"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Archive for December, 2010

Lost Sole

What I Found in the Toys 'R Us Parking Lot

Late afternoon winter light.

When I find these things I know there’s a story behind the scene.  The light seemed perfect, causing the edges to reflect the setting sun.  Anna, 7, said, “I wonder whose shoe is that.”

 

*Taking the wordpress challenge to postaday2011.*


Spiderman with an Icepack on his Head

Sitting on Uncle Matthew waiting for the head bump to feel better, our superhero is subdued after some wild maneuvers.  Earlier I had witnessed climbing up the banisters, clinging to the ledge at the top of the stairs, oh my.  I came in on this scene, went to get the camera and no one noticed.  He and Batman had been driving around the circle between the kitchen and dining room on blue plastic motorcycles, around and around and around.  It was a quick recovery.


Tony Monaco on Hammond B3 Organ – Jazz at the Rumba Cafe

Matthew heard Tony play a couple of months ago in Zagreb at a Jazz Festival and now Tuesday night in Columbus, Ohio, Tony Monaco’s hometown. Started at nine, we stayed ’til midnight and Tony was just getting warmed up ready for another set. Reggie Jackson on drums and Derek Dicenza on guitar.  Reminded me of the time Matthew and Mary and I went to the Village Vanguard and saw Dr. Lonnie Smith on Hammond B3. Matthew loves to listen to the Hammond B3,  It was a fun night with James and Steve.  

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Laura Bakes Barefoot Contessa’s Vegetable Tian

Steve and I went to Laura’s this evening. She baked a vegetable Tian  (click here for Ina Garten’s recipe)t was delicious on a cold winter night. I lay on Laura’s couch under an afghan my Grandmother Hendricks knit .

Baked Vegtable Tian


A Different Light of Christmas

The introduction of the portable electronic world to the children. Matthew came to tell me to get the camera. They never noticed I was there., YIKES. Mesmerized is the word.

A new DS for Christmas captures everyone's attention.


Christmas Day 2010 Captured by Marlene, Guest Photographer

V. had said, be sure to get a family photo on the stairs this year. After I took a ton trying to get the perfect shot, Marlene(my DIL Erika’s mom) suggested I get in the middle. She photographed the scene. Here is the result. I don’t get into too many shots cause I am doing the picture taking.

A happy Christmas Day with the family together. Mark in the shades, Matthew cheering wildly, Laura in the purple holding Anna, Erika in the red, James down front on the right holding Maura. Michael and Jack and Murphy, too.


Unexpected Gift Late Christmas Eve

Tonight we were wrapping presents, stirring up the breakfast casserole for morning, hanging out after early church and Chinese take-out. A tradition Mark continues from late childhood when the only place open in Shadyside was the Chinese restaurant around the block. Matthew is here from Croatia.  Laura and James called on the way back from his parents’ home where they had spent Christmas Eve.  Said they might drop by or not.  They called again. Said they were at the front door. And James came in carrying a huge brown box.  He opened it up on the kitchen table and there was a beautiful oil portrait of Laura looking at me, full of life and beauty, painted expertly by her mother-in-law to be, portrait artist Sharon Weaver.  I was overcome, felt a lump well up in my throat, not just for the stunning and beautiful painting.  I felt intense happiness that she is loved so well by his family. The painting was such an unexpected gift. An heirloom present.  A gift of love.  I’ll photograph it again in the light of day. Thank you Sharon!

I am going to go and study how to photograph oil paintiings and shoot it again!


Electric Nativity with Santa and Carolers Combo

Thanks for all the condolences and comments on the passing of Fred (yesterday’s post).  Must have been a bit distracted because there were 2 errors in two sentences and of course the date isn’t 2011 yet.  I am going to have to hire a proofreader for when I am tired.   Thanks to V and Keith.    So is the preference white lights or colored lights?

Christmas Decorations at Night

I am still thinking of the around-the-year storage for these items.

Here is one of the final Christmas lights at night series for Christmas Eve.  It can’t be as much fun to dismantle as it is to decorate!


Fred: A Faithful Feline Companion

Born March 6, 1993. Passed December 22, 2010.  He will be sorely missed.  Found a site to help cope with pet loss

Happier Days- Fred Smells the Flowers.


Inflatables to the nth Power + Reflections on the Car = ?

A math problem with no answer.  It could take years to calculate.  At Thanksgiving we saw a yard with 31 inflatables but they were all deflated in the daylight, it just isn’t the same effect.  Joan B found this house for me, too.

And I spoke to the owner and she said her husband had been ill and they had really scaled down this year (2008).  Pre-blog  I realize I have been at this for a time now. Shot on the  Northside.

What can the electricity bill be this month?


Decorate Your Dump Truck for the Holiday

Sunday my friend V told me she saw this dump truck decorated with lights and declared it blog worthy. And I told her I’d already photographed it.  Thought it was last year. And totally out of the blue,  today my sister M sent me the dump truck photo I had emailed her two years ago. Pre-blog.  This image is one taken in that series(2008).  You’ll see it if you take the back road from Millvale to West View.  My friend J is the one who actually drove me to see the truck in 2008t.  Wait til you see the house she drove me to. Tom0rrow.

Saw a firetruck with lots of light online,

J. drove me to shoot this a Sunday night two years ago.


Pink Flamingos or Flamingoes Adorn the Water Cooler

My creative and artistic friends  host a great party! I like their imaginative use of the pink flamingo lights wrapped around the water cooler.  Unique. I  laughed out loud when I saw them.I had to look up the plural of flamingo and both o and oes are acceptable, posted in the order listed.  The link states the birds are gregarious.  I like that, too! I don’t have a water cooler or flamingo shaped lights but the combo looks fun to me.

