JIM DORAN

Blog

St. Louis

In an attempt to validate some theories I had regarding using WordPress in Higher Education, I attend the 3rd annual WPCampus conference in St. Louis. I had never been to St. Louis, and discovered was hotter and more humid than Baltimore. I was able to use the MetroLink to get from the airport to Washington University in St. Louis and to my hotel.

I met a lot of other folks who are using WordPress as their main institutional CMS. I learned what plugins are useful for universities. I learned about other CMS solutions. I learned about governance in higher ed (the politics are so vicious because the stakes are so low). I learned about Gutenberg. It was nice to be at a WordCamp again.

And, I learned a few things about the city itself. I visited the arch, which one really has to see in person to understand how astonishingly big it is.

The Arch in St. Louis

On the second night, I decided it was just too gross out to take the train to whatever was happening post conference, so I decided to wander around the neighborhood around the hotel. I found a place on Google Maps called El Burrito Loco. Upon entering, I wanted to move in and never leave.

I’m only sharing a few photos of the many I took, but some of my favorite aspects of this outstanding establishment are, a diorama of skeletons in a door transom:

loco burrito diorama

The fabulous art and colors. The COLORS! loco burrito

The giant skeletons partying outside the building: loco burrito

And the HUGE papier-mâché skeleton on the ceiling of the dining room. YES!!!

loco burrito

I ate very well that night – they had the best queso I’ve ever had – so, I decided to walk about, and I turned down Maryland Avenue (because, well, I’m from Maryland).

I happened upon a chess club, which I visited, and a chess themed cafe. As I looked across the street, I observed the world’s largest chess pieces, and the Word Chess Hall of Fame (which has an informative  web site).  I spent an hour and a half here and it was great!

historical Staunton chess pieces

Floating chess exhibit from London

The Word Chess Hall of Fame

World's Biggest Chess piece

I wish I had more time to explore St. Louis, but for a guy like me, I lucked into an amazing experience.