Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cubs Game

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The small group I'm meeting with in Chicago went to the Cubs game last night. The Cubs have played in Wrigley Field since 1916. It's a small, wonderful place just plopped down in a North Side neighborhood. The Cubs have not won the championship in 104 years, the longest drought of any major North American professional sports team. They won last night, though, beating San Diego 5 - 3.

Home tonight.       

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Monday, April 29, 2013

Chicago Architecture

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Went on a walking tour yesterday with the Chicago Architecture Foundation. There are few cities with such a rich collection of old and daring new buildings.

No spare time. Working hard at playing. Today working hard at working.        

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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Who Knew?

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Hi from Chicago. Flew in yesterday morning to spend the weekend with my son and his fiancee before work on Monday. And the plane arrived early! At O'Hare! Wonders never cease. Anyway, they live in the Logan Square neighborhood right on the Blue Line so it was a quick train ride from the airport.

Andy was looking for something different to do. We drove up to the spectacular Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, just north of the city. The architecture is stunning, more Arab/Muslim than anything else to my eye, but was covered with ecumenical symbols.

On the way back into town we stopped in the Edgewater neighborhood for coffee. The door in the bottom shot sums this city's sense of self esteem.

Spur of the moment activity for this afternoon: we're going to Chicago Opera Theater's producation of Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, Maria de Buenos Aires. Can't wait. I love Piazzola. I love Buenos Aires.        

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Saturday, April 27, 2013


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Last pictures from Earth Day: the food booth of a local hipster bar and grille. A group of high school thespians who perform a Shakespeare scene, soliloquy or sonnet based on the spin of the wheel of fortune. The last one, gentle reader, I leave to your own interpretation.

Chicago tomorrow.

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Friday, April 26, 2013


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More. It's the American credo. Here, it's just because I'm short on time and there are more Earth Day pix.

Above, yes, it's true. Anybody, but be careful. Below, the bikes are hooked up to small generators which are connected to a cell phone charging station. Is this energy efficient? Next, get yer Shiva tote bag. Bottom, well, it speaks for itself.       

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Quick Portraits At Earth Day

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Regular readers know that I love shooting candid street portraits (our colleague Steffe does a very good job of this, too). The woman at the top is promoting an environmentally-friendly home cleaning service. Her outfit is a reference to the iconic World War II image of Rosie the Riveter, which you can see on the card in her hands. The second photo shows someone who has an affinity for hair as unnatural and un-earth-friendly as it gets but, hey, she looks cool.

It's going to be tight on material and comments here for a couple of days. Two busy days at work coming up, then off to Chicago (air traffic control permitting). Fun with son Andy over the weekend, business Monday and Tuesday, and a Cubs game thrown in there somewhere. Windy City pix starting Sunday.                   

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Faeries Again

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Does your city have a local band of faeries? St. Louis has had one for at least as long as this blog has been around. I don't think there's anything official or organized. They don't have a web site. Why would faeries need structure?

They have been the subject of a number of other posts (here, here and here, for example). Let out your inner child.      

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The All Species Parade

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The event that gets our Earth Day festival rolling is always the All Species parade. It is always lead by Joia, an all-percussion band that's hard to classify. That's Rick Kraemer, the chief guy, in the top picture, blowing his whistle to start the march.

Actually, I didn't see any species in the parade other than H. Sapiens and the microbes that dwell in us. Usually there are at least a couple of dogs. Some of the children had whimsical animal masks. Good enough for me.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

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The Earth Day Festival returned to Forest Park yesterday. It gets bigger (and more crowded) every year. Every wheat grass muncher, chakra cleanser, jute sandal wearer, soul traveler, wolf caller, recycler, metaphysician, circle drummer and Ph.D. herbalist in the metro area must have been there. And a couple of chiropractors, too. Me, I'm a double-blind, peer-reviewed study kind of guy when it comes to what's good for me, but there sure were some interesting people to meet.

