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

Archive for February, 2011

Fiber Artist’s Palette- Like an Indoor Garden

Spools and spools of thread. Silk. Cotton.  Metallic.  All colors. Some shimmer. Rich colors.  Waiting to be selected, a length cut and the needle threaded. The embroidery comes alive under the artist’s fingers stitching.  I had asked Joan B if I could photograph her thread as I have another photo from before but today the light was so nice.  She made coffee in a French Press and homemade sticky buns, a Fiesta bowl full of  fresh fruit cut up and mixed with yogurt and honey.  An indoor garden of color! And the little cushioned chair holds the needles and pins.

Colors Create a Feeling

And these invite me
to think Spring.
Sunday night Thunderstorm-
March lions roar a day early.

Wanted some bright color for today's post. Knew where to find it! Joan's studio.


Eljay’s Used Books is Moving from the South Side to Dormont

I asked why and the answer wasn’t surprising.       “Economics.”

After 14 years on Carson Street.  I bought a James Beard Cooking Lessons volume to read while I waited for a friend.  The fiction section was already boxed up and packed.  A lot of books to move.  A loss for the South Side scene for sure.

Dormont is fortunate. 3233 West Liberty Avenue will be their new digs.

I Love Bookstores

Losing two bookstores in the city.
Just this week.
Borders  with the new books-not open lomg
barely two years
and now Eljay’s Used Books on South Side,
Signs of the times.


What a First Grader Gave Me as a Little Present Today

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season.  A wonderful student gave me a little present today.  I can’t tell you how it touched me.  Two Trefoil Girl Scout Cookies, held together by pink Silly Bandz. One cookie looks like there might be a  little bite out of it.  As you all know I am trying to watch what I eat ( forget the burger, pizza and milkshake posts) I am back on track. So I didn’t eat them.  But I held them in my hand a long time and thought about the heartfelt gift.  When I took it across the hall to Ms. P’s  room to show her, she was touched by the sight of the two little cookies bound together by the Silly Bandz.  We both said “awwwww. sweet.”   Good to have nice neighbors  at school to share these moments –thanks to everyone for looking today!

Presentation

The end of the week
and you’re whipped.
Happy to turn off the alarm for Saturday.
You review the week–
it can wear you out
but sweet moments come to mind.
There’s satisfaction.
To know a child was moved
to go to her locker and
bring a little offering to the art room.

p.s.   If you get a minute, go and vote on my Keep or Pitch blog post to help me downsize. 


And the Mantel Standing Alone this Morning part 2

Why you have to take the shot when you see it. Today(Friday) it was totally different. See the shot from Thursday posted today here

Friday morning view of the demolition

 


Find the Mantel in the Remains of the House Demolished on Centre Ave.

At first I thought it was an upright piano on top of the pile.   M-a-n-t-l-e is usually a cloak. M-a-n-t-e-l is the fireplace one. Although it seems they are interchanged frequently. I try to spell correctly on this blog but sometimes it’s tricky.

Driving to school I saw this pile of rubble which was a house last week. An abandoned, boarded-up house but still standing. Webb Construction guys were nice to let me take the photo. I asked them how they do it and he said you start at the top and work your way down.  Oh, and I met a contractor who restores houses and is looking for worthy pieces to salvage for the homes he restores.  What a contrast.

When It Is Too Far Gone to be Repaired or Restored

It gets torn down.
No one has the money to fix it up.
Houses stand boarded up a long time.
Sometimes there are occupied homes right next door.
Seems the city is demolishing abandoned homes at breakneck speed.
No archeological digs as in Philadelphia sites.

You wonder who lived here and the stories of their lives.


It’s Happy Hour at the Milkshake Factory on Wednesdays- Half Price!!

Last week I looked in the window and thought some tour or a class must have just let out or everyone is on a field trip at the Milkshake Factory on Carson Street. They were lined up out the door.  And I was headed to my Photo class again this Wednesday after school and parked and got out of the car, foraging for dinner somewhere on the South Side and went by the Milkshake Factory and it was PACKED!!!  I walked down the street and got a slice of Pizza at Pizza Sola and walked back to the Milkshake Factory.  I thought, wouldn’t it be cool to photograph the milkshake machines and see what the crowd is about.  Hmmmm.  Good excuse.  Well, the woman in front of me who confirmed that she was indeed the end of the line said, “Oh it’s Happy Hour- The milkshakes are half off!!”  I asked if I could photograph- after I ordered a coffee milkshake.  And the smell of chocolates was tempting too.  The Edward Marc chocolates are beautiful.  They will let you buy a single piece.  There were boxes of Valentine’s chocolates half price, too, but I resisted those.  Marble counters, a red tin ceiling, white subway tile. A host of milkshake “shakers” acting super pleasant, energetic and patient even with the enormous crowd, filled up the metal cups with loads of ice cream and milk, whatever flavor combination you wanted. And there are some wild possibilities with the flavors.  One guy had a drink carrier with four shakes to go!   So two dollars and eleven cents later (they had a dish of pennies to help out) I had my milkshake in hand.  I mustn’t make it a regular Wednesday stop as I didn’t ask for the nutritional information but calcium is good for bones, right? HA!  Named “best historic restoration in the city” according to their website. I am going back to the gym tomorrow after school. The past two Wednesdays have been fat-loading.

