Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Land Of The Weird And The Home Of The Tipsy

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From Busch Stadium to the Soulard Farmers Market, St. Lunatics turn out on the Saturday before Ash Wednesday to cut loose. The alcohol had begun to flow by the time I got to the staging area about 10. I guarantee you that is not iced tea in the container on the left below. Heaven knows how these bacchantes were functioning by sunset.

Sorry to say that the parade wasn't up to the standards of recent years - many fewer floats, lots less people in outlandish, provacative costumes. No idea why. The crowd was a bit down, too, despite fabulous winter for February - bright sun and 50F/10C. Maybe the area wants a new circus.

Of course, today is Stupid Bowl Sunday, our nation's grand celebration of gratuitous violence and corporate greed. (A sports writer for the local newspaper agrees with us.) Our family's anti-party tonight is at STL's hottest new eatery, Reed's American Table. You can get into any restaurant you want this evening. But soon Ash Wednesday will come, a time for penance and reflection. We're flying to Miami that day, which seems like a solid American way to observe it.                    

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Saturday, February 6, 2016


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This thing just gets weirder every year at this event. Wiener dogs are a running joke but I have not seen them so fully garnished before.

Below, the Cardinals ubiquitous idiot mascot, Fredbird. If you live in St. Louis you can't escape him. He's like death and taxes.

The Grand Parade is today. I expect to be there with shutters popping. 
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Friday, February 5, 2016

Dogs and Drinks

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A building overlooking the dog parade route on S. 9th Street. I wonder if it used to be some small local soft drink factory.  Looks like it has a beer (and occasionally dog) theme now but the purpose is not obvious from the outside. I could probably figure it out if I ever had the time.

So what could be better: a beer, a boy, a beagle and a smart phone.               

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

It will get even wilder at the main parade on Saturday although there will be fewer dogs.

I meant to get more of these pictures edited but Madeleine was over last night. Not that I mind, but she particularly likes my attention. This child has been strongly attracted to music since she was old enough to notice. My daughter and I were playing her YouTube clips of our favorite opera bits. She liked Papageno and Papagena's duet from The Magic Flute, Les Petits Soldats from Carmen, really liked The Ride of the Valkyries, but was transfixed by the Prisoners' Chorus from Fidelio. She watched the faces open up as they emerged into the light and, in her little squeaky voice, said "they're happy!" That's my girl.

NOTE TO FLICKR USERS: some of us upload our photos to Flickr and then link them to Blogger when we prepare a post. I've got thousands done that way. Yahoo, which owns Flickr, announced major cutbacks on Tuesday while they continue to try to figure out just what it is they do. Flickr will be cut back somehow but not eliminated. Until we find out what's going down, I'm uploading my photos directly to Blogger. Sure hope this doesn't cause my blog to lose several thousand linked images.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bow WOW!

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It's silly season in STL. No place in the US can hold a candle to New Orleans' Mardi Gras or Carnival but at least we come in a distant second. As I've stated in these pages before, St. Louis loves an excuse to drink in public.

The first major event is the Barkus dog parade, which was held on Sunday. People, many of them in costume, parade around the Soulard neighborhood with their pets, many of them in costume. Those poor dogs. This is just an introduction to the zillion pictures I took.  

Yesterday's picture was the very last marcher in the parade, someone dressed in a dinosaur suit. Go figure. But then the Grand Parade is this Saturday, one of the best local photo ops of the year. And a week from Thursday we get to our favorite tropical escape, seen here annually for years. We're looking at a torrent of material.            
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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Transitional Image

Transitional Image

I'm finished with the series about the Ice Carnival (such ice as we got in this ever warming city) and about to start another about an event held on Sunday. Got a lot of editing to do for that so I needed a transitional image. This was actually the very end of the event. All will be explained.                    

Monday, February 1, 2016

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Coffee Houses And Cafes

Coffee Bar

I had to really stretch for this month's theme. Visits to coffee houses are very rare for me. No time in my crowded life for such leisurely pastimes, and the only ones close to my office and home are Starbucks. So what to do?

This is the coffee bar in my office. My staff got one of those Keurig single-cup-at-a-time coffee makers, one of the most wasteful and environmentally unfriendly products around. I don't drink coffee during the day, the people who work with me are wonderful, and so I don't make a fuss about it. Still, this makes me think back on a few wonderful cafes we've visited: Cafe de la Paix in Paris, sitting at St. Louisan Josephine Baker's table; Cafe Sacher in Vienna; even Cafe du Monde in New Orleans. 

Tomorrow morning at our home, though, once again it's French roast, brewed inky black and strong enough to clear a clogged drain.