Friday, March 31, 2017

Hey, Man

That unmistakable smell was strangely absent from this section of the flood wall. I'm not aware that Cheech and Chong ever drove through St. Louis, dodging the attention of the police. Somebody still remembers them. There was an interview with Cheech Marin on National Public Radio earlier this month.     

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday Arch Series

The main reason the snooze button has been on the TAS is the massive construction around and below it, all part of a major renovation. The entrance to the underground museum and the funicular to the top used to be from the base of the legs. As the work nears completion, you can see how the new entrance has been turned toward the city under the center of the monument. 

It's not ready yet, but there should be more new views as the weeks pass.               

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Golden West

John Wayne wouldn't recognize it.  Nor would Giacomo Puccini. I don't know if the name and logo on this hopper car has something to do with the corporate owner or whether, perhaps, it carries grain. The graffiti looks sort of like the style of Pacific Northwest Native American art.

I threw some flash on this, which is what makes those reflective bars really pop out. We are into trains here in the heartland.                       

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

House On Haunted Hill

That's what the light made me think of. I was walking around the area that will become the new entrance to the Arch grounds and museum, seeing if there was anything to shoot yet. It's taking shape but has a way to go. When I turned around I saw the sun peeking through dark late afternoon clouds onto the surrounding buildings. The Hyatt hotel and Old Court House had an ominous look.              

Monday, March 27, 2017


There is an exhibit at the Missouri History Museum about old Route 66. You know the tune, sung here by our own Chuck Berry. It has been superseded by Interstates 44 and 55 in this part of the country but technically still exists. 

It is well known locally for the string of small independent motels along what is now Watson Road in the inner suburbs. A few are still there but the most famous - or infamous - the Coral Courts, is long gone. It was known for its unique art deco architecture, enclosed garages and short term rates, making it St. Louis' quintessential no-tell motel. Even the New York Times took notice.                 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Available For Duty

I like to get out on Saturday and shoot around town if the surface of the planet isn't too oppressive. Yesterday was pretty busy, though. The Washington University physics department has a spring and fall series of lectures for the public that we like to attend. The new season started yesterday with a talk about dark energy and whether it's strong enough to eventually rip the universe to shreds. Heavy stuff to start the day. Then I had to go to work in the afternoon, zip home, link up with my daughter and go to an early evening performance at The Sheldon by Paula Poundstone,          

So what's easy and at hand? More pictures from the orchid show. They're here ard ready to go so why not?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Everyone's A Critic

Everyone and everything that walks by an art display becomes a reviewer in one way or another. You might measure the degree of interest by the amount of time spent before each work. 

As with many similar photos, this is on the Mississippi flood wall south of downtown. The display constantly changes and evolves.                  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Could Have Been 10

When starting to plan the tenth anniversary post, I drove around looking for something with that number. (Damn, It just occurred to me. I should have gone to a bowling alley.)  Roman numerals would work but where could I find a large, isolated X? These are the iron girders of the old railroad bridge across the Mississippi just south of downtown.     

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Another decade . . . need something local

Well, ten years down and whatever to go. Seems appropriate to have something local and seasonal to restart the timer. Opening day for the beloved Cardinals is only ten days away. These variations on the mascot were on the ever-changing part of the Mississippi flood wall where graffiti is permitted.

Those facial expressions, even as cartoons, are saying very different things.          

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

STL DP's 10th Anniversary

Honestly, I had no idea.

There was the childhood Brownie camera and the 35 mm Yashica film camera that came with the woman I married (both of them happily still around). The trip to India and Nepal in 2000, when I brought along one of the first consumer digital cameras. The video producer who said, perhaps out of flattery, that I had a good eye and recommended the Maine Media Workshops, where I spent five of the happiest weeks of my life. The colleague in my legal specialty in Seattle who had a daughter going to college in Washington who had heard about this City Daily Photo thing that might be of interest.

And Virginia and Jing and Jack and Olivier and Grace and Steffe and C de Q and Jilly and Nathalie and Grace and William and Ming and David and Julie and Julie and Sharon and Hal Cyon and Bibi and Stef and Luis and Bill and Kate and Kim and all the people I've forgotten to mention and all the people who have come and gone, leaving memorable images. And, of course, Eric. And, of course, the dear, departed Birdman.

There has been an anniversary post every year.  Being a little short on time and creativity, the photo above is the entrance of 10 South Broadway downtown, with a little digital goofing. I was surprised how many of the old pix were not taken in STL. From the beginning of the series:

2008 - A Buddhist monk in Thailand. I got in some trouble for taking this without his explicit permission, a cultural taboo I was unaware of. Our guide actually got down on her knees with forehead to ground, begging forgiveness for the idiot Yank. I won't know if it did any good for at least a few incarnations.

2009 - On Bourbon Street in New Orleans. This guy and his friends have been out there for years, posing for tips. The store beside him actually sells huge ass beers to go, depending on your definition.

2010 - This started as an exercise in learning Photoshop, dropping in one head and face over another and blending it in. Cousin Russell never objected.

2011 - Things were a bit more creative years ago. Time grinds us down.

2012 - Not my photo! Mrs. C and I in Menton, France, taken by our dear friend Jilly.

2013 - Not what it seems. The tiles mark the intersection of St. Louis and Bourbon Streets in New Orleans. 

2014 - things start to get a little less creative. Not too bad a photo but time is linked to entropy, somebody said

2015 - just a couple of blocks away, but one of a only couple of the anniversary pictures that works in the local icon

2016 - if you are counting single digits it's good to live in a city with numbered streets.

