Saturday, June 30, 2018

St. Louis Theatre Crawl - Intro

Late post today. I started shooting at the St. Louis Theatre Crawl last night, fell asleep as soon as I got home, and there was too much family stuff on Saturday. This is from something called The Statement of Randolph Carter by a new group, Theatre Macbre. I think it had something to do with H. P. Lovecraft.

Gotta get back to work.       

Friday, June 29, 2018

Friends And Neighbors

I don't know what to say. Whatever floats your boat, as the saying has it. That's part of the idea behind the Pridefest Parade.

New assignment tonight and tomorrow. It's time for the St. Louis Theatre Crawl. More than thirty local theater groups give brief performances as the audience rotates from one to another every half hour, taking their pick from an artistic buffet. I'm one of the volunteer photographers.              

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Proud Volleyball

Three volleyball courts were set up on the lawn at the Pridefest area.  Nothing organized: a net, a ball, sidelines marked with tape. Anyone who wants to play, c'mon over. Some of the action was pretty intense.  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Liberal Lutherans

Such a thing exists, and right here in St. Louis! (Although there are, um, others.) There is a national Lutheran organization called Reconciling In Christ that advocates for inclusion of people of all sexual orientations in the church community. Several local parishes banded together to march in the Pridefest parade. I might note that I go home with the person in the first two pictures holding the beads and a flag in the third shot. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Proud Dogs

I'm not normally a dog photographer or a pet person in general. We have an indolent cat at home but that's it. (I showed Ellie the Monty Python Confuse A Cat sketch a couple  of days ago. I don't think she gets it yet.) However, when I'm on the street I'll take a picture of anything that crosses my path, including pups at the Pridefest Parade. This post is in honor of our colleague Jilly Bennett, dog photographer extraordinaire.      

Monday, June 25, 2018

Pridefest Parade

Pridefest Parade downtown. I think it's gotten about as big as the St. Patrick's day parade and it is much more colorful. Above, the ever-popular Balloon Brigade. Below, local nobility.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Pridefest STL

It's that time of year again. PrideFest has grown enormously in recent years. What a change from my youth, when you could get arrested for being openly gay, to today, when there was a special pull-out section of the local newspaper about the event. Now, I'm as straight as the shortest distance between two points but I want all of humanity to be treated equally and with respect. It has been a long struggle and it is not done.

I got a fair amount of pictures yesterday, limited by some back problems. The big parade is today. No question that I will be there. Mrs. C is marching with a group of progressive Lutheran churches. Stay tuned. 


Saturday, June 23, 2018


Security in Kiener Plaza. It looks like a sweep but nothing was going on. 

When did police start wearing the word across their backs? It's not like you can't tell but I've seen it in several countries. In the U.S. it gets broken down further, particularly with federal agencies: people with INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service), ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms - mostly the latter), or FBI (self-evident) displayed across their shirts. It can make you a little paranoid.        

Friday, June 22, 2018

International Style

Looking up and northeast from Kiener Plaza: 200 North Broadway, 100 North Broadway and the Kiener Plaza East Garage. Pretty good light. International Style buildings usually avoid strong color but this photo doesn't do justice to how red the building on the left is. The facade is brick, a common building material around here, and I think the tone has been enhanced. The windows look black from the outside. 

We have PrideFest here this weekend with the big parade on Sunday. It is a candy store for photographers. Should see some results by Sunday.        

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Thursday Arch Series

The big wicket hasn't been on the blog for a while. This was taken in color from Kiener Plaza last weekend, then converted in Photoshop. Still exploring what the Fujifilm X-T2 can do. I just got orange filters for my two most used lenses. Not expensive. If I use them correctly shots like these should be even more dramatic.    

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Maurice and Maurice

The selection of restaurants at the Taste of Downtown St. Louis may have been weak but the entertainment was pretty good. There was a father and son dance team, Maurice, Senior, and Maurice, Junior. The DJ was playing hip hop. That's not exactly my style - we just finished our 40th season as subscribers to Opera Theatre of St Louis - but the moves were great. My back and knees can't do this.        

