Saturday, April 30, 2011


Rugby In Forest Park 3

Back at the St. Louis Ramblers rugby game. I believe this collision is called a scrum. When required (and I can't tell you when that is) the teams bend down and press mightily into one another. Someone rolls the ball down the center between them. The the players push, claw and scrape one another, trying to kick the ball back to one of their runners, who swings out and dashes toward the goal line. The tall green and white player near the center has the ball, but look at the expression of madness on the face of the black and red man rushing at him, hands thrown apart in readiness to tear his opponent's head off.

Below: just how wet was that field?

Rugby In Forest Park 2

Downtown St. Louis 365 wonders about all those American flags at the baseball stadium when Albert Pujols is Dominican.

Center Field

Friday, April 29, 2011

Violent, Sloppy And They Think It's Fun

Rugby In Forest Park 1

Last Saturday I came upon a rugby game in Forest Park, taking place during the interminable rain. The field was soaked. My knowledge or rugby is poor but the father of one of the players explained some of it to me. It seemed violent, at times chaotic, but the players clearly enjoyed it. The team in the green and white jerseys are the St. Louis Ramblers, around since 1932. The opponents are a team from nearby Scott Air Force Base.

The craziness going on here has something to do with throwing the ball in-bounds. The teams try to hoist one of their members up (by the shorts!) to deflect the ball in their favor. I don't get it.

We will have a bit more of this tomorrow.

Downtown St. Louis 365 proposes what you should do with your day.

Carpe Diem

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Arch 2011-04-24 2

This was taken last Sunday, when the Mississippi was at the very edge of flood. It's rained much of this week - all day yesterday - and my best guess is that the river is 1 or 1.5 m higher now. I'll have a look on Saturday.

Severe tornadoes have raged across the central and southern US for several days. When I was driving home from work last night, I heard a news bulletin that a large tornado had just passed through Birmingham, Alabama. That's the home of one of our favorite colleagues, Virginia of Birmingham Daily Photo. I sent her an email asking if she was okay, not knowing if she had electricity. She wrote back quickly and said that she was; the storm had hit across town . Whew. Check her blog today. She may have a tornado picture.

Downtown St. Louis 365 is looking for love in all the wrong places.

Where Is The Love

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Visit Soggy St. Louis

Forest Park Spring Rain 1

There's an old expression that everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it. Not that they could. So we're having day after day of rain and the floods are coming back. Australia in in a lengthy drought. Parts of West Texas haven't had any rain since September. Chile and Japan had big earthquakes. Somewhere people are freezing and somewhere they are boiling. It's life on earth. Nowhere to hide. Gee, there hasn't been a big meteorite strike in who knows how long.

The photo is a soggy, misty place in Forest Park. There is always a chance of beauty along with the extremes.

Somebody or something is walking through Citygarden in the rain on Downtown St. Louis 365.

This Is Bruce And Sarah Walking

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh No, Not Again

April 2011 Flood 1

The Mississippi is within a hair's breadth of flood again. Most of the world has heard about the tornado that ripped across the northern suburbs Friday night and smashed up the airport (and thanks to the several readers who sent emails asking if we were okay. We are.) But it has also rained hard for days and days. Flash flood warnings are common. This is the street under the Arch by the river. You can't see a boundary between the land and water. They are about level with one another. A crest of five feet above flood stage is predicted late this week. We'll see.

We're doing a human sized gerbil wheel today on Downtown St. Louis 365.

Amber In The Arc

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not The Easter Bunny

Not The Easter Bunny (35 Rock Hill Road)

Someone in my neighborhood must have had a dead or diseased tree to remove. Instead of cutting it down and ripping it out, it looks like they retained a virtuoso of the chainsaw to sculpt a gargoyle to adorn their lawn. This weekend they put bunny ears on it. They're not fooling anybody.

Wabbit wanna-bes everywhere on my blogs today, including Downtown St. Louis 365.

Rabbit 2

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Reflection 1

Today is Easter in the Christian world. Reflection is a good thing, today and every day, whatever your religious views. These are trees edging into springtime leaf, seen in the dark mirror of a stream in Forest Park.

And, given the occasion, I've invited the Easter Bunny to Downtown St. Louis 365.

