Tuesday, May 26, 2020


In 1624, the English poet John Donne wrote

No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
Not that this isn't true every day of our lives but most of the time we conveniently overlook it. Now the idea slaps us in the face. Wear that mask, dammit. Do your bit to keep me alive.

In a storefront window on Manchester Road in Maplewood.         

Monday, May 25, 2020


I don't get around to STL's neighborhoods enough. The other day I took a walk down the main street of Maplewood, an older (by our standards) town adjacent to the city proper. You couldn't tell the difference if you crossed the line. The main drag, Manchester Road, has everything from edgy shops to restaurants all along the spectrum to a major supermarket. Some eateries still provide only carry out, others have outdoor dining and a few invite patrons inside. I saw little about spacing and how many people were allowed at a time.

Tiffany's Diner was certainly open for business without rules posted. The single customer was not wearing a mask  There were not many people on the street but most of them were.            

Sunday, May 24, 2020


There are some things about modern society that I cannot understand. Never mind virus disbelievers and anti-vaxers (aaaaagggghhhh!), let's think about climate science deniers. These are people who would gladly ensure the end of our species (and we'll take quite a few others with us) for vast wealth now, or who earnestly think that climate change is fake. 

I am not religious but I do believe in the scientific method. If you think that climate change is a canard, I want you to be consistent. Abandon your car and travel only on foot or horseback. If you break a leg, fix it yourself. Disconnect your home's electric service. Heat it by wood and cool it with open windows. Trash the phone, the television, the laptop. Make your own clothes and grow your own food, or barter with your neighbors. Science brought you every one of  these things.

Saturday, May 23, 2020


Where angels and photographers fear to tread. Nothing to worry about the day I took this - it was closed and this is the back. Would I go in if I were invited to shoot something for them? Maybe, if I had a safe conduct pass and the means to back it up. I have some appropriate clothing: weathered jeans, heavy boots and some weird tee shirts. (Although I probably shouldn't wear the one with French on the front - L'enfer, c'est les autres.) 

The front of this establishment opens onto a major street. It has a large overhead door so that the patrons can roll right in during warm weather. Quite a sight in the summer but I don't think I would stop for a snap.       

Friday, May 22, 2020


I've posted pictures a couple of times of signs put up by the STL MADE organization, https://thestl.com/. It's a wonderful thing to have an outfit that promotes a sense of regional identity and pride, honoring the people who improve life in The Lou.

Still, I find some of their signs enigmatic. If you drove past this on the highway it wouldn't have any special meaning. I had to think about it for a while. What it may be saying is that some of us should be entrepreneurs, create businesses that are exceptional and then not leave. I don't know if that last part is a problem or not. This is a pretty good place to live unless you are poor, black or some other minorities, sick and without health insurance - the usual American picture but more than average.

It has been 53 years since I came here for college. My New York accent is almost completely gone. I stayed and I'm glad I did.                 

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Haven't run one of these for a while. It's not so different. After 20 years of photographing this thing my imagination wears thin. This was shot on the same dank day as the last few posts. This one is from the observation deck, a few feet from Malcolm Martin's statue. It's a great view but the damn thing for photographers is that there are three pairs of high voltage electric lines crossing the the upper half of the frame. You can take them out in Photoshop - I did - but it is slow, painstaking work. Anyway, hoping for better weather and light.                

Wednesday, May 20, 2020


Just back on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River in a grungy area a little north of the Arch. Looking at this picture, I realize that I know nothing about how trees branch and why. Part of the floodwall runs across the bottom. The structure with too many syllables in its name, the Stan Musial - Veterans Memorial Bridge, is in the background. It is the newest span across Big Muddy in our area.