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

Archive for March, 2011

The Old Gray Mare (or Stallion?)

Ain't what she/he used to be.

Snow flurries and found my lost scarf
at the third school I was in today.
Left through the wrong door
for where the car was parked.
Turned out to be a good thing.
Here’s what I saw.
I wish the snow falling were visible.

Ersatz Icicle Dangles from Branch

I stared at this for a long time wondering how it could be

Spring is here.
Officially.
Unseasonably cold
and you can see why
I wondered how this sight
could possibly be real.
Not!
But it made me wonder.

Yesterday I took Murphy for  a walk after school.  And it was about 37 degrees.  Chilly but not freezing.  I got down the street and saw this hanging from a tree branch.


Pierogies Season- 3 Images

You know these are Mrs. T's from the Giant Eagle freeze case, so now a reason to buy more, shoot and re-post!

Dough filled pockets-
not limited to a single culture.
Let’s count the ways-
ravioli, empanada,
spanikopita in phyllo,
pelmeni, samosa, burekas,
and a pasty. Does strudel count?
I’m sure
you can think of more.

Meatless Fridays in Pittsburgh.   It’s Lent.   Last week in the Post-Gazette there was a list of fish fries all over the city and outskirts but let’s talk Pierogies.   You drive by churches with signs out front  (pierógi, pyrogy or perogi ) or you can buy them at Pierogies Plus or at the Polish Deli in the  Strip.  When I first moved here I had never eaten one. I watched Marianne’s mother, Olga make them from scratch. The boys loved eating them. And in time I started eating them, too. Then I wanted to try to make them.  Marianne told me how to get the right potatoes and  a certain cheese.  I made them once for a Polish Christmas party at someone’s home.  Last fall I saw Arleen make them at Christmas, by hand, parboil them and freeze them for the holiday.(see below)   The whole concept of noodle/pasta dough filled with potatoes did not appeal to me but I was uninitiated.  They can be filled with sauerkraut and other fillings but potato and cheese are the most popular.   I am not sure how many I could eat in a sitting but the butter and onions really satisfy that urge for hearty meals with fat.  One time I shipped a couple of dozen to Florida when the family  lived there.  Something my mother never cooked when I was growing up.  At the baseball games they have Pierogi Races.  No kidding.  See below.

Arleen Makes Pierogies for Christmas

Pierogies Race at PNC Park during the baseball game. (Well, during a break!)


How do you feel about ironing?

Walking Murphy down to the market I happened to see this vintage ironing board waiting for garbage pickup.
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After the Hail Storm, Before Elton John

A real snarl.

Traffic- downtown Pittsburgh, in every direction! I was on my way to class, not the concert.

You know how I like to take photographs when I am stopped at a red light.  It was Wednesday night on my way to class.  I had just come through the hail storm from the South Side.  What could the traffic be? Rush hour for sure.  The storm. And I see a guy on a corner I NEED TICKETS.  Penguins? Nah.  Elton John Concert traffic on top of everyone’s commute home.  There is never a good way to get from Point A to Point B in Pittsburgh, especially if you are in a hurry!

Add to the List of Things Out of Your Control

Hailstorms. Stones pelt cars. Leave dents.
Severe Weather Watch turns into a Warning
but you’re out driving from work.
It looks like the world might end.
And traffic, bank lines. A snarl.
How to be patient. Wait.
A few lights cycle, you sit.
Why anyone honks is beyond me.

UPS Delivery in Motion

While I am trying to get down to the other building for ninth period. A little afternoon drama /delay.

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What I Learned in Photoshop Class

After coffee last October 30th in Columbus OH.

Eight weeks goes by fast. Three hours a week. Jill Wiggins was our wonderful and patient teacher at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild on the North Side. She really explains everything. Multiple times!.   The project I presented that I thought came out the best was the greeting card of Laura and James just a few days after their engagement in Columbus OH.  I desaturated the whole picture and then added a mask layer and then used a brush tool to recolor just their faces in the style of the Social Documentary Photographer Phil Borges effect (he is a master).  And when I pulled into the garage I held it up in the ambient light and took a photo of the greeting card I printed from the file.  Jill is a great teacher and creates these handouts with the “recipes” all broken down so you can do them later without missing a step.  I love shooting the photos but don’t enjoy the tedium of computer time and being EXACT. As classmate and fellow photographer Andy says,  “Photoshop is NOT intuitive.” which helped me a lot to understand why it is tricky for me.

Outcome

I liked the photo just fine the way it was.
The autumn trees in the background.
The subjects two of my favorites in the world.
With determination and time I followed the
directions to the letter. Not easy for me.


Cuckoo’s Nest Magic Shop

Last night of class at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and my weekly  trip to the South Side. Just before the sky grew dark and the giant hail storm arrived. I scoped out The Cuckoo’s Nest Magic Shop in a new location since June.

Juggling supplies,balls, clubs and rings,  nests of boxes, a vase filled with wands, colorful balloons you can sculpt into animals- a carousel of Folkmanis and Melissa and Doug puppets, decks of cards and and everything a magician  (or clown or bartender) needs to entertain an audience.  Matt was nice enough to demonstrate the Magical Block trick for me after I asked what was a good trick for a beginner to learn. You can purchase it for 4 bucks!   His masterful sleight of hand changed a penny into a dime, right before my eyes!

Abracadabra

When Mark was in Kindergarten
he was a magician for the talent show
and poured a pitcher of plain water into two vessels
The water changed into blue and red.
It looked magical.  I made his a black cape
and he had a a tall hat and a wand.


Grand Ville Convertible- Classic Car

Parked on a side street as I rounded the corner to meet Cj at Lot 17 on Liberty last Friday evening. Gleaming black convertible.   A Classic Car license plate. By Pontiac.

You see a lot of scenes like this in Pittsburgh and they feel like you are on a movie set.  The interior was immaculate.  Must get a lot of attention when driving around the city.  Anyone know the year?

Some objects speak to us.
Others don’t.
See how it strikes you.
If you know the year,
will you let me know?

St. Joseph Church in the background


Deli Pickle in Afternoon Light

Just walked back up Grafton Hill from the Bryant Street Market.  Took the pickle out of the deli paper and bag and set in on a plate. I was just about to cut it up into spears to share it.  And then I looked down.  The sun shining through the back porch door was perfect illumination for the pickle to take on some life.  Perfect amount of juice and crispy when you bite into it. Makes your mouth water.

Crisp, Crunch and Juice

It was sweet pickles when I was small
And I still eat bread and butter ones-
especially homemade.  I put some up
with Carolee in Okanogan one summer.
But this one from the jar in the deli case?
Delicious.

Went nicely with the corned beef and swiss for St Patrick's.


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