Published
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 16:48
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I'm sure many CiviCRMers are checking their schedules and and making travel arrangements for CiviCon St. Louis in May. While this post is a bit off-topic, I want to highlight a place in St. Louis like no other place on Earth... the City Museum. It's already on the list of things to do while at CiviCon, but in my opinion it should also be on a list of things to do while you're alive! So if you're going to St. Louis, or if you're thinking about going, I encourage you to fit this place into your schedule, and follow some tips below when visiting.

I'm thinking it would be fun if a bunch of people from the code sprint decided to go either on Friday May 12th or Saturday May 13th. Are you in?? If so, please fill out this doodle to say which day you prefer.

What the heck is the City Museum?

As with many other rust belt cities, deindustrialization transformed the once-booming metropolis of St. Louis into a vast swath of empty warehouses and abandoned machinery. But in in 1993 an eccentric artist came along and began breathing life into a vacant ten-story factory. For the building's metamorphosis, he carted in truckloads of industrial refuse, scavenged from shuttered factories throughout greater St. Louis... metal gears, glass bottles, rebar, gargoyles, old tiles, strange machines, musical instruments, automobiles, airplanes, and so many more bizarre things all flowed into his Xanadu. With this mélange of salvage material, he constructed an elaborate whimsical playground which seems to defy the expected realities of things like walls, floors, liability insurance, and "please do not touch the art". Construction has continued for the past 25 years, and floor-by-floor, this labyrinthine dreamscape has been gradually enveloping the 750,000 square foot building.

Obviously kids love this place. But for adults its awesome too because you can explore the world like a kid again! Fascinating new discoveries greet you around every corner, and you can touch and climb everything. Plus you can buy beer inside and stay until midnight on Friday and Saturday (which is definitely the time to go, if you don't have kids).

Pro-tips for visiting

  • What to wear
    • Sneakers
    • Pants, not shorts (helpful for slides and tunnels)
    • Contacts, not glasses (if possible)
    • Nothing dangling. No big earings or necklaces
  • What to bring
    • Only essential things – car key, some cash, ID, and maybe a phone if you want to take photos
    • Don't bring a bag
    • Keep stuff in pockets where it's not gonna fall out
  • Timing
    • Give yourself 1 hour at the very least, and more like 3 or 4 hours if you're adventurous – but even then, you still won't see everything there
    • If you're not bringing kids, then try to go on Fri/Sat night
  • Where to go
    • The roof deck is worth the extra money
    • The ferris wheel is worth the wait in a short line
    • The "fastest slide" is really cool, but hard to find. Ask around
    • The campfire has free marshmallows

See basic info at http://www.citymuseum.org/ but try not to look at too many pictures – better to discover in-person!

 

 

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Comments

Wow - that place sounds awesome - if I ever make it to the US...!

Sean is right. Do what you can to make it to the City Museum. I've spent many days there on separate occasions (I lived in St. Louis for a few years), and I've never found anything quite like it in my travels. Last time I was there was two years ago, and they just keep improving it!