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  • Writer's pictureMark Madonna

Florissant and the Arch, My Hometown

After a weekend getaway last week and with friends in from out of town this week, we decided to be hometown tourists and check out some of our attractions right here at home. I started in my childhood hometown of Florissant and a trip to the Gateway Arch.

We had lunch at Pearl Café. They have an unbelievable beer selection, a spice challenge ranging from spice levels 25, 50, 75 and 100 (most Thai restaurant heat levels range 1-5 and having done the 25 and 50 I can tell you this is not for the weak). Even with the high spice levels Pearl Café’s wonderful and aromatic flavors still come through. I had a Thai chili stir fry with chicken, onions, green and red peppers and fresh basil. Some of our other favorites include Thai Rama with vegetables in a creamy peanut garlic sauce and the bibimbap with tons of fresh vegetables and a fried egg over rice. I love spice but don’t let that scare you off, everything is cooked to order and the amazing sauces make this one of our favorite Thai restaurants in the area.

Thai Chili Stir Fry lunch special

Since we’re celebrating home I took a drive through my hometown of Florissant. I drove through my old neighborhood and some of the new neighborhoods around Sioux Passage Park. Like much of St Louis county, Florissant is made up of many styles of homes in varying price ranges. Cape Cod style homes and bungalows start in the $60’s. Brand new two stories on large plots of land range from $250 to $700k. And many of the highly sought after mid-century ranch homes starting in the low $100’s.

Where it all started for this guy. Florissant homes.

We headed down to the riverfront for a visit to the Gateway Arch and the new Gateway Arch Museum. The museum has six areas to explore. My favorites included Colonial St Louis showing how we lived in St. Louis over two hundred years ago with tools and artifacts and recreations of homes. I also really enjoyed The Manifest Destiny gallery which showed the three routes west from St Louis and how the travel and dreams of a new future changed the entire country.

After the museum, we headed for our tram to the top. Nothing has changed here and it shouldn’t. The sloped underground entrances to eight cars everyone needs to stoop to get in, feeling the arch swaying back and forth in the wind and the carpeted ledge you lay against as you peer down on downtown St Louis or the river through the tiny windows. A seven-minute round trip ride for a trip and views you remember for a lifetime. It’s good to be home.

or call Mark Madonna at 314-225-7478

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