I went to St Louis for the Old School Tattoo Expo, where world renowned tattooer Lyle Tuttle celebrated his 80th birthday; here's a photo of his cake (it's the Frisco Flyer tattoo machine that he made and made famous). The highlight of the weekend, aside from reconnecting with Lyle and other great friends in the business for me- was the visit a few of us made to the 10 story City Museum there. A cross between the works of Antoni Gaudi and Mad Max, it's an amazing playground created for the most part, from junk! There was a ferris wheel on the roof, alongside the praying mantis dome, and on the same level was a schoolbus that was perched precariously with 2 wheels hanging off the roof for patrons to explore. There were slides on every floor; nope, not visual slides; the kind you plant your ass on and tumble down! One was a 10 story spiral slide, not unlike the style that comes to mind when referring to water parks. All types of sculpture and found object placement that was delightful, including an area with discarded architectural features - lions and gargoyles and lampposts, oh my! There is a section called the Enchanted Caves, which looked just like it sounded. Part of the museum had an aquarium within it; stocked with turtles and catfish, completely accessible if you wanted to pluck a turtle out of the water and walk around with him, you could! The aquarium (pictured left) was part of the maze of walk through/get lost in sculpture that made up the majority of the ground floor. I may not be describing it accurately, mostly because that's a difficult task; The City Museum defies categorization, which is a breath of fresh air this day and age. There's also a couple of bars, a smoothie joint and a thrift store within the museum's expanse, not to mention the fuselage of an airplane, a series of monkey bars that stretches countless yards, animal sculptures made of gears, a castle turret and more.
No words can really convey what goes on there; the photos featured after the jump will do some of the inventiveness and beauty of it justice, and the real experience can only be yours if you visit. Yes. It's an experiential kind of place. Show up in sneakers!