Cake Monster Gives a Lesson in Architecture – Frank Lloyd Wright House #22

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Just a short car ride from the AKC Museum of the Dog is the Frank Lloyd Wright House, the next stop on our adventure that afternoon.

Cake #22! At the Frank Lloyd Wright House

Cake #22! At the Frank Lloyd Wright House

While this Cake Monster knows many things – mostly cake related – one of the things I admittedly do not know very much about is architecture. So after Mercutio, WD and I pulled up to this cake and admired the geometric designs on the sides and top (and the delicious(?) looking orange “icing”), I made a mental note to research just what this house looked like, since the cake was at the bottom of the hill leading up to the house, and why it was such an important stop on the Cakeway to the West (…how I wish I could take credit for that awesome name!!).

wpid-20140315_171502.jpgThe Frank Lloyd Wright House located in Kirkwood, MO is also called the Kraus House after the couple (Russell and Ruth…aww!) that lived in the house for about 40 years.

The house was one of a series of about sixty houses created by Frank Lloyd Wright called Usonian Homes. These types of houses are single story houses most of the time without a garage that were usually created in an L-shape which would fit around a garden or other such area. According to Wikipedia.com (ugh! the English major in me is cringing for citing Wikipedia, but…), “A strong visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces is an important characteristic of all Usonian homes” (…ok, that wasn’t that bad).

Below are some images of what the house in St. Louis looks like.

Picture source:  tripadvisor.com

Picture source: tripadvisor.com

Picture source: stlouistours.net

Picture source: stlouistours.net

In the photo on the right, you can really see the unique shape of the house as well as the solar panels on the roof which were also a part of a lot of the Usonian homes.

The word Usonian itself was Wright’s way of referencing this type of American home design because, according to Wright, there was no previous conventional American style which gave him the freedom to create something new and spectacular.

Again, according to Wikipedia.com (*cringe*), “Wright believed in designing structures that were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called organic architecture.” I think the house here St. Louis is a great example of this philosophy.

One last thing for today’s lesson – check out the crazy, awesome floor plan for the house in St. Louis.

Picture source: ebsworthpark.org

Picture source: ebsworthpark.org

I think that, after seeing that floor plan, and learning about this house, this Cake Monster just added one more thing on her to do list (after seeing all the cakes, of course!).

 

Bet Your City Doesn’t Have a Dog Museum… -The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog Cake #21

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Even as an avid cake hunter, and tried and true Cake Monster, there are still more than a few cakes that I’ve traveled to that have made me question the cake-placement-decision-makers’ decision to put a cake in that particular location (*cough* ANYWHERE in Illinois *cough*). On the flip side, though, there have been more than a few cakes that I’ve come across that made me think, “Yes! This place deserves recognition for it’s unique/interesting/magical/historical/ contribution to St. Louis.” And happily, the American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog – the next stop on Mercutio, WD and I’s journey – is just one of those locations.

Cake #21! At the AKC Museum of the Dog

Cake #21! At the AKC Museum of the Dog

Located in Queeny Park, the AKC Museum of the Dog is the only museum in the whole, entire, big world dedicated to all things dog. It’s home to numerous statues (small ones, so they’re ok), paintings and other works of art from around the world all paying homage to man’s best friend. Now, if that doesn’t scream, “Unique!” to you, I don’t know what does. :) wpid-20140315_170100.jpg

While this outing was Mercutio and WD’s first trip to the museum, I got a little misty eyed thinking back to the first time I explored the museum with my furry companion, Mr. Miles James.

It was a sunny afternoon when Miles and I made our way to the museum to be joined by what I now know as a grumble aka a group of pugs (thank you Mercutio for introducing me to that lovely word!).

The AKC Museum of the Dog was hosting a citywide event for pug owners to bring their pups to the museum and introduce them to other pug friends. Needless to say Miles was in puppy heaven. It was two hours of running, jumping, sniffing and snorting with new pug friends.

One exhausted Miles James

One exhausted Miles James

So much fawn fur!

