Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Busch Stadium and Skyline

A photo from mid-April 2006, only a few days after the new stadium opened. The upper stands in left field are empty because that part of the stadium was not yet complete. New Busch has a great view of downtown and the Arch, which looks very good on TV. Most seats are a bit closer to the field, there are more toilets and more food outlets. Otherwise, it is an architecturally undistinguished money generator for the owners. A greater proportion of seats are high priced. Food and beverage prices are exorbitant (although that is the norm among American professional sports teams). Old Busch Stadium was much more beautiful but perhaps not as practical. But what about ancient Fenway Park and Wrigley Field? Our new stadium's marketing slogan is "Baseball Heaven," but heaven has a stiff admission charge.

By the way, for those not familiar with American baseball or brewing, the name is Busch as in Anheuser-Busch, the world's largest beer maker, which is headquartered in St. Louis.

Despite its critics, new Busch Stadium sold out almost every game for last season. The Cardinals improbably won the 2006 championship, making for an exciting year. I have loved baseball since I was a boy, then a Yankee fan. My loyalties have changed to Midwestern Cardinal red but the game still means a lot.

Friday, March 30, 2007

World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals Are Back

Baseball is back in St. Louis as the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals open the 2007 season on Sunday night, April 1, against the New York Mets. The Cards vanquished the Mets in 7 games in last year's National League Championship Series. Okay, so we stumbled into the playoffs, nearly blowing our division title on the last day, but it was still exciting. In this picture, Jim Edmonds fouls one off against the Detroit Tigers in Game 3 of the Series. Tigers catcher Pudge Rodriguez is behind the plate.

I'll be at the game Sunday night, with pix sure to follow on this blog.

Sports photography is a blast if your equipment can handle it. If I had their e-mail addresses, I could send the people who do the Buenos Aires daily photo blog some good shots I got at a Boca Juniors - Quilmes match at La Bombonera last November.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday Arch Series

I decided to publish one of my B&W photos of the Gateway Arch every Thursday for a while. Been picking away at this series for a couple of years. The Arch is trivialized around here. It's on logos for every kind of business (Archway Liquors, etc.). Trite blue sky-fluffy cloud-city skyline images of it are all around (here's an example) but it is designed with remarkable architectural and mathematical principles. I drive by the Arch almost every morning on my way to work - I think it's the most beautiful piece of monumental sculpture I've seen anywhere in the world. Its dappled (not at all smooth) stainless steel skin changes with every hour of the day and kind of weather. These pictures, all quite spare, are meant to avoid cliches and honor its art.

This photo was taken from beyond the park south of the Arch as thunderstorms rolled in.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Godzilla destroys St. Louis!

Has Godzilla become bored with Tokyo and decided to wreak havoc on the shores of the Mississippi River? Nihonjin need not worry. This is just a bit of fun, something I did as an excercise years ago when I was trying to learn Photoshop (and I'm still trying).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

After the Mardi Gras parade

The review of the St. Louis Mardi Gras festivities ends with a bit of detritus. The parade turnout was light due to the cold, snowy weather. Those who braved the chill bleated for colored beads, a la New Orleans, thrown by the people on the floats. This year, there were far more beads than spectators, leaving hundreds of strands lying in the muck, waiting for the street sweepers.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Real dog / puppet dog

One week before our general Mardi Gras parade there is a Dog Parade. Every kind of dog and dog owner who shows up marches along 9th Street through the Soulard neighborhood to the park around the Soulard Farmers Market. Well, some people really love dogs but I felt as if the BBC were doing a remake of the old Monty Python sketch, "Who's a Looney." In this picture, which handful is more real?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Grab a head, any head

Everybody is welcome to strut their stuff at the Mardi Gras parade. As the floats pass by, parade watchers beg for strings of beads thrown to the crowds by the people on board. Someone might grab more than they intended.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tasteful souveniers from Mardi Gras

Tasteful party favors at this year's snowy Mardi Gras parade in the Soulard neighborhood. The theme of this year's St. Louis Mardi Gras festival was literature. Literature? It looked more like Budweiser and Bacardi to me. We are, after all, the headquarters of Anheuser-Busch.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Not going to the Mardi Gras parade

Taken February 17, 2007, the day of Saint Louis' modest, cold Mardi Gras parade. Not everyone was into the beads and beer. This bus stop is across the street from Busch Stadium, our new baseball venue.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Welcome to my new St. Louis daily photo blog

My Saint Louis photo blog begins with our iconic image, the Gateway Arch on the banks of the Mississippi River. I'm working on an endless series of spare B&W photos of the Arch - more sure to come.