Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Interlude: PFSTL Top Ten, #2. Forest Park Southeast

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Photo Flood Saint Louis turns four this August.  This post is a continuation of a countdown to commemorate this exciting milestone.

Forest Park Southeast is a neighborhood of contrasts.  The blocks north of Manchester look and feel very different from those south of it.  The area’s central business district, sort of an alternative to South Grand and Cherokee Street, seems perpetually half-revitalized (one of the street’s best known businesses, Sweetie Pie’s, just announced its closure).

To summarize why this is is a difficult thing to do, but I’d wager that the neighborhood will only remain this way for a short time longer.  As Central West End and Midtown to its north continue to attract new start-up investment, and Botanical Heights further matures to its east, FPSE has a good future outlook.

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The Group visited Forest Park Southeast in April, just before Spring had really sprung.  The air was cool, but very comfortable.  It seemed like every corner we turned in the neighborhood ran us into a group of joggers or bicyclists.  People were friendly, and the photographing was good.

Of all St. Louis neighborhoods, FPSE ranks so highly on my list because of the great variety on hand.  Want to photograph old warehouses?  Check.  Great turn-of-the-20th-century homes?  Check.  Quiet streets with kids playing?  Check.  Busy streets for people watching or street photography?  Check.  What’s more, if you want to grab anything from an excellent cup of joe to a pint of beer afterward, they are available, and brewed, roasted, or otherwise produced onsite.  Although not nearly as congested as major cities, this neighborhood feels like it belongs in one.

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For this Photo Flood, I used my Nikon D300 with the Nikkor 20mm f/2.8 AIS and Nikon D200 with Nikon 50mm f/1.8E.  This set-up, an alternative to my 24mm f/2.8D and 50mm f/1.8D, is my favorite manual focus combo for urban landscape and street photography.

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If you are interested in becoming a member, head on over to photofloodstl.org, or visit our page on Facebook and let us know!  As always, it is free to join and free to participate.

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