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Death Punch

There is an old saying that there is no disputing taste: de gustibus non est disputandum. Everyone has their own and preferences change a lot over time. Still...

What's with the tee shirt? Can't see it well in this image but below and to the left and right of the skull are a pair of brass knuckles. Is this something to proclaim - what? - a taste for? Otherwise, the couple were perfectly normal. She has Batman and Robin on her shirt. 

Taken while sitting on a bench in the heat at the underwhelming Taste of Downtown St. Louis.        

Monday, June 18, 2018

Heavy Metal

A common kind of event in this country is a "Taste Of" whatever. Restaurants in a particular area put up booths and sell samples of their cuisine. There was a kind of dinky Taste of Downtown St. Louis over the weekend in Kiener Plaza. First time for this that I'm aware of. There weren't a lot of restaurants participating and the crowd was light on a very hot day.

I spent a lot of my time doing the street photographer practice of sitting on a bench and waiting for interesting people to come to me. The results were mixed. There was entertainment, though. One of the acts was a heavy metal band called Mental Fixation. Maybe not the best name ever but they represented the genre well.        

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Go Cards!

Graffiti that was out of sight from the street, on the back of a commercial building near the baseball stadium. The Cardinals may be the local state religion but they are having a very mediocre year. I might watch them on television but I wouldn't consider going to a game in this heat with the prices they charge.        

Saturday, June 16, 2018

All The Time

Nephew's is a bar near the baseball stadium. I doubt that everything that goes on in a bar promotes the good of mankind. However, the owner is dabbling in theology and philosophy while overlooking the Holocaust, any war you care to pick, what happened to people before clean public water and sanitation systems and death in childbirth. 

There has been a debate for millennia about how God could be all-knowing, all-powerful and all-merciful, and yet allow the suffering that pervades the world. It's known as the problem of evil.  So you could have some irony with your Budweiser. Or maybe this blog is just getting too heavy.          

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Lowdown

What's the bird's eye low-down on this caper? Whatever that means . . .

      - Nick Danger
      The Further Adventures of Nick Danger
      Firesign Theatre, 1969
Anybody else out there old and strange enough to remember that? One of the funniest and most challenging things I've ever heard. Firesign Theatre was a major influence on the person I became.

This is on the graffiti-permitted section of the Mississippi flood wall.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Secure Destruction

It seems to be miscellaneous stuff I found around town week. This truck was on 6th Street downtown. I think it picks up old computers and such and pulverizes them. Actually, we have one of these stopping by our office today to clear out the stuff that Bill Gates made when he was wearing knickers.

The concept, though, is boggling. Is this the kind of thing Kim Jong-un's generals talk to him about?     

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Law And The Economy

Three downtown buildings seen from a distance. 

On the left, the old Civil Courts building, where state-level litigation takes place. Hard to see from this distance but the architecture is genuinely bizarre. Worth this short read

The tall center building houses the federal courts, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. It is the largest single courthouse in America and is 18 years old. It has been controversial from the start because it completely blocks the view of the Arch from the main highway coming into downtown from the west.

The building on the right has the strangest story. After the breakup of the original AT&T into the regional "baby Bells," this was the headquarters of Southwestern Bell. That company started buying up other baby Bells and eventually the AT&T name. The headquarters moved to Dallas and this 44 story tower has been vacant for nine months. It will be hard to use because it was built for a single tenant and now has almost no parking. So another urban ghost building but the biggest one we've ever had.       

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

And The Living Is Easy

Summertime, here at the fake ruins in Tower Grove Park. (Yes, it was built that way on purpose.) Many people love the original of this beautiful song from Porgy and Bess. However, I am partial to Janice Joplin's version. Few singers can approach her intensity. 

It's already hot here and the official first day of summer is over a week away. It could be a bad one.      

Monday, June 11, 2018


One of the griffins that guard the east entrance of Tower Grove Park. Always good for a post if there's nothing else handy. Perhaps exhaling smoke?      

