Monday, November 05, 2007

Authentic Drives - Southwest Avenue

A couple of weeks back we attended a fundraiser for St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in the Central West End. At the silent auction, we came away with two items, one an Italian and the other a Spanish gift basket. The baskets included recipes, CDs, treats, and gift certificates. One of the gift certificates was for Boogaloo's restaurant in Maplewood. We tried it out last night.

The restaurant was good and fun. Check out the signature barstool swings hanging from the ceiling. This is a good people watching place. The hip storefront location is another sign of Maplewood's outstanding revitalization. Next door, check out Eddie's Guitars for one of the country's best music stores. After dinner, we were heading home via South Kingshighway. To get there takes you through some of our region's most interesting urban settings.

Heading east on Manchester to Southwest, takes you by the Tap Room's Maplewood location. Continuing east on Southwest, crossing McCausland, you enter the city, crossing River Des Peres and then under some huge concrete railroad bridges.

Climb the hill on Southwest and you get to the mixed up section of Southwest, one of region's most name-challenged historic roads. Am I on Southwest? Am I on Columbia? Just keep going, but follow the route along Columbia. If you do, you have a great view overlooking beatiful Clifton Park lake and its surrounding homes.

Continuing east on Columbia, you cross Hampton at Bartolino's restaurant, preparing for their upcoming move to their new home down the street at the new Drury Inn at Hampton and 44. Crossing Hampton and heading up the hill along Columbia, you're coming into the Hill. Soon you pass a huge old city public school, travelling along a narrow section of Columbia on the north side of US Bank, and then the theater-turned private residence where Columbia merges back with Southwest. Drive about a block on Southwest, then merge at a narrow angle back onto Columbia toward Kingshighway.

At Kingshighway, turn right heading south on Kingshighway toward Tower Grove Park. Pass the Royalw with its new "crown" headed marquis out in front. Now you're entering the heart of south city, with Courtesy Diner, Uncle Bills, G and W Sausage, auto row, and the neighborhoods of South City all nearby.

No comments: