It’s Saturday night, and I’m craving pizza. Specifically, I’m craving a slice of “Not Phil’s” pizza in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Since I figured there was no real replacement for New York-style pizza in rural Southeast Missouri, however, I went for what was on sale at Wal-Mart.

Let it be known that my instinct on this matter was right on target; $2.50 DiGiorno’s individual pizzas are no competition for “Not Phil’s” $2.50 slices.

$2.50, photo by smalltowngirl

$2.50, photo by smalltowngirl

There’s nothing more perfectly small town than going on hayride to pick apples in the fall, so when the #stlappletweetup was announced by @Versadave, there was no stopping me from coming along. I actually drove to the tweet-up directly from Ohio, following my friend’s Pittsburgh wedding weekend extravaganza. I’m hardcore about my apple-pickin’.

Growing up, I’d ride on my dad’s tractor while he bush-hogged the fields on our property or on my grandparent’s farm. His tractor is parked permanently, but the Eckert’s tractor in Belleville, IL is still up ‘n runnin’ (as a real small town Missourian would say).

Here I am, bringing The Funk on a hayride across the river from the home state. I think the driver’s raised index finger is indication that I’m the #1 Funk.

TractorGFunk, photo by @mdhugo
TractorGFunk, photo by @mdhugo

Actually, I’m pretty sure his raised index finger has absolutely nothing to do with me, but I’m going to continue to pretend that it does.

Next up is a photo of @Versadave and myself reenacting American Gothic. Dave gets all the credit for the idea and for the photo. Thanks Dave!

American Gothic 2009, photo credit @Versadave
American Gothic 2009, photo credit @Versadave

Fun stuff, right? I’m telling you that there’s funk and beauty and groove anywhere in this world. You can seek out the beauty and the groove, and all you have to do is invite her, and The Funk is sure to follow.

MO=1; NYC=0 (cause The Funk is right here in Southeast Missouri).

***

Check out @Versadave’s #stlappletweetup write-up and photos here.

There’s nothing more perfectly small town than going on hayride to pick apples in the fall, so when the #stlappletweetup was announced by @Versadave, there was no stopping me from coming along. I actually drove to the tweet-up directly from Ohio, following my friend’s Pittsburgh wedding weekend extravaganza. I’m hardcore about my apple-pickin’.

Growing up, I’d ride on my dad’s tractor while he bush-hogged the fields on our property or on my grandparent’s farm. His tractor is parked permanently, but the Eckert’s tractor in Belleville, IL is still up ‘n runnin’ (as a real small town Missourian would say).

Here I am, bringing The Funk on a hayride across the river from the home state. I think the driver’s raised index finger is indication that I’m the #1 Funk.

TractorGFunk, photo by @mdhugo

TractorGFunk, photo by @mdhugo

Actually, I’m pretty sure his raised index finger has absolutely nothing to do with me, but I’m going to continue to pretend that it does.

Next up is a photo of @Versadave and myself reenacting American Gothic. Dave gets all the credit for the idea and for the photo. Thanks Dave!

American Gothic 2009, photo credit @Versadave

American Gothic 2009, photo credit @Versadave

Fun stuff, right? I’m telling you that there’s funk and beauty and groove anywhere in this world. You can seek out the beauty and the groove, and all you have to do is invite her, and The Funk is sure to follow.

MO=1; NYC=0 (cause The Funk is right here in Southeast Missouri).

***

Check out @Versadave’s #stlappletweetup write-up and photos here.

The absurdities of small town living continue to bring joy to my life. Yesterday, disappointed that my favorite coffee shop closed at 2:00 pm, I trekked across town to the only other place I could think of to get a latte; Espresso to Go.

You’ll notice that there is a mobile home in the background of this drive-through coffee shop. Fittingly, Espresso to Go is actually a metal shack. Here’s to small town life.

Shack, photo by smalltowngirl

Shack, photo by smalltowngirl

Public art isn’t something I expected to see much of in rural Missouri, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of murals I’ve seen in towns I’ve explored since relocated here earlier this year.

Through the window, photo by smalltowngirl

Through the window, photo by smalltowngirl

Ste. Genevieve, Missouri is among the small towns I’ve explored that has a few murals to brag about. The close-up of the guy in the window is great. Check out his missing eye and bubble gum nose…

Bubble gum nose, photo by smalltowngirl

Bubble gum nose, photo by smalltowngirl

I like think that if this little girl could talk, she’d be saying,  “Ugggh, PLEASE dude.  Get the gum out of your nose and put your eyeball back in. SEEEriously, dude, uggggh.”

Annoyed and Disgusted, photo by smalltowngirl

Annoyed and Disgusted, photo by smalltowngirl

And this guy was like, totally inspired by me, trekking around rural Missouri with my camera. Only he’s tall and I’m short, and he’s a dude and I’m not, and he’s got dude hair and I’ve got girl hair. Oh, and I’m pretty sure this mural has been around since before I trekked about Missouri with my camera.

