Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Donald's St. Louis Office?

Could be, although the opulence is not up to his usual standards. Noticed this on Macklind between Manchester and Forest Park. 

Outta here tomorrow. Overnight in Dallas and then...     

Monday, January 30, 2017

Red, White and Blue

Well, pretty close. A bit of bright color we get downtown every sunny late afternoon at the corner of Broadway and Pine. 200 North Broadway is the most interesting modern office building in the neighborhood. That's a sliver of 100 North Broadway on the right.

Geez, I gotta start packing.      

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Nice Light

Sunset yesterday at the Old Court House downtown. It was quiet on Broadway late on a Saturday afternoon.

So, some odds and ends for a few days. An adventure starts on Wednesday.            

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dumpster Diving

I think we've had enough of the March and I don't have any new material. So it's time to go back into the archives for what I call dumpster diving.

There are a couple levels of meaning here. This is, in fact, a trash dumpster placed behind a store at Cherokee and Jefferson. Across an alley is a Family Dollar store, hence the lettering. This chain sells inexpensive food and general merchandise. Low income people shop there. You know, the poor. And we know how some of the rest of the world views them. (Think big blond comb-over and all his friends.) Maybe only my loose brain saw it but I ended up with an obscure social commentary.                

Friday, January 27, 2017


Ok, anybody else disturbed that President Blondie wants to prohibit people from most Muslim countries from entering the US? If you agree go to my Facebook page and like this post. But, if you read the news closely, did you notice that there are two exceptions? If you are from Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan you can still pay us a visit. Huh?

These two carried bilingual signs in English and Arabic at the Women's March. The principles are the same in any language. I was glad to see them.        

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Thursday Arch Series

Hey, it's a twofer! Some indication of the crowd last Saturday. To get a better sense of it I'd have to find an elevated position to shoot from. 

For locals, the first one is inside Luther Ely Smith Park, between 4th Street and the new entrance to the Arch museum. The second is looking east on Market Street from about 7th.

As you can see, the weather was perfect. It's been unusually warm for several days but winter is back today.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

P*ssy Power

Gender politics? Maybe more like combat. Women aren't mad at all of us guys (I have a certificate of approval) but they have plenty of reasons for rage against the party in power. Aux armes, citoyens!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Action Speaks

The heroic stance of the woman in the first picture sums up nicely the mood and attitude of the Women's March. What we don't need is the conduct Yeats describes in The Second Coming: The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. The worst are not on the horizon. They are inside the doors and they have the keys.

The sign in the second picture triggers some of my worst fears. The new administration is heavily sprinkled with climate change deniers, among the worst of the irrational loonies, people driven by ready-made, rigid belief rather than data. No one knows what is at the end of a road but am apprehensive about my grandchildren's future.  

Monday, January 23, 2017

Don't Forget Grandpa, Too

Certain people in Washington are raising a lot of other people's temperatures, me included. That anger overflowed at the Women's Marches here and around the world. I went a little nutso yesterday re-posting news stories to Facebook as those lying, arrogant (plural noun deleted) flouted their disrespect for democracy and truth. 

Three generations of Crowe women walked with their sisters (and me). Sometimes Madeleine is eager to pose and sometimes she will have nothing to do with it. What are you going to do with a three year old who insists on wearing an owly hat?       

Sunday, January 22, 2017

St. Louis Women's March

Me, too.

This was a heck of a turnout for a third-tier town. Police estimated the attendance as up to 13,000. Some of the organizers said 20,000. My guess would be on the higher end. My wife, Carolyn, daughter, Emily, and granddaughter, Madeleine, joined the throng. I played photojournalist.

The tone was decidedly anti-Trump, which made me feel good for the first time in days. Some very clever signs. These pictures will run for a few days. As I edit more they will be added to a growing collection on Flickr.              

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Black Friday

Oh, what a grim day it was. A small demonstration took place late yesterday afternoon across the street from my office building. I think the location was chosen because there is an investment company there with a large bronze sculpture of a bull and bear on the corner. You know, capitalism and the rich. It was behind an eight foot fence by mid-day, which sort of deflated the symbolism.

The sign above was a bit awkward. The couple below were more than a little grim. As I was editing these pictures I wanted to go back and play them Bobby McFerrin's iconic song but I realized I'd have to do the same thing to myself, and I knew it would never work. The day is much too dark.

I'm okay with differences of opinion, even strong ones. But I cannot respect the judgement of people who support Trump any more than I can climate change deniers, vaccine paranoids or people who think President Obama was born in Kenya.

The big women's march is today. Reports starting Sunday.         

Friday, January 20, 2017

Make America Great Again

Look carefully at the smaller lettering across the center. 

If you would care to see a more blunt and crude version of these sentiments, click here. Not fit for the blog itself, but the wall painting is beautiful. It reminds me of a Chagall stained glass window.

