Sunday, March 31, 2019


Clare, Michigan, isn't a very big town, about 3,000. It has some nice features, though (except there is nowhere to buy a decent bottle of wine). One cool thing is found in a alley off the main drag where there is a little art walk. I love this whimsical mural. Hard to tell from this photo but the figure on the left is holding an umbrella, half of which sticks out from the wall.

The water tower is iconic, drawing on Clare's Irish connection mentioned yesterday. It rises with these metal birds found along the walk.          

Saturday, March 30, 2019

STL DPB On The Road - The Giant Chicken Of Clare

We're in Clare, Michigan, right about the center of the state (not counting the vast, proto-tundra Upper Peninsula). My son, Andy, and his family have lived here about three years since leaving the mean streets of Chicago when their first child was born. His wife, Claire (note the spelling) grew up here. Her parents are still in town and in good health. If I remember correctly, the town got its name from someone who passed through from County Clare, Ireland. That's where my father's family came from.

Many small towns have their interesting quirks and Clare is certainly one. This giant chicken stands outside of a bar and grill - been here as long as I've been visiting. Looks like it has a new paint job. I don't know anything about its origins. I should go into the bar and ask.

Off to the side is an alley called the Clare Art Walk, which we will explore in more detail. The first thing you see might make you want to go down to Detroit in a hurry.         

Friday, March 29, 2019

STL DPB On the Road - Mighty Atlas

The reason for the trip to Michigan - new grandson Atlas Henry Crowe, five weeks old.  At his first checkup yesterdayday he weighed 12 pounds, 12 ounces (5.8 kg), about 98th percentile. He's pretty calm most of the time, needing the rest so he can get bigger..      

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Articans On The Street

Lohr crosses Magnolia with the quintessential Tiny Totem in tow, headed for the Tick Tock Tavern.

I don't know who the other two people are although I see them at Artica events, particularly the man in the last picture. He always shows up. I should go out of my way to introduce myself and learn something about what looks like an interesting life.               

Wednesday, March 27, 2019


St. Lou Fringe executive director Matthew Kerns joined the Tiny Totem Parade! Here marching down Grand Boulevard with Artica head guy D. Lohr Barclay.       

Monday, March 25, 2019

Madeleine Monday

Get 'em while they're young. Junior Articans made up much of the parade and Ellie had a great time. In lieu of a tiny totem she decorated her scooter with some help from mom. I just wish we didn't have that mid-day hard light.         

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Teeny Tiny Totem Parade To The Tick Tock Tavern

It's that time of year again. My friends at Artica conduct their early spring ritual, the Teeny Tiny Totem Parade to the Tick Tock Tavern. What, you ask?

Artica rejoices in creating art in all of its many forms. If it is a little weird, so much the better. Tiny Totems are small rolling or hand-held objects, whimsical sculpture that makes a viewer pause. Costumes are in order, if you like. Our head guy, D. Lohr Barclay, kind of looks like Sergeant Pepper in the second picture. And then there is the pan-avian marcher.

Everyone assembles in Tower Grove Park, walk down busy Grand Boulevard to Wyoming Avenue, cross the street, walk back up to Magnolia and The Tick Tock Tavern (more about which later), which is next door to Steve's Hotdogs (more about which later). The neighbors have no idea what to make of it. A good time was had by all.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

C'mon, Smile.

Over to our other, smaller St. Patrick's Day parade. What other city has the guts to call a nice residential neighborhood Dogtown? It is always held there on March 17th so it was crowded on a sunny Sunday. 

It used to be more fun. People were a little bit naughty, doing whatever alcohol in the street does to you. Now there are more fences, more security, more rules. Even this chap in his green jacket and bowler hat, beer in hand, seems to have had the joy sucked out of him.     

Friday, March 22, 2019



More from the St. Patrick's Day parades. I don't completely get Shriners, and they are probably fine with that. A little mysterious, after all.             

