusion, we’re a generation of multitaskers and we don’t know how else to operate.
|Posted on November 30, 2010 at 11:43 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted on October 24, 2010 at 10:11 PM||comments (0)|