Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Arch 2011-03-19 3

It gets harder and harder to think of ways to present the same old monument, albeit a very big and cool one. This was shot looking almost straight up from under the south leg. It was mid-morning and the sky was cloudless. Note that this is color, not B&W. That's just how the exposure worked out.

Today marks the opening of the 2011 Major League baseball season, the only sport I follow. The St. Louis Cardinals are at home against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium. In general, it's better to name a big sports venue for a brand of beer than a cell phone company or a bank. Your faithful reporter will attend the pre-game rally and the game itself with polished lenses, a bright red jacket and a cry of hey beer man! on his lips. Images tomorrow.

If I didn't shoot digital you might think that today's post on Downtown St. Louis 365 was a Film Noir clip.

Photo Stalking On Empty Streets

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What's A Climatron?

Climatron In Snow 3-26-11

It sounds like it it could be the name of the heating and cooling system in a 1972 Buick (available at Ralph Spoilsport Motors). Actually, it's a big geodesic dome, now 50 years old, in the Missouri Botanical Garden that contains a variety of microclimates, from cool and dry to damp tropics, and a huge variety of plants.

This picture taken in the snow last weekend makes me think of the bottom of the ocean, a hemispherical shelter for air breathers, surrounded by coral.

Things are looking up at Downtown St. Louis 365 today.

AT&T Building And Crane

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Well, Maybe We'll Have An Ice Age Instead

2011-03-27 Missouri Botanical Garden 14

Given the difficulty of coming up with 730 photos a year that pass the stink test to cover two daily blogs, I think we'll wring a bit more out of last weekend's spring snow. This is in the gorgeous Japanese garden at our botanical park where, over Labor Day weekend, there is a big Japanese festival. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can get free sake.

Everybody talks about global warming (except for a scary number of nut-case science-deniers in this country) but for every trend there are statistical blips in the opposite direction. Look at a long term stock market chart. If I were a speculator I'd be more likely to buy land in Edmonton than Houston, but scenes like this make me wonder if we might see wooly mammoths again one day, parading down Vandeventer, hooking a turn onto Shaw and then through the garden gates.

We're selling a similar product on Downtown St. Louis 365 today. Hey, more artsy B&W!

Downtown snow 3-26-11

Monday, March 28, 2011

But It's Not April Yet

2011-03-27 MoBot 4

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.
So said poet and St. Louis native T. S. Elliott in the opening lines of The Wasteland. Maybe it was that attitude that caused him to leave this city and decamp for England. Yet it's only March 28. April doesn't start until Friday.

Yesterday morning brought sun to the Missouri Botanical Garden, giving brilliant illumination to everything that was shrouded during Saturday's snowfall. The temperature rose during the day and it was almost all gone by afternoon.

2011-03-27 MoBot 7

Snow can change appearance and meaning, as seen today on Downtown St. Louis 365.

Eros Bendato - Spring Snow

Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's Spring!

Missouri Botannical Garden 2011-03-26 4

Hooray for spring! This was the scene at the Missouri Botanical Garden yesterday afternoon during a late season dump. I mean, the Cardinals baseball opener is four days away and I'm planning to attend, so what's all this then?

This photo was shot in thundersnow. And, gee, soon it will be real spring in St. Louis, with its violent electrical storms and chance of the odd tornado.

The same thing was happening at Citygarden downtown, as illustrated on Downtown St. Louis 365 today.

Kindly Geppetto - Spring Snow

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Blow Out

Blown-Out Eros

I accidently way over-exposed this shot, knocked the mode dial from aperture priority to I don't know what. When I downloaded it and looked at it on the computer I thought it was kind of cool. So I used Photoshop trickery to blow it out even more but also to sharpen what's left. I like it but, as they say in investment company ads in this country, your results may vary.

The subject is one of the favorite sculptures in Citygarden, Eros Bendato (Eros Bound). It's been featured here before.

Downtown St. Louis 365 recognizes some really good people today.

MERS Goodwill

Friday, March 25, 2011

Urban Oasis

Urban Oasis
This building at 23rd Street and Washington appears to be rehabbed but empty. (Unfortunately, I know some people like that.) If this is an urban oasis, the water has all dried up and the date trees have withered. And oases are located in the middle of a desert. What does this say about the surrounding neighborhood? Perhaps the developers could have chosen a better metaphor.

Downtown St. Louis 365 has decided to use a lifeline.

Lifeline Factory

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Arch 2011-03-19 1

Warmer weather has got me out walking around the monument again. This image was made with digital tricks that look like a detailed pencil sketch. The tree branches make me think of radiating lines of energy, kind of like a low-voltage Van der Graff generator.