 See all of you again tomorrow. Who's counting?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Not My Job

Meaning floral photography. But, as I tell my clients when advising them, you play the hand of cards you are dealt. Thus, something else from the orchid show.

You know what, Wednesday is the tenth anniversary of this endeavor. Hooda thunk? And what to do to mark the occasion?          

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hail Hail

Everyone knows by now that Chuck Berry died Saturday at 90. He was born and lived most of his life in St. Louis (he actually had a bit of an estate in the outer suburbs). 

He still performed from time to time at Blueberry Hill, the bar-restaurant-showroom across the street from his statue. That was dedicated in 2011. My passing acquaintance with Harry Weber, the sculptor, got me into the reception at Blueberry Hill where I took the picture in this link. We last heard him perform in the amphitheater at the botanical garden back in 2009 when he was still knocking it out at age 82.

My interests have gone well past rock and roll but his music still brings me joy.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

My Annual Attempt . . .

. . . at shooting flowers, taken at the botanical garden orchid show. I'm not usually a pretty pictures kind of guy, more inclined toward the ironic and the gritty. But in March I usually go over there and try to channel Mapplethorpe.           

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nancy And The Second Half

That's what the entertainment for the evening called itself. The singer is none other than Nancy Kranzberg, who, along with her husband Ken, created the Kranzberg Arts Foundation based just down Grand Boulevard. I didn't get the names of all the performers but the pianist is Thomas George, chancellor of the University of Missouri - St. Louis. They played 20th Century jazz standards with style and finesse.                 

Friday, March 17, 2017

See And Be Seen

There are some advantages to being a Fringe hanger-on volunteer. You get to meet impresarios, artists, performers and people from the community who like a little odd in their culture. These are some of the attendees at the St. Louis Fringe's 2017 kick off party. I swear I met and photographed all of these folks last season but I'm terrible about names and disorganized about note taking. Help me out. I'll give everyone credit.


Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm In?

The St. Louis Fringe had a kick off party for the 2017 season Tuesday night. It was held at The Dark Room, a wine bar-restaurant-photography gallery in Grand Center.

Didn't know it before, but most of the performers in the festival are chosen by lottery (illustration below). The policy was that the first five entries got in automatically. Someone, um, screwed up the spreadsheet this year so the first seven entries got a bye. A change for this season is that there was a "curated" selection, with several performers chosen by fringe management and consultants. The remaining entries were left to chance.

This is DDare Bionic, a DJ and rapper (some music here), at the moment he learned he was in. Happy happy joy joy. I'll be sure to catch his show during the festival in August.      

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

They Call It Mellow Yellow

You have to be as old as I am to remember that song.

Just some color-themed pix from the otherwise green parade. A bee-costumed "O'Pollinator" from the Missouri Botanical Garden and those crazy Shriners in their trick mini cars.         

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

I Smell Trouble

At the end of the St. Patrick's Day parade. That old fashioned billy club should be more than a match for the green plastic.

Or maybe the robot guy just wants to ask directions from the friendly officer. You know, people can get lost in St. Louis. I did once.

The St. Louis Fringe Festival has its 2017 kickoff party tonight. I'll be there to record whatever happens.             

Monday, March 13, 2017

Life Cycle Of A Leprechaun

2017 was the thirteenth year this giant inflatable leprechaun floated over green-tinted Market Street. But how does it arrive from the land of the little people, become so enormous and fade away again until next year?

Well, um, a truck, ropes, and lots and lots of helium. Then, since the laws of physics are mostly time-independent, back the same way in reverse. It was grand in its moment but rather sad to see it prone on the pavement before the Arch, melting away like the Wicked Witch of the West.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Don't Eat Green Snow

There hasn't been snow for the St. Patrick's Day parade in my memory. Some people dealt with it just fine. The weather was not as bad as originally forecast but it held down the crowd. That was a good thing. It made the difference between pleasantly busy and it's-so-packed-I-can't-move-another-inch. The cool but windless weather was easier on my old body.

Lots of other interesting people and things to come.           

Saturday, March 11, 2017

But we can have lots of good fun that is funny!

Said the Cat In The Hat
To my granddaughter Ellie,
Who wasn't so terribly sure
He was friendly.

So she checked his intent
With a slammin' high five
And decided this cat
Had a kid-friendly vibe.
And then a couple more pix from the museum's floral arrangements.

We'll see what kind of stuff I'm made of in the nasty weather at the St. Pat's Day parade today. But Tuesday night is the big St. Louis Fringe 2017 Festival launch party! (Locals: GO.) So much to shoot, so much to edit, so little time to visit my friends and comment. And, uh, sleep.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Trying To Get Back Into Contacts

This painting in the art museum resembles what I've looked like in the morning for the last week. I wore contact lenses years ago but my vision isn't so good and the time came when the technology of the day couldn't give me adequate correction. Back to glasses. Times change and my ophthalmologist said they might work for me now. It's not going well. The new ones are so thin they are almost not there at all. Hard to get in and out, sort of like this. The painting is an example of an artist showing off his technique for depicting glass but it's kind of like me at 6:30 in the morning, looking into the mirror.

Then some more of the Art In Bloom arrangements, balancing Morris Louis and Frank Stella.

Our big St. Patrick's Day Parade is tomorrow, usually a don't miss shoot. The weather looks miserable, though, below freezing, blustery and snow showers. We'll see how much I can manage.