So much fawn fur!

And by the time the event was over, Miles had made lots of new pug friends, and I had found out that St. Louis is full of pug lovers!

So with these memories in mind and the amazingly decorated 21st cake admired and photographed, Mercutio, WD and I made our way to the next cake on our journey.

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A Little Cake Poem – Edward Jones South Campus #20

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Cake #20! At Edward Jones South Campus

Cake #20! At Edward Jones South Campus

Here’s a little poem about cake number 20.

I hope that you think it’s good and maybe even a little funny.

Mercutio, WD and I were just riding along,

And what did we see as we jammed to our favorite song? (#Nelly)

A pretty blue cake decked out in clouds and hot air balloons galore!

Who knew cakes could have such elegant beauty in store?

So in true cake hunting fashion,

This Cake Monster pulled a U-Turn and nearly escaped crashin’.

And in a cake hunting rule that’s become truer than true,

We discovered that making your own parking spot is something you just have to do.

 

Cake #20! At Edward Jones South Campus

Cake #20! At Edward Jones South Campus

So with camera in hand and an eye out for ticket writers,

We blocked the sun from our eyes and enjoyed the sight (…ers).

Once we had had our fill of all sides of the cake,

We ran to the car so our getaway we could make.

“To the next cake,” you could hear us all shout,

But as far as cake adventures go, this one was fun, without a doubt.

 

The (Cake) Monster Inside Me – St. Joseph’s Academy #19

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Musical NoteFrom Earth to sky, let our song resound, in praise of St. Joseph’s Academy. Where our hopes are nurtured and dreams come true and friendships are fostered in loyalty. The memories of the hours we’ve shared we’ll always cherish with fidelity. The carefree hours and youth’s bright laugh Salute St. Joseph’s Academy! 

Talk about a trip down memory lane! Once the gates of nostalgia were open, I knew they couldn’t be closed until I had made a trip to see the cake at my old stomping ground: St. Joseph’s Academy.

Cake #19! At St. Joseph's Academy
Cake #19! At St. Joseph’s Academy

Interestingly enough, 2014 marks 10 years since I walked the halls of St. Joe’s as a young freshman (where does the time go? *sniff*).

Besides being one of my favorite high schools in the area (I might be a little biased), St. Joseph’s Academy is the second ever all girls Catholic high school in the St. Louis area.

St. Joe’s was chosen to be a part of the Cakeway to the West by public vote, but what I liked about this cake is the artist’s (a SJA alum!) use of the flags of other area high schools and the ever popular St. Louis question, “Where did you go to high school?” printed along the top of the cake.

wpid-20140315_163940.jpgSo as Mercutio, WD and I walked around the cake admiring all of the different schools represented and the bright colorful tiers, I told them all about my time at St. Joseph’s Academy. I told them about how I got so used to wearing a uniform everyday during high school that college was a complete culture shock for me when I realized I had to actually decide what to wear each day (and there were boys in my classes! What?). I also told them about my sweet red Saturn (RIP) that was a ticking time bomb and whose passenger side window would only roll down half way and then make an annoying buzzing sound which I would use at my discretion whenever I felt my current passenger was getting unruly (or they were unaware of the window situation ;) ).

I told them lots of tales of my adventures in high school, however, the most meaningful part of this cake adventure, for this cake monster, was coming home later that evening and looking through some old photographs and finding these gems:

That's me! Second from the left!

That’s me! Second from the left!

See! See! I was always a monster :)

See! See! I was always a monster :)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These pictures were taken at the end of Mission Week – a week during which the ladies of St. Joe’s help raise money for the missions in Peru. At the end of the week, it’s a tradition for the senior women to dress up in homemade capes and celebrate together as a class. As you can see, my friends pictured above have nice, normal ideas for their capes: Batman, Spiderman, etc. However, being the monster that I am, my cape is adorned with nothing other than a beast. That was all I wanted on my cape – a beast.

