Saturday, December 31, 2016

After The Year We've Had...

... I'd take any form of emotional help, any sort of relief, even if it's from Dr. Madeleine. She was at a day of special kids' activities at the history museum. Maybe there are some good pills in that desk.

We can hope 2017 will be better but I can't say I'm optimistic. The climate just gets hotter, a particular political party gets crueler, and we face an unfathomable, horrifying condition: President Donald Trump. Maybe I could just stay in bed under the covers, but I'll probably go out and take pictures of whatever it is that happens.

CDP New Year's theme day tomorrow. My pictures of the year are ready.      

Friday, December 30, 2016

Dedicated To Art

These pictures are from the same foggy day walkabout as in recent posts.This is the front of the St. Louis Art Museum, finished just in time for the 1904 World's Fair held in Forest Park. The architect was the renowned Cass Gilbert.

It is an excellent museum for a city our size. However, it has the best motto for a public building I've ever seen: dedicated to art and free to all. Really. Gratis. It, the zoo and the history museum (which I expect to visit today) are supported by a small bump on the real estate tax in St. Louis City and County.            

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Fool On The Hill

He was sitting on the wall under the great statue of St. Louis, gazing through the fog down Art Hill to the Grand Basin. I walked by under the wall, taking pictures. I said hi. He said hi. I asked him what he had with him. A glass chess set and a volume of Aristotle, he said. I asked if I could take his picture. He said sure. I did, said thanks, and then walked away with a tune in my head.          

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Mother Ship Has Landed

That's what the Climatron makes me think of when it glows with green LEDs. The image below could be moon rise or set in another solar system.          

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Day In The Lou

This is the ghost of Christmas present. Chilly and damp. Fog, thicker and thicker as you approach the river. Not approved by Charles Dickens, Santa Claus or Macy's. But, hey, it's home and we're together.

Top to bottom: Forest Park, Maryland Plaza, Citygarden.         

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Angels On The South Side

We made it to the Garden Glow. A light rain was falling with a temperature of 38F/3C. It made our visit shorter than other years. Still, the display always has some old favorites and new arrangements.

Nothing changes in the top image. It's not really an angel but the statue of Persephone next to the home of Henry Shaw, who founded the garden in the 19th Century. Below, the silhouette of an angel in front of the Climatron, a geodesic dome.     

Friday, December 23, 2016

Winter Pastorale

A pond in a nearly hidden corner of Forest Park, not quite frozen over. Cattails in the foreground, prairie grass in back. It's just down the hill from the dinosaur in Wednesday's photo.

The family has plans to go to the Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden tonight. (Some pix from last year here.) However, the forecast is for rain and temps a few degrees above freezing. We will see what happens.       

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Is A Time For Giving

Look carefully at the sign in the window. The contrast is poor but check it out. It's not really a product of the times. In fact, it's very old. See Matthew 26:11. It was about 6F/-14.5C when I took the picture.

Found on Cherokee at Jefferson.         

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Okay, So Those Statues Were Getting Kind Of Dull

Um, I was getting tired of all those wet bronze heads, too. (Ever notice that Americans say "um" and the Brits say "er" when trying to fill in some vocal space?) Maybe every couple of years, when I don't have an idea in my head, I go by this hard-to-find place in the southeast corner of Forest Park. A major highway borders it to the south and a main boulevard to the east, with tall, steep berms down to the park itself. You can't get there from here.

Round a bend in a bike/running trail and you come upon T. Rex and a triceratops (not shown). At least they lived at about the same time (68 - 66 million years ago) in what is now North America. So you could have, in theory, seen them in a stare-down in a parking lot of what is now the Washington University medical center up the hill. None of their surgeons could have repaired the damage

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Cardinal Greats

There were two votes to continue this series and none opposed. Onward, then.
Two more members of the Cardinals' pantheon. They were active recently enough that I saw them play. 
The first is Ozzie Smith, one of the greatest shortstops ever to take the field. His athleticism was so magical, the catches he made so improbable, that he was known as The Wizard. Every year at the opening home game he would go to his position and do a standing back flip. I saw it, more than once. 
The second is Lou Brock, one of the finest base stealers there ever was. (Non-baseball fans and non-Americans: move along. There's nothing to see here.) Look at the intense gaze, watching the pitcher's motion, the catcher and the batter from his own team. When the moment was right, he would zoom from first to second base before his opponents could catch him.          

Monday, December 19, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Meeting Of The Waters 4

This chap on the top is either the fiercest or weirdest of the characters in Milles Fountain. I can't tell which. By the look of his hair you'd think he is Medusa's son.

Some of the figures are ambiguous. The boy (I presume) below could be scared, gasping for air or has escaped from Middle Earth.

Is this series getting tedious?             

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Meeting Of The Waters 3

Two days without a post. That's rare for me. New dimensions in overwork (well, not so new) and computer problems. At least the latter issue is solved. We had freezing drizzle most of yesterday so it was time to stay indoors and catch up. 

Another nice piece from the Milles Fountain. The figure looks like she might be squirting shampoo on her hair but it's just a fish. The whole grouping is on river themes. The pipe sticking out of its mouth is a water jet, now off for the winter.  

