Best Picnic Spot - 2008
Ah, Martin Luther. By the time you tacked up your 95 Theses on Wittenberg's Castle Church door, the world was ready for your revolution. You tossed papal indulgences to the wind and gave life's indulgences back to the people; things like music, wine and good food. You'd be pleased to find just such guiltless pleasures every Tuesday in June at 7 p.m. in Concordia Park, when the Lutheran seminary hosts its weekly carillon recital on these grounds, which it leases to the city of Clayton. It's the perfect time and place for a picnic in St. Louis. You never got to hear Shostakovich's Second Waltz, or Telemann's Fantasia, or Albéniz's Leyenda, but don't feel bad; those songs might never have been written were it not for you, and most of the people basking on Concordia's verdant lawn haven't heard the carillon versions, so in a way they're hearing those songs for the first time, too. The late-spring sun is holding out, but the shadows of your statue are lengthening on this emerald-green world and a young girl is playing nearby, oblivious to you, dancing unselfconsciously to the inimitable majesty of church bells. It's how you would have wanted it.