But otherwise, totally and completely inspired by me.

Inspired by smalltowngirl, photo by smalltowngirl

Inspired by smalltowngirl, photo by smalltowngirl

My favorite Ste. Genevieve mural though is this one. I love how it isn’t clearly framed at the edges, creating a real sense of three dimensions.

Ste. Gen Mural, photo by smalltowngirl

Ste. Gen Mural, photo by smalltowngirl

New York City still takes the cake where art is concerned, but I think Ste. Genevieve’s murals are evidence of the valiant effort rural Missouri is  making to stay on the cultural maps. Nice work, home state. Nice work.

NYC=1, MO=0.5 (Yes, I’m now scoring in half-points. You got something to say about that?)

My two years living in Pittsburgh revealed a city that’s much different from polluted, industrial town that so many people imagine Pittsburgh to be. I found a culturally-rich, environmentally-minded, blue-collar town where there was no shortage of beautiful architecture, great bridges, and parks. Cost of living is reasonable, it’s a good sports town, and there are good restaurants and cheap bars.

My trip back to Pittsburgh last weekend was for a wedding. Before heading to the reception, our alumni crew met to share a case of our favorite grad school beer, Yuengling. Beer in Styrofoam cooler in bathtub = classy, I know.

Classy. photo by smalltowngirl

Classy. photo by smalltowngirl

When we arrived at the reception, we found tiny bottles of Heinz ketchup as favors.

Heinz. Photo by smalltowngirl

Heinz. Photo by smalltowngirl

The weekend quintessentially Pittsburgh, even down to the road signs along the road to the day-after-wedding BBQ. The right-hand turn is like a road sign in any other city, but the sign on the left is pretty nearly as Pittsburgh as it gets.

Say What? photo by Martene

Say What? photo by Martene

By far the most absurd thing the entire weekend was sitting at a stop light in McKeesport, looking at the driver next to us, and realizing that he had a rooster sitting on his shoulder. Unfortunately, we couldn’t snag a picture in time, but there are four witnesses to the rooster-sighting. What a strange town. I❤ you, Pittsburgh.

Friends. photo by someone....not sure who

Friends. photo by someone....not sure who

While driving from small town Missouri to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Thursday for the first time in several years, one particular stop for gas stood out in my memory.

Whoever put this sticker on this trash can gets extra points for making me laugh on an otherwise rough morning:

Dirty. Photo by smalltowngirl

Dirty. Photo by smalltowngirl

On Sunday, I meandered through the small town streets of  Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, camera in hand.

Ste. Genevieve is a truly beautiful and historic town, but the part of Ste. Gen I’d like to share with you this morning is just a simple store front window with my reflection in it; a little piece of a place I hold dear to my heart (literally, since I wear a necklace with a pendant of the Brooklyn Bridge most days).

If you look closely, you can see reflections of Ste. Genevieve’s downtown just below an image of the Brooklyn Bridge and New York City.

The Brooklyn Bridge, Ste. Genevieve Style, photo by/of smalltowngirl

Brooklyn Bridge - Ste. Gen style, photo by/of smalltowngirl

Today I leave for a weekend trip to Pittsburgh, where a close friend of mine is getting married. Twelve hours in the car today doesn’t leave much time for talking to twitter friends or reminding people that a new post is up, so do a smalltowngirl a favor, and pass this link on to your friends!

On my drive to work each day, I pass a permanent sign in Potosi, Missouri that advertises the county’s seasonal farmer’s market. Though I love farmers markets, I still had not made it to this one until last Saturday.

Farmers Market, photo by smalltowngirl

Farmers Market, photo by smalltowngirl

The vendors had beautiful produce, not limited to squash, zucchini, apples and peppers. I’ve written previously about the Farmington Farmers Market, but I was more impressed by the Washington County market than I was by the Farmington Market.

Washington County Farmers Market, photo by smalltowngirl

Washington County Farmers Market, photo by smalltowngirl

My favorite vendor was a Washington County farmer who taught me something I didn’t know; that green peppers eventually turn either red or yellow if left to grow long enough. Who knew?

mulit-colored peppers, photo by smalltowngirl

mulit-colored peppers, photo by smalltowngirl

***

The Washington County Farmers Market is held from June through October. On Saturdays, the market is held from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Washington County Court House, and on Wednesdays the market is held from 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the County Health Department.

While attending the Moses Austin Festival in Potosi, Missouri, I ate a piece of mouth-watering corn on the cob. This particular piece of corn on the cob was serious in nature, and worth deep contemplation on my part. I was still surprised to find that my corn on the cob and I would make the local news.

MilliGFunkyCorn, photo by the Independent Journal

MilliGFunkyCorn, photo by the Independent Journal

You’ll note that I’m in good company with my corn on the cob. (Willie Nelson Dude’s braids were fake, by the way. They were attached to the bandanna. I was disappointed.)

Photo scanned from the Independent Journal, Washington County Missouri’s local paper.

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