Thursday, March 31, 2022


We were supposed to leave for Japan today but it's still not open to foreigners. Mrs. C and I were left with a bunch of air credits and came up with Plan B, which we're calling the Tale of Two Cities Tour. Big time destinations that, except for size, could hardly be more different. However, the friendly airline canceled our non-stop flight for the first goal, forcing us to make a connection. That airport is totally in the wrong direction but the timing gets us where we want to go at about the right time. Lots more to come as STL DPB hits the air and the road.                  

Wednesday, March 30, 2022


A last image from the City Museum before we, quite literally, move on. Variations on this figure marked fast food restaurants through much of the U.S., although the numbers are in decline. It started as Bob's Big Boy in the area where we will be tomorrow night but had many different first names from franchisees around the country. Here they were Shoney's Big Boy, although the company eventually dropped the last two words.

In the air and on the road tomorrow with new images to follow.           

Tuesday, March 29, 2022


I mentioned yesterday that Ellie had to go through a very large bank vault door to reach the hall of mirrors. This picture can only suggest how complex and strong the thing is, maybe more than the average Russian tank. So what's it doing in the City Museum? I dunno, someone must have had an extra one lying around.                         

Monday, March 28, 2022


Last week was spring school break around here. I took the kid to the City Museum, our town's inexplicably strange post-industrial wonderland. It can't be described in a couple of sentences. (See and if interested.)    There is a place where you pass through a massive open bank vault door, enter a dark hall, turn left and then enter this. Disorienting unless you are eight and like that sort of thing.          

Sunday, March 27, 2022


The Fox Theatre is so ornate and visually distracting that a visitor might not think to look up. The ceiling is way up there, the gold carvings surrounding a circle of sky blue. A big, showy stained glass pendant hangs from the center. I can only guess its size, probably at least 4 m / 13 ft in diameter. We assume it is firmly secured. (For the other lawyers out there, remember when you first read the case about res ipsa loquitur?)                 

Saturday, March 26, 2022


A row of - what? sea monsters? - guard the side of the balcony at the Fox Theatre. Sitting next to one of these might distract me from the show. Whoever designed the interior of this place was definitely on something.                     

Friday, March 25, 2022


It looks like the wall of a fantastical oriental temple, with intricate stone work that in spots reminds me of a cleaned-up Angkor Wat. It's all fake, in a sense. Theater staff at The Fox told us that this is made from plaster molds and then painted. That in itself must have required a lot of labor, and then think of the maintenance. People who attend a performance don't exactly think they are in a holy place unless they stop to consider the price of their ticket.                        

Thursday, March 24, 2022


This picture only gives an impression of how big the orchestra seating level is at the Fox Theatre. I brought a wide angle lens but it decided to have electronic issues during the shoot. (And, of course, it worked fine when I got home.) You can see a mezzanine, the high priced area called the Fox Club, but none of the vast balconies. You need a lot of space to seat 4,400 people.

I don't know what percentage of the seats they usually sell. We've only been a couple of times since it was restored. Hamilton and similar offerings are not up our alley. Snob alert: we've been subscribers to our symphony, across the street, and opera company for more than 40 years. Vissi d'arte.                    

Wednesday, March 23, 2022


Change of subject. Whether you knew it or not, there is such a thing as the International Photography Hall of Fame, and it happens to be located here. Besides exhibits, they do educational programs and workshops. There was one last Saturday about architectural photography, including two hours to shoot inside our totally over-the-top Fox Theatre.

It styles itself The Fabulous Fox. It opened as an enormous movie theater in 1929, closed in 1978, then rehabbed and reopened for stage shows in 1982. It has a twin in Detroit and seats about 4,400 in its present configuration. The decor is - what? - Greco-Roman-Byzantine-Hindu-Muslim madness but everybody loves its excess. More detail to come.       

