Friday, May 31, 2013

Heavy Metal And Salvation

Iron Steel Repent

Getting warmed up for tomorrow's theme day. Psalms 2:9 : Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron. A meditation on faith and metallurgy.        

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thursday Arch Series (We'll Always Have Paris)

Paris IL High School Band 4

Paris, Illinois, is a town of about 9,000 near the Indiana border. It's just off Interstate 70, the highway from St. Louis to Indianapolis. I'd never heard of it. Yet when I was out trolling for pix last weekend, there was its high school band on the stage under the Arch. They were good, and so wholesome.    

Paris IL High School Band 2

Paris IL High School Band 3

Paris IL High School Band 1

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Walk Across Eads Bridge

Eads Bridge 2013-05-25 5

If you were to look a bit up from the MetroLink train in yesterday's post you would see the walkway on the bridge. It spans the Mississippi from St. Louis to East St. Louis, Illinois. I've crossed it many times. Great place to shoot the water, the riverfront and the Arch

By the way, I'd like you to look at something. I've mentioned a very talented young photographer I met, Daniel Grudek. He's new to St. Louis, spending several months in an internship at a local architectural firm. He's working on a photo book about STL and all he has discovered here. He is fundraising on Kickstarter to do a quality book. Click here and consider contributing. I did.        

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tough Act To Follow

Eads Bridge 2013-05-25 3

Well, lots of people liked the blues harmonica player yesterday. Thanks for all the comments. It's rare that I break into double digits. What  to do for follow up?

I've been cruising old parts of the city near the river, looking for material for the June 1 Beauty of Decay theme day. Plenty of material. At one point I was walking along the promenade at the north end of the Arch park, right beside beautiful old Eads Bridge. Decidedly not decayed, as a lot of money has been spent to restore and preserve it. If fact, you can see scaffolding under it for maintenance work in the first and second pix.

Our MetroLink light rail zips along the lower of the level of the bridge at the bottom. I don't think you're supposed to drink on board.          

Eads Bridge 2013-05-25 2

Eads Bridge 2013-05-25 4

Monday, May 27, 2013


Bluesweek 2013-05-25 1

More like Bluesweekend. This event took place on Friday afternoon, Saturday and Sunday of our Memorial Day long weekend. We've had blues festivals in different formats for years. This version is, in part, to promote the National Blues Hall of Fame, under development here.

At lot of local events that are behind a barrier (because of alcohol sales) have a "no professional cameras" policy, enacted just to annoy me, I'm sure. Turned out not to be a problem yesterday but I took my little Olympus E-M5 just in case. These pictures were all taken with it. Stunning quality in a little package. Right, Grace?        

Bluesweek 2013-05-25 2

Bluesweek 2013-05-25 3

Bluesweek 2013-05-25 4

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Ball Sports

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 5

Lots of sports involve putting something generally round through enemy territory and into a designated place at the end of the playing surface. Basketball, hockey, rugby, U.S. football, soccer and even tennis do this. Baseball and cricket take the idea and make it geometrically more complex. They are all metaphors for war.

Soccer does it in fluid motion, as if the battle lines were wave interference patterns. At its simplest, though, all you need is is a couple of kids, a dad and some artificial turf in the middle of 7th Street. Sweet, except that it blocked my normal route to my office. (I know, humbug and so on.)

By the way, when did young people start wearing a spectrum of colors on their athletic shoes? Just got through to me when I saw the Chelsea and Man City players with orange, yellow and lime on their feet.         

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 6

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Lions I Understand but . . .

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 2

Sports teams all have mascots these days. When I was a kid and a big Yankees baseball fan, teams just went out and played the game. Now there are all these goofy figures, like the idiotic Fredbird (the redbird - a cardinal - get it?) for our baseball team. 

All the English Premier League teams have one. Chelsea's is a lion, simple and easy to understand. The old heraldry device of a rampant lion is part of their crest. But Manchester City has . . . what? Wikipedia provides the following explanation:
Like all clubs in the Premier League, Manchester City have a mascot, two in this case. Both are anthropomorphic aliens, called Moonchester and Moonbeam. The name is a play on words with Moon- named after the club's unofficial anthem, "Blue Moon" and -chester being the last part of Manchester, where the club was formed and is based. Both aliens come from the planet 'Blue Moon'.        
I'd find it hard to develop an emotional attachment to these things.      

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 7

Friday, May 24, 2013

Soccer Hooligans In St. Louis!

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 1 Ci

The Chelsea - Manchester City match took place last night at Busch Stadium. I went to the pre-game rally and watched it on television. (Manchester came back from a 3 - nil deficit to win 4 - 3 in the final minutes. Like how deftly I used the word nil?) Chelsea supporters vastly outnumbered those for Man City on the street. I understood some fraction of what I saw on TV, better, at least, than if I had been watching cricket.