I'm ashamed to be an American today and fearful for the future.           

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Getting Ready For The Inauguration

OMG, that egotistical bullying maniac becomes President of the United States tomorrow. Quelle horreur! But Madeleine is preparing her public reaction. Put right side in, this little red noisemaker makes a sound like a duck in agony. Turned around like here, the racket resembles the monsters in the Aliens series. There could not be a more appropriate fanfare for the new administration.

I won't spend a moment watching or listening to tomorrow's horrifying events. There will, however, be a related post.

By the way, the St. Louis iteration of the national women's march is Saturday morning. My wife, daughter and granddaughter will participate. I'll be there with my camera to cover it.     

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Unnecessary Advice

America has a lot of lawyers. (I would know, wouldn't I?) This photo is of a public child stroller at the St. Louis Galleria, a major shopping mall. 

You see warnings on all sorts products in this country, "do not put your hand in wood chipper" kind of stuff. Each one means that someone has tried the dumb stunt, an injury has resulted and that person or the family has sued for a bunch of money. So some lawyer told the manufacturer to put on the warning in an attempt to prevent future claims.

What a great country.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Taken a few days ago during the ice storm but the subject is unrelated. Mrs. C keeps a hummingbird feeder on the front porch. The birds are gone for the season but no reason to bother taking it down. The jar is red glass and I simply lined it up in front of a street lamp.          

Monday, January 16, 2017

It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

That's what Mr. Rogers said to us, day after day.  But beauty is varied in its qualities and experience. There are people who would consider this scene bleak, others who might find an intricate, quiet charm. The ice appears to be ready to pull down some of the trees but, fortunately, the utility lines are underground. This is my street, a telephoto look from just below my front steps.       

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Under The Ice

There was a nice coating on the foliage in front of our house Saturday morning. As the day went on the temperature crept just over freezing as a liquid drizzle fell. The ground was relatively warm so the streets were fine. The rest of the day was simply gray, chilly and damp.

There's another wave rolling in early Sunday morning. Temps a couple of degrees below 32/0 (your choice) with freezing rain starting again in the small hours. Probably a quarter of an inch/.6 cm of ice. We'll see.

And thanks to our friend William in Ottawa for the tip about Yaktrax! I have complete trust in a Canadian's advice about how to walk in ice and snow.             

Saturday, January 14, 2017

It's Been Worse

Television weather reporters in the U.S. love to whip the masses into hysteria: disaster is approaching us! Buy out everything in the supermarket now, hunker down deep in the core of your home, don't dare venture outside, and whatever you do, don't stop watching this station for up-to-the-minute developments!  And then, more often than not, it ain't so bad.

And so it was here on Friday. There was freezing drizzle most of the day but the highways and arterial roads were well maintained and quite passable. Some residential streets were icy. I closed our office to be on the safe side. But I went out yesterday morning looking for crampons and the major streets were fine. Unfortunately, Walmart was sold out, Lowe's doesn't carry them and REI didn't open for another hour.

There was some buildup by dark. The top picture is my car. Our garage door is broken so we've been parking in the street. The second shot is the street just beside my house. There was little traffic but what passed by had plenty of traction.           

Friday, January 13, 2017

Best Bet

When all else fails, you can take pictures from your office window. As they say in the investment company ads, your results may vary.

The coxcomb atop the pricey Four Seasons Hotel was lit up like a Renoir palette last night. The bright signboard just right of center shows a happy middle aged couple who apparently have not lost all their money at the adjacent casino, or who did but are chillin' on the free drinks they serve at the gaming tables and slot machines.

Below: across the highway at the football-dome-without-a-team. I can't wait. 

We are expecting an ice storm to roll in about mid-day. Could be a good photo subject but I don't have any crampons for my shoes.                  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday Arch Series

Down by the flood wall, looking north. The geometry-lesson bridge at center-right is just for trains crossing the Mississippi.

The work bomb has passed by. Gotta get back out on the street with a camera, even if it's just my phone.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Herb

An open gate in the Mississippi flood wall south of downtown. This is the graffiti-permitted stretch. You see these "free the herb" tags everywhere around the city, always with the same lettering. The tagger may be stoned but he or she is persistent. 

However, I don't think it will ever be legalized in this state. We have an increasingly hard right government with a few islands of progressives scattered across. If you want it easy and legal, drive out to Colorado.

By the way, the old factory in the background is across the river in Illinois.               

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dark Horse

The font of all knowledge, Wikipedia, says that the origin of the term dark horse comes from the race track, a steed that is unknown to gamblers and thus difficult to place betting odds on. The first known use is in a novel published in 1831 by Benjamin Disraeli (!) used in just this context. These days it refers to a little-known person or thing that emerges to prominence, especially in a competition of some sort. 