Rabbit 1 BW

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April Showers

2011-004-24 Thunderstorm

The tornado warning sirens went on and off all last evening. Welcome to springtime in the Midwest, when masses of cool, dry Canadian air collide with warm, wet flows from the Gulf of Mexico and go boom. No tornadoes in our immediate area, although there were a few to the northwest. I sat out on my front porch and watched the show for a while.

Saturday morning update: reports say that tornadoes touched down in the northwestern suburbs. Several homes were destroyed. A church lost its steeple during Good Friday services. Lambert St. Louis International Airport is closed indefinitely after suffering extensive damage to the main terminal and one of the concourses. See photos on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's website here.

Are there such things as Anglican dogs? See Downtowm St. Louis 365.


Friday, April 22, 2011

I Can't Give You Anything But Love, Baby...

Young Lovers In Spring
... because I am totally out of material. So, from the not too distant archives, an attractive young couple making goo goo eyes at each other in Citygarden. Hope I can get out and shoot some new stuff this weekend. I've been working stupid hours. Actually, Mrs C found me late Wednesday night sound asleep in the chair in my home office, laptop open on my, um, lap, with yesterday's post on the screen. Maybe I should go watch my favorite movie, Koyaanisqatsi, again.

Downtown St. Louis 365 is out of material, too, so I decided to crack open a tall, frosty Bud and see if anything came to mind.

The Official Beverage

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday Arch Series

Helicopter In Front Of The Arch

A different approach to the weekly Arch image. This was taken from the overlook across the river in East St. Louis with a long telephoto lens. The helicopter takes people up for sightseeing rides during the warmer months. Here, it flies past the south leg and downtown buildings. The 400 mm lens compresses the image a lot - the building on the middle-left with the columns is ten blocks back.

The topic on Downtown St. Louis 365 is the mystery of Toynbee tiles.

Toynbee Tile, 6th and Olive

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On Cherokee Street

Cherokee Street Wall Art 2
Funky Cherokee, home to our small Hispanic community and a bunch of edgy art galleries. More interesting wall art has been popping up. This one got my attention. The patterns and design are so complex it is hard to interpret. The costumes look nearly Japanese. It kind of looks like a woman enveloping and perhaps strangling a smaller person. Then there is addition: crude, destructive, but also a bit witty.

Downtown St. Louis 365 advises you not to cross the barrier.

St Louis Riverfront

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Flashbus

Flashbus 2

Yesterday I attended the St. Louis iteration of The Flashbus tour, as I mentioned in Sunday's post. Two master photographers, David Hobby and Joe McNally, spent a very intense day of show and tell on the subject of lighting with small flashes. They are very sophisticated these days (and so are the lights). The problem is you need at least two or three of them to do this stuff.

These techniques don't stick in my brain well unless I get out and use then. That's hard, since I'm mostly a street shooter. We'll see.

Flashbus 1

So, do you give a hoot about what was across the street from the bus? It's on Downtown St. Louis 365.

2011-04-18 Old Courthouse BW

Monday, April 18, 2011

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

A Newer Bathroom

Some last images about urban ups and downs from the weekend in Chicago. Above, a middle-aged apartment building in Hyde Park gets rehabbed and searches for new tenants. Below, this store in the Logan Square neighborhood remains open although the sign has fallen on hard times.

Fun thing to do today: two noted photographers and teachers, David Hobby, author of The Strobist lighting blog, and Joe McNally (check his blog, too), are in St. Louis for the last stop on the Flashbus tour. It's a day of education on the use of small flashes (sometimes several of them at once) in photography. Images tomorrow.

Logan Square FoodLiquor

Open something but not sesame on Downtown St. Louis 365.

Open Freeman

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Cold, Gray Day In Chicago

Help Wanted

It was miserable in Chicago yesterday: dead gray, temperature falling to 38 F / 3 C, windy, intermittent cold rain. A good black and white day.

Above: sign in the hallway in the tiny hotel above the Longman & Eagle bar and restaurant in Logan Square, where we stayed. Below: an LED billboard heading downtown on the Kennedy Expressway; sculpture at the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, our son's alma mater; high-rise fire escapes on apartment buildings in Hyde Park, the university's neighborhood; and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Building), taken while our son's car was stuck in traffic on the near South Side.