Downtown St. Louis 365 is hunting for a wabbit.

Fat Rabbit, Citygarden

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Balancing Act

Walking The Serra 3

So I was doing my usual downtown walkabout on Sunday when I noticed a young man sitting on top of one of the slabs of Richard Serra's Twain. The massive steel construction has been featured on this blog before.

The individual sections are at least 3 meters high. Lacking any Spider Man talents, I didn't understand how he got up there. But as I rounded the sculpture I saw him up on top, walking the edge that couldn't be more than 5 cm wide
and crossing the gaps between the plates. My first instinct was to run away in terror (to the extent that I can run) before witnessing what could be severe injuries. Then I thought what the hell, whipped up my telephoto lens and shot these. The boy saw me and called out, "Hey, mister, nice camera!"

Thanks. Nice performance, too.

Walking The Serra Composite

Matt Holliday looks through Kieth Haring's eye on Downtown St. Louis 365 today.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

St. Louis Daily Photo's Fourth Anniversary

St Louis Daily Photo 4th Anniversary Picture

Four years. 1,458 posts (I missed a couple of days when we were out in some yak pasture). 10,000 Blogger profile views. Dinner with an affiliate in Shanghai, lunch on an island in the Seine with four Paris colleagues, friends made around the world. Strides forward in the improvement of my photography and a much deeper understanding of my city.

Also, thousands of hours spent shooting, editing, posting and commenting. Big drop in the number of books I've read. Can't remember the last time I went to a movie. Tentative diagnosis of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Four more years! Four more years! is a chant heard at our national political conventions when an incumbent president is running for re-election. How long can - or should - I keep this up? No idea.

Sincere thanks to all of those who have supported my work and said such nice things about my photography. Another post will go up at midnight tonight, at least, and there will be a picture of the Arch on Thursday.

To be continued...

By the way, Steffe of Haninge Daily Photo suggested I mark the occasion by putting together a collection of my best work on Flickr. Already got one! Select a few that catch your eye or run the slideshow. Click here.

And speaking of the Cardinals and the legal profession, Downtown St. Louis 365 has an observation today.

Matt Holliday Goes To Court

Monday, March 21, 2011

Springtime In Citygarden

Springtime In Citygarden

Today is the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere. (Or was it yesterday?) What better way to mark the occasion than with a pair of lovebirds in Citygarden on a beautiful day, framed by the art.

Tomorrow is St. Louis Daily Photo's fourth anniversary.
I'm trying to come up with something so do drop by.

What can you do with a polarizing filter on a clear day? Downtown St. Louis 365 gives it a shot.

Washington and Jefferson

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Under The Arch

This was taken standing almost directly under the Arch, looking west into the core of downtown.Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear, as it says on all the cars in this country. Fun with wide angle lenses: 17 mm on a full-frame sensor.

We're representing the STL Convention and Visitors Bureau on Downtown St. Louis 365 today.

Visitors From Kansas City

Saturday, March 19, 2011

I Shot The Sheriff

St. Pat's Parade 26

... with a Canon 7D and a big honkin' telephoto lens. We don't have the Wyatt Earp kind of sheriff here. The St. Louis sheriff's department is responsible for courtroom security and prisoner transportation. This being America, there's a lot of that business around.

I once met the law partner of the then-incumbent Sheriff of Nottingham. Now there's a claim to fame.

Downtown St. Louis 365 is displaying its colors today.

St Pat's Parade 25

Friday, March 18, 2011

Immunity From Prosecution

St. Pat's Parade 23

The perfect shirt to wear to a rowdy public event. I wonder if it does any good. Seems to me that if I wore a shirt that said "I'm A Lawyer - Don't Mess With Me" the only probable reaction is that someone would try to pick my pocket. I do have a tee shirt with a quote from Diane Arbus on the back: One of the risks of appearing in public is the likelihood of being photographed. It's my favorite.

It occurs to me that next Tuesday, March 22, is the fourth anniversary of this project. Suggestions about how to mark the event are welcome.

Bikers have taken over Downtown St. Louis 365 today.

St. Pat's Parade 24

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

2011 St Pat's Parade 18

Happy St. Patrick's Day to my fellow members of the Irish diaspora and to the Irish people themselves. There are a couple of Arch-ish pictures from last weekend's parade. The red car in the bottom picture promotes a local pop music radio station that styles itself The Arch.

You see the words Erin Go Bragh almost everywhere the day is celebrated. The phrase doesn't mean much of anything by itself. It's a few steps of corruption from an expression in the Irish language. There is an interesting discussion here. My cousins living in Ireland all speak the native language. It is a compulsory subject in school. They love to speak it when they are in England - confuses the hell out of the Brits.

