Saturday, June 22, 2024



An odd feature in Tower Grove Park: there is an area of fake ruins beside a pond, sort of a Romantic fantasy dropped down in the Midwest. It’s not like the park is set on a foggy moor. This was built in the 19th Century and seems pretty strange today. Still, people like it. You often see wedding parties being photographed here.               

Friday, June 21, 2024



It’s not like anyone here needs a news bulletin that summer has arrived. No need to rehash the common complaints about the heat. I’ll just say that I didn’t spend a lot of time out of my car when I visited Tower Grove Park. I gave this picture a bit of an old color postcard look, thinking about what used to be normal.             

Thursday, June 20, 2024


The band wasn’t playing a Johnny Cash cover as Caleb Carinci-Asch prepared to hurl himself through a flaming hoop and, if all went according to plan, land on the horse’s back on the other side. (Spoiler: he nailed it.). Again, how do you prepare for this? I could probably find my own ring of fire by walking around the streets of St. Louis today, but it’s going to be even worse over the weekend.                  

Wednesday, June 19, 2024



The equestrians are back. Run the horse around the ring, stretch a rope across a radius and, well, let it fly. This is hard for me to understand. How do you train for it? How do you accommodate mistakes?

I really need to get back out on the street and find some new material. However, as you may have heard, the northeastern quarter of the U.S. is in the oven this week. Maybe there is something interesting indoors.             

Tuesday, June 18, 2024



There is another circus organization in St. Louis. Circus Harmony has trained children and teens to perform gymnastics and circus acts, with performances around the world. One of the things they learn is reliance on their teammates. This may be what they call a leap of faith.                               

Monday, June 17, 2024



I’m at least mildly afraid of horses. After all, they are a lot bigger than I am and, if things went the wrong, way they could do you some real harm. The only horses around when I was young were under New York policemen. I certainly don’t know how to ride them. So I have great admiration for artists like Caleb Carinci-Asch and Leah Innocenti, who do things that could do them some real harm, and carry it off with aplomb.                   

Sunday, June 16, 2024


Peru native Carlos Morales began performing circuses at age 12. After mastering more and more complex feats, he began touring with the so-called Wheel of Death. These two photos can only hint at its complexity and daring. Walking in or outside the bigger wheel causes the whole thing to rotate. We are staggered to think the source of the idea, its design, testing, maintenance and transportation.              

Saturday, June 15, 2024



I don’t have a lot going for me in the eye-hand coordination department. Can’t juggle two objects, let alone three or more. We usually think of these artists throwing things in the air. However, Tersit Asefa Dersu, a native of Ethiopia, turns it upside down. She calls herself a bounce juggler. When you throw a ball in the air, you have some leeway to work the parabola on the way down. When you bounce one off a hard surface, geometry is unforgiving. I got this image at a high shutter speed but it can’t give the feeling of the frantic, precise pace at which she was working.             

Friday, June 14, 2024



For our international friends. OSHA is the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency responsible for worker safety standards. 

A staple of Circus Flora is the performance by the renowned acrobatic family, the Flying Wallendas, three generations of high wire artists. Tino is the patriarch, possibly as old as me. Son Alex, in this shot, has grandson Matteo strapped tightly to his shoulders. But they are probably 10 meters off the ground with no net. The family does this day after day, but should the authorities be concerned?            

Thursday, June 13, 2024



Circus Flora productions always have a thread of a story, a thin frame from which to hang comedy and spectacular circus acts. The current show is called Marooned, some fluff about pirates stuck on a tropical island and looking for treasure. There is always a ring mistress/narrator, Cecil MacKinnon, and a principal character, here pirate chief Brett Alters.                  

Wednesday, June 12, 2024


One of the nice things about this town is that it it has its own resident circus company, Circus Flora, and the company has its own permanent big top tent. Their main production is in June. We take Ellie and I post pictures every year. They can be full of action but nothing unexpected. I think this one is different. What muscles.            

Tuesday, June 11, 2024



Ah, American cuisine. This is one of the odds and ends in the City Museum’s collection. Big Boy (originally Bob’s Big Boy in Southern California - no relation) is a fast food burger chain whose fortunes have waxed and waned. I’ve seen a few in Los Angeles. There is apparently one left around here, open limited  hours. The sandwich and the waistline says it all.              

Monday, June 10, 2024


Still at the City Museum. The sign may be from an old amusement park or carnival. The sign and passage don’t lead to anything in particular, which may be the point.              

Sunday, June 9, 2024


Ever since I was a young boy, I've played the silver ball…  Pinball was quite my fancy when I was young. I was almost late for my last final exam in law school because my friend and I had so many free games rung up on our favorite machine. But that was long ago. On Friday, Ellie and I went to our nothing-else-like-it-in-the-world City Museum. For a few dollars, you can play a large suite of antique machines for as long as you like. The kid, a child of 21st Century tech, isn’t interested.              

Saturday, June 8, 2024


Change of scene. As the sometime kid entertainment director, I took Ellie to the ever-popular City Museum yesterday. El made a beeline for an air brush temporary tattoo station. She took a long time deciding among the many designs. She will show it proudly until time makes it fade.                 

Friday, June 7, 2024


The subject of this picture came up with the caption. I think it looks like a beehive. This was a big kaleidoscope at the Museum of Illusions. One of Ellie is usually enough. My friend and I are going to the City Museum today so we will have something new to show tomorrow.              

Thursday, June 6, 2024


More Spiderman stuff? More mirrors. Ellie and her precious cloth lambies are not leaping through the air. They are lying on the floor off the bottom of the frame. The camera is facing the back mirror wall.                              

Wednesday, June 5, 2024


Granddaughter Ellie doing her Spiderman act. Another feature at the Museum of Illusions, of course. Easy to figure out how it’s done but you need Photoshop or something similar to flip vertically and horizontally.                

Tuesday, June 4, 2024


Mirror, mirror, on the wall, or in front of the wall, or on the side wall, all precisely positioned. The right side of this image is a mirror set closer to the viewer than the wall on the left. There is a small ladder behind the front-facing mirror for Ellie to hang from, dangling just a bit of her body in direct view.                  

Monday, June 3, 2024


Another from the Museum of Illusions. One of my sometimes rambunctious granddaughter is quite enough.                  

Sunday, June 2, 2024


A new amusement in town, something called the Museum of Illusions. It's not a new idea, however. The place is a franchise, with 40-plus locations around the world. Ours opened a couple of weeks ago. It is well done and Ellie had a good time. On the other hand, it takes about an hour to go through and is overpriced. More to come.        

Saturday, June 1, 2024


I have a problem with this month's theme. We don't dine al fresco much, generally preferring the comfort and, in the city, quiet of an indoor dining room. A search of my archives turned up nothing appropriate from the local scene. We regularly dine outdoors, however, during our frequent trips to Costa Rica. In fact, there are few opportunities to eat indoors in the beach town of Tamarindo that we usually visit. This will have to do. BTW, I wouldn't be caught dead in that  shirt.  

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