Monday, October 31, 2011


Halloween Central West End 2011-10-29 - 2

Halloween is so popular in this country anymore (all shaped by insidious corporate marketing, do doubt). People pretend to be everything from hobgoblins to hookers, parade about in public or at parties and, in the current version of the practice, drink rather a lot. It wasn't like this when I was a kid. We just slapped on whatever your mom bought at Woolworth's and went out in bands of little beggars. It was simply about the candy.

I go shoot the big Halloween street party in our Central West End neighborhood every year. The crush of bodies can become intolerable, unless you get a rise out of close physical contact with the Super Mario Brothers. Obviously we are in a substantial minority, but Mrs. C and I just don't get it. I'd have about as much fun spending a Saturday night dressed as a pirate than as a trial lawyer. The last time I went to a costume party about 25 years ago, I got a Los Angeles Angels baseball jersey and made a paperboard miter that said "We Accept Visa And MasterCard" on it and went as the pope.

Halloween Central West End 2011-10-29 - 5

Sunday, October 30, 2011


2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 13

The crowd went wild. The town went wild. People had a very good time. I'm happy that the night brought joy to this sometimes hidebound city.

Below, star catcher Yadier Molina jumps into the arms of relief pitcher Jason Motte after the final out; a storm of confetti is blasted from the roof; and a one-word summary of everyone's thoughts.

Many of the world's people follow some sports team, their emotions rising and falling with their heroes' fortunes. It seems strange to me that people identify so deeply and find such personal euphoria in the outcome of a game. You know, this too shall pass. Sic transit gloria mundi, Wheel Of Fortune, Second Law of Thermodynamics and all that. The Cardinals, though, are the class of the National League (international readers: the other one is the American League). Only the New York Yankees, the best team that money can buy, have won more. No one else in the National League comes close. We've been in the World Series three times in the last eight years, winning twice. Since there are 30 Major league teams, that's an exceptional achievement.

As my daughter and I left the stadium, one of the ushers cheerfully reminded the fans that opening day of the next season is just 24 weeks away.

2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 10

2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 12

2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 9

Saturday, October 29, 2011


2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 1
O - M - G. The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last night, defeating the mighty Texas Rangers 6 - 2 in the final game of the best of seven series. The team was given up for dead in mid-August. What a thrill for our city. But it's sooo late. More on Saturday morning, Redbird time.

2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 2

2011-10-28 World Series Game 7 - 3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life On The Mississippi

Helicopter Tours

That's the name of a memoir published in 1883 by Mark Twain. It describes his career as a young man working his way from deckhand to boat captain on the ever-shifting waters of the Mississippi. It also includes his observations during a pleasure trip on the river from St. Louis to New Orleans after he became a famous writer.

Twain might be shocked by what he would find today. There are still many miles of woods and farmland flanking the river but there is also much industry and urban growth. What would the man born as Samuel Clemens think about helipads and huge copper smelters?

By the way, Nathalie, you're right. While work has been a giant time sucker, this week's real distraction is the World Series. The Cardinals came from behind time after time last night to take Game 6 in extra innings. The decisive seventh game takes place tonight. My camera and I will be there.

Industry On The Mississipp

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Arch 2011-10-01 3
Just the basics. I think that one of the best things you can do with an Arch photo is to find a cloudless day make a pinpoint exposure on the bright metal skin,and then let the sky go black.

I've been really bad about commenting on my friends' blogs lately. There are a number of hoary English legal maxims they teach American law students, one of which is that the law is a jealous mistress. So many hard deadlines, so many specific responsibilities. So, it's just been exploring new dimensions in overwork lately. Oh, and the World Series distractions. The Rangers are up on the Cardinals three games to two in the bast-of-seven series. Last night's game in STL was postponed due to rain and will be played tonight. The Cardinals have to win the two remaining games at home to win the championship. Lots of distractions.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

That's Not Nepalese

2011-10-22 Concer For Kathmandu Kids 9

Three skilled belly dancers were part of the Concert For Kathmandu Kids. Uh, this is Middle Eastern, not South Asian, isn't it? Although the last time we were in Kathmandu two years ago, our group had a farewell dinner at a restaurant that featured belly dancers (and a finale with an appearance by Yeti).

