Thursday, September 24, 2009


Last Saturday as we were leaving Scottrade Center after the 2nd period of the Blues v. Stars game (the Blues lost 4-2 to Dallas), I mentioned to my husband that the sculptures at Citygarden are spotlighted and the walkways are lit with foot-lighting. We decided to drive by for a look. When we got there, knowing I would like to take a few nice photos, my husband told that I could take the pictures from the southeast corner and he would stay in the truck as there was no parking space nearby. CP said I should stay where he could see me and not walk into the park. As I was taking the photo below of the sculpture "Eros Bendato" by a Polish artist named Igor Mitoraj, I heard someone saying "Do you have 85 cents?". I turned around and found a homeless man standing next to our truck asking my husband for money. CP gave the man a handful of change, more than 85 cents, from the cup-holder while making sure I was ok. I lifted my camera into position, thinking if the man tried to do something funny, the flash could blind him, enough to give us time to get away.
According to the information in the brochure, artist Igor Mitoraj was inspired by ancient cultures and in this bronze sculpture, he constructed the head of Eros, the Greek god of love and desire that has been excavated and lies on its side with eyes and mouth wrapped in bandages. The bandages symbolize civilization as broken in which desires and ideas were imprisoned and at the same time, held together despite destructive forces created by so many opposing views in the world. Below is the Two Rabbits by Tom Claassen, a Dutch artist. The sculptures are created in traditional bronze but enveloped in white paint, creating the impression of marshmallowy lightness.
The homeless man took the change, said thanks and walked away. I quickly got back into our Ford Ranger and we left without taking any more photos. In my wild imagination, it could have been a "what if" story of someone tried to carjack or attack us, the worse would be we would get shot, without a chance to surrender our vehicle or my purse. It could have been a bad story for the late night news! A few years after we moved to St. Louis, probably 1997 or 1998, a person was killed while sitting in his car, waiting for his wife to come out of the house so they could go to their English class. Two teanagers walked up to the person, shot him in the head, pulled his body out of the car and left him bleeding on the sidewalk. The killers did not need a vehicle, they just wanted a joyride as they abandoned the car later after having enough fun. The victim was a Vietnamese soldier serving under South Vietnamese army, was imprisoned by the Communist for almost 20 years, survived all the torture and mistreatment, after years of waiting to unite with his family in the US, finally came to America so he could live in peace and freedom. He died a senseless death on the street of St. Louis six months after arriving the land of liberty. To this day, I am still haunted by this tragic story. The photos in this post will be the only night photos of Citygarden in my collection because I do not wish to take another chance of a "what if" ending story.

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