The Night Belongs to Me

Broadway 11-13-2015_2464I like roaming the streets at night. Maybe part of it is that I don’t like to get up early. Even most of my bicycle riding was done as the sun was going down and later. The streets were quieter. People weren’t in as much of a hurry. It was fun cruising through neighborhoods chatting with people walking their dogs, pushing baby strollers or rolling their garbage cans to the curb.

If you saw a flickering light in a darkened room, you knew the residents were watching TV; if the light was steady, they were on their computer. If their windows were open, you could smell their dinners cooking, and maybe even guess what part of the country or world they were from by those fragrances.

After I dropped off my late-night meeting or sports photos at The Missourian (so I wouldn’t have to get up early in the morning to do it), I’d roam up and down the streets and alleys listening to police calls, talking to the night watchmen or just enjoying a city asleep. The cops all knew my car, so they never stopped me to see if I was up to something.

View from Fort A

View from Fort A 11-13-2015The view from what had once been Civil War Fort A at the end of Bellvue is arguably the prettiest view of Cape Girardeau. I wish I had been there 15 minutes earlier so the barge would have shown up better in the reflections of lights on the river. Of course, had I been there 15 minutes earlier, the boat would have been below the bridge, and it wouldn’t have mattered what the light level was. As it turned out, I had to wait about five minutes for it to get where it is here.

KFVS antenna farm

KFVS at night 11-13-2015Coming down the hill from Bellvue on North Lorimier from Fort A, my eye was drawn to the KFVS tower and the antenna farm behind it. I drove past, wondering if it was worth a shot. When I saw the crescent moon over the Marquette Hotel. I circled the block and was lucky enough to find a parking spot just about where I needed to shoot. (You can click on the photos to make them larger, by the way.)

A car pulled in across the street just about the time I got out of mine. The driver must have wondered what I was up to, because I could sense he was watching me. Finally, when I opened the door to get back into my van, he got out and walked across the street. I didn’t stick around to see if he went into KFVS or walked down the hill to what used to be the the N’Orleans, the brick building on the left.

The antenna on the right is a twin to the iconic one on the last hill on Highway 61 coming into Cape from Jackson.

Downtown from the Air

Aerial of Downtown Cape 04-17-2011When I ran the picture of the Town Plaza from the 1962 Girardot, I commented that the shopping center wasn’t much different than downtown’s Main Street, except that it had ample and free parking.

That got me to thinking of this 2011 aerial of the Old Town Cape shopping area. You don’t realize how compact Cape Girardeau is until you see that downtown was essentially bounded by Broadway on the north and Independence on the south. Themis hit a dead end at Spanish at the foot of the Common Pleas Courthouse hill. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Not a lot of changes

Cape Girardeau Downtown District looking up Broadway; 1960s aerial photoThere are a few buildings gone and a few new buildings, but the aerials from the middle to late 1960s look remarkably like the 2011 photo.

This post has a collection of links to stories about Main Street businesses.

Missouri Flag House Ornament

Old Town Cape 2013 Oliver-Leming House ornament 11-01-2013Old Town Cape is carrying on a tradition started in 1997 to produce a Christmas ornament featuring a familiar Cape Girardeau landmark. Here is information from the Old Town Cape website describing this year’s ornament.

The 2013 Oliver-Leming House Christmas ornament is available for sale at the Old Town Cape office and other various locations downtown, so get yours before they are gone! It is a limited edition, numbered piece produced by Hestia and is the seventeenth in a series.

 The 100th year anniversary of the Missouri flag was celebrated earlier this year, so we chose to commemorate that by displaying it on this year’s ornament. The Missouri flag was designed in 1913 by Marie Watkins Oliver, wife of Sen. R. B. Oliver, at their home at 749 North Street. The home, now called the Oliver-Leming House, is owned by Drs. Bert and Mary Ann Kellerman.

 You can purchase the ornament with a stand for $30 or without a stand for $25. They are available at Bob’s Shoe Service, C.P. McGinty Jewelers, Cape Girardeau Convention & Visitors Bureau, Hutson’s Fine Furniture, Jayson Jewelers, Knaup Floral, Pastimes Antiques, Philanthropy, Shivelbine’s Music, Renaissance, Zickfield’s Jewelers and Old Town Cape.

 For more information, please contact us at 573-334-8085 or visit us at 418 Broadway.

 Some earlier ornaments are available

There are some of the older ornaments available. I did ornament stories in 2010 and 2011, so if you see something you like, you could contact the nice folks at Old Town Cape to see if it is still available.

(Speaking of Hutson’s display, here are photos I made of the store in 2011)

Tis the season for shameless pitches

Ken Steinhoff 2013-2014 CalendarMy kids will yell at me if I don’t include two shameless pitches:

Travel progress report

Well, I’m not back home in West Palm Beach yet. I tossed and turned last night and have been dragging all day. Part of the reason is that we’re in the flatlands now and for the rest of the trip. I REALLY hate boring Interstates. The Groundhog Day effect kicks in and you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere.

I shot a couple of lackluster sunset pix, but it would be a waste of electrons to post them. I’m turning in early tonight so I can make the final 433-mile push home Saturday. Traffic was heavier today, and there was a curious mix of tourists wearing shorts in the southbound rest stops .



What Is Going Into Lang’s?

126 N Main - Old Lang Jewelers 07-19-2013I was walking down Main Street shooting store fronts when I noticed the door at 126 North Main was open. That address belonged to Lang Jewelers from 1916 until last fall when the store closed. Here is an earlier story about Lang’s.

Building permit on door

126 N Main - Old Lang Jewelers 07-19-2013I stepped in to take a look around, but nobody answered my call. There was a building permit on the door issued to C+R Renovations and listing plumbing and electrical contractors. A plaque from Old Town Cape giving the history of Lang’s mentioned the store featured its original tin ceiling and wooden wall display case.

I didn’t see the case, but it might have been removed for the renovation. Looks like the tin ceiling is going to be covered with a drop ceiling.Or, it might have had a drop ceiling installed over the tin ceiling and the renovation will expose it again. I didn’t feel comfortable taking a closer look at the blueprint on the floor.

Old Town Cape to carry calendars

Ken Steinhoff 2013-2014 CalendarSpeaking of Old Town Cape, the Old Town Cape folks are going to carry my 2013-2014 Snapshots of Cape Girardeau calendar. They are located at 418 Broadway, next to what used to be the Rialto Theater. You can call 573-334-8085 to make sure they haven’t sold out.

Lang Jewelers photo gallery

Click on any photo to make it larger, then click on the sides to move through the gallery.