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

Archive for January, 2011

Hand Held Rotary Egg Beaters and Cupcake Display at DOZEN Bakeshop

My mother had a hand held egg beater.

Cupcakes are all the rage.  These are $2.50 each.  You can order Valentine Cupcakes now. Different flavors posted on a chalkboard. One was made with some East End Brewery Stout

Click blue link for information on DOZEN bakeshop in Oakland and Lawrenceville open Super Bowl Sunday 9-12 with special Black and Gold treats.

Rotary Egg Beaters

My mother had one
I think I did, too.
You can probably still buy one.
it wasn’t always a smooth operation.
The beaters got out of line.
And are cupcakes “hot” where you live?
Near my sister’s house the line is around the corner-
for cupcakes!


Tommie (declared male at birth by our neighbor): A Sweet Girl Cat Remembered

The winter of pet loss. Tommie and Fred were of the same litter, brother and sister.  They both suffered from hyperthyroid condition and despite medication couldn’t quite make it to what would have been their 18th birthdays on March 7th.  Tommie would rub up against you and your hand and pet herself if you stopped petting her.  She was feisty and funny.  We will miss her.

 

Had to photograph the picture on the computer screen. Original on a hard drive that crashed.


Nike the Service Dog, Named For Greek Goddess of Strength, Speed & Victory

A gentle spirit, kind eyes.
She travels to nursing homes
makes people smile. Feel better.
Especially Ms. P’s first grade Friday!
Ms. P’s class had a visitor today.  The Art Room is just across the hall. Lucky me!

Email Kirk Sciarretti to arrange a visit- kasciarretti@live.com


Mazeroski in the Snow

Read a tip to revisit something you’ve already photographed, but return in another season or different time of day. After photographing Heinz Field the other day before the AFC game I swung by the Bill Mazeroski statue above the Allegheny River and shot him running into home plate, surrounded by snow.  Some of you may remember my photographing the statue unveiling. No people in this shot.  I had dinner with my friend  Sue R. who is  a  serious fan and a member of the Lady Bucs Club.  She has her tickets to go to Bradenton for Spring Training games.  I told her about shooting the statue in the snow and she said she was looking forward to seeing him. Susan Wagner is the sculptor of this incredible statue.

A memorable moment frozen for all time!


Whose Chairs?

A recurring theme around the city as I travel between schools-  I see chairs.  The chairs make me wonder about the owners, their usual occupants.  Somewhere in my hard drive I’ve a photo of a high chair near the curb, waiting for pick-up.  Chairs have a personality of their own. I love to hear the names of different types of chairs, each evoke an image- wing chair, ladderback, Windsor or Eames. Lawn chair, rocking chair, lounge or arm.  High chair, club chair, captain chair, molded plastic, patio or kitchen chair.  School chairs are not particularly comfortable. Kids love the rolling ones on wheels. Folding, stackable, side chair or throne.  Where do you sit?

Everyone has a chair.
Some more comfortable than others.
What kind of chair do you prefer?
As always,

Two yellow chairs and a gray one on Evaline Street. Yellow curb peeking through the snow.


Acme Thunderer and Pink Pearl Eraser Still Life

A teacher's pocket contents. Used to blow the whistle when I had playground duty and worked the After School Program. Now it is just on my key ring.

Emptied my pocket and saw these two items under the light on the desk in the front hall.  Bonnie, the gym teacher (now retired) told me about the Acme Thunderer. Click here to learn how to choose a whistle.  Some of the listings are safety, marine, refereeing, sports, orchestral-you can buy a tugboat whistle or one to lead the band.   There is a collector’s model with the words TITANIC engraved on the side.    And most everyone remembers Pink Pearl Erasers.

Fact 1-

Eberhard Faber began to manufacture the Pink Pearl in a factory he started in 1861.

Fact 2-

“In 1996, Eberhard Faber sold more than 4.7 million Pink Pearl Erasers. Laid end to end, that’s enough erasers to reach from Washington, D.C., to Philadelpha.”  By the way, the small print says the eraser was manufactured in Malaysia. There are buildings in Brooklyn where the factory used to be.

Underneath the whistle and eraser is a note I found outside of the school listing the Fruits of the Spirit (last one is self-control) with a  penciled math problem on the back.


