Pre-Valentine’s cupcakes

We celebrated the great thaw by biking all around the town on Saturday morning.  We started at the farmers’ market, where our haul included spinach, Napa cabbage, green onions, arugula, and turnips.

My take on turnips: Turnips are one of the very few vegetables that we don’t like (in fact, I can’t think of any others off the top of my head).  We’ve tried them a few times, with various preparations including roasting.  However, they say you should try a new food ten times before deciding you don’t like it, so here we go again.  These were advertised as mild, sweet turnips.  Any favorite turnip recipes you want to share?

The streets still had some icy spots, but we carefully avoided them.  The fenders were essential with all the melting and run-off.  Matthew sported his “3 Feet Please” jersey, shown next to our icy bike lock-up.

After we dropped our produce off at home, we headed back out to the Orchid Show.  I really loved the ancient Maya civilization theme they used this year — if you’re in the St. Louis area, you should definitely check it out.

Our next stop was an apartment possibility that turned out to be not a possibility at all.  Despite my very clearly asking on the phone if the entire 4-family building was smoke-free, and being assured that it was, our noses don’t lie, but the landlord did — waste of our time!

We made a quick exit and headed to lunch at Sweet Art.  Of course, the highlight of lunch at Sweet Art is the cupcakes.  We ordered four, and shared half of each at the restaurant and took the other halves home for later enjoyment 🙂  (I brought containers so we didn’t need any disposable packaging.)

Refueled and renewed, we visited one more apartment before heading home.  Probably another no-go, though nothing blatantly atrocious, unlike the other.

Sunday brought more gorgeous weather, and I followed up on Saturday’s bike fun with a bit more biking on Sunday.  I usually don’t mind winter, but the almost constant covering of ice on the sidewalks and smaller streets was really getting to me — this thaw couldn’t come soon enough!

And so it begins

Free outdoor summer fun in St. Louis arrived last night with the first Wednesday night concert at the Botanical Garden.  One of the big perks of bike riding is attending events without having to worry too much about parking, traffic, etc.

Instead of rushing to get there early, we cooked a nice dinner (featuring local black beans and salsa so delicious that I could just eat it by the spoonful).  After a bit of digesting, we biked over to The Garden.

We arrived to find the bicycle racks full.  No worries, on to the Forbidden Light Posts.

Background: Until about a year ago, when The Garden finally installed decent bike parking, the bicycle rack was a classic fail: wheel bender style, not bolted to the ground, sitting in the middle of the parking lot with obvious signs that it had been hit by cars in the past.  Look my bike up there like a sitting duck?  No thanks.  Many other bikers obviously felt the same way; we preferred the safer and more secure alternative of locking our bikes to the light posts.  The Garden disapproved and sent their minions in golf carts to inform us about the “proper bike parking.”  Uh huh.  After several failed attempts to communicate like reasonable people and explain to security why their idea of bicycle parking was unacceptable (and several attempts to contact higher-ups at The Garden to discuss ideas for remedying the issue, which received no reply), we resorted to simply ignoring the security guards and going about the business of locking our bikes to the Forbidden Light Posts.

Whether it was through our civil disobedience, or the contact attempts, The Garden finally got the memo.  Since the installation, I have enjoyed the new bicycle accommodations on many occasions, but last night, with the “lot” full, we resorted to old patterns.  (This is not a complaint in any way — I love indications that lots of people are bicycling.  A full bike rack sends a powerful message!)  No one gave us trouble, which was good, because what would they have suggested?

We suggest doubling the amount of bicycle parking.  While  the current amount is more than enough (at least right now), for business as usual at The Garden, the bicycle parking will continue to fill to overflowing during special events.  For a relatively small investment of money and space (especially compared to car parking), they could accommodate all of the bicycles we saw last night, no light posts needed!