There are certain things you've seen pictures of a million times which, when you see them in person, are vaguely disappointing. And then there are things you've seen pictures of a million times which, when you see them in person, are way, way better than you ever thought. The Grand Canyon. The Great Wall of China. The Gateway Arch in Saint Louis.
As a monument it is a bit odd. Memorializing westward expansion strikes me as being in somewhat poor taste, since presumably one is then also memorializing the accompanying displacement of indigenous peoples. But right or wrong, the arch is certainly an unapologetic masterpiece of soaring mid century design.
If you wish to photograph the Arch from across the river, silhouetted by the setting sun, you must trespass on private railway property.
Let me ask you, what do you suppose the Alton and Southern Railway Police have to do with their time other than shoo away photographers? Given that I was surrounded by no fewer than three cop cars, I'd say "not much."
Officer Bradey was very polite. Friendly, even. He asked me what I was doing there, inspected my identification, and asked me a surprising array of personal questions, making a careful note after each answer.
"Are you currently employed?"
"I'm sorry to hear that."
And, as we were finally parting ways:
"OK Ben, sorry to keep you. Did you get some good pictures at least?"
You be the judge.
This is the first time that I've posted a panoramic photo, mostly because they display so poorly at small size. Click the photo to view full screen. When viewing full screen, double-click anywhere on the photo to zoom to that spot, or use the pan/zoom controls that will appear on the left.