Sunday, November 28, 2021

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - SHOP CLARE

Clare, Michigan, has something over 3,000 people. There are a surprising number of good restaurants (and an unsurprising number of bad ones), an old hotel with an air of elegance and a 125 year old city bakery (now incarnated as Cops & Doughnuts, https://copsdoughnuts.com/) and a few interesting shops. We didn't go into this one so I don't know what mysteries were held within. It's main stock seemed to be minerals, geodes, etc., but I wonder if it glows on the darkest night.           

Saturday, November 27, 2021

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - HANGING OUT WITH THE FAMILY

Not a great photo but there isn't much going on. We were thinking of making a long day trip to sand dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan but got scared off by snow in the forecast. So we hung out and entertained kids. 

In the air again later today. Thanks to a big schedule change by the *&$@# airline we would have had a forty minute connection in Chicago, the most direct way, and I ain't taking that chance. So we are going home through Washington, DC, the very long way around, but it works.                

 

Friday, November 26, 2021

STL DPB - THE BEAUTIFUL MIDDLE GRANDCHILD

Audrey Christmas Crowe, 6, and, no, I don't know where the middle name came from other than that there is a town called Christmas in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that my son and daughter-in-law visited. She is in rapt attention, watching the movie version of Hamilton. She knows all the lyrics by heart.

It is appropriate that she has a shamrock on her knee. She lives in the town of Clare in Clare County, Michigan, which is twinned with County Clare in Ireland, where my father's family comes from.             

Thursday, November 25, 2021

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - NORTH WOODS

We are pretty far up there by American standards, if you set aside Alaska. Although in Europe we are no further north than, say, Milan, the continental climate here makes for serious winters. The family went for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner walk on one of the many area trails. Snow was just beginning to fall as we headed back into town. The cold and damp isn't doing my pneumonia a bit of good.          

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - THANKSGIVING IN MICHIGAN

 

This is my one and only grandson, Atlas Henry Crowe. He will be three in February and, like all the small members of this family, loves to get in front of my lens. I don't get to see him and his sister, Audrey, 6, often enough. In this picture we are at the side of the pool in our hotel but those eyes could just melt me.                

THE EASY WAY OUT FOR ME

Greetings from a hotel near beautiful Chicago O'Hare International airport, where the traffic, by air and by road, is of mythic proportions tonight. To make sure I get something posted, here's another view of Henry Shaw's house at the botanical garden as the light projections proceed.

On to central Michigan this afternoon.         

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

FAIRY HOUSE

As every year, pictures of the light projections on the 19th Century home of Henry Shaw, founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden. They are quite remarkable and ever changing. The projections don't even get on the neighboring trees. May have a bit more of this.

Travel day today as we head out to see our Michigan division for the Thanksgiving holiday.. Chicago tonight and Clare, in the middle of the state, tomorrow. Been a while since we've seen Audrey, 5, and Atlas, who is close to 3.          

Monday, November 22, 2021

MADELEINE MONDAY


In case you don't know what to take pictures of at Garden Glow, the garden itself provides a few large picture frames to drop you a hint. Putting children in them usually does the job. A little hard to spot, but Ellie is very proud of herself in her unicorn hat.                

Sunday, November 21, 2021

WORMHOLE

I suppose I have a picture of this tunnel every year after the family goes to Garden Glow. That's okay. It's still pretty cool. Anyway, I haven't had an original idea in my head for a while. I'm just now pulling out of two and a half weeks  of what my doctor called mild to moderate pneumonia. My immune system is suppressed by my treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and I'm prone to these things. Antibiotic # 1 didn't help but a bigger gun did. Gotta get better to hit the airports this week.               

Saturday, November 20, 2021

CONVERGENCE

 

Here's how to draw the eye to a subject. The colored cylinders pulse and change colors. The visual experience is quite different from other angles.                

Friday, November 19, 2021

ANOTHER DIMENSION

A star gate, maybe. These lights pulse in different patterns and colors, so you catch what's out there when you press the shutter. It looks like Emily and Ellie may pass into another dimension. However, when they come out the other side they will still be in Missouri.                 

Thursday, November 18, 2021

GLO STIX

Like a strange field of night blooming flowers, these color poles come out every year at Garden Glow. I wouldn't walk across here. Looks dangerous.          

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

GARDEN GLOW ONCE AGAIN

Every year at this time the wonderful Missouri Botanical Garden illuminates the grounds for an event called Garden Glow. It's been seen in these pages for years and never fails to delight. This is the view down the reflecting pool toward the Climatron, a geodesic dome that houses four different climate zones. All of it changes color as time passes.               

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Maeystown, Sunday Morning

Quiet, but there are hardly any people to make a sound. There is, however, a nice coffee shop that opens at eight o'clock and has a real Italian espresso machine.                  

Monday, November 15, 2021

HANK AND LILLIE'S

Like so many little American towns, Maeystown's most thriving business is the bar and casual restaurant, Hank and Lillie's Creekside Inn. In a back corner, there are three slot machines, legal in bars in Illinois. The poster on the wall looks like a collage. The stone bridge is a local landmark. Stag beer is a cheap lager that used to be made in our Illinois suburbs, went out of business and then had the name acquired by another company. The gentleman on the right, well, enjoys his hops and barley.            

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Maeystown, Illinois

One of the several nice things my colleagues gave me when I retired a couple of months ago was a gift certificate at a charming B&B in the tiny town of Maeystown, Illinois, 45 minutes southeast of our home. The place is called the Corner George Inn, https://www.cornergeorgeinn.com/. The reason is that the town was almost entirely German and there were so many Georges, or Georg, that each one acquired a nickname to distinguish him. Ours happened to live on the corner of the principal intersection (and they don't have many).

