Friday, July 29, 2005

Back from St. Louis

I just got back from a business trip to St. Louis, Missouri for a company technical conference. The Gateway Arch is great. It is an engineering marvel, completed in 1966. It is very impressive. For us Seattleites, compare it to the Space Needle. The top of the Arch is 630 feet high. The opening is 600 feet high, so the Space Needle would fit under it!! The Space Needle claims to be 600 feet high, but it's just a tiny tower on the top that reaches 600; the building is about 590. At its base is a small national park, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park. St. Louis has a single-line light rail. MetroLink -- MetroLink. And theirs actually goes to the airport. So many cities talk about serving their airport by rail, but few actually do it. St. Louis has a large, beautiful, in-city park. Forest Park Other major draws - the Mississippi River is the east border of the city and downtown. The confluence of the Missouri River is just out of town to the north. Barge traffic on the Mississippi is ever present. And it is a huge hub for rail traffic. They are very, very big on the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the Rams football team. And, sad to say, gambling has a large presence at the focal point of the city - the riverfront. Editorial: gambling is a lie. Its premise is: You can be a winner, not a sucker. You can enjoy a life of leisure while other people work. The sucker will work while you, the winner, go from resort to resort. Our State of Washington takes out ads on radio and TV telling people not to work. This is especially stupid for the state to do. The State depends on people working and producing, but it takes out ads against its interest. Well, it has a short-term interest in people buying state lottery tickets. But success at selling lottery tickets injures the state in the long run.

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