These are just some first impressions. Top, a new member of the local faerie troop, or at least new to me. She knows how to model. More about them to come. Below, an area called the Peace Garden. I don't think the woman was an Official Faerie because she wasn't wearing wild makeup but she could bliss out even with a bus behind her. Next, one of the many products for sale, although proper soap, such as is found in my bathroom, comes from a factory and is sold by a corporation. Bottom, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is surrounded by faeries after officially opening the festivities. I hope they lightened his spirit.

More through the week.           

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Sunday, April 21, 2013

De'Joneiro Jones

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There was a Downtown St. Louis urban housing tour yesterday. It's interesting for us locals to see what's become of the commercial buildings that surround downtown, many of beautiful design, that became derelict. There are a lot of nice apartments and lofts now, but shooting apartment interiors doesn't enchant me.

Unless, of course, the person in a space makes it so. De'Joneiro Jones and I have run into one another before. He lives in the interestingly named Leather Trades Artist Lofts on Locust Street. I guess that was the original purpose of the building. Now it provides living and working space to artists and artisans. DJ, as people call him, is a painter and trades in antiques. I don't want to put his email address out here for all the spammers to copy but if you're interested in what he has to offer, e-mail me and I'll get it to you.

There are two examples here. Mrs. C and I know a smidge about South Asian art and, of course, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. We think the statue represents a tara, a female Buddhist diety. However, the hand gestures of Buddhist figures are known as mudras and have specific meanings. I can't find these in any of the tables online. The lotus growing from the sole of the foot must mean something but I couldn't find any reference.  If someone out there knows more, please help me out.

The second picture shows a beautiful engraving of a bust of Andrew Carnegie, who endowed innumerable libraries in this country. DJ thinks the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library, just a short distance away, should buy it. I say it should get off its institutional butt and just do it.     

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Tara, Maybe

Saturday, April 20, 2013


Koi At The Botanical Garden

While we wait a bit for material from this weekend's photo ops, I am posting an image from the koi pond at the Missouri Botanical Garden.       

Friday, April 19, 2013

All The Pretty Epiphytes

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A few more blossoms from the orchid show at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Lots to shoot in The Lou this weekend. There's a downtown housing tour, 14 units in old commercial buildings converted to apartments and lofts. Sunday brings Earth Day festivities in Forest Park, one of the main annual photo-ops, where every tree-hugger and carrot juice connoisseur for miles around shows up to strut their stuff.        

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Thursday Arch Series

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Another fisheye shot. Again, I like the shapes and symmetries the distortion creates.

Arch photos are usually posted by themselves but I threw in a lagniappe today. (One of my favorite words, from Cajun usage.) Brad, Servant of The Lord, seen here several times, still stand on guard under the Arch. I think he's been down there on weekends a couple of years now. Behind, the riverfront tourist helicopter loads more passengers. We did it once. It was a blast.         

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

At The Orchid Show

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Late winter and the first days of spring bring the annual orchid show to the Missouri Botanical Garden (home of Juno, seen in Monday's post). If I get there to take pictures it's usually on closing day, which is what happened a couple of weeks ago.

It's indoors, which makes for interesting light. There are windows high up over stone walls. So, soft illumination from above and dark foliage behind the flowers. Pop a little fill flash on the blossoms and you get dramatic results. These are a couple of my favorites. We'll show a few more.      

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Give Her A Ride

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Statue of Juno, apparently hitchhiking her way across the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

True Believers

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If Stan Musial is St. Louis' civic saint then the Cardinals are the state religion. Sure, there are professional football and hockey teams that have their followers but nothing compares to the venerated Redbirds. They have won the second-greatest number of baseball championships after the New York Yankees, who, after all, are rich as Croesus. 

No one is too proud or too cool to wear red, whether it's scarlet hair or just a tee shirt. On the other hand, we do have to put up with Fredbird (bottom picture), who is sort of the village idiot of team mascots. (Well, okay, the Phillie Phanatic is worse). The kids like the bird, though.        

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