Looking back now, this seems to have laid the groundwork for the cake monster that lurks inside me today. Plus cake / cape – they almost rhyme, right? ;)

Musical NoteWith sturdy hearts we hold aloft the colors we’ll always defend. So raise the banner of green and white and let our voices blend. Salute! St. Joseph’s Academy!

Cake Monster Gets Nostalgic – The Lodge at Des Peres #18

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The Lodge at Des Peres

The Lodge at Des Peres                                         Photo Credit: www.thelodgedesperes.com

Four score and many cakes ago, Mercutio Krispytreats, Waltrice Disneta and I were still cake adventuring around West County on a brisk afternoon in March. As we made our way up Manchester Road, the next cake calling our name was at The Lodge at Des Peres.

Cake #18!

Cake #18!

Unfortunately, as my face in the picture to the left accurately shows, unlike Manchester City Hall, I was unable to do much delving into the (I’m sure) rich history of The Lodge at Des Peres – that and I was getting my first taste of the infamous retina-burning that is cake hunting for people who forget their sunglasses :(.  

So instead of presenting you with the history of the location, I now present you with my own personal history with the location – bring on the nostalgia!

Ten years ago in 2004, a much younger Cake Monster was entering the doors of The Lodge at Des Peres as a proud high school senior.

That night The Lodge at Des Peres was to be the location of Senior Lock-In, a time when all the seniors got together one last time to celebrate their youth and accomplishments (aka graduating high school in one piece). So along with the other senior women in my class, we entered the doors of The Lodge at Des Peres at sun down and did not emerge until sun up.

A young Cake Monster dancing to her own drummer at The Lodge in Des Peres circa 2004

A young Cake Monster dancing to her own drummer at The Lodge in Des Peres circa 2004

It was a night to remember, full of laughs, hypnotism, a money pit (you know, that thing where you step into an inflatable booth full of dollars that are being blown around the booth by an air blower, and you try to grab as many of them as you can and stuff them through a little hole in the booth? Yes? No?), caricature drawings, and general fun had by all.

The Lodge itself still stands as I remembered looking at it as I pulled away in my sweet green Saturn, bleary eyed after a night of camaraderie that I still think on fondly. *I need a moment!*

And so with hardcore nostalgia still welling up in my throat after finding the cake at The Lodge at Des Peres, it was only right that the next stop on our cake-venture be my alma mater.

 

Cake #18!

Cake #18! …with some sort of spooky alien-looking shadow cast on the cake….

Cake #18!

                  Cake #18!

Cake Monster Gives a History Lesson – Manchester City Hall #17

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Ah, Manchester, Missouri. My old stomping ground. A place where you can find random plastic deer standing guard in front of gas stations and real, live deer just waiting for nightfall and the opportunity to play a fun game of “Deer in the Headlights” with you and your car. *memories*

Cake Monster, WD and Mercutio with cake #17

Cake Monster, WD and Mercutio with cake #17

I’d passed by Manchester City Hall more times than I could count over the years on my way to high school (there’s a cake there too!) and West County Mall (no cake love for the mall :/ ). But in all that time, I never really gave it more than a passing glance as I was headed onto other adventures. And even on the day when Mercutio Krispytreats, Waltrice Disneta and I visited the cake, we merely pulled into the parking lot, snapped a couple of photos and drove to our next location.

So in the spirit of STL250 and to quench my perpetual thirst for knowledge, I decided to do some research into the history of the building and educate myself (and my fellow cake hunters) on what I learned is a fantastic building with a really rich history.

According to manchestermo.gov, the Lyceum building in Manchester Missouri (aka Manchester City Hall) was built in 1894. The website goes on to say, “This region, at the crossroads of Manchester Road and Highway 141 became a natural trading area used by Native Americans as they portaged between the Meramec and Missouri Rivers and is near the site of the first trading post west of the Mississippi.” What? I had no idea that this building had such an important place in Manchester’s history!

Manchester City Hall. Photo credit: 63011.com Who knew zip codes had their own websites?!

Manchester City Hall. Photo credit: 63011.com Who knew zip codes had their own websites?!

