Monday, July 31, 2023

THE ALL-SEEING EYE(S)

 

Seen at an annual outdoor religious event that draws photographers as well as the devout. I think that's a Canon camera strap. More will be revealed after tomorrow's City Daily Photo theme day.            

Sunday, July 30, 2023

KINGSHIGHWAY ARCHITECTURE

Kingshighway is a major north-south street in the City of St. Louis proper. Part of it runs along Forest Park, the largest urban park in the United States. That stretch contains expensive apartment and condo buildings as well as the enormous Washington University Medical Center. The architectural contrasts are stark.             

 

Saturday, July 29, 2023

RUNNING THROUGH FIRE

That's how it feels to many of us in St. Louis when we are out in the street, and certainly in much of the rest of the country. The picture is a bit of a tease, though. This locally famous statue in a downtown plaza is in the middle of a fountain whose water is colored for various occasions. Looks like a hot foot, though.             

Friday, July 28, 2023

IT COULD BE WORSE

It's not Arizona, but after a moderate first half of summer here the southwestern sirocco has blown this way. 102 F is 39 C. This sign is on a bank and I assure you that nobody was walking up. This is America. We drive.

The hottest I remember in my years here is 106 F / 41 C. It sticks in my memory because a few people in my office had hired a teacher from the Alliance Francaise for weekly lessons. Her mother back home saw the reports on the news and called to ask if people were dying in the streets. Of course, that was before the same kind of thing started happening in France.             

Thursday, July 27, 2023

MUTANT

Virtually all of the sunflowers we saw were very symmetrical - uniform, bright yellow outer petals; a middle ring of golden stalks or hooks; and a inner disk of tiny geometric whorls changing from gold to green. This one flower broke the pattern with the middle ring incomplete and the inner disk collapsing into a void. The bee didn't care.        

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

JUST GETTING STARTED

An immature sunflower just getting ready to pop into bloom. It is fascinating to see how the bright yellow petals begin to form. At this stage, they look like a plant that could suck something in and trap it.      

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

COUNT 'EM

A field of sunflowers at the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. Not as far as the eye can see but more than the eye can count.          

Monday, July 24, 2023

AH! SUN-FLOWER

Ah Sun-flower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the travellers journey is done. 

                   - William Blake, 1794

The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is a preserve in far north St. Louis County along the Missouri River. All summer long the state agency that manages it plants acres of sunflowers in staggered groups so some area is in its glory throughout the season. Mrs. C and I took a drive up to view the spectacle yesterday.

Sunday, July 23, 2023

BACK HOME - THE GEYSER

We've been back home for almost a week and I have not been back out on the local streets. It's time to bring it back home, but for today I have to hit the archives. This is the Gateway Geyser. It is in a park in East St. Louis, Illinois, directly across the Mississippi from the Arch. They pop it off every day in the warmer months. How high the jet rises depends on the wind. If it's perfectly calm the water rises as high as the top of the Arch, 630 feet/192 meters.                 

Saturday, July 22, 2023

STL DPB POSTS PRETTY PICTURES

The condo we rent at Playa Langosta faces roughly west with a view to the Pacific. The qualities of the sunset depend on the weather and cloud patterns. This was a pretty good one.             

Friday, July 21, 2023

STL DPB CHATS WITH A CHOCOLATE VEGAN

Another vendor at the Tamarindo night market. An American ex-pat (there are lots of them) was promoting organic and vegan products. Unusually, they were all chocolates, Costa Rican grown, gently fertilized and lovingly processed. One of the products on offer were heart-shaped chocolate pops on a (wooden, of course) spoon-stick. It came with instructions to stir it into your favorite non-dairy milk substitute. Our granddaughter chose to ignore those instructions and pronounced the result excellent.           

Thursday, July 20, 2023

STL DPB AT THE NIGHT MARKET

Tamarindo has a weekly night market. It's not very big but it is bustling. Lots of crafts, jewelry, art and also several food vendors. This was one of the bigger operations. I'm not sure what they were making but this man seems to be working a very large wok with cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. We didn't sample any because we had dinner plans for Mrs. C's birthday.             