Sunday, June 10, 2018


Another from the Pagan Picnic. Not altogether sure about what's going on because, as usual, I was paying more attention to my viewfinder than life in front of me. Salute to Mother Earth or the Earth Goddess or it just feels good to do this? I'm a bit of a voyeur here, being more in tune with logical positivism than, say, wicca.        

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bliss Out

Another image from the Pagan Picnic.  Reminds me of that old song If You're Going To San  Francisco. Except this is St. Louis. Maybe not as romantic.        

Friday, June 8, 2018

Do Not Go Gentle

Observers at the Pagan Picnic. Not so mobile but definitely still in the action. Reminds me of Dylan Thomas' poem Do Not Go Gentle.                     

Thursday, June 7, 2018

It's . . .

Monty Python's Flying Circus? At least I think it's a python. This person was walking around the central area of the Pagan Picnic last weekend. These creatures are pretty tame, at least when they are not hungry. The owner let kids pet it and adults put it around their necks. Even my granddaughter Ellie likes to play with them. Personally, I'd pass. However, I love the snake's burnished golden color and beautiful patterns. How do genes accomplish that?  

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

My Pal

Never let it be said that this town is a boring speck in flyover country. We have plenty of eccentrics. There is an annual event called the Pagan Picnic in Tower Grove Park. It's been going of for 20-odd years and has been seen on these pages before. It's where our local druids, earth-worshipers, tarot readers, soul travelers and crystal gazers show up to play together.

Lots of people bring the whole family. Many dogs and, to the best of my knowledge, one iguana.     

There are more pictures from New York but I'll post them on Flickr and move on. We'll be back the first week of July, anyway.   

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

STL DPB In New York - Attitudes Toward Women

The first photo is underneath the southern end of the Highline, next to the Whitney. Click here for the reference.  The pair of billboards was next  to our hotel in Long Island City. The last is a building overlooking the Highline.

I will leave it to you, reader, to interpret these. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

STL DPB In New York - Protect Your Heart

Graffiti or street art, as you prefer, under the southern end of the Highline. The first one could break your heart. The second might be advice for lovers and the third a response to it. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

New York Restaurants - Soleluna

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead, 
Who never to himself hath said,
   This is my own, my native land!
         - claptrap poetry by Sir Walter Scott

Back in my old neighborhood, Sunnyside, Queens. It still has a hold on me. Quiet when you get off Queens Boulevard; safe, unpretentious, plenty of services and very close to Manhattan. When I grew up it was a mix of Irish, Jewish and Italian. Now it's Irish, Jewish, Italian, Vietnamese, Colombian, Korean and I don't know what.  It's still just as pleasant. 

Wouldn't it be nice to have a small apartment there, a pied-a-terre so we could visit New York more often? So I looked online for one bedroom apartments. A fully rehabbed one-bedroom costs well into the 300's. That's thousands of US dollars. Sigh.

So to console ourselves, we went to our favorite neighborhood restaurant, Soleluna. Very tight storefront Italian place with just delicious food, wonderful people and good prices for NY. They have a gumball machine out front, which I think is charming. We got acquainted with the people at the next table, whose story is too long to repeat here. It was the third time I've been there in the last year, once with the family and once with Olivier. We may return when we are back in town in July.                 

Saturday, June 2, 2018

New York Restaurants - Santina

When Mrs. C and I left the Whitney last Monday we had an hour to kill before our dinner reservation. Right around the corner from the museum, sort of jammed under the end of the Highline, is a restaurant called Santina. We went in and sat at the bar.

The place seemed to have some fizz. They gave us the drinks list and the first was a negroni. I love negronis. The price was absurd by STL standards but, what the hell, I love negronis. Down the hatch. (See last photo.) It was the best I've ever had, light on the Campari.

The staff whipped up all kinds of exotic cocktails. The one above looked like - what? - an avocado volcano.  The place was fun and had an eclectic staff. The hostess on the right was taller than me. The wall art below is made of broken painted plates. We would go back to try the food.