Monday, January 22, 2018

Blue Letters, Red Shirt

All kinds of themes, all kinds of signs at the women's march. The man in the bottom picture was walking around with a Trump puppet, doing sort of a stand up comedy shtick. His 6 or 7 year old son son followed him around taking video on a phone. No idea whether the shirt was meant literally or ironically.

I've been wondering how, in this country, blue became associated with the left and red with the right. Historically, it's the other way around, the tee shirt being a good example. The red banner of revolution! And, of course, blue-bloods, blue stockings, blue chip stocks. Anybody know how this came about?      

Sunday, January 21, 2018

STL Women's March 2018

My  wife, daughter and granddaughter banded together in solidarity yesterday and headed downtown for the 2018 women's march. I got to play chauffeur and photojournalist.

There was a big turnout, although I haven't seen any numbers yet. I was surprised because the event received little advance publicity - a thin Facebook page, a bare-bones web site and nothing on the local TV news or NPR station that crossed my path. That didn't prevent women (and a few friends) from turning out by the thousands. More of this to come.    

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Beer And Politics

Very late post. I forgot my laptop at the office yesterday. Anyway, Mrs. C and I attended a fundraiser last night for Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, who is up for re-election this year. Claire is a blue beacon in an increasingly red state and we support her strongly. (On the other hand, our super right wing Republican governor, who makes our skin crawl, may be about to be forced out of office over a sex scandal and/or indicted for a couple of things. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.)

We had hopes Claire would be there but, of course, she was stuck in Washington with the shutdown nonsense. Her sister, Ann McCaskill, spoke passionately on her behalf. The venue was STL's most popular Irish pub, McGurk's. Guiness and Smithwick's flowed freely. People paid close attention. Certainly Samuel Beckett did. Oscar Wilde, maybe not so much.     

Friday, January 19, 2018

Frozen Chuck

I don't remember the exact temperature but it was really cold (for us) when I visited the ice carnival. Walking by the statue of St. Louis' Chuck Berry across the street from Blueberry Hill, where he performed regularly until he died last year, I couldn't help but think how frigid the bronze was. The man himself was a complete contrast.

I never met Berry as such but I attended the dedication of the statue in 2011. A casual acquaintance with the sculptor, Harry Weber, got me into the room at Blueberry Hill where Chuck was hanging out. That got me this picture, one of my all-time favorites.

Mrs. C and I are attending a fundraiser later today for Senator Claire McCaskill, who is up for reelection this year in this red-leaning state. We need her. Hope I get a couple of pictures while I'm at it.    

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sculpture With A Chain Saw

Where do you go to learn ice sculpture? It is an art with narrow applications and not a lot of room for self expression. The subjects don't vary much. This one is becomming a big and little penguin.

Still, there is a lot of skill in this. It amazes me that it is done freehand, no template, not even a sketch to look at. A chain saw is not a precise tool. The fine work is done with picks and chisels. The sculptor uses a blowtorch for smoothing. Can you make a living doing this?    

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Ice Festival

Last weekend brought the annual ice festival in the University City Loop district. The town is called that because most of Washington University is within its borders. The area is named for the old transit loop, where trolleys from the city proper would turn around for the return trip. It's a hip part of town.

It was cold and, as you can see, snowing. There was a good crowd, though. The festival always has someone making ice sculptures. It looks awfully difficult, done freehand with a chainsaw, circular sander, chisel and blow torch. I'll get something posted soon about the sculptor.  

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Plastic Towers

The theme of the Lego exhibit at The Magic House was the world's tallest buildings and towers. These models were all displayed to scale with each other and a few were too tall for the room's ceiling. I can't remember the names of all of them but dead center in the top photo is New York's beloved Chrysler Building, with the Empire State Building a bit to the left. (The new One World Trade Center was not represented.) Those two very tall, very thin structures to the right of the Chrysler are ultra-expensive apartment buildings erected on small lots in mid-town Manhattan. I think the blue one to the right of that is the Comcast Tower in Philadelphia. Didn't make a note about the others.

Below, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers are in the left background. The foreground contains Toronto's CN Tower, and to the right, some unimaginably tall building with torticollis in Shanghai, new since our one visit there, and then the Tree Tower in Tokyo.