Almost looks like an aquarium.

You can really say it glows....


How Many Snowmen in this Collection?

When we got to the party Friday night I saw this display of snowmen in the front entrance hall.  Later, I asked if I could photograph it and blog it and was given permission but  I was told that the edict is, “No more snowmen!”

But the grouping is sweet. Turns out Tim never had a collection. And so the snowman collection began.  But then it had to stop!

Not sure which one was the first snowman in the collection.

Still thinking about a collection begins.

L. wrote and said she collects Creches. When is a collection complete?


Rooftop Deck View of City from the Southside

The holiday lights down below give the clue as to the time of year.  Two gatherings Friday night. Live music at both.  Extraordinary piano playing.  Walked up to the third floor and out the door onto the roof.  Propped the camera up on the deck railing and shot without the cable release. The lights felt magical. A beautiful cold winter night.

Night view of the city from the South Side.

Rooftops fascinate me. A terrific vantage point.


East Liberty Winter Sunset

Had just left the bookstore and was walking to my car. I could see the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland from the parking lot on the roof.  Smoke rising, silhouettes, a stunning sky. This is my 444th post today.

Another artist's palette, this time in the sky.


Lone String of Lights on Larimer Laundromat

I had to put the car in reverse and pull over. Yes, it seemed blog worthy.  I have shot the laundromat before.  I drive by it most days. Grateful for a washer and dryer in my very own basement.  I like the smell of laundromats. Clean laundry.  You could get Chuckles in the vending machine in the one on Highland Ave.  One time I went with some friends to see a little play in a laundromat in Shadyside.  Figures made from dryer lint. I wonder who thought to drape the sting of lights on the sign.

On my way home tonight.....


It’s Official- Christmas Comes to Millvale,PA

Just across the river, home of two of my favorite places-Panza Gallery where Mark Panza frames my pictures and makes them shine and Jean-Marc Chatellier’s Bakery, whose excellent brioche  melts in your mouth (not to mention the cakes, the shortbread, the tarts, the cookies, the baguettes, the anything

If this doesn't evoke another time, I dom't know what does!

he bakes).  Saturday night was the Big Love Art Show at Panza’s and as we left to get into the parked car, I saw this scene outside the Millvale Borough Building. Several of the buildings have water line marks from the years the town has flooded.


Snowstorm Softens Skyline Edges

Coming back from training in the West End I pulled into the Cigna lot and took a couple of chilly shots.  Although a color photo it appears to be black and white.  Looked for lights  in the city but the snow blocked the view.  You can see the snowflakes against the river background.  The railroad tracks, partially covered, made for nice lines. The best thing about being asked to drive across the city in the snow (when it feels like you shouldn’t get on any road!)  is that you get to see a view you wouldn’t have seen if you hadn’t made the trip. You might remember the blogpost - same vantage point- without the snow.

Pittsburgh

Where the rivers meet


Santa Claus Collection on the Mantel by Candlelight

Steve hauled the boxes down from the third floor.  I got to unearth the Santas, most of them gifts to me from friends.  The Nutcracker one from Germany.  And the Deborah McLaren (click to see last year’s display by Steve) painting behind. The house started to feel festive! The candles bright. We even put up the tree.

The stockings are hung. At least all the little sock and shoe-like ornaments.


Christmas Camels in the City

He looked straight at me.  I don’t think he wanted me to take his picture. I heard a deep camel growl.   The streetlight behind outlined his head shape just so.  There was an ox and a donkey, I’d say they were “lowing”. An angel passed out candy canes.  I went inside and the sanctuary was filled with the sound of Go Tell it on the Mountain. Christmas has come to the city, right on Penn Circle North, across from Home Depot! There was a second camel who seemed less agitated by the whole scene.  People were crossing the street and taking pictures with their cell phones.


Joy in Winter

Spread the Christmas tablecloth and place the matching plate next to the mug of steaming hot tea.  Take two Split-Second cookies out of a tin.  The ones I baked for knitting. A bite of shortbread cookie with raspberry jam. Try the fig one. Nibble slowly, make them last.  Sip the almost scalding tea.  Savor the combination.  Open the book you’re reading for book club. (Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner-1972 Pulitzer Prize- I’d never heard of it until Tess picked it).  Listen to the furnace kick on. Wrap a shawl around you. Sip more tea.  Read until you doze.  Think of the cookies still in the tin. Repeat tomorrow.

I love the Naif Christmas pattern.

It wouldn't feel the same if you did this in July.


Making Spirits Bright

Christmas Lights on a house in Highland Park

Almost a gingerbread house, sparkling in the snow. Good thing there is a fence to keep in the reindeer!


Customer Service at Von Maur

Fed Ex delivery and attnetion to detail.

A personal note, a carefully wrapped package,shipped for free to my home- reasons to shop at Von Maur.

The size I needed was in another store when I went shopping in Columbus OH last Saturday night. Wednesday night I opened the box  they shipped (free!) and found the thoughtful note from the  woman who had waited on me so graciously.  As I opened the box,  I remembered shopping with  my mother when I was little. The experience evoked a sense of nostalgia.  Von Maur offers not only free- shipping and free alterations but who receives a hand-written note these days?  Customer service is exemplary.  My DIL says they gift wrap your purchases for free, too!  WOW.  I wish we had a Von Maur in Pittsburgh.


Snow Enhances Lights

Left school so late that it was dark. Drove a circuitous route home to check out the lights in Morningside. The house I have photographed the past two years didn’t have a single light. Thinking about the possible reasons for no lights this year but maybe they just moved. This house up the street looked lovely in the snow with the greens and ribbons on the white fence.

Looks like a Christmas card.

Looks more like New England than Pittsburgh to me.


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