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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Short Visit to East St. Louis

The area around the Gateway Arch is undergoing a major upgrade making the arch itself difficult to visit.  Looking for a good place to take more pictures, I decided to try the east side of the river.  If you are familiar with East St. Louis, you might have some concern with this idea.  If you are not -- well, let's go to Jonathan Kozol, author of Savage Inequalities:
... for a first-time visitor suddenly deposited on its eerily empty streets, East St. Louis might suggest another world.
... It is, according to a teacher at the University of Southern Illinois, "a repository for a nonwhite population that is now regarded as expendable." The Post-Dispatch describes it as "America's Soweto."
But, there must be a great view of the arch.  And, there were signs indicating a riverside casino that might offer a good view from the parking lot.  Of course, I made a wrong turn and ended up driving though several blocks of abandoned properties before getting back to the river's edge.  It was reminiscent of driving through Detroit and Buffalo last year.

We were soon back at the river, a bit downstream from the casino and discovered a wonderful large park with a viewing platform.  This is adjacent to a major Cargill grain facility on the river.

Welcome to Malcom W. Martin Memorial Park, home of the Gateway Geyser.

There was only one group of visitors up on the platform and we soon joined them.  There is a live webcam on the EarthCam network and 24 hours of storage of all visitors.  I handed my camera to a member of the other group that was just leaving and we were fortunate enough to have a very good photographer who captured us with the arch.

I picked up the Earthcam pictures back at our hotel.  And that other fellow sitting on the bench?  That's Malcom.
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