River Des Peres, South St. Louis, MO
Driving to work, hung over, on a Monday morning when what do I see? Or did I? All cars in both directions hitting the brakes confirmed it was all true, and all fabulous.
On a flat out-cropping of rocks – the River Des Pew amphitheater – is a console TV and a burgundy recliner, the kind of items that get ejected from a basement rumpus room. So dusty and nondescript that they should blend into the background of a spot we whiz by without barely noticing. Yet, we spotted it immediately and smiled. Every phone call asking “Did you see it?” and every South Side conversation about it was full of laughter, awe and approval.
Something so simple can make us so happy. But it’s not a simple matter to get those items to that spot. The area is isolated from the apartment complex and neighborhood behind it. There’s no direct access by car other than to run up over the curb to the rocks and hope you can get back out. To carry these bulky and heavy items on foot would require leaving the bike/walk path above and climbing down the rocks. Much like Stonehenge, how did they do it, why did they do it, and what does it mean?
Sure hope the Parks Department lets this public art project stay in place, because it creates such joy. It will be interesting to see if it gets added to… an end table and floor lamp would nicely complete the tableau. Then again, I saw people stop their cars in the middle of the South Side Autobahn to take a picture, with brakes squealing all around them, like all good safety hazards do. So do drive by as soon as you can to enjoy the River Des Peres Living Room.