A few more of these characters to come.      

Chelsea v Manchested City in STL 3 Ci

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hot Cops

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 11

I often have what psych types call loose associations, something making a person think of something else that is not obviously related. It can be a sign of mental illness or creativity; you pick. As I started to edit this picture the first thing I thought of was the Village People's old disco hit Hot Cop. I bet you'll never meet a cop as funky as these.

Anyway, yes, we have a lot of parades in St. Louis and it seems like every blessed one of them has motorcycle policemen. There are two St. Louis city officers and a Missouri Highway Patrolman in this shot. Photos like these always get a lot of views when I post them on Flickr.  There may be lurkers on Flickr who think these guys really are hot.

It's almost bizarre but we have English Premier League soccer in town tonight. Chelsea and Manchester City are playing an exhibition match at the baseball stadium (where a soccer pitch does not fit well). I tried to get tickets but they were sold out within 10 minutes of when they went on sale on the web.       

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Noble Dwayne Sargent & Friends

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 9

We got a lot of Shriners around here. It's a branch of Freemasonry. This being St. Louis, we have black Shriners and white Shriners. The former are always part of the Annie Malone parade and I've gotten some good pictures of them in the past (like this and this). Here are a couple more.

I couldn't get the color correction right on these to save my life. Need to take a class or find an online tutorial. Crummy light that day.       

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 10

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Not What It Seems

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 3

Scenes from the Annie Malone parade.

The young man at the top likes his brand identification. He's not off to play a chukker, though. More like on his way to the Venetian carnival.

The picture below is not war reporting despite how it looks. A girl had just set down her doll  while she viewed the parade at the fence. Off-kilter images attract me.

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 8

Monday, May 20, 2013

Annie Malone Parade

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 1

At the Annie Malone Parade yesterday, a favorite annual photo op. The Annie Malone Children and Family Service Center has done a great deal of good for St. Louis' African-American community for 125 years. The parade gives its friends and supporters an opportunity to strut their stuff. However, the graphics display on its home page uses two of my photos from last year, without my permission as best I can tell. Note to webmaster: busted. Don't do it again, or else.

You meet the nicest people at events like this. It's common that people see me walk by, sagging under two DSLRs and a bag-o-lenses, and ask me to take their picture. That's what happened with the charming family in the first picture. I would not want to arm wrestle with the guy on the left, though.

The second shot are members of the marching band from our Visual And Performing Arts School. More to follow.        

Annie Malone Parade 2013-05-19 2

Sunday, May 19, 2013


In The Capitol 4 (Apotheosis of Washington 1)

Fancy word, apotheosis. Who in the history of this country deserves such exaltation? George Washington, of course. Father of our country. The dude whose face is on the $1 bill, making it iconic. The Apotheosis of Washington is the fresco that covers the very top of the interior of the Capitol dome. You can't see much detail from down on the floor without binoculars or a telephoto lens.

I don't think modern Americans know much of anything about Washington. Sure, chief general in our Revolutionary War, crossed the Delaware River in a rowboat in the middle of winter, chopped down a cherry tree when he was a kid, first president. Oh, and that face on money thing. Ask people on the street something beyond that.      

In The Capitol 5 (Apotheosis of Washington detail 2)

In The Capitol 5 (Apotheosis of Washington detail 1)

In The Capitol 5 (Apotheosis of Washington 2)

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I Like Ike

In The Capitol 1

Carolyn and I spent much of yesterday in the U.S. Capitol, home of the Senate and House of Representatives. I hadn't been there since childhood and it was her first visit.

Lots of good pix but I'm having trouble with my laptop. The trackpad isn't working right and I can't crop or drag so just one for today. More when we get home.

Each state gets two statues in the Capitol. This is the best-known of the pair from Kansas. Carolyn's home. Dwight Eisenhower, of course, was Supreme Allied Commander during World War II and president of the U.S. from 1953 to 1961. Our guide told us the statue was based on a photograph from the war years. The general was explaining to an enlisted man how he liked to tie a fishing fly.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Would He Weep At What He Sees?

Washington 2013-05-16 1

Abraham Lincoln sits at the western end of the National Mall, contemplating the city of Washington spread out before him.   He sees the seat of a government so dysfunctional that it feels like a chess game in a perpetual state of check. Yet the state of affairs in his day was so much worse. We Americans were trying to kill one another over what were, at the root, economic issues; over money. Now we use more sophisticated means.

Below, views of the White House from the south and north. Last, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the most emotionally intense places I have ever seen. It seemed trivialized yesterday by swarms of unappreciative high school groups, snapping pix of one another on their phones in a famous place.

I'm on the conference program this morning but it's likely I'll slip out with my camera later in the day.        