Shriners are an offshoot of the Masons. I looked it up once but I don't remember the differences. We see them at public events zipping around in these little yellow trick cars, making noise on customized Harleys and wearing fezzes. Their themes and nomenclature are mostly Arabic but, if I recall correctly, the fez is Turkish and was in common use until banned by Atatürk in the early 20th Century. 

They look kind of silly but they they do good work. The group has a chain of hospitals providing free medical care for children with complex orthopedic problems. There is one in our city. That's wonderful.        

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Here Comes The King

Oops. I'm a bit uncomfortable some days and I'm prone to overlook things. Left my briefcase with my laptop inside sitting on the garage floor behind my car this morning. I was going to upload this as soon as I got to the office. Well, try again.

These are the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, universally known in the US and frequently seen in St. Louis. They pull an old beer wagon to the music of a Bud ad jingle called "Here Comes The King," as in king of beers. Personally, I think Budweiser is more of the handyman or janitor of beers. There is so much more that is so much more interesting.                   

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Hoops Time

It's time for our college basketball playoffs to start. In fact, I think the first games are right about now. The tournament has 64 teams in a single elimination format. My school, St. Louis University, usually has a so-so team but they made into the big event this year. Wonder how long they will last. 

Or you could do other hoops. The one in this picture looks like a hula hoop to me but the color and motion are all that count.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Individual Style

Most of the people in last weekend's parades were wearing blends of green, white and orange. Not me - not my colors. But even if you chose the traditional tones, you could stand out by riding a unicycle with flawless posture. (That's the Missouri Botanical Garden float.) Or, you could throw off marching band discipline, turn your face to the sky and assault the heavens with your booming.        

Monday, March 18, 2019

Madeleine Monday

After the big parade on Saturday we stopped for lunch at a favorite place, Fountain on Locust. It is a spectacular ice cream parlor with a full bar. Where else can you go to get an ice cream martini? They also have a good selection of soups, salads and sandwiches if you need something to block the lipids and ethanol entering your blood supply too quickly.

No sooner had we walked in than Ellie found her kindergarten classmate, Michael. They jumped up and down and danced in the aisle without even having a sugar burst in them yet. Our family decided to sit on the other side of the room so we could eat our lunch without distraction.           

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Back On The Street, In Green

Finally, back out shooting on the street! With the help of my rollator I walked more than a mile, something that hasn't happened in a long time. Mrs. C, Ellie and I headed downtown for the city's major St. Patrick's Day parade. It's a big deal here and I lived to tell the tale. Lots more to come.

But wait, there's more! There is a smaller, more intimate and crazier parade today in our picturesquely named Dogtown neighborhood. It is always held on the 17th, regardless of the day of the week. I'll try to make it.         

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Commute

Still playing small ball, as we say in this country. What kind of pictures can I take while sitting? This was shot yesterday afternoon through my car windshield while waiting for the light at 4th and Walnut.  

Physical therapy can be slow and discouraging but if you do the excercises day after day you eventually see results. I can climb steps foot after foot for the last few days and I was standing straight up yesterday morning. Progress. With the help of the family and my new hot rod rollator, I'm going to try to shoot the St. Patrick's Day parade today.     

Friday, March 15, 2019

Mindful Lawyering

This little doo-dad has been on my desk for many years. Must have gotten it at Archie McPhee in Seattle or the dear departed Uncle Fun in Chicago. I should pay more attention to it.

I have a great admiration for Buddhism and the Western variety in vogue these days, secular Buddhism.  Over and over I think I should start a meditation practice but I seem to lack the self-discipline, time and social support. (The only person I know who does it is a couple of hundred miles away.) Maybe when I retire. There are a lot of things I'd like to do when I retire. 

On a related note, on one single occasion in my life a friend dragged me to a yoga class. I could do corpse. That's it.     

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Thanks, Mies

Part of the view outside my office window. The apartment building abuts the park surrounding the Arch and is close to the Mississippi. The design mostly follows the International Style of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and others, although the balconies do break the rules. Phone cam shot.        

