"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.
20110328-120420.jpgq


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.


John Patrick “Jack” Learns to Wield his New Lightsaber

Young Jedi Jack learns to wield the powerful lightsaber!

Remember Spiderman sitting on Uncle Matty?

Four years old today!   WOW.

How did that happen?

Seems like you were just born, Jack.

Here’s one of my favorites from  Christmas with the new Star Wars Lightsaber.

Happy Birthday and I’ll see you soon.

xxooxx love,  FF Ruthie


Super Moon Over Pittsburgh

No Cow Jumping Over

What a moon! Big and bright.
Illuminate limitations of photography.
Capture an enormous sky, city light, moonlight.
Being there and looking at a photo later/
what I experienced earlier are so different.
Just hard to capture huge super moon tonight.
But lots of fun trying.

Steve went with me to Mt. Washington and what a crowd of photographers set up with their fancy equipment and tripods when we arrived. I have a nice camera but I can’t imagine what some of that equipment cost!

I wish I had asked Keith or Andy some tips on how to shoot the city light and super moon light simultaneously and get a good effect.  I thought it was hard.  And that Spring weather was 40ish but felt like a freeze with the wind from the river.  I shot primarily with the 70-200mm lens.  Wished I knew more about how to get the city and moon at the same time but there wasn’t anything you could do about the positioning of the moon in relation to the buildings. Duh.   Oh it was so bright!

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Almost Full Moon Over Roberto Clemente

Saturday March 19th will be the SUPER MOON. I shot this on the way home from class on Wednesday night. I was shooting the statue of Roberto Clemente and noticed the moon in the frame.  Going to try and shoot the super moon Saturday night.

No Concrete Proof

Some theorize human behavior
is influenced by the moon.
It’s Saturday-
so no school
on this day of the super moon.
Wonder how the kids would have been affected?

The lights at night, the moon, the swollen river rushing below the bridge, the lifelike statue- created a presence.


Daffodil Days

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American Cancer Society Daffodil Days.  I bought two bunches at Ft. Pitt.  I just read that in parts of Canada you receive a daffodil pin instead of flowers these days cause the flowers are too expensive and difficult to transport.  I am lucky that bunches of the fresh flowers are what you receive for your donation here in Pittsburgh. The promise of Spring.  Indoors and out!

Just ready to burst open and then twelve hours later belowFully open in just twelve hours


Murphy the Airedale on St. Patrick’s Eve

There are good things that come from taking care of Murphy.  I saw clusters of Snow Drops in bloom around the corner when we walked after school.  Sandra has a hillside of tiny pale purple crocuses interspersed throughout the grass.   This morning before school when I took Murphy out for a quick walk, I heard the birds chirping and singing for the first time, surely another sign of Spring.  I wouldn’t call it strenuous exercise but he is strong and keeps me moving along as we walk.  So for those expecting the usual Thursday view of the South Side-   No supper on the South Side tonight (sorry Bernadette)  I promise two more South Side Posts on the way to class next week.  Covering Carson Street and the side streets has been a fun self-assignment.   But today my car needed the first maintenance check (really exciting copy here)  drove from Arlington to Monroeville (for those of you not in the area, there is no good way in Pittsburgh from Point A to Point B) and driving at 4:30 PM it was the thick of traffic. Avoided the Squirrel Hill Tunnel and down Forward Ave passing the Irish Centre where Laura took Step Dancing years ago.   After dropping off the car and getting a loaner, I headed for the North Side and Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild where class starts at 6.  Tonight we did self-portraits in PhotoShop and presented a project we accomplished in class. I was able to desaturate the whole photo of Laura and James  and then use a mask to recolor just their faces. A success.   Murphy was so happy when I go home.  Such a greeting.  He is having a good time with us but misses us during the day.  Have to keep Lucy the cat cordoned off so they don’t end up like the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat by Eugene Field. Murphy misses his family, though.

There are reasons people have dogs

Enthusiasm for your arrival home?
Can’t be beat.
Wanting to sleep by you for company?
Sweet.
You are not going to believe this
but Murphy has one of the best personalities
of anyone I know.Human or canine. Seriously.
Good natured, humorous, and companionable!
An all around good dog. He makes me smile.
I have got to read that book One Nation Under Dog.

Vinyl DOORS Playing on Record Player

Jim Morrison and the Doors recorde on a turntable.

Panza Gallery- the night of the Big Love show.

I wanted to post this picture  and you may remember the floor from another post of the portrait class that meets on Monday nights.  Panza Gallery (in Millvale)  had a cool show called Big Love, no artwork was priced over $100.  i saw the record player spnning and I had to photograph it.  Fun night.