Today is the deadline for submissions for STL's big year-end photography show, SEEN 2011. I won first place last year with this one. You can see my entries for this year here. Any favorites?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Kids From Kathmandu

2011-10-22 Concert For Kathmandu Kids 5

My time has been totally sucked up by new dimensions in overwork and watching the World Series. So, here are some shots of shots of kids in the Mitrata Nepal home in Kathmandu, Top, the organization's brochure. Middle, a photo of a reverent boy. Bottom, a Nepalese dancer in front of a slide show of the children. The photo is of Januka, the young woman my wife and I sponsor.

No game tonight so I should be able to visit friends' blogs. The Cardinals just lost Game 5 in Texas 4-3. Game 6 is Wednesday night in St. Louis and I hope to be there.

2011-10-22 Concert For Kathmandu Kids 6

2011-10-22 Concert For Kathmandu Kids 8

Monday, October 24, 2011

Brass Players, Help Me Out

2011-10-22 Concert For Kathmandu Kids 2

One of the acts at the Concert For Kathmandu Kids was Farshid Etniko, Iranian-born Farshid Soltanshani play an amalgam of Latin, jazz, blues and Middle Eastern music. The performance was spell-binding but, as the event's volunteer photographer, my eye kept returning to this flame-haired brass player.

She played a trumpet earlier in the set but what's this, a flugelhorn? Looking for some help here.
There is no mention of the name of this performer in the program or the group's website. Identified or not, she drew everyone's attention.

2011-10-22 Concert For Kathmandu Kids 4

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Concert For Kathmandu Kids

Concert For Kathmandu Kids 2011-10-22 1

Last night Mrs. C and I attended the Concert For Kathmandu Kids, to benefit of the Mitrata Nepal Foundation. We have sponsored a 15 year old girl, Januka, in their children's' residence for about six years. The concert ran late so, for now, a quick shot of Todd Ferris Mosby, an astounding guitarist who also plays what amounts to en electric sitar. More about this in days to come.

Oh, and by the way - Texans are are a proud people. They have an expression "Don't Mess With Texas," as if you will meet a horrible fate if you muss their hair. Well, the St. Louis Cardinals just kicked some Texas rump steak, defeating the Rangers 16 to 7 in a wild game to take a 2 games to 1 lead in the World Series. The great Albert Pujols hit three home runs for the Redbirds. So HA, Rick Perry.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Beats Me. Druids, Maybe?

Under the Arch 2011-10-15 2

A group of people found lying directly under the Arch on a warm autumn afternoon. Looks like they are somehow trying to connect their small, fleshy antennae to the really big steel one above. I think this scene needs some background music.

Tonight, Mrs. C and I go in a different direction to here, if only metaphorically. Ever notice that link on the lower right corner of the blog? This evening is the Concert For Kathmandu Kids in support of the Mitrata Nepal Foundation. We have visited the children's home and your money is very well spent there.

As always, life is strange. I've never been to Milwaukee, Houston or Cincinnati but I've been to Kathmandu three times. It's worth the journey. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas any more. Pix from the event tomorrow.

Under the Arch 2011-10-15 1

Friday, October 21, 2011

Field of Dreams

2011-10-19 World Series 10

I'm sitting at home watching Thursday night's game as I write this (and again distracted from commenting). The Cardinals just lost to Texas 2-1. Too much tension at bedtime for me so here are some more scenes from Wednesday.

2011-10-19 World Series 9

2011-10-19 World Series 11

2011-10-19 World Series 8

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World Series Game 1 - Victory!