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

STL DPB THINKS ABOUT BOTANY


I do some B&W work when I think it's appropriate for the scene. These trees grow in sand at the edge of the beach in Playa Langosta. High tide comes very close. How do they get nutrients from salty sand? I'm sure it has been studied but there was no one for me to ask.                   

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

STL DPB AT THE BEACH - RELAXING IN THE ROCKS

Costa Rica sits along the Pan American mountain range that goes from the Andes to the Rockies to Alaska. There are lots of volcanoes, active and not. The effect can be seen on many beaches on the Pacific side, where tan to black lava flows have not yet been reduced to sand. Low tide brings interesting pools, with critters from very small, like tiny hermit crabs such as the one that unexpectedly showed up in our bedroom (https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=10161256324502313&set=a.128314812312) to larger fauna, who don't seem to mind lounging on rocks.       

Monday, July 17, 2023

STL DPB LOOKS FOR FINE DINING

Scouting the Saturday market in Tamarindo, we found a vendor we'd met before. An Argentine family sold authentic empanadas and this unusual international assortment of hot dogs. PorteƱo is the word that residents of Buenos Aires call themselves, people of the port. The price is in Costa Rican colones, about $4.50 or €4.00. I'd go with the French, myself.

So here we sit at the Miami airport Saturday night with most flights running very late due to weather across the southern U.S. We are now scheduled to arrive in St. Louis at 2:00 AM if there are no further delays. I wish my car had autopilot. 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

STL DPB WALKS THE TOWN - PASATIEMPO

Tamarindo has a weekly outdoor market on Saturday. There is some food but most of the things on offer are crafts, herbal this and that, costume jewelry and clothing. The Ticos who help set up and supply the feria need something to pass the time between tasks. This man was part of a four-person card game just outside the market. No idea what they were playing. I stopped, had a look and found that a little ¿permisso? goes a long way.         

Saturday, July 15, 2023

STL DPB FORETELLS THE FUTURE - THE ORACLE OF TAMARINDO

At least that's what the scene made me think of, maybe at a temple on an Aegean island. It is actually just out back of an excellent restaurant called Pangas Beach Club. The strip of water in the mid-ground is an estuary between Tamarindo and the next beach over, Playa Grande. People walk across at low tide but there are, uh, crocodiles.           

Friday, July 14, 2023

STL DPB BY THE BEACH - RED SUNSET

A mostly cloudy sunset at Playa Langosta. Underexposed but not color corrected. Would it be the end of the world if we couldn't come back here?         

Thursday, July 13, 2023

STL DPB BY THE SEA - A GRAY DAY

 
 
Even an overcast day by the Pacific Ocean can have its subtle beauties. Beach, drift log and lava rocks at Playa Langosta.            

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - A ONE PERSON KITCHEN

Noam Kostucki installed a professional kitchen in her home out in the Costa Rican forest. She produced a spectacular seven course dinner without help, although there may be an assistant for a bigger group of diners. This is a magician at work.

Note the mobile phone in the foreground. It is mounted on a small flexible tripod on a pot, taking video of the proceedings.          

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - WHAT A NIGHT

Located in the woods a half hour out of Tamarindo, Noam Kostucki presides over the culinary experience of a lifetime. Noam is Polish Jewish, grew up in Belgium and has lived in many  parts of the world, now in Costa Rica for nine years. Her culinary skills are self-taught and they are extraordinary. The meal is a seven course tasting menu, more about which tomorrow. There are a maximum of twelve guests at a communal table but, in low season, there were only four of us last night. This experience is worth a journey. See https://www.elmundodenoam.com/hirfinedining  

By the way, if you go, do not drive yourself. Use one of the car services Noam recommends.      