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Bob Gibson

Another dripping chin and pair of intense eyes: Bob Gibson, perhaps the greatest pitcher in the history of the Cardinals, although there is some serious competition. (Remember that Dean guy a few days ago?) One of our New England CDP colleagues has already complained about the job he did on the Boston Red Sox in the 1967 World Series. Gee, I would have been a freshman at St. Louis University that fall and I dont remember it. I do remember him in Game 5 of the 1964 World Series against the New York Yankees. My father somehow got tickets for my brother and me. I was a rabid Yankees fan and cursed the Cardinals' win. Little did I realize . . .       

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Geppetto

Might as well show the other half of the Kindly Geppetto today. Both faces are so impassive. This character is holding a big hammer or mallet in its left hand, apparently about to whack that circular knob of Pinocchio's head. Kindly indeed.

Blogger stats indicate that this blog has just reached one million total views. It's been up a lot in recent months. No idea why. Maybe after 3,534 posts, many of them with multiple pictures, there are enough images to be picked up by searches more often.                  

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Pinocchio

There are two representations of Pinocchio in Citygarden. This one is part of Tom Otterness' Kindly Geppetto. The wet puppetmaker himself may make it into this series in time. The other one is Jim Dine's Big White Glove, which has been on these pages before.

Even in Otterness' very spare geometry, the little marionette looks like he's sweating bullets. He ought to be, as you can see in this wider view of the statue.                

Monday, December 12, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Meeting Of The Waters 2

I don't know the meaning of each of the individual statues that make up The Meeting Of The Waters. This one has always been striking. The hair looks like feathers, parted perfectly to peek through with those intense eyes.              

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Dizzy Dean

Outside of Busch Stadium are a group of statues of the greatest Cardinal baseball players. Many of the names will be unfamiliar to people from other places. This is Jan Dean (not to be confused with Jan and Dean), known to all as Dizzy Dean, a pitcher during the 30s and 40s. The droplets on his skin could be from a miserable St. Louis summer day.

Before this series is over we'll get to Bob Gibson, the best Cardinal pitcher of all time.          

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Faces Of Statues In The Rain: Meeting Of The Waters 1

There is a large group of sculptures across Market Street from Union Station called The Meeting of the Waters. It symbolizes the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and has been on this blog a number of times (here, for example).

This it the main male figure, representing the Mississippi. He looks like he could use a Kleenex. Lots of the faces in this series will look like that.             

Friday, December 9, 2016

New Series: Faces Of Statues In The Rain

After nearly a decade of this endeavor new ideas are hard to find. And with just a few exceptions, I only get to shoot on weekends. I left home on Sunday morning in a light, steady rain and not a plan in my head. As I got downtown I noticed how the raindrops affected the many bronze statues in the area. And so this series, the faces of statues in the rain.

This first one is Aristede Maillol's La Riviere in Citygarden. The link has a much broader, brighter view. This selection makes me think of the bodies of dead migrants washed up on the shores of Greece or Italy.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday Arch Series

The park extension at the north end of the Arch grounds offers some new views and combinations. It's about time.            

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Other Arches

As you can see in recent pictures, the land-side ends of Eads Bridge are made of double-deck arches. They reminded our architect colleague S.C. of Roman designs. Many of those on the lower level are open, providing an interesting view of the new park extension and the Gateway Arch itself.

And there will be a Thursday Arch photo tomorrow. Something a little different.              

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Burlington Northern & Sante Fe

I'm sure I've mentioned it here before. There is a railroad tunnel that runs below the Arch, coming out at the north end of its surrounding park. The track runs through a passage in Eads Bridge and then north to wherever. This exposed part runs over what used to be the foot of Washington Avenue before all the renovations. You can just see this trestle in the second picture of the last two days' posts.            

Monday, December 5, 2016


I never get tired of making pictures of Eads Bridge.  The angle of view is a little different, a little lower from the new Arch park extension. Now there is this new sweeping ramp to add another curve to the diagram. Better brush up my calculus.            

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Something New

There is a view of the northern end of the Arch grounds from my office window. It seems like a couple of years since the garage there was demolished and a very different type of park constructed. It's full of swirls and curves, multiple layers leading to uncertain destinations. A swooping walkway leads down from the main park grounds, beside Eads Bridge and into the sunken terraces.

It just opened to the public so I went for some shots notwithstanding the gray day. Good first impression but I'm waiting for spring and summer when the foliage starts to grow in. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

It's Okay, He's Supposed To Know This

Guns are as much a part of the culture of rural Kansas as lenses are of mine. I'm not going to editorialize about it. Some people hunt. Some just shoot targets, which is what is going on here. Above is my nephew Josh with (I think) an AK 15. He is a third year cadet at West Point, the United States Military Academy, so he is required to know this stuff. Below, D.J, my niece's husband, gives a lesson to Brody, my - I'm not sure - grand nephew? I get confused about the terms for more distant relations.

I've never owned a gun and never will. I've fired one just a few times, probably all in Kansas. The great emphasis on safety these people have is impressive. Where I grew up, the only people who had guns were the police and a limited number of bad guys. Different worlds.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

City Daily Photo Theme Day: Transitions

First Ad Sign We saw In Tibet

I don't have any new local material so I had to dig into the archives for this one. Not at all local, in one sense. It's the first billboard we saw outside of the Lhasa, Tibet, airport. We have an American icon, written first in English, then Tibetan, then Chinese. That's a transition.

And there is a link to the home town of this blog. Look closely at the can, where it says Anheuser Busch, Inc., St. Louis, MO, USA. The world keeps shrinking.