St. Pat's Parade 19

Downtown St. Louis 365 celebrates St. Patrick's Day with a wee dram.

St. Pat's Parade 11

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Where Do They Get These People?

St Patrick's Parade Composite

Participants in last weekend's St. Patrick's Day merriment. I have no idea where some of these people materialize from. Kilts and tats with a half-painted face? Sponge Bob (the dumbest cartoon show ever) with very feminine legs? A tuba player with a vague resemblance to Gumby? I don't know. It's probably a good thing that people get to act out this way once in a while.

By the way, yesterday's post was meant to be ironic, you know, cross on a beer drinking shirt, Christian clowns. Most people seemed to take it at face value. I think I went right through ironic and landed at obscure.

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day itself and is supposed to have the Thursday Arch Series. How to handle that? You will have to come back and find out.

We're bringing out some muscle today on Downtown St. Louis 365.

Working Families Rally 10

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Religious Significance of St. Patrick's Day

St. Pat's Parade 12

St. Patrick's Day was originally a religious observance, a saint's feast day on the Roman Catholic calendar. Then it became more political, the national day of Ireland. It crossed the Atlantic with the Irish diaspora, including my father's family. In this country, it became an occasion for enormous parades and prodigious bouts of drinking. Still, if you looked carefully, there were still signs of Christian sentiment along the parade route.

2011 St Pat's Parade 10

Today's post on Downtown St. Louis 365 discusses American currency and aphorisms.

Working Families Rally 2

Monday, March 14, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Parade: Accusation

2011 St Pat's Parade 2

There were three or four floats in the parade sponsored by schools of Irish dance, that odd form in which the feet fly and nothing above the hips moves. Lovers of tango are horrified by it. The students are almost all girls and every one of them wears the crazy wig with rows of tight curls, which remind me some of dreadlocks. This young lady must have heard someone go by whistling a Carlos Gardel tune.

Downtown St. Louis 365 is singing Solidarity Forever with Pete Seeger today.

Working Families Rally 8 BW

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Drinkin' O' The Green

2011 St. Patrick's Parade 1

This town has a huge St. Patrick's Day Parade on the Saturday before the actual date. Along with the surprisingly big Mardi Gras here (which, unfortunately, I missed last week), it marks the beginning of spring public drinking season. We were out last night witnessing some rustic chivalry, it's late Saturday as I write this and more details will have to wait to tomorrow. The series will continue through the week.

More coverage of the Working Families Rally today on Downtown St. Louis 365.

Working Families Rally 6

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Working Families Rally

Working Families Rally 3

There was a rally in Kiener Plaza yesterday afternoon in support of working men and women and their families. The American middle class seems to be eroding: more poor people, a few more rich people and a breathtaking increase in the wealth of the very richest. The way I see it, this country's right wing actively promotes the transition.

I don't get into politics much on this blog but, although I know it is a generalization, I view the Republicans as the party of me and the Democrats as the party of us. I'm going with us. So now you know where I'm at.

This series will continue for a few days on Downtown St. Louis 365. STL Daily Photo will cover the craziness of the St. Patrick's day parade starting tomorrow. Here's a bit of what's on my other blog today:

Working Families Rally 4

Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't Tell Me You Don't Have Any Pictures To Post

Car Wash 1

Don't tell me you have nothing to post. If you're desperate, grab your camera, get in the car and drive through the neighborhood car wash. If you don't have a car, good for you. Grab your camera and walk to the neighborhood bus stop. There is always something.

Tomorrow is STL's big annual St. Patrick Day's parade. Now there's something to shoot.

My new posts are not coming up on the portal. Must make inquiries.

Car Wash 2

Car Wash 3

I don't have any pictures to post on Downtown St. Louis 365. Or do I?

Old Courthouse 2011-02-13

Thursday, March 10, 2011

STL DPB Leaving Los Angeles

Jeff Koons' Louis XIV

Got home late last night. Farewell crazy Los Angeles. I’ve never seen so many Jaguars or so many women with dangerous heels anywhere. Style over substance.

I’m ending the series with some shots from a room full of Jeff Koons’ stuff in the contemporary building of the LA County Museum of Art. Not for everyone but I think he’s funny and witty (not exactly the same thing). Above, a bust of Louis XIV. Below, John the Baptist, followed by Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles. At the bottom, a view of the famous Hollywood sign from the balcony of the just outside this room.

The Thursday Arch Series will return next week.

Jeff Koons' John the Baptist

Jeff Koons' Michael and Bubbles

Hollywood Sign

Downtown St. Louis 365 is hustling the rent today.

1st Month Rent