10 on Tuesday

I love this week’s 10 on Tuesday topic: 10 places you’d take a tourist to see in your hometown.

I’ll do two lists — one for the town where I grew up, and one for the town where I live now.

10 places I’d take a tourist in Herrin, Ill.:

1. The Annex. That neon sign is dazzling.
2. Bryan Furniture. An even more dazzling — and historically significant — neon sign.
3. Park Avenue Motel. Walk into the lobby, and you’ll swear you’ve slipped through a hole in the space-time continuum and landed in 1963 — plus the neon sign out front is great.
4. Burger Nook. Burgers and fries the way God intended: cheap and greasy. You can’t beat ’em. I worked there for three or four years as a kid and never got tired of the food.
5. Mary’s Restaurant. Upscale dining in a great old house.
6. Baldwin Pianos. Worth a trip just to shoot the bull with Bruce and test-drive sheet music on those gleaming concert grands in the showroom.
7. Herrin City Park. I grew up tossing bread off the bridge and watching the ducks and minnows nibble on it … when I wasn’t fleeing in terror from that big goose with the attitude problem or trying to work up my nerve to climb up into the flying saucer or the fort with the telescopes on it.
8. Church of Jesus Only. Never set foot in the place, but oh, that beautiful neon sign out front!
9. Louie’s P&R Market. Is there anything better than a great Italian grocery?
10. Diamonds 4 and 5. If you don’t smile while watching a bunch of 7-year-olds in pigtails learn to play softball, there is something pathologically wrong with you.

10 places I’d take a tourist in Tulsa:

1. Lyon’s Indian Store. Gorgeous Art Deco building on Route 66.
2. Boston Avenue Methodist Church. Spectacular Zigzag architecture, with tons of incredible flourishes.
3. Downtown Red Fork. Wonderfully historic buildings on Route 66, right across from …
4. Ollie’s Station Restaurant. Enjoy fried chicken while umpteen model trains run on little tracks above your head.
5. Hank’s Hamburgers. The Big Okie is the best burger I’ve had anywhere on Route 66 … and the peanut butter balls are to die for.
6. Swinney’s Hardware. Just because I love it … plus the neon sign is great.
7. Circle Cinema. Beautiful, historic, and run by volunteers who appreciate artsy little indie films. One of the coolest places in town.
8. Green Country Feed and Seed. How many feed stores are heated with woodstoves and have a pack of dogs wandering around, sampling the bulk pig ears and making friends with the customers?
9. 11th Street Bridge. Now called something else long and complicated, but still there and still beautiful.
10. Admiral Twin Drive-In. You can’t beat a trip to the drive-in on a summer night.

What would you put on your list?


4 thoughts on “10 on Tuesday”

  1. Your choice of Herrin City Park reminded me of a park where I grew up that had geese with attitude too! lol

    Your choices also made me hungry…but everyone’s choices have been making me hungry!

    Come see Pittsburgh if you have time!

  2. It saddened me when they took the flying saucer down. The goose with the attitude is STILL there. Don’t think that old bird is ever going to find it’s peace. There is one there now that is its counterpart. Has no beek. Don’t know if it was mangled off by the mower guy, or if it is a birth defect, but he has just as much attitude.

  3. Wow, thanks Emily! We here at the Circle Cinema are so flattered that you included us. I should clarify that we’re run by the Circle Cinema Foundation, a non-profit organization, but we’re not volunteers. Hope that doesn’t change your view of us, but I assure you that we’re all here because we really want to be, and we love what we do! 🙂

    On a personal note, I often find myself taking out-of-towners to Kilkenny’s for their Scotch eggs…

  4. Where we live now (St. Louis)
    1. Meshuggah’s coffeehouse…a REAL neighborhood coffeehouse…nothing pretentious or contrived
    2. a walk through Forest Park (the 2nd largest urban park in the nation…the site of the 1904 World’s Fair…home to our FREE Zoo, our FREE art museum, and our FREE history museum, beautiful fountains, a series of grottoes and waterways for paddleboating and rowboating.
    3. Pad Thai at Thai Guyang…the best Pad Thai and soft rolls I have ever eaten…anywhere
    4. St. Louis City Museum…Mr. Magorium’s wonder emporium in an old warehouse downtown…a child’s dream world of tunnels, caves, arts and crafts laboratories and multi-sensory delight
    5. The Tivoli theatre – neighborhood indie arts film theatre very cool
    6. Chase Park Plaza cinema – a theatre in a 5 star hotel
    7. Christian Science Society at Lafayette Square…there is nothing like sitting in a circle with a great dog in the middle of the rug while we share our stories of how God has touched our lives with grace and healing.
    8. the Loop…a wonderfully eclectic stretch of Del Mar Blvd. in our neighborhood with great shops, restaurants, galleries, coffeehouses and theatres
    9. The Weaving Department…a great yarn shoppe in a a big old victoria in the most unlikely place in St. Louis
    10. downtown Kirkwood…lived there…love it…a charming walking village in the middle of a city…

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