Peter King to Open for Jeffrey Gaines-Feb 26th-7 PM-Club Cafe Pittsburgh

Peter King on guitar at the coffee/ice cream shop on Saturday afternoon.

Aspinwall Beans “N” Cream was the scene last Saturday.  Cool decor, lots of record album covers and posters and photos and Beatles memorabilia adorn the walls of the coffee house. Fun to watch a lava lamp in the corner.  Peter added an expertly played instrumental combining three classic jig and reel tunes, complete with an occasional foot tap that made one want to get up and dance along to the beat. Peter invited harmonica player Marc Reisman to join him onstage for a few numbers and the two paired nicely.  Peter will open for singer-songwriter Jeffrey Gaines, whom the Chicago Tribune calls “extraordinary and timeless,” at Club Cafe on Feb. 26 at 7 pm. Check out  Peter King website and see the photos I shot for his latest CD cover.   For tickets write to info@peterkingmusic.com ($13 in advance). If you live locally, Peter teaches guitar lessons privately and at Chatam University. You can contact him and sign up now to learn to play away the winter blues.


How About this House for Steelers Madness?

Some dedicated fans live here for sure!

Sunday night’s game was a nail biter.  On the way to Cj’s house to watch the game I saw this house across the street.  Monday morning everyone will be happy at work.  The excitement will build over the next couple of weeks.  Many will be superstitious about a wide range of rituals-not shaving, items of clothing worn, with many fans feeling responsible for the final outcome dependent on their action or inaction.  It is quite a phenomenon.  Thanks for all the good wishes from friends far and wide.

And congratulations again to Dr Beth P. who won the Blog Giveaway of the photo print of her choice, which she is going to donate to the    National Kidney Foundation’s Annual Gift of Life Gala!


HERE WE GO! Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jets Playoff Game- Single Digits on the Thermometer Predicted

Pittsburgh Steelers Spirit 20

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Reporting from Pittsburgh- I put myself on assignment.       Saturday morning I was thinking about a post for Sunday’s game.  It was all blue sky and about ten degrees.  Got out of bed and drove through the Strip District on my way down to Heinz Field.  The guy who sold me the Croatian STEELERSFan T-shirts last year agreed to a shot. Fans lined up for breakfast outside DeLuca’s.   Dumptrucks were being filled with snow from the stadium parking lots. Rows of Porta-Potties stood empty, waiting for the Sunday tailgaters. Up in the stands I saw an army spreading salt left and right.  Went for coffee in Aspinwall afterwards and ended in the J & W Variety Store (EST. 1969)  where I purchased a tiny 99 cents pencil sharpener. Lots of STEELERS gear and accessories for sale. I asked if it would be okay if I photographed the display and the proprietor said – Sure!      Handed me a complimentary HERE WE GO button as I left.  Everyone’s pumped!  I read a letter to the editor (5th one down)in the Post-Gazette from the guy in the New England End Zone Militia asking us to drown out the JETS fans and win!   Similar to the players message to the fans click here- BE LOUD!!


My Answer to 9 Degrees Temperature? Homemade French Onion Soup

A bowl of onions on the kitchen table has been talking to me saying “Onion rings in the cast iron skillet, onion rings in the cast iron skillet.” But I came to my senses and sliced them up and sauteed them in butter and olive oil to carmelize them.  Toasted a slice of Allegro Hearth Farmgrain Bread and thin parings of Parmesan. Ladled the hot broth over the toast and cheese. Used my Grandmother Hendricks’ silver soup spoon with just the right bowl of a spoon for the soup. Found a wealth of information and recipes for Onion Soup. Click the link to read the history and simple directions on how to make it perfectly.  And the birthday pasta bowls from V make a lovely soup plate for this winter meal.

the kitchen smelled so inviting. I wouldn't make this in July.


Red Sky in Morning from the Birmingham Bridge

Left the house a bit earlier to get to the other side of the city this morning. As I hit the Birmingham Bridge I saw the sunrise.  I pulled to the edge, hit the flashers again and sat quietly, and shot the sky over a few minutes time.  The other direction I could see cars on the Parkway with their headlights on.  A nice way to start the day. But the Red Sky,Sailors Take Warning turned out true as it is snowing (about 3 inches so far) and already they have called for a two hour delay at school.  The dark band along the bottom of the photo is the Jersey Barrier. Unretouched photograph!