Tuesday, March 22, 2022


Some people say everyone needs a hobby. I needed something to preserve my mental health during all those years I was doing the lawyer thing. (My advice in hindsight: don't go to law school unless you really know what you are getting into.) In 2008, a photographer (and lawyer) friend told me about this City Daily Photo thing. I checked it out and here we are. 5,394 posts later. I've met some wonderful people and made good friends. It has helped my skills and got me into my sideline of theatrical photography. Now that I finally retired there is every reason to keep it going as long as my right eye  and index finger still work.

Thanks to all of you for your support and friendship..               

Monday, March 21, 2022


The suburb where we live, Webster Groves, has a central street with many restaurants. One company has three of them, ranging from expensive fine dining to an upscale coffee shop. There is a storefront with what we think is their private function room and it had this large sign in the window. No idea what it was about but since the family calls my granddaughter Ellie we had to get a shot.           

Sunday, March 20, 2022


I know the Vikings raided much of the east coast of Britain but I didn't know they made it around the corner to Ireland. (The English took care of that themselves.) And on such a gorgeous day, the Irish aren't generally so dour. Maybe this chap needed someone to get him a beer.           

Saturday, March 19, 2022


An instance of the old meme about the luck of the Irish, I suppose. Ireland has had stretches of time when it had extraordinarily bad luck (potato famine, anyone? brutal English colonialism? The Troubles?) but that can be said of many peoples. It's doing quite well these days, though. I've had my share of good luck even though my Irish green and gold is alloyed with Polish red and white.           

Friday, March 18, 2022


St. Louis has two St. Patrick's Day parades. We've seen some images from what you might say is the official one downtown, always on the Saturday before the event. The other is on the day itself in the narrow streets of an old Irish neighborhood with the picturesque name of Dogtown (which is not derogatory - It's much more let the waist band out and be as goofy as you please. More to come.

I should have mentioned yesterday that March 17 has special significance in our home. Mrs. C and I met in a bar on St. Patrick's Day 49 years ago. The place was so crowded we were almost pressed into one another by the pinball machine I awkwardly asked her if she would like to play. Now here we are, happily growing old together.            

Thursday, March 17, 2022


It's a tradition around here at big events to hang a big American flag from the ends of the fire department's longest cranes. There was one of those near the beginning of the parade route. I've never seen another kind of flag used, let alone that of another country. Here, near the end of the march, the Irish flag was on display. My heritage on my father's side is Irish, from County Clare in the west. We have visited the island several times and once spent a couple on nights in my great grandfather's farmhouse, then used as a simple tourist cottage. My mother's side is Polish. Never been there, have no known family there, but I love Chopin.           

Wednesday, March 16, 2022


I've said many times that St. Louis loves an excuse to drink in public. There were a number of pop-up bars along the St. Patrick's Day parade route. This one got our attention. It's probably hard to read the menu at this resolution but the next to last item on the larger card says Breakfast Shot. Intrigued, I asked the bartenders what that meant. "Melted butter with a shot of Jameson," the woman explained, "chased with a piece of bacon. Full Irish breakfast!"                 

Tuesday, March 15, 2022


Both the crowd and the number of participants in this year's St. Patrick's Day parade was smaller than normal, perhaps because it was canceled for the last two years. There are usually a few great high school marching bands but there wasn't much beyond this group. You can see how cold it was. Can you play the saxophone while wearing gloves?                

Monday, March 14, 2022


March 14 is written as 3.14 in American date notation and,hence, Pi Day. My daughter makes a mean pesto pizza so I thought I'd mix mathematics with yummy flavors.

314 is the old central telephone code for St. Louis and so it's also 314 Day in this area. There were a number of activities to mark the occasion but we went to the symphony. Music director Stéphane Denève opened the program with the Ukrainian national anthem, for which the whole orchestra and audience stood. He concluded with music based on Russian folklore, The Firebird, hoping the harmonious blend of the two would signify something.                    

Sunday, March 13, 2022


Yesterday's post showed a statue in front of our planetarium. The blue structure is the building itself, taken from the other side and some distance away. There are often color and pattern projections on it, and I heard they were doing a blue and yellow theme this weekend. It turned out to be a yellowish sunflower, a Ukrainian national symbol, distorted a bit by the building's shape.