Also, “The first floor of the Lyceum, a Classical Victorian building, was originally a tin shop that became a hardware store, evolving later to a general store that sold a complete line of fine merchandise, groceries, shoes, dry goods, hardware, ice cream, and gasoline.  It quite possibly was a post office as well in its early years.” This part brought to mind a beloved song from the classic childhood television series, Blue’s Clues: “Here’s the mail / It never fails / It makes me wanna wag my tail / When it comes, I wanna wail, ‘MAIL!'”  …I need to download that one on iTunes :)

The website also states, “The second floor was a meeting hall or auditorium that became a ‘moving picture theatre’ for the early ‘talkies’ screened here and at one time was used as a roller rink. Other uses were for square dances, masquerade balls, school graduations, church services, amateur theatricals, and political meetings.  At one time, local politicians delivered their oratory and views, to the crowd listening on the street below, from its second floor exterior balcony, which still remains.” 

Cake #17! At Manchester City Hall

Cake #17! At Manchester City Hall

I have to say that cake hunting has taken me to some pretty interesting places (…just wait, things only get crazier…), both ones I’ve visited before and places I never even knew existed. But the best part about the adventure really has been learning about each location and where it fits in the puzzle of St. Louis’ history.

All right, enough warm fuzzies! Happy Cake Hunting!

The Dumpster Incident – Barrett’s Elementary School (#16)

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Cake #16! At Barrett's Elementary School

Cake #16! At Barrett’s Elementary School

Let’s set the scene:

Who: Myself (Cake Monster), Mercutio Krispytreats, and Waltrice Disneta (WD)

Where: Barrett’s Elementary School, Cake #16

When: March 15, 2014

What: After the safari that was Lone Elk Park, Mercutio, WD and I needed a little break from the wilder side of cake hunting.

The next location on my list was Barrett’s Elementary School. The school was chosen as a cake location based on public vote.

wpid-20140315_155219.jpgAnd the cake itself definitely gets my vote for one of the most eye catching, particularly the top tier. The top layer of “icing” on the cake is made of cut glass inlaid on white paint that really catches the sun and shines prisms of light on the bottom tier of the cake and on any vertically impaired cake hunters (like myself) who prefer to crouch next to the cakes to obtain the perfect picture.

However what makes this location most memorable is what happened as my fellow cake hunters and I were getting ready to leave the school. To get you in on the action of what happened, I’ll attempt to recreate some of the conversation from that afternoon:

Dumpster

Artist’s rendering of the dumpster in question

Cake Monster: What’s so funny?

Mercutio Krispytreats: You see that picture over there?

[Cake Monster looks out the passenger side window and sees a framed portrait propped up against the dumpster]

CM: Yes [with great concern]

MK: We’re gonna steal it!

[Cake Monster immediately locks all car doors]

Mercutio and WD’s plan was to steal (borrow temporarily?) the portrait and then play a classic prank from our youth – “Ding Dong Ditch” – on one of our friends by ringing her doorbell, leaving the portrait against her door and then running away as quickly as possible. All of which I was in for, except the running part – any friend of this Cake Monster knows I do not run for anything…except maybe cake….

Once Mercutio explained his plan to me, and we all had a great laugh, I was almost inclined to allow it. It might be funny, I reasoned, to drive around with a random portrait in the car, posing next to it in cake pictures, ultimately leaving it at our friend’s door as we snuck around the corner full of anticipatory giggles.

But no. I had to be reasonable. For one, who knew where the portrait came from? For all we knew, the owner could be just inside the building on official business, and he needed a place to rest his portrait while he was gone. Or, worse, what if the portrait was cursed?! And the rest of our day of cake hunting was overhung with the looming spector of the portrait’s previous owner?? I couldn’t take that chance.

So, much to the sadness of everyone involved, the car doors remained locked, and we moved on to the next cake location.

But never fear! Despite the seemingly sad ending to the story, there is one incredible upside – before we left the elementary school, we snapped this glorious picture which not only sums up our friendship, but our feelings about cake hunting as well:

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Priceless