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Old Fashioned Milkshakes on the South Side

Scoops and scoops of Ice cream
pour in cold fresh milk,
load it into a tall metal cup
whirred by a sturdy machine.
Thick shake eased into a tall plastic
container with a clear straw–
melting as you sip down to the
grating sound of sucking
when the shake’s all gone,
wishing for a few more sips.
Sweet and satisfying.

P.S. Don’t forget to vote on Keep or Pitch blog today.


By Special Request- A Tulip Bouquet

Spring for 4.99Seems the perfect follow up
to yesterday’s snow post.
At least the snow isn’t staying too long this time.
Stick to the shovel kind.
So until the bulbs push up from the ground
and bring some blooms,
I took matters into my own hands
at the grocery store.

Opening slowly but surely a sign of Spring!


The Newspaper said “Little to no accumulation…” but-

A friend called and invited me for a slice of cherry pie for President’s Day. Hot tea.  I walked down the hill wrapped up in hats and scarves and boots.  A good thing-  I couldn’t believe it when I came out of her front door two  hours later and the snow had accumulated and was piling up.  That 60 degree weather on Saturday and now this? YIKES.  I trudged home, shoveled the walk and it’s blowing and snowing and really cold.  The snow was wet and heavy and a 2 hour delay has been called already for school.  How they will clear all the streets before the school buses head out is a puzzle to me.   (edit 5:30 AM.  All schools are CLOSED!  At least they didn’t wait to call it at 7 when everyone is already there.  My friend just called, teaches instrumental music  and gave me the news auf Deautsch singing Schnee Tag )

Not Spring Yet!

It isn’t that we aren’t ready for the crocus
and blossoms.
We got an unexpected snowstorm.
Shoveling again. And again.
Burrowing in the flannel sheets.
Florida friends, I am thinking of you!

Back to bed.

View from my friend's front porch as I started my walk home up the hill.

Heard from many friends and family who knew and loved Lori today.  And from friends who didn’t know her but were touched by her story and loving image with Fredi.  I tried to write back little notes of thank you to those who emailed or posted and I told her sister Sara about the overwhelming response but she can’t bear to look at it right now, understandably. A sad day.


A Tribute to Lori Lynn Baur Meli- 7/21/69 – 2/19/11

Lori and Fredi at Ritter's Diner, Pittsburgh, last May.

A valiant fight! A wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a granddaughter, a niece, an animal lover, a friend to many.

Her grandfather, Robert E. Van Sickle,  was my mother’s brother.

As  Aunt Nancy VS put it so well, ” a sad day for our family.”

When you hear the term”battle” in reference to cancer,  Lori Lynn Baur Meli exemplified the definition.   Despite metastaticbreast cancer, Lori planned each day of her life to the fullest.   She sent us recordings of her singing a hymn or a Christmas song, always creative and musical.  She and her husband Fredi went on her dream trip to Hawaii returning just Feb 7th.

They came through Pittsburgh last May and here’s the photo I took of them in Ritter’s Diner that night.  It was right before she got to be honorary bat girl for the Yankees so it’s nice you can see the print on her shirt.  She loved the Yankees.   Especially Jeter.   She called and asked if a newspaper could use the photo for a story about her and another one of the pictures from that night was in a show in the 1650 Gallery in Los Angeles last summer. Lori was pleased with the images so I felt pleased, too. And she made sure I got the photo credits in the paper and sent the hard copies to me in an envelope.  Despite her diagnosis she was determined to live as long as possible, which is exactly what she did!     She had a plan. Always.    I will remember her first time in the batting cages in Connecticut a few years ago.   She touched a lot of people.   Here is an excerpt from her online journal-   “Love really is everything. There IS nothing else.       We have to let go off the other crap to begin to live in love and light, every day of our lives.” Her friend Jennifer pulled this clip- youtube video of Lori telling her own story.

A Bright Life Well Lived

Lori Lynn Baur Meli
A tribute.
She made the most
of the time she was given.


In My Grandmother’s Hand

I might try to make something from her recipes tomorrow.

The Pineapple Upside Down Cake recipe.    My father’s mother’s recipe box. Sitting on my kitchen shelf.   Yellowed newspaper clippings between the file cards..  I was looking around for items to put on my Keep or Pitch blog and the antique radio  from earlier this week reminded me how objects can tell a story. Or two.  There are recipes for pickles and yeast rolls. Illinois cuisine.  The edge of the file card is discolored as well. I am not going to pitch this in the downsizing effort. I sifted through the cards, read her notes, remembered how she made egg noodles and hung them to dry on the broom handle. Mary Alta Kerr Hendricks born Feb 7, 1892.  She taught me how to knit.  I sleep under one of her quilts now and am figuring out how to repair an afghan she knit. In her retirement, she worked in the flower shop in Lincoln, Illinois.  Kept her lunch  (a can of spinach and a hard boiled egg), inside the glass door refrigerator right next to the buckets of gladiolas and carnations for the bouquets.

What did your grandmother bake/cook that you remember?

I chose this recipe card
cause her handwriting
seemed clear and legible
through the camera lens.


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