In The Smart Museum 1

Fire Escapes

Willis Tower

Downtown St. Louis 365 has a word for Gov. Walker of Wisconsin.

Working Families Rally 7

Saturday, April 16, 2011

STL DPB Eating Its Way Across Chicago

George's Hot Dog's 1

What a great combination: eat, architecture and exercise. Yesterday, we went on a walking and eating tour of Chicago's Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods run by Chicago Food Planet. Six restaurants or food sellers, six tastes ranging from what might be the world's greatest felafel pita sandwich to the world's greatest hot chocolate. In between, neighborhood history and lessons on architecture. Yum. Wow.

The first and last stops are pictured here. First, George's Hot Dogs, featuring all-beef, low fat and delicately seasoned sausage served the real Chicago way, topped with yellow mustard, pickle relish, chopped onion, tomato, hot peppers, celery salt and a pickle spear. Umm. Don't wear a white shirt.

Below, I Cream and its owner, Cora Shaw. She came up with the concept while in business graduate school at the University of Chicago: frozen desserts made in a flash by blasting the ingredients with liquid nitrogen. The super-fast freezing causes tiny ice crystals and an extremely smooth texture. Customers pick their own base (ice cream, frozen yoghurt, sorbet), combinations of flavorings and colors. They say that over a million combinations are possible. Heavenly.

Once again, I've been terrible about comments. We don't leave
don't leave much free time when we travel.

George's Hot Dogs 2

I Cream 2 (Cora)

I Cream 1

Downtown St. Louis 365 gets a benediction.

Working Families Rally 1 (Rev. Teresa Mithen)

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Big Guy

Statue of Saint Louis 2011-04-09 1
Haven't had our monumental statue of King Louis IX of France, St. Louis, on the blog for a long time. This was taken the same day I was wandering around Forest Park posting all those pretty springtime pictures I've been I've been posting lately. They need some balance.

Had a fabulous anniversary dinner last night with son Andy and special someone Claire at the oddly-named Bonsoiree in the Logan Square area of Chicago. Eight course tasting menu, one little gem after another, and no liquor license so BYOB. Heavenly.

Downtown St. Louis 365 has not been serving our area since 1880.

SInce 1880

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thurday Arch Series

Arch 2011-04-02 1

Wide view from across the river in East St. Louis. The contraption on the right is on the Illinois side. It sucks grain out of barges and deposits it in elevators off to the right of the frame.

Up late Wednesday night preparing posts and packing. Should arrive in Chicago late this afternoon. Maybe I can get some comments written at the airport.

No fun allowed today on Downtown St. Louis 365.

No Fun Allowed

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Blog Goof Off Day, Part 1

Sun Bathing At The Grand Lagoon

Today's theme on both of my St. Louis blogs is goofing off on a sunny spring afternoon. Goofing off in general is something this blogger rarely gets to do. The young woman is basking in the sun at the edge of the Grand Lagoon in Forest Park. Hope she doesn't fall asleep and roll to her left.

It has been observed that I don't do nothing well. Better go shoot some more pictures, like tomorrow when Mrs. C and I go to Chicago to celebrate our 37th anniversary and spend the weekend with our son and Chicago photoblogger, Andy.

Goofing Off Part 2 is on Downtown St. Louis 365 today.

Millies Fountain 2011-04-09 6 (No Particular Place To Go)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Art Hill

Art Hill 2011-04-09

A bit of the St. Louis Art Museum (or SLAM, a good name for a palace of culture) appeared in yesterday's post. Moving a little to the west, you come to the foot of Art Hill, a huge half-bowl that leads down to the Grand Lagoon. It's our town's premier sledding venue in the winter.

The cranes on the left are working on a large expansion of the museum. I think they look like they are bowing to the original structure.

A naked guy, angry fish and a pure blue sky on downtown St. Louis 365 today.

Milles Fountain 2011-04-09 4

Monday, April 11, 2011

More Of The Same

Forest Park 2011-04-09 1

The flowers that bloom in the spring, tra la... The bridge in the lower left was the one in yesterday's picture, this time looking up the hill at the art museum. What happened to my sense of irony?

Downtown St. Louis 365 doesn't want to take a bath.

Milles Fountain 2011-04-09 3