There’s something fascinating about St. Clair Avenue as it comes up out of East St. Louis; as it hits the community of French Village, it starts the climb “up the hill,” which are really river bluffs (and carry both a literal and figurative connotation in the life and politics of the East Side), where the name change to Lincoln Trail when it hits the commercial district of Fairview Heights.
There are some weird, out of the way abandoned buildings shrouded in the trees right at the base of those bluffs. Then we pop up at the top of the bluffs, and the wonder of the Modernist age greets us with amazing signs from the optimism of the decades right after the Second World War.
Or new businesses incorporate old motifs into new ones.
And then, the destination, the “Shangri-La” so to speak of Lincoln Trail appears, and that of course is St. Clair Square.