This object is tucked in a corner of Citygarden. It's on a little artificial hill, mostly surrounded by trees and partly hidden. The work is called Zenit (zenith?) by the Italian artist Mimmo Paladino. If you look at it in more light (see first link) it resembles a horse more than anything, but not quite. And what's that sunbursty solid on its back? The zenith? Beats me. The poet Archibald MacLeish said a poem should not mean but be. So go figger it out for yourself.    

Monday, January 9, 2017


Having to go back into the archives a bit because there has been so little time to shoot. (&%$ work.) When you start law school in this country they teach you a bunch of old maxims we get from our field's English origins. One of them has it that the law is a jealous mistress.

Anyway, this is back at Garden Glow at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Many displays change from year to year but this walk-through light tube is ever popular. Photo taken from the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise, if you will give me some artistic license.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, kinda Holga-ized. The beacon was off that day.      

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Outta Here

There are some well-known people in the arts from The Lou who checked out as soon as they could (although I went in the opposite direction). There are busts of two of them on the corners of Euclid and McPherson in the Central West End.

Above, Tennessee Williams. This one, I think, is more successful. Williams was born in Mississippi and got his nickname from the origins of his father's family. He arrived in STL at age 8 when dad got a job at International Shoe Company.  (There used to be a saying about St. Louis - first in shoes, first in booze and last In the American League. That was before the St. Louis Browns became the Baltimore Orioles.)

T. S. Eliot, below, looks rather frumpy by comparison. I suppose he was. He left STL at 16 and eventually became a British subject, renouncing his American citizenship. He was very High Anglican. And, I hear, he ended not with a bang but a whimper.

But, hey, Chuck Berry has stayed here his whole life.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Haute Couture

An outfit that would look better in Miami than St. Louis, in sun, not cold fog. And what's with the monumental plinth, something more likely to hold a bronze effigy of a dead general or politician? It's just part of what makes us a little different. In Citygarden, of course.         

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Thursday Arch Series

There was a lot of ice-related stuff going on over New Year's weekend. Once a season, the National Hockey League (which, for some reason, involves two nations, the U.S. and Canada) holds a game outdoors in a baseball or football stadium. It was here this week with our St. Louis Blues (good name for a team) against the rival Chicago Blackhawks. We won, 4 - 1, while 46,000 people in Busch Stadium tried to follow a tiny black dot in the fog.

Other things were going on, too. A temporary ice rink was set up in the square where downtown meets the Arch grounds. I sympathize with the man in the second photo. I've tried three or four times but I cannot ice skate (or ski, play golf or tennis, you name it). My only neuromuscular talent is in my right index finger.          

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

One of the area's safest fall-back subjects, the graffiti-permitted section of the floodwall along the Mississippi. It's always changing. Some people like these paintings, others don't, but I think this one is pretty clever.           

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Adventures In Hypothermia

We assume these people knew what they were doing, but, geez, is this really fun? Some, like the woman in the top photo, wore the appropriate thermal headgear but most didn't. Some were barefoot, which is incredible to me. À chacun son goût. I'd rather just take their pictures. But then there's skydiving . . .                

Monday, January 2, 2017

Not The Way To The North Pole

Santa made a wrong turn somewhere around Minneapolis while trying to find his way home.

Actually, this is one of the members of the Missouri Disabled Water Ski Association. They do their thing in the Mississippi River under the Arch on New Year's Day. The members wear whatever one does for plunging into cold water. (And the water was cold yesterday. At least there was no ice floating in the river.) Personally I think they're nuts, although for a good cause.         

Sunday, January 1, 2017

CDP Theme Day: 2016 Pictures Of The Year

Maybe I lack self-discipline but I'm just not able to pick a single image for the CDP New Year's Day theme. These are some of my favorites, sorted into arbitrary categories. 

First Place: bonfire finale at Artica

Second Place: anti-Trump rally in downtown STL

Best Travel Photos
Der Dicker Engel restaurant in Berlin

Chihuly and Seattle, desaturated 

On the other hand, best pure use of color

Transit tunnel, Seattle 

Best candid portraits

One day on Art Hill

Forest Park 2016-02-27 1 

Andy and Audrey

The Littlest Crowe

Outside the Rijksmuseum

Amsterdam 2016-09-08 4 (violinist 1)

Best black and white

Airstrip, Clare, Michigan

2016-07-03 fly-in breakfast 1

Levee, Eads Bridge and Arch

Highlight and Shadow 6

 Best performance photo

Finite-Infinite at the 2016 St. Louis Fringe Festival

Finite-Infinite 1

A bar in Chicago

A Bar In Chicago 3   

See 2016's best from CDP members around the world here.

Happy 2017 to all.