Red Sky in Morning, Sailors Take Warning

Finding more beauty in winter.


Steelers Inflatable in a Silver Pick-Up

Arlington Avenue.  Driving down the curvy slope, slick tracks under your tires make a distinctive sound.  Note the trolley tracks and wires. They still run!  I had to turn around and get this inflatable.  From the rear. Drove up the hill again and came down, took a shot of him from the front.  It was the unexpected sight of a huge Black and Gold inflatable, leaning over the cab of the silver pick-up.  This view was the better one.  Playoff fever mounts as Sunday night’s game with the Jets is on everyone’s minds.  Well, most everyone.  It helps us make it through the winter.  And if you want to purchase one of these blow up football friends, get down to Mike Feinberg Company”The Party King” in the Strip on Penn Ave.   Fans have a variety of ways to express team spirit and I know everyone will sport Black and Gold at school on Friday.  Throughout the city!  I find team allegiance an interesting study.  Where you are born, where you live, family traditions, civic pride. There are photographers who photograph the Steelers Fans for years.

What determines the level of team pride?

My headlights reflect on the truck, the headlights from the oncoming car on the wet street...


Steam Cleaning 100 Years of Soot and Grime

I drive by this structure most days, the corner of Stanton and Negley.  It was in bad repair for a long time.  Then it started to be cared for and fixed up.   Attended some poetry readings here a couple of years ago.  The accumulation of soot speaks of another time in Pittsburgh’s history, when the mills ran around the clock,spewing “carbon, sulfur dioxides and gypsum” (residue listed when they cleaned the  Cathedral of Learning) .  The buildings with the evidence of another time are dwindling. Tomorrow I will get the name of the company who is doing the cleaning and add it to this post.

The Union Project homepage states “Union Project’s purpose is to create connections and opportunities for learning through the arts and through community-based programming intended to serve the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods.”  (click here for entire mission statement and more info on space rental and programs, stained glass classes and ceramics)

The right side is already cleaned, and the tower is being worked on now.  I was at a red light and got the one man cleaning the tower but turned the corner and pulled over and rolled down the window to catch the other two workers and the contrast of the clean and the remaining visibile sign of the  mills.

Formerly Union Baptist Church

Beautifying and serving the community.

Diana Nelson Jones wrote an  article 12/11/10 in the Post-Gazette about the restoration of all the stained glass windows.

This cannot be easy work!


Carnegie Library in the Snow

Night light refelcted in the city, one of my favorite things to shoot- add the snow factor.


Laurel Highland Weekend

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Seven Robins and the Female Cardinal in the Backyard Tree

I thought the robins used to fly south! Find the female cardinal.

The other day there were two red cardinals in the tree in the backyard. I couldn’t see them no matter how I squinted. Could really see with the 70-200mm camera lens though.  The neighbors in the back must have a feeder and the birds congregate.  As I waited for the stunning red cardinals, which did not appear, I counted at least 7 robins in the tree.  I didn’t see the female cardinal until I put the photos into  the computer.  Don’t robins fly south anymore?? I thought they were the first sign of Spring so that isn’t right.  I am glad I am not a bird.  Especially in winter. And what about all the cats in the neighborhood? Can’ t be easy.

 


Steelers Train at S. W. Randall Toys Downtown Pittsburgh

Big game Saturday afternoon against the Ravens. Go Steelers!  This Steelers train goes around and around in the toy store window.  Waited until it came around to catch the engine.  Everyone is psyched to watch on Saturday and it’s Black and Gold Day in the city on Friday.   Matthew and Mary will be at Ship of Fools Sports Bar in NYC watching, before he heads back to Croatia.  Check out S.W. Randalls in Shadyside,  for quality toys. Mark, Matthew and Laura used to browse and shop there after school when we lived on Howe Street in ’89-’91.  Two floors of every LEGO. Playmobil and doll you can envision!

Playoff game 4:30 Saturday. GO STEELERS.


One Pound of Imperfect Assortment- Chocolates by Betsy Ann

Perfect taste! Imperfection not a problem.