The town has not many more than 100 people. Few business survive, as illustrated above. The B&B, a bar/casual restaurant and a few cutsie gift/antique shops are all that remain.               

Saturday, November 13, 2021

VANISHING POINT

The images at the van Gogh show change and shift. At times you can imagine that you are walking through a hallucinogenic version of the fields of Provence. But don't walk too far toward the horizon. You'll bump your nose.               

Friday, November 12, 2021

PUNISHMENT

A transition point between rooms in the Beyond Van Gogh exhibit, illustrating why it's just a little cheesy. Of course, if you pronounced the name in Dutch it might sound like an invitation to choke on something. Maybe it would be better to show a video of Aerosmith's Walk This Way.         

Thursday, November 11, 2021

WHERE'S THE FRENCH FRIES?

The Beyond Van Gogh show cycled through his famous paintings, not that there were that many. This is the well-known early work, The Potato Eaters, with their gaunt but not yet desperate faces. The children in the audience thought it was great fun to twirl in the flickering lights on the floor. Thats Ellie sprawled on the lower right.           

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

FLY ME TO THE MOON AND LET ME PLAY AMONG THE STARS

That's what this picture usually makes me think of, rather than a beautiful night along the Rhone in Arles, which I've had the privilege to visit two or three times. I did not, however, walk on the surface of the river. In my system of lose associations, I hear Frank Sinatra singing this romantic clap-trap 60s standard. Remarkably, I found a video of him singing it here in St. Louis about two years before I showed up.  https://youtu.be/Y2rDb4Ur2dw                         

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! IT'S A BIRD . . . IT'S A PLANE!

Well, it sure ain't Superman. This is part of the general scene in the Beyond Van Gogh show that the family visited over the weekend. You may feel that you are walking within the scenes he painted, unless, of course they were showing his portraits at the moment.

I think people enjoyed it but we were a bit disappointed. This is much inferior to the originator of the idea, the Atlier des Lumieres, https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/en/, in Paris. A look at their website will show you why, although you get a reduced experience without the sweeping, perfectly coordinated classical music. (I remember hearing an orchestral selection from Parsifal when we saw a Klimpt show there.) The music here was soothing string orchestra elevator music, although I noticed that at one point they were playing Simon & Garfunkel's All Off To Look For America. In a show about a Dutch painter, working in the south of France.             

Monday, November 8, 2021

MADELEINE MONDAY

Swirling through clouds while flat on the floor. There is an exhibition here and perhaps other places called Beyond Van Gogh. (A quick search suggests that there is a similar competing show in several international cities.) It's in a gigantic tent on a shopping mall parking lot, with swirling projections of the artist's work on the walls and floor. More about the show in days to come but Ellie seemed to think she could float through all of it.               

Saturday, November 6, 2021

TRU BORN

Friday was a simply gorgeous autumn day in The Lou. My camera and I swung by Forest Park, wondering if anything looked better than it did, um, the day before. I found this man who performs as Tru Born sitting amidst the leaves, playing a dobro while a friend took video. It was delightful. He made a pleasant day so much nicer.

For the locals, he is performing this Tuesday night, November 9, at the Venice Cafe on the South Side from 9 until midnight. Worth the trip. Bring a copy of your vaccination card.      

Friday, November 5, 2021

ABOUT THE BEST WE GOT

As I mentioned yesterday, our fall colors are spotty at best. This is one of the best exceptions, found around my favorite location in Forest Park. I'm no arborist. Anyone know what it is?     

There is something unusual for the family to do tonight, which we will see Saturday or Sunday.     

Thursday, November 4, 2021

TONALITY

I've about run through the circus pictures so it's time to find something else. Not much going on but there is some color to see here and there. Fall foliage is hit and miss, depending on temperature and rainfall. Most years it is too warm and dry to produce a lot of color. This year we have some good spots but they aren't general. This tree is from my favorite grove in Forest Park, all of which looks aflame in the best years.          

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

UNNATURAL

One of the final acts at Circus Flora was this woman who could do things with her joints that humans are not meant to do. She looks like she is - what? - physically emerging from herself. Maybe her partner is a chiropractor.          

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

HERDING CATS

I did not think that cats are trainable but I was wrong. Circus Flora usually has some kind of (tame) animal act, horses, dogs, that sort of thing. This fall's production featured two women who had found a way to make kitties do their bidding. I wish they would come to my house. Here two of the pets are precisely weaving their way through a ladder-like structure. They later did some jumping and rolling stunts, farther from my seat and harder to photograph.            

Monday, November 1, 2021

MADELEINE MONDAY

In this country Halloween can be wild fun for children and not a few adults. I'm not into it myself. It is vastly more commercialized than when I was a child. I don't like being frightened (some people think it's fun - I don't) or the implications of violence and death. For most American children, though, it is a sugar-fueled fantasy celebration.

Ellie is getting into Harry Potter. The books are a challenge for her reading level but she has made her way through most of the first one. She loves the movies. So yesterday she got herself up as Hermione (with some help from mom), mounted her broom and was about to take off from our front steps when I caught her.         

CITY DAILY PHOTO NOVEMBER THEME DAY - GREAT BIG MESS

Mess can be a sign of disorder and decay, but, if assembled well, can also convey joy and a free spirit. And no one would ever try to steal this car. Maybe a great big mess can ward off evil.