2011-10-19 World Series 2

Out very late last night and tons of work to do today so this post is going up late afternoon. Our Cardinals took the Texas Rangers in an exciting 3-2 victory in the first game of the World Series last night. These are some views around the Stadium.

Above, a squadron of military personnel unfurled an enormous American flag for the traditional playing of the national anthem. The teams are lined up along the foul lines, Texas in the foreground. Their colors seem to be about equally blue and red. It looks like no one sent out a memo as to which one to wear last night.

Below: A close-up of the color guard and the troops supporting that Star-Spangled Banner.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wives of the president and vice president, conducted a salute to America's military forces. Whatever your opinion on our use of troops, this sort of thing is almost obligatory anymore. Such a positive contrast, though, to the time after the Vietnam War when returning troops were often reviled. Just below that, shadowy members of the ladies' Secret Service guard scan the stadium from the drizzly roof.

Cardinals' third baseman David Freese swings a mighty blow.

Lastly, a rather disgruntled Texas fan who stood and shouted for nearly the whole game, blocking the view of the fans behind him. No matter which team he supported, I would have called an usher.

My daughter and son-in-law are attending Game 2 tonight. She's a shooter, too. If she can get me some images in time, I may have a guest post tomorrow.

2011-10-19 Workd Series 4

2011-10-19 Workd Series 3

2011-10-19 Workd Series 5

2011-10-19 Workd Series 6

2011-10-19 Workd Series 7

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Thursday Arch Series On Wednesday

2011-10-15 Arch 3

The Thursday Arch Series is up a day day early because tomorrow's post will be dedicated to World Series hoopla. My wife and I will indeed be able to attend the game. That post probably won't go up until Thursday morning our time since we expect to be out late. These games take forever with the number of TV commercials they work in.

So this is kind of a tried-and-true view of the Arch, just some sunset lighting and an autumnal tree. I've got a few more new Arch shots but they are all variations on old themes. This might be a good time to get some new night shots: sunset is early and it's not that cold yet. But after that I think it's time for an Arch break, you know, clear the registers and see if I can find a fresh approach.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Path Through The Woods

Arch Park 2011-10-15 1

This gently curving path runs south from the Arch to pretty much nothing. You can walk to a dreary industrial area along the river or exit into the far corner of downtown. Not many people passing through. It makes for a nice view as the setting sun filters through the trees.

I finally shot some new Arch stuff when I was in the area last weekend. Looks like I am indeed going to the World Series game Wednesday night so that's likely the subject of my Thursday post - if i get one up at all.

Monday, October 17, 2011


2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 16

Me and the guy from the Post-Dispatch weren't the only ones taking pictures at Occupy St. Louis' march to the Bank of America building. Downtown's office buildings are full of lawyers, bankers and what not. This one got some phone cam shots of the marchers for, I don't know, maybe his scrap book. Now I look something like this when I play my professional role, albeit with less hair, a cheaper suit and scuffed shoes. My knees couldn't possibly do a squat like that. I have to kneel for low angle shots.

But now that I think of it, I was once the object of such observation years ago. I was much younger, thinner and more hirsute, sauntering down Olive Street to some evening engagement. As was the legal fashion of the day, I was wearing a three piece navy pin stripe suit and carrying an attache case. An older African-American man who seemed down on his luck came from the opposite direction, ran his eyes over me and muttered, "Man, you sure enough is a white boy," as we passed.

What goes around comes around. Don't pre-judge guys in suits.

LATE UPDATE: The St. Louis Cardinals win the National League championship, defeating Milwaukee 12 - 6! Utterly improbable. The World Series begins in St. Louis Wednesday night. Your lens in The Lou expects to be there.

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 15

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Signs Of The Times


2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 11

Placards, posters and shirts from Friday's Occupy St. Louis march. Their camp is just a block from my office so I have had a chance to observe them. As time goes on, the more I admire their righteous anger over social justice issues and the more I despair over the naivete of at least some.