Monday, July 10, 2023

STL DPB REACHES THE END OF THE TRAIL

Through all of our busy travels over the last month we have come to our final destination, Playa Langosta, Costa Rica. This is the view from our balcony. We figured out from the guest book that this is out twelfth time in this condo, fourteenth time in Tamarindo/Playa Langosta and nineteenth time in Costa Rica over the decades. I guess we like it a lot. Pura vida.                  

Sunday, July 9, 2023

STL DPB STOPS IN TEXAS AND GETS OUT QUICKLY

Greetings from beautiful Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, where we are overnighting on our way to more scenic climes. We are not exactly Texas people although, to be fair, the political and social situation isn't any better than Missouri although the climate is even worse and the scale is way bigger. Flying out this morning to one of our favorite places.         

Saturday, July 8, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - CLAIM TO FAME AFTER DISCOVERING CRACK PREFERS HEAT

Word salad in Times Square. It's been three whole days since I've been on an airplane and I need to do something about it. Next stop, the tropics. Well, after a flight connection.           

Friday, July 7, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - EVANGELISM

Another scene in Times Square. Check out the expression on his face. I have my own reaction and I will leave you to yours.            

Thursday, July 6, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - ALL THIS IS MINE

As if any one person could contain the enormity of New York. The north end of Times Square contains a set of steps to nowhere that are effectively bleachers to view the passing action. I spoke to the wife of the man with the outstretched arms who happened to be standing next to me. They were visiting from Philadelphia and wanted a visual souvenir of the event. There are events beyond counting in this town.

There hasn't been much about St. Louis lately for a blog that bills itself as being about St. Louis. I don't think there will be any soon. By Sunday Mrs. C and I will be in a different country, one that we are very familiar with.     

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

STL DPB VISITING FAMILY - THE CROWE SIBLINGS

My sister has a big house in the New Jersey suburbs of New York. For years and years, we would all get together at her house over the Fourth of July holiday, and before that at the home of our father who lived in the same town. The tradition was disrupted by Covid and grandchildren but we made the effort to get back this year.

We turned out pretty well. All prosperous. All on our first marriages. Four undergraduate degrees and assorted graduate degrees. Three out of four bad spines. Seen a lot of the world. From left to right, John, Suzanne, Mary Beth and your humble blogger. I hope we can keep it up. 

Home this afternoon and then no more airplanes until Saturday.               

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - NATIVE LAND


Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said
This is my own, my native land!

                                        - From a mawkish poem by Sir Walter Scott 

But, my, how it's changed since I lived here. All the shiny new buildings, dominated by One World Trade Center toward the left. This is lower Manhattan taken from across the Hudson in New Jersey. There would normally be a spectacular fireworks display on the water tonight for the 4th of July but thunderstorms are likely.

 

 

Monday, July 3, 2023

STL DPB ON THE ROAD - MAKE UP YOUR MIND

Ah, the little island where I was born. Times Square, of course. As my sibs slowly drifted in to my sister's house in New Jersey, I went to Manhattan for a bit of a walkabout.         

Sunday, July 2, 2023

STL DPB IN THE AIR - SMOKE SIGNALS

Flew over to New York yesterday and then drove to New Jersey, where I'll spend the 4th of July holiday with my sibs and their families. I made sure to get a window seat on the left/north side of the plane. Irregular streaks of soot stained the sky. As I drove across the bridge linking Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx, the air was a smudge of orange-brown, the sun looking like old fruit ready for the trash.

My plane got out of St. Louis just as lightening was flashing across the west. Shortly thereafter, a huge storm blew in, causing flash flooding and downed power lines. At least it clears the air.

            

Saturday, July 1, 2023

CITY DAILY PHOTO JUNE THEME - CLIMATE

The climate in the American Midwest can be violent in the spring and summer. This photo was taken some years ago when my office was on the 23rd floor with a nearly unobstructed view to the south. Severe thunderstorms rolled through our area, spawning a few tornadoes. Here, one of them crosses the Mississippi River not far away. It did not quite touch down, avoiding severe damage.        

Get the weather report from City Daily Photo members all around the world at https://citydailyphoto.org/category/theme-days/.