33 1/3

Laura said on Saturday night she wanted a record player.
I’ve been told that CD’s are going to be obsolete-
soon it’ll be all digital files, nothing to handle.
No vinyl in a cardboard sleeve. Cool graphics.
A paper insert with a center hole.
The act of placing it onto the spindle.
Ease it down onto the turntable.
Lift the arm and place the needle at the beginning.
Wait a few revolutions for the music to begin.

How to Relieve Stress? Make Marmalade

It was a long Monday at school.  The PSSA testing began.  Six classes of art, out of order with the schedule.  And we lost that precious hour this weekend, changing the clocks.  After school I headed for the gym.  On my way to the gym, I got an idea.   I stopped at Ritter’s Diner thinking I might photograph their juke boxes for a memories post.  I ordered a cup of Orange Pekoe tea with lemon and started to read the City Paper. And an order of wheat toast with the butter on the side.  A small plastic rectangle of grape jelly sat on the plate.   But I was sitting there in a small booth reading and on page 36 there was a photograph of some oranges  at the bottom left of the page with a recipe for Marmalade.   I wished I had it on the toast.    Cooking or baking something always relieves stress. So I thought, I have all the ingredients and skipped the gym (uh-oh) went right  home and  sliced two oranges and a lemon really thin and added 2 cups of boiling water. A full cup of sugar seemed so much  (I used 3/4 cup) and cooked it down ’til it looked like marmalade. The scent from the simmering pan was delicious.  Growing up I never enjoyed marmalade, preferring honey, strawberry or raspberry jam. My mom would make marmalade or Mrs. Burns from church would bring some to the house.  I enjoy the taste now. Tart and sweet.  Can’t wait to try it on buttered toast in the morning.  (Oh, and the juke boxes have CD’s inside of them now and a putty colored metal and or plastic, not the chrome I was seeking so did not shoot them. Evoked no memories for me.  Just the marmalade came from the excursion.

Afternoon sun hit the pan on the stove.


“If it is in aluminum, we make it” – but not anymore. Company is closed.

Vintage advertising. Aluminum Goods Manufacturing Company became Mirro but it turns out it all closed in 2003.  I looked it up. (click here for history)  And there is a photo of the building on Flickr. Used as an art space and bands practice in it.

I was photographing this collapsible cup for the keeporpitch blog thinking it might be something I could part with and then when I looked at the photograph I decided, who am I kidding?  I can’t get riud of this item just yet,  So didn’t want people to vote on it and say PITCH it cause I know I’m going to let it stick around with me some more.  I think it is something my dad got at a yard sale or Golden Oldies thrift shop at the home where they lived in Illinois.

Aluminum

I have a hammered lazy Susan
with the dogwood motif.
A lipped pitcher with some flowers.
A couple of loaf pans.
Cookie sheets.
A jelly roll pan.
But here’s my favorite
aluminum item.

I guess you could take it camping.


A Broken Bluer Brick Brings Bricks to Mind

Looking at all the brick homes in Pittsburgh, brickmaking must have been HUGE!!!

Brick by Brick

When I was in younger
you could make a bookcase
with some boards and bricks.
Once at the Hallmark store I won
a football helmet and a foam rubber brick
to throw at the tv if you didn’t like the ref’s call.
I live in a brick house.
I don’t like it when people paint brick.
Just thinking about bricks.

Just thinking about bricks.  We all love the yellow brick road and the smart pig brother built his house of bricks When I went out to my car Friday after school there was a broken brick in the road by the curb on Arlington Ave.  Not sure where it came from but had a fresh piece out of it.  Couldn’t read all the words on this particular brick but brickmaking and brick molds and their imprints  are interesting to me. There are people who collect bricks.   I couldn’t have set this brick up better than the lines surrounding it.  Just waiting there ’til I got out of school and photographed it. There are photographs of bricks from different regions online so people can identify their origin.  Lot of brick homes and still some brick streets in Pittsburgh but couldn’t find a list of old Brick Works in the area. Will keep looking.  There is a house down the street that has eleven colors of brick in it!  I found a listing for a brick manufacturer in Harmar Don’t know anyone who is into serious brick collecting. Anyone into bricks? Quotes about bricks?  He was a brick short of a load.  Augustus Caesar said  “I found Rome brick and left it marble.”

Walkways and walls are good fund raisers as people are willing to donate for a brick with their name or a loved one on it as a memorial.


Multilayered Heart Art in a Latté = Happy Start to End the Work Week

Original latté art by Rachel at Tazza D’Oro in Highland Park.  A lovely way to start the day.

Like a little gift!  You sip it in your car, make it last, wend your way across rivers, up the slopes.  It tastes delicious.

A Day in the Life

Simple things.
Rituals.
Treating oneself
in moderation of course.
Someone does something nice for you.
You feel happy.

Captured with available light from the coffee shop window.


It’s Halloween Theme Year-Round in this Place– Jekyl (one L) and Hyde on 18th St.

Bