Saturday, February 28, 2009

Portraits From Bedlam / At the Mardi Gras Parade - Bacchus

Another feel-no-pain participant in our Mardi Gras parade. I wonder what's in that flagon. You know, this is one of the great social occasions of the year for the St. Louis drinking class. And St. Patrick's day is just around the corner!

WHAT'S WITH THIS? Yesterday's post had an exceptionally high number of hits and and an exceptionally low number of comments. Hmmm...

CDPB monthly theme day - glass. It's a feeble effort but at least I did something.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Portraits From Bedlam / At the Mardi Gras Parade - Beetlejuice?

That's what U "R" Us tells me, anyway. I didn't see the movie, or almost any other movie, due to my time deficit. I wonder if President Obama can help cut my deficit in half by 2012.

WHAT HAPPENED AT HOME EARLY YESTERDAY AFTERNOON: I got Mrs. C home from the hospital and she walked up the eight steps to our front door without help. Remarkable.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

Somehow in the week's craziness I managed to squeeze off a shot or two of the Arch. This was taken across the river in East St. Louis, Illinois, near the spot where I took the photo in the header (before I got chased off by the railroad police). Some rich person created a foundation in his will to build an overlook on the Mississippi, facing downtown. It's been taking forever to get done. As you can see, it's almost there. I thought about going up anyway but it's surrounded by No Trespassing - Prosecutors Will Be Violated signs or something like that. I decided not to chance it. But I just can't wait for this to open in the spring, after which I will be up there morning, noon and night firing away.

Mrs. C will be discharged from the hospital this afternoon. The new hip is so good she looks like she's ready to go dancing.

another portrait of a weirdo from the Mardi Gras parade. It's a pretty good one.

BY THE WAY, I'm sorry I haven't been able to add to Gateway lately. I'll pick it up over the weekend.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Louisans At The Mardi Gras Parade: I'm Too Sexy For My Float

It's too cold in St. Louis in February to bare a lot of skin at Mardi Gras, like in New Orleans or Rio. Some of our revelers are satisfied with a facsimile.

WHAT'S UP, DOC? Mrs. C's hip replacement surgery went very well and we expect a speedy recovery. She is feeling fine, in part for the reason illustrated below (photo taken in her hospital room yesterday afternoon). I even found someone who can install a new hot water heater in our house today.

TOMORROW: we briefly interrupt this series of portraits from bedlam for the Thursday Arch Series.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

St. Louisans At The Mardi Gras Parade: Suave And Debonair

St. Louis' very own concours d'elegance at the Mardi Gras parade: our uninhibited gentry out to party.

WHY THIS HAS TO BE BRIEF AND I DIDN'T MAKE COMMENTS YESTERDAY: chaos in the Crowe household! My wife has hip replacement surgery today (not to worry - it's a new minimally invasive procedure and she bounced right back from her other one), our hot water heater ruptured last night, she had to do this special antiseptic scrub last night and this morning so we spent the night in a hotel and got her to the hospital at 5:30 this morning and I have a hearing at noon, too, and WHEW!

TOMORROW: she wasn't this gentleman's date but she could have been.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler

Mid-day Saturday was chilly and clear as our town's Mardi Gras parade stepped off. It ain't New Orleans but it is full of color, enthusiasm and, uh, not a little alcohol. St. Louis was, after all, founded by the French, just like the Big Easy. The crowd was a rich buffet for photographers and I was a glutton. Over the coming days STL DPB will feature street portraits and scenes from the craziness. There are bunches and bunches more on Flickr here.

Photography tip: I always had a hard time shooting parades - nobody stands still for you, dammit, people keep walking into your shots and it gets to be a pain unless you are a press photographer allowed into the street with the marchers, which I am not. Try going into the parade staging area well before the start. Nothing is moving yet: it's just waiting for you and people are happy to pose.

'S AN AMATEUR PHOTOGRAPHER TO DO? Way to much work this week and way too many pictures to edit. Which will win out?

St. Louis, city of genteel good taste.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who Is Art For?

I beg to differ.

This statement of opinion was about a block away from the location of yesterday's photo. It may be a reaction to
Artica, a very out-there independent art festival held in October along the nearby Mississippi.

tons of good pictures from our Madi Gras parade.

laissez les bon temps rouler!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Last Night Came The Black Morte

.Just a little scary. This is painted onto the back steps of an empty commercial building in the dead zone (sorry, couldn't help myself) north of the Arch. But there's some linguistic analysis to be done. Why a (probably) French (and, if so, misspelled) word in an otherwise English sentence? It doesn't say la morte noire. Well, what the hell. Just be glad you weren't here the night before this was painted. There's more than one place in St. Louis where angels fear to tread.

it's St. Louis' Mardi Gras parade! This ain't New Orleans but we got a lot of crazy people out to have fun, showing off as much skin as a cold winter city can tolerate. You can bet I'll be out shooting it.

Who is art for? A deep question. After that, Mardi Gras parade pix once they're edited.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Waste Material

Still shooting in the post-industrial barrens north of the Arch. Central Waste Material Company is a dealer in scrap metal of all kinds. It seems hard to imagine, though, that urban homesteaders, now creeping into the area, would want to live by (in bold capitals, please) CENTRAL WASTE. But then you wouldn't want to associate yourself with peripheral waste, would you?

Ansel Adams (yay!). Patty Hearst. Kurt Cobain. Charles Barclay. Cindy Crawford. Me. So much for astrology.

TOMORROW: the Black Morte

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

A little more Arch in its city setting, following from what I started in last week's Arch post. This is looking east on Market Street. The building at right center with the red roof and tower is St. Louis Union Station. The one at left-center covering the north leg of the Arch is the architecturally wacky Civil Courts Building, featured on this blog a number of times. This viewpoint is about a mile / 1.6 km west of the monument.

WHAT'S ON TODAY: a 5+ hour long infusion of a wonder drug for my rheumatoid arthritis. It's a relaxing day. I plop in a plush recliner and watch videos. There's another session in two weeks. After a round of this stuff (it's called Rituxan), it feels like my fairy godmother waived her magic wand over my hands.

TOMORROW: such a waste.

There is a new Arch photo
today on GATEWAY.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Reptile Smooch

Still editing London pictures. For now, back in Bob Cassilly's crazy plaza in the industrial wastelands north of the Arch, first noted in February 10th's post. He has this thing for giant turtles and snakes. It looks like love to me.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

STL DPB On The Road - The Tate Modern, London

I just love the Tate Modern, London's museum of 20th and 21st Century art. It is in a recycled large electric power plant. There is an escalator that goes from the third to first floor, skipping the second. The surroundings of the escalator are all glass, creating a vision-bending transition between floors. I am riding the escalator in the top picture and standing on the second floor looking back at in in the lower one. That's a rare special appearance by Mrs. C. just to the left of me in the picture.

We will be home by the time this post goes up. May be a bit more from London before it's back to the Lou.

Monday, February 16, 2009

STL DPB On The Road - In The British Museum

A quick post while we snag some WiFi. There is a growing set of London photos on Flickr here. I'l be editing more at the airport and on the plane today. More soon.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

STL DPB In the Air: On The London Eye

On the London Eye Ferris wheel, 135 meters over the Thames.

STL DPB Under The Earth: On The London Underground

Friday, February 13, 2009

STL DPB In the Air


On a very empty Boeing 777. Details as permitted by intermittent Internet access.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

Occasionally, I try to think of new ways to shoot this hunk of metal I've photographed thousands of times. Putting the Arch in the context of the city is something I haven't done much. There are a limited range of views that are not blocked by buildings. This is looking east from 10th and Market Streets. I like how the building on the left perfectly mirrors the south leg, as if it were an extension of the north leg that falls behind it.

We're out of town without easy Internet access. Postings may be sporadic.

WHAT'S TODAY? Charles Darwin's 200th birthday! Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday! Hooray for both of them.

TOMORROW: reptilian smooch.

There is a new Arch photo

today on Gateway.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Travel Day

An American Airlines Boeing 757 glides over the St. Louis riverfront. This is a day in the air. I won't have Internet service where I'm staying unless I go to the bar down a street with free WiFi. The blog is posted ahead. a couple of days Details to follow.

WHAT I APOLOGIZE FOR IN ADVANCE: won't be able to leave comments on your blogs for several days.

Thursday Arch Series.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Let's See. Money, Fame...What's Missing?

What's this? Just outside the trailhead mentioned yesterday is an old power plant. Someone started to rehab it and then the economy went ppfftt. Notwithstanding that, Bob Cassilly, the mad genius who runs our City Museum (see my set of photos here), appears to be building a weird plaza just outside. I was standing inside a big metal donut in the structure when I shot this. The area will make it onto the blog one of these days.

WHAT'S AT THE END OF TODAY'S ROAD: Chicago and dinner with that city's finest photoblogger. We'll be traveling and I may not be able to leave comments on other blogs.

TOMORROW: par avion.

Monday, February 9, 2009


There is a walking/biking/rollerblading trail along the Mississippi, starting a kilometer or so north of the Arch. Most of it is wedged onto the strip of land between the floodwall and the river. The area is scruffy, to say the least. The "posture" of this scooter along the path and the color of the grass reminds me of Andrew Wyeth's famous painting, Christina's World. Maybe there's a metaphor for Christina Olsen's paralysis in this broken toy.

drive two hours each way for one lousey hearing. *#%@!&^ judge.

it's measured in joules.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The House of the Sick, Reborn

This is the long disused St. Louis City Hospital, for many years the last option for the poor. It's been rehabbed into The Georgian, upscale condos in a barren setting. The picture reminds me of some of Andreas Gursky's straight-on, monumental architecture photos, like this one.

WHAT WAS NICE IN ST. LOUIS ON SATURDAY: the light. Heavy cloud mixed with peek-a-boo sun, And it was warm.

TOMORROW: sort of reminds me of Wyeth's Christina's World, but in a dump near the Mississippi, not a farm field near the Atlantic.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

St. Louis and Public Art

In the middle of the complex junction of two main highways, the city erected this steel sculpture. It's bright red and perhaps 10 meters tall. Cars whizzing by get only a glance. You can walk to it but few people would have any reason to be walking in the area. I can't find anything online that identifies it. The site contained this work until a few months ago, which was even harder to see. As some highway construction signs say, your tax dollars at work.

For the locals, this is in the I 44 - I 55 interchange, south of Lafayette Avenue.

WHAT FELL INTO MY POCKET TODAY: an iPhone. Woo hoo, new toy.

TOMORROW: a grand old building across the street (imitation Andreas Gursky shot).

Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Some Trees In Snow

Still in Tower Grove Park. This is another HDR, although you might not think so to look at it. HDR can achieve so many wonderful things besides burning your retinas (although that can be fun). What appeals to me about this shot is that, being a park, there is no underbrush on the ground and the line of sight between the trees is clear. With the ceiling formed by the dense branches, it makes me think I'm standing in an exceptional cathedral.

(Thursday night): write some blog comments. WHAT I WANT TO DO NOW: read a book until I fall asleep. WHAT I'LL PROBABLY DO NOW: a little of both.

TOMORROW: St. Louis and public art.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thursday Arch Series

This image could be sharper and better exposed but what I like about it is the two dark diagonal bars in the upper right. That's the shadow of the Arch from the floodlights projected onto the clouds.

you either have too much work, prosperity with exhaustion, or too little, not enough cash with a dash of fear. It never seems to be in balance. I'm on the first part of it this week. Apparently, though, I signed up for it. Some time off coming next week.

a few more trees in Tower Grove Park.

There is a new Arch photo
today on GATEWAY.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Day's End In The Grove

As I mentioned is yesterday's post, this one's for our friend Snapper of Gabriola Daily Photo. It reminds me of his style - he likes quiet shots of daylight filtering through the woods. His work is more pure than mine. His favorite tool is a classic Leica film camera. My stuff is tech heavy digital but it's the final result that counts. This image from Tower Grove Park is an HDR with much processing in Photomatix and Photoshop. HDRs are often full of hallucinogenic color but it's fascinating to see the effects you can get in low key black and white pictures.

WHAT I DID LAST NIGHT: Got a haircut! Not a common event. Sort of a low priority in a very busy life.

TOMORROW: Thursday Arch Series (on Thursday this week) and a new Arch photo on Gateway.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Life and death in quiet, lovely Tower Grove Park. I was shooting trees and snow in late afternoon light last weekend when a passer-by pointed out this hawk and its victim. The bird guarded its prey but let me get close - I was at most 4 meters away when I took these shots. On rare occasions, I've also seen hawks in Forest Park, our big one.

WHAT'S GRATIFYING: the number of hits and comments I got on my theme day post Sunday. I thought it might be too obscure. My blog is not a mega comment collector. Now, what am I going to do with glass for March?

TOMORROW: one for Snapper.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Winter From Above, Part 3

Looking straight down from my partner's office toward the empty corner of 8th and Pine Streets. Who knew ventilators could be so interesting?

the score of last night's football game.

TOMORROW: life and death in the snow. Really.

There is a new Arch photo today on GATEWAY.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

CDPB Monthly Theme Day: Paths and Passages

Geez. Another existential dilemma. Click here to view thumbnails for all participants following paths all around the world.

no, not the Stupid Bowl, uh, I mean Super Bowl. On a Sunday evening every winter, America stops in its tracks during the National Football League championship game. Many people go to parties with huge screen TVs to watch it. The nation is transfixed by the sport, the extravagant commercials and lavish half time shows, sometimes featuring Janet Jackson's nearly naked breast. Not us. My wife and I think football is horrifying, made up, as it is, of violence, sex, hype and glitz. For 25 years or more, we go have always gone out to dinner on this night. If the restaurant is open, you get the best table and finest service. It's our own private Stupid Bowl party.

maybe something from the Stupid Bowl party, if there's anything to take a picture of (we're going for Indian). If not, a little more winter stuff. Oh, and a new Arch photo on Gateway.