Washington 2013-05-16 3

Washington 2013-05-16 4

Washington 2013-05-16 2

Thursday, May 16, 2013

J. Edgar Hoover

Washington May 2013 1 (J. Edgar Hoover)

We got into Washington Tuesday night. My meeting didn't start until late yesterday afternoon. Mrs. C and I spent several hours Tuesday at the Newseum, which is about just what it says. One of the current exhibits was about the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which meant it was about J. Edgar Hoover, who for decades was its notorious chief.

Although Hoover was a tenacious adversary of crime, he had a dark side that was eventually revealed. He became a paranoid crusader against any hint of Communist activity. Some say he persecuted gay men in public life, although controversy remains today about whether he himself was gay.

The last photo from this exhibit is a recreation of the Montana shack of someone well known to Americans, Ted Kaczynski, the so-called Unabomer. Click the link if you would like to know the significance to us.

Washington May 2013 2 (G-Men)

Washington May 2013 3 (Crossing The Line)

Washington May 2013 $ (Do Not Touch)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Something New

New Mississippi Bridge 2013-05-11 2

The bridges over the Mississippi at St. Louis are very crowded. There are two very old ones and another that's more modern but has been around for many decades. We need a stent in our arteries.

A new river crossing is nearing completion just north of downtown. The decision was a tussle between the two states it will serve. Illinois, being more liberal and interested in public works (although it's now in considerable financial trouble) wanted to have at least three lanes in each direction and to charge a toll. Missouri, ever the cheapskate, refused to consider tolls. So we're getting two lanes in each direction, which is inadequate. It's amazing the bridge got started. The two states have had so many disagreements that the structure doesn't even have a name yet, although it's not far from opening.

We're in Washington. Pix starting tomorrow.         

New Mississippi Bridge 2013-05-11 1

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Produce Row

Produce Row !

Necessity, according to the old saying and Frank Zappa, is the mother of invention. I'm getting a little hard up for material. Last weekend, while cruising around the central city, I drove by Produce Row, the area's big wholesale fruit and vegetable market. It was closed in the late afternoon when I arrived but I got these through the fence.

Heading for Washington, DC, tonight, where I am attending a professional conference. I'll be short on comments for a few days and may or may not get something posted on Wednesday. Photos from the seat of power on Thursday for sure.      

Produce Row 2.psd

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Way

Laumeier Art Fair 2013-05-12 5 (The Way)

The Way is the most massive work in Laumeier Sculpture Park.The name suggests religious fervor and conviction to me, the one path to salvation, nirvana or perfection. Except that there are so many ways, and so many incompatible with one another. You can see a picture of the whole thing and learn a bit about it on the park's web site here. It is as imposing as certainty.

I mentioned that yesterday afternoon was the closing performance of the St. Louis Symphony's 2012-2013 season. They played Act III of Alban Berg's Wozzeck (gee, it must have been miserable to walk around all day being Alban Berg) and the Beethoven 9th. OMG, as they say. This may be a second or third-tier city but we certainly have a first-tier orchestra. It's a treasure.         

SLSO Season Finale 2013-05-12

Sunday, May 12, 2013

If They're Entertained, They'll Spend More

Laumeier Art Fair 2013-05-12 2

There was a music tent on the way in to the exhibition area at the art fair. This group looked and sounded very 40's and they were pretty hot. They didn't play the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy Of Company B but they might as well have.

The St. Louis Symphony season ends today with your faithful blogger and spouse in attendance. They are doing the last act of Wozzeck and Beethoven's 9th. Talk about agony and ecstasy. O Freunde, nicht diese Töne! Sondern laßt uns angenehmere anstimmen, und freudenvollere.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Art Fair At Night

Laumeier Art Fair 2013-05-12 1

One of our two big annual art fairs opened last night. This one is at Laumeier Sculpture Park. Its 105 acres/42 hectares are a wonderful place to wander. With a cool evening and threat of rain, the fair was lightly attended. Good for photographers.       

Friday, May 10, 2013

Inherently Unstable

People's Joy Parade 2013 29

The description applies to the whole People's Joy Parade. It's meant to be that way. Some elements, however, are more unstable than others. The procession had several bikes similar to this one. I can't imagine how the riders got on and off, let alone whizzed down the street like this.       

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Very Little Mexico

People's Joy Parade 2013 26

Unlike so many American cities, St. Louis has a small Hispanic population. Cherokee Street, where the People's Joy Parade is held, is its center, so the parade and Cinco de Mayo festival blend into one another. The bottom picture, by the way, is in front of a car repair shop.

I've been really bad about comments on my friends blogs. Work sucks.         

People's Joy Parade 2013 25

People's Joy Parade 2013 27

People's Joy Parade 2013 28