Sunday, January 23, 2022

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - THE PLACE NEEDED SOME COLOR

We are staying in a different apartment in Tamarindo this year. It is spacious and modern but, well, a little harsh in its decorating sense. Only white walls and ceilings, light blond floors and cabinets. The few large wall hangings are monochrome close-ups of surf. The place needed some color. Fortunately, the supermarket has a good floral section, where I bought some lillies. And very fortunately, I brought a macro lens.           

Saturday, January 22, 2022

VOLCAN

Costa Rica has two international airports. The main one, of course, is in San Jose, the capital. We use the one in the northwest near the small city of Liberia, situated to serve the gorgeous areas along the Pacific coast.

When flying in from Miami, the plane leaves the Caribbean at the north of Nicaragua, then turns south along the west side of Lake Nicaragua (the 19th largest in the world). The two cones of Ometepe Volcano are off the left wing so we always get seats on that side.            

Friday, January 21, 2022

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - ENDLESS SUMMER

Even a city kid like me doesn't get tired of this place. At this time of year, while it's quite cold back home, the weather report here is the same day after day: clear, warm but not awful, dry and a refreshing ocean breeze. From May through November it may rain some most days but hardly all day, every day. My spikey New Yorker brain waves enjoy the laid back pace and pura vida attitude.                

Thursday, January 20, 2022

WE MADE IT

Same place, different place. Back in Tamarindo for the Nth time but in an apartment new to us. Not walking distance to the beach by old folks' standards but what a view. A sliver of Playa Tamarindo in the foreground, the mouth of the Tamarindo estuary and the wide arc of Playa Grande beyond. This'll do just fine.          

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

KNOTS AND SINEWS

Hello from 37,000 feet over the southeastern United States, where the airplane Wi-Fi is working for a change. This is a bit more from the sculpture garden behind the art museum. It is a detail from Hercules, I think, battling a hydra. He may be in need of a muscle relaxer and a massage when the fight is done. We won't need encouragement to unwind when we reach our destination this afternoon.         

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

SOMEBODY GET HER A SWEATER

One of the places you might find something interesting to shoot after a snow around here is the sculpture garden behind the art museum. We didn't get much and by the time I arrived there was nothing on the statues. Still, they have their own interest.

This is called The Mountain by the French sculptor, Aristide Maillol. You can see the reason for the title in the way the right leg seems to arise from the earth and the crags formed by the left leg and knee are balanced by the peak running from the right hand through the torso to the top of the head.

Traveling tonight and onward tomorrow. Big change of scene by Wednesday afternoon.            

Monday, January 17, 2022

TURKISH PAVILION

My favorite local park, Tower Grove, has many so-called pavilions, open-sided structures that families and groups can rent for events. They have exotic designs and whimsical names. This one, the largest, is known as the Turkish Pavilion. No parties on a gray, snowy day.            

Sunday, January 16, 2022

FIRST SNOW

We've come late to the party compared to most of the U.S. but it happens sooner or later. We don't normally get a lot of snow but there was some Saturday morning, just enough to make my granddaughter beg to go sledding. Won't be much left by Sunday. Don't know the name of these berries just outside my front porch (I bet Mrs. C does) but they are pretty against the blue-white and green.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

GREAT BIG MAP

Seen inside the visitor center at Lock and Dam 26. The resolution isn't great but the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers is just below and to the left of the label for the town of Wood River. There is a state park at the point and it's worth a visit if you find yourself in the area. The two rivers combined drain an awful lot of North America.          

Friday, January 14, 2022

SEABIRDS FAR FROM THE SEA

This is the municipal pier of the little town of Grafton, Illinois. It's up the Mississippi from the area of the last few days' pictures. The lighthouse is just for show. It is surprising to see birds that look like seagulls in the middle of the continent but I suppose the vast river environment provides a home to wildlife like we might see around Lake Michigan, almost 300 miles away.                 

Thursday, January 13, 2022

END OF THE LINE

This was off to the right of the frame in Tuesday's picture of the lock and dam visitor's center. Not sure why a wall was needed other than for architectural balance. The circular openings are there, well, because.             

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

ALTON BRIDGE

How many bridges are there across the Mississippi? Depends on the source you look at - 130? 133? 142? It also depends on how you define a functioning bridge. St. Louis City and County have nine, if I count correctly, two of which are exclusively for railroad use. But there is another one that used to carry historic U.S. Route 66 across the river that is so narrow and worn that it can now only be used for pedestrian sightseeing.

