Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Up in the Pasadena Hills

Up in the Pasadena Hills

Yesterday afternoon -- when it was cold, but not snowing like it is right now -- I ate supper at the ridiculously slow McDonald's at 3860 Lucas Hunt, on the corner of Pasadena Boulevard at North Oaks Plaza. Then, I let myself get kinda lost walking along the meandering drives of the City of Pasadena Hills.

This little suburb was developed in the 1920s, and is now one of the few national historic districts in North St Louis County.

I entered the town via Pasadena Boulevard, an oddly wide street that originally hosted a streetcar right-of-way through Pine Lawn, Northwoods, Normandy and Pasadena Hills. Then I turned onto the main entry road, Roland Boulevard. The main entry gate is just south of here, near Roland and Natural Bridge.

After that, it gets a little hazy, but somehow I ended up over by Ravinia and Marlboro Court, a little out-of-the-way if I was trying to get to UMSL.

But by following the sounds of I-70 traffic and the view of the back of the Norwood Court Apartments, I was able to make my way northwestwardly toward Bermuda Road.

Around Overbrook and Country Club, I at last exited Pasadena Hills and entered adjacent Pasadena Park, where the houses are similarly charming but much, much smaller.

Apparently, most of the streets in the city were resurfaced recently thanks to a bond issue. On Google Maps aerial photos, the streets appear as concrete slabs with sealant holding them together; now most are paved with smooth asphalt.

There are a number of little planter islands scattered about the curvilinear streets; they are maintained by a group called "Flowers in the Hills." It's odd, though, that some of the streets have nice sidewalks on both sides, while others have a sidewalk on only one side of the street, and a few cul-de-sacs have no sidewalks at all.

After exiting Pasadena Park onto Bermuda, I took Springdale Drive in Normandy to access the 'Ted' Jones Trail.

This access point is not as prettied-up as the access point from the UMSL Fine Arts Building; in fact, it's just a gravel path at the end of the Springdale cul-de-sac with a gate across it and a large "Road Closed" sign. The trail took me the rest of the way onto the UMSL campus. So far, I've yet to see a cyclist on this trail; only a few other pedestrians going to and from UMSL or MetroLink.

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