The  Imperfect Assortment tasted perfect to me.  V. brought them to dinner last night, a sendoff for Matthew returning to Croatia.  Made in West View. Available once a year.   And the golden box of perfect Betsy Ann truffles was delicious as well. I went to get a Waterford candy dish that sits in the china closet.  I thought the Imperfect Assortment deserved a proper presentation. Love ya Betsy Ann!

 


Standing Right in Front of Me

Last night we heard this song in the Rain show and today I was humming it and a few other Beatles tunes, all mixed up.  A couple of friends are going to see Rain this week and then Sally wrote that she saw the Beatles THREE times as a teenager in the ’60s. Just ran through my thoughts throughout the day.  Steve was starting to walk down the hill in the snow to catch a bus.  I drove him to work in the all wheel drive and as we turned onto Friendship Avenue I saw this statue of Mary in front of the convent in Bloomfield. Shrouded in snow.  Since school had just been closed for the day, I got out and photographed the figure in the snow thinking of the words to this song- since she was standing right in front of me…….

from Let it Be by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.



Friendship Avenue in Bloomfield near West Penn Hospital

Lucille said a touch of red improves the shot. Find the tiny roses.


Rain A Tribute to the Beatles

I was making a pot of soup when the phone rang.  “What are you doing?  Some tickets just dropped in our lap!”     It was Barb S asking if Steve and I wanted to see opening night of Rain   A Tribute to the Beatles.  When?   7:30.  I looked at my clock on the stove.  It was 6:38.  We had ten minutes to get down the hill to there house and off we went to Heinz Hall.  The roads weren’t too bad.  I figured no two hour delay in the morning.  After the show I walked across the 6th Street to document the fun evening. It was nostalgic.  Good energy.  Unexpected live music!  We stood and swayed, singing along   “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  Given the snowstorm, I was surprised how full the theater was!

Tuesday night, downtown Pittsburgh, snow doesn't deter theater-goers.

See the dusting of snow on the awnings?


Who Remembers Kickball?

You have to have a good ball to play.  One with some bounce.  Similar rules to baseball they say.  But you could get the ball thrown at you as you rounded the bases and be called out. Everyone wanted to pitch.  I left school Friday afternoon and saw this kickball on the playground in the snow.

The rusting chain link surrounding the playground. The red rubber ball birghtened the scene.


Heart and Soul by the McGrath Sisters

Almost a study in black and white.  Anna and Maura sat together on the piano bench.  Anna practiced her lesson and Maura provided accompaniment  with her own offbeat tune. It was a pretty wild duet.  Matthew titled the photo Heart and Soul. Has anyone played that lately?

There was a beat to it.


Dippy (Diplodocus) in the Snow

Driving through Oakland. A snowstorm.  Lights in the night. An enormous Diplodocus accumulating snowfall on his back. Sporting a red knit scarf. Pull to the curb. Forbes Avenue. Turn on the flashers.  Get out of the car.  Focus. Shoot. Find the beauty of winter.

Diplodocus Carnegiei-22 feet high- 84 feet long- 3000 pounds! Click the blue word Diplodocus in text above to read about him.


Vinyl 45′s in Paper Sleeves with Plastic Adapter

How old do you have to be to remember what 45rpm means?   I had a carrying case for this size record.   Down at Excuses again, SouthSide, where King Cobra Blues plays the first Friday of the month.   I saw this scene-   a guy named John had two old 45′s and was asking Don Hollowood to sign them during the band’s break.  I asked if I could photograph the 45′s.  He was worried I didn’t have a flash but I managed.  John was explaining to me how there was an A side and a B side to a 45.  It was dark in the bar.  I had about twenty years on him and knew about the A and B side but he said he was used to explaining the concept to his nieces.  So the rare 45′s of the band Bon Ton Roulet were Black Diamond(A) and You Excite Me Daddy(B) and the other was Love and War (A) and They Call Us Bon Ton Roulet(B).  Check out the MTV Basement Tapes, hosted by Frank Zappa, see the early music video featuring Pittsburgh Band Bon Ton Roulet singing Love and War. John said he bought them at Sunny Jim’s in Emsworth. There is one copy of Black Diamond on Amazon. The plastic insert 45rpm  adapter is called a spider.


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