There is a major highway below street level on this side of the planetarium and you could only get a good view of the display by driving past. This was the clearest shot I could get.             

Saturday, March 12, 2022


Outside the St. Louis Planetarium.

Our huge St. Patrick's Day parade is today and I'll be downtown to shoot it. It will be really cold but my granddaughter Ellie is in it so I'll bundle up.

Friday, March 11, 2022


St. Francis Xavier College Church at St. Louis University. iPhone 12, shot through my windshield as the traffic light changed.                   

Thursday, March 10, 2022


Lots of Americans love big cars and trucks. Some people need them for work or towing things but I think some of us just like the feeling of power. It was easier to justify when gasoline was cheap but those days are gone. I found these two behemoths next to each other; the photo can't adequately portray how high, long and heavy they are.The cost of a fill up must be awful. Missouri is one of the cheapest states for gasoline and I just paid $31 for a half tank in a  modest car. Sure, it's much worse elsewhere but we have never seen the like.               

Wednesday, March 9, 2022


This painting is in the central hall of the art museum, seen yesterday. It shows a quite romanticized version of life along the Mississippi, with peaceful native Americans, some buildings made by Europeans and even a 19th Century riverboat. You could view it as idyll, fantasy or propaganda.                 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022


The central hall of the St. Louis Art Museum. The main building was constructed as the Palace of Fine Art for our 1904 World's Fair (and we had the Olympics the same year - we used to be somebody) and then became SLAM. The architect, Cass Gilbert, was inspired by the Baths of Caracalla in Rome.                 

Monday, March 7, 2022


There were children's activities at our art museum this weekend. Ellie hadn't visited in a long time with pandemic restrictions. She hardly remembered the place. One of the things to do was a scavenger hunt on the theme of art in nature and nature in art. She had to find six objects from a variety of eras and peoples, identifying features, writing reactions or drawing interpretations. She was really into it, stopping at other works as she flitted from room to room, exclaiming "That's so cool!" again and again.                 

Sunday, March 6, 2022


I walk around with a good size mirrorless camera and zoom lens. It's not unusual at the Mardi Gras parade for groups of merrymakers to approach me and ask me to photograph them. Not sure why since they never ask me to send them a copy. I guess it's just showing off when you are in a party mood. These young men were awfully friendly. Note that it's not beer in their hands.                   

Saturday, March 5, 2022


I didn't smell anything distinctive in the air, though. Limited medical marijuana is permitted in Missouri. Recreational sale and use is legal just across the river in Illinois. I assume there is a fair amount of interstate smuggling.                   


Friday, March 4, 2022


Freude, schöner Götterfunken
Tochter aus Elysium
Wir betreten feuertrunken
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!


Thursday, March 3, 2022



Occasionally I'll see someone I know when I'm shooting at the Mardi Gras parade. This is Audrey, who does a lot of the computer graphics work for Artica. She knows plenty about costume design and construction, too, and has a perfect sense of posing.

On another note, St. Louis set a high temperature record yesterday of 82F/28C. It beat the old record by 3F/1.66C. It's still winter.        

Wednesday, March 2, 2022



People from this group (they are always men) appear at the Mardi Gras parade every year. They flank a main street where revelers stream into the parade and party area. I have never seen anyone from the crowd interact with them. No other comment. The images speak for themselves.              

Tuesday, March 1, 2022


A shadowy personage walks along the route of Saturday's Mardi Gras parade. Some people in Venice, the home office of Carnival, dress in elaborate, brilliantly colored costumes. Others are grave, monochromatic, perhaps even threatening. This person took the second approach and was staring straight into my lens.                


Today City Daily Photo members explore the many ways to be off by yourself. When I took this photo I was standing alone on the Illinois side of Eads Bridge, looking over the Mississippi back to St. Louis. No lights were visible downtown or on the passing barge. It felt like every living soul but me had vanished, and it scared me.