Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Not-Quite-Live Blogging: Benton Park Lake

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 10:39 AM

click to enlarge Lake_Sign.JPG
Benton Park Lake, ye placid tarn of historic St. Louis, ye natural oasis in the urban jungle - Unreal shall live blog you on this sunny February afternoon!  

1:54 p.m.
Nothing is happening. The lake's overall shape suggests a pair of floppy, withered breasts, divided by a footbridge. Having descended to the south breast's edge, Unreal notes that the water is honeycombed with ice and looks about four feet deep. One of two little girls walking dogs on the opposite shore points down at the water and shouts to the other, "Look at that CATfish!"

Unreal wonders: why aren't these people in school? And then: how could any form of life flourish in this bottle-green hole of sadness? 1:58 p.m.
A cool breeze ripples the water, and catches a plastic snack wrapper floating on the water's surface. The wrapper glides under the arched bridge -- never to be seen again.

Bag gang
  • Bag gang
2:02 p.m.
Unreal sees the wrapper again. Over here on the edge of the north breast, it has joined a few bigger plastic bags, forming a gang of bags. Unreal now notes that, in the middle of this half of the lake, a whole conference of plastic bags have met and are carouselling around in a slow death-dance.

But that's because the rusty water spout on the opposite shore is creating a current. Unreal decides to investigate that spout.

click to enlarge Catfish laziness
  • Catfish laziness
2:09 p.m.
Life! Half-way to the spout, Unreal has spotted a fat and chalky catfish idling on the lake bottom. It is not moving and probably alive. If it is alive, it is incredibly lazy.

2:11 p.m.
Water gushes forth, strong and true, out of this old spout. But from what source? Unreal suspects the St. Louis City water supply, an underground spring, or the unutterable darkness of Hades.
click to enlarge The old spout
  • The old spout
2:17 p.m.
Unreal spies some castaways from a picnic long ago:
click to enlarge Garden salad.
  • Garden salad.


False advertising.
  • False advertising.

2:20 p.m.
Unreal has circled Benton Park Lake, and must now leave this natural enclave and get back to the office grind...
click to enlarge The price of laziness.
  • The price of laziness.


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