Invest in my future? You bet. I'm a student with an uncertain future? Well, which of us wasn't? (I would have been at least in the running for least likely to succeed in my high school class.) Dissent is patriotic? Right on! Wall Street sent all our jobs to China? Take a course in macroeconomics (not to excuse China's exploitation of its own workers).

But that tee shirt is delicious. I don't wish to offend our Republican friends - my father was a Republican and we got along with each other fine in later years - and everyone has the right to his or her opinion. But, um, talk about hitting the nail on the head...

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 2 (Vote Republican)

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 14

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 12

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Occupy Everywhere

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 9

Occupy St. Louis was on the move yesterday afternoon. They marched a block down Market Street to the local Bank of America headquarters, made some speeches, then turned around and headed toward the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Some of the protestors carried signs that said "End The Fed" or words to that effect. My view is that's wrong, even naive. If it weren't for the actions of the federal Reserve Bank and its chairman, Ben Bernanke, the nation might be out of business by now. What we need is more regulation of the high-stakes gamblers in the financial sector.

OSL's numbers have become greater and greater. The poster in the bottom photo provoked a lot of reaction. It is a near replica of one of the baseball Cardinals' logos. The redbird here is a bit angrier. The word at the bottom is in the same script as the team name on the logo. Hundreds if not thousands of people passed by it last night on their way from downtown garages to Busch Stadium for the game.

And by the way, the Cards lead Milwaukee 7-1 in the bottom of the 8th as I write this. If we win tonight we take a 3 games to 2 lead in the series. Play resumes in Milwaukee on Sunday. One more win in the final two games and we go to the World Series. It's utterly amazing. Those not familiar with baseball have to trust me on this one.

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 6

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 10

2011-10-14 OSL to BoA rally 1 (Classwar)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Rally Squirrel

Rally Squirrel 1

The baseball Cardinals have a particularly annoying mascot, Fredbird the Redbird. He got some new company in the last week, the Rally Squirrel. During two games here in the first round against Philadelphia, a squirrel ran onto the field and disrupted play, more or less to the Cardinals advantage. Since then the grounds crew has set out "humane" traps in the stadium. They caught four of the critters and "released them into the wild" (the visitor's clubhouse?). No signs of rodents since but they have become quite the silly fad. Fredbird now has a new friend.

The Red Sea in the bottom picture isn't having such a good time Thursday night as I write this Thursday night, losing 4-2 to Milwaukee in the ninth and final inning. I may go to the game tonight.

Rally Squirrel 2

NLCS Game 5, 2011-10-12

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Arch - Go Cardinals - Occupy STL

The National League Championship Series resumed in St. Louis last night Our Cardinals squeezed out a 4 - 3 win over Milwaukee and took a 2 - 1 lead in the series. The Occupy St. Louis encampment is near the stadium. The protesters greeted passing baseball fans with a mix of politics and sports.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

But Do We Have Any?

St. Louis Deserves Great Taste

Beer advertising on a truck trailer at a downtown event. What makes us so special? I mean, why do we deserve something different from the cultural swill that fills every other American city? It's not like our civic virtue has led us to perform exceptional meritorious acts.

Maybe we can improve our municipal karma tonight when the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 3 of the National League championship series. The best-of-seven match is tied one game each. I'll be there. If I'm very lucky, we might get a Thursday Arch photo taken from the stadium and celebrating a home victory. Ironically, the beer ad is for Miller, based in Milwaukee.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Would That It Were So Easy

2011-10-09 Chicago Marathon 4

Free beer along the Chicago Marathon route on a course that is all downhill. But someone has to protect the runners from the crowd, or vice versa. It was a struggle to find a good view but turn around - the city could be quite a distraction.

2011-10-09 Chicago Marathon 6

2011-10-09 Chicago Marathon 7

2011-10-09 Chicago Marathon 5

Chicago River Looking East