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

You Can't Get There From Here

I'm just not walking well and can't go out wandering with my camera.This makes me be still and look for little details I would usually pass by. It can even mean taking phone cam shots through my car's windshield.

The streets of downtown STL are a construction mess these days. There are many lane closures in places where I have  to drive to get to work. Not sure what it's all about. Fiber optic cable, maybe. Really slows down the commute.

I'm trying to find a way to shoot the St. Patrick's Day parade this weekend. It's a big deal here. Maybe with my rollator and some help from the family.       

Monday, March 11, 2019

Madeleine Monday. Or Is It Madeline?

On Friday, Ellie's school had a dress as your favorite book character day. No questions on this end. Remember twelve little girls in two straight lines? Kids in Paris? Anything?

Ellie is dressed as Madeline. Not quite the same spelling but close enough to have influenced her own name. I don't think she could stand in a straight line for very long.        

Sunday, March 10, 2019


Not shooting much because it's hard to get around. What can I do that's different using the images at hand? Maybe zoom in on the flower arrangement at Art In Bloom. Look more closely at the parts than the whole.          

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Pavane pour une infante défunte

Sorry about no post yesterday. Sometimes the world wants more of me than than there is me to go around. I'm prioritizing my physical therapy exercises, which may be the only way my back will get better short of a big operation.

We are back to Art In Bloom. This string quartet always performs in the Great Hall. They are very good. As we approached, I heard them playing Ravel's tender Pavane for a Dead Princess. It helped relieve the crush of the crowd.      

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Fruit Snacks

The area we visit in Costa Rica is full of iguanas. We often see them sunbathing on the lawn behind the condo where we stay. There were plenty around the estuary when we took our ride.

The boatmen always have a quartered pineapple in a cooler. During the trip they slice it into bite-sized pieces, providing the passengers with a tasty snack. Our pilot threw the rinds to the iguanas. They were pretty interested.           

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

STL DPB On The Road - Bite Me

There is an estuary on the west side of Tamarindo that runs a mile or two inland. You can take a ride with a local boatman who points out the many form of wildlife. There are lots of species of birds and sneaky predators like this crocodile. 

No running your hand through the water from the boat. However, I have seen boys swimming around the area where the boats are moored. Perhaps as a result, the sign was recently installed.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


There's a really nice beachfront hotel called Capitan Suizo near where we stay in Playa Langosta. The name is Spanish for the Swiss Captain. Their excellent restaurant, El Barco, is open to the public. We've gotten to know the executive chef, Jujo Molina, over the last few years. We always contact him before we head south to see what's going on.

There was a Costa Rican barbecue buffet and entretenimiento costarricense. The food, as always under Jujo's supervision, was wonderful. The entertainment was fun but almost all backlit. Tough shooting.     

Monday, March 4, 2019


Now that I have your attention...

There is still some Costa Rica material to go through. Since I'm not real mobile these days, I need to use what's on hand. 

There are a couple of afternoon boat rides out of Tamarindo. Every few years we go out with Blue Dolphin Sailing on a trip everyone calls the booze cruise. They run a big catamaran that goes around the point in the bottom picture to a cove where you can snorkel. There is a buffet and an open bar - all the wine, local beer and cacique punch you can hold. Cacique is the local sugar cane-based white lightening. When mixed with sweet tropical fruit juices it's dangerous. Where were those life jackets?          

Sunday, March 3, 2019

I'm Back

As it approaches its twelfth anniversary, I am coming off the longest break from posting this blog has ever had. The combination of pneumonia and my back condition flattened me. I fell asleep at my desk on Friday and I can't walk very far. But the pneumonia is lifting and I'm not one to stay still.

The family went to the annual Art In Bloom show at the art museum yesterday. Thirty expert floral arrangements were placed among the galleries, each reflecting a specific painting or sculpture. Mrs. C had to push me through in a wheelchair so the camera angle was unfamiliar to me. Watch out for the ceiling lights!