This one is the Alton Bridge, north of St. Louis, from St. Charles County, Missouri, to Alton, Illinois. The eagle in Monday's post was just up and to my left from the place I took this picture.            

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

MILITARY FACILITY, SORT OF

Entrance to the visitor center at Lock and Dam 26 on the Mississippi, located at Alton, IL, a bit north of St. Louis. It's a big one and, like all of them on the major rivers, was built and is maintained by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.          

Monday, January 10, 2022

ONE LOUSY EAGLE

It's the beginning of eagle season in our area. Bald eagles who live along the upper Mississippi lose their access to fish when the river freezes over. Many come to an area a little north of the city where the river rarely freezes and barge traffic around the last two locks and dams keeps things churned up. (The change in elevation from here to the Gulf of Mexico is so gradual that there are no further locks  and dams.)

Yesterday was sunny and not too cold so Mrs. C and I went out for a look. We know the usual spots but there wasn't much to see. It's possible that it hasn't been cold enough for long enough yet. We found this one lonely bird just hanging out in a tree along the shore.                

Sunday, January 9, 2022

WHERE ARE THE HORSES?

An architectural detail of some of our older commercial areas is a door set back from the front window line with a tile floor stating the name of the establishment. Sometimes it was the owners name and sometimes it was descriptive,

I doubt I could have given a good definition of hippodrome before I drafted this post, maybe just that it was some old term for a stadium. Our friends at Wikipedia tell me that it is an ancient Greek term, specifically for a horse or chariot race venue. I'm baffled by why the word was used here.         

Saturday, January 8, 2022

SELF PORTRAIT IN THE WINDOW OF A VACANT STOREFRONT

Cherokee Street. Mirrored glass. I don't know why you would want that, concealing what might lie within.                 

Friday, January 7, 2022

A NOTE FROM JANUARY 6

I was preparing this post on Thursday evening, overwhelmed by the day's news. As I looked for an image to fit my mood, I found this stencil on the sidewalk in Cherokee Street.                 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

ARCHITECTURE QUIZ

This is the same building we've seen the last two days that we call the World's Fair Pavilion. I thought it was built for the 1904 World's Fair but I was wrong. That happened in 1909 using proceeds from the fair, with a major renovation in 1998. (Once a century should do it.) It is open on the sides and can be rented for events. I've been to a political rally and wedding reception there. When I was an undergrad the Grateful Dead showed up one afternoon when they were in town and played for free.

I'm not sure how to describe the architecture. Looks vaguely Spanish to me but I can't find anything online with specific information.               

 

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

STONE BILLIARDS

These concrete spheres are visible in the background of yesterday's photo. They serve as bollards, the now-common barriers meant to prevent people from driving vehicles into places they shouldn't go to do things they shouldn't do. The view reminds me of some astronomical diagrams.                    

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

WINTER LIGHT

It has gotten quite cold here by our standards. Days are short but it gives us light llke golden hour most of the day. This is one of the two buildings in our major park left from the 1904 World's Fair. We had the Olympics the same year. We used to be somebody.              

Sunday, January 2, 2022

A GOOD WAY TO END THE YEAR

Lots of symphony orchestras have special New Year's Eve programs to gin up some fun and extra revenue. Our St. Louis Symphony is one of them. Mrs. C and I haven't been out on this night in decades but this year the SLSO had two performances, one in the evening and a new one at 2 PM. Perfect for sleepyhead old folks.

Our beloved music director, Stéphane Denève, seen on the screen here, put on a program heavy on Gershwin, including the overture to Girl Crazy (all those hits - I Got Rhythm, Embraceable You, But Not For Me), An American In Paris and Rhapsody In Blue, all bursting with energy. After intermission we heard Meet Me In St. Louis, the St. Louis Blues March and finally Auld Lang Syne. Damn hard to sing along through a mask.                 

Saturday, January 1, 2022

CITY DAILY PHOTO JANUARY THEME DAY - PHOTO OF THE YEAR


If you are a photography junkie like me it's hard to select a single picture out of a year's work. I considered some that reflected the tumult and  anxiety of 2021. In the end, I decided on something peaceful and beautiful, hoping it might be therapeutic. This is Ruby Beach on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, photographed in September.

On the other hand, if you care to see what I really thought of 2021 click here: https://saintlouismodailyphoto.blogspot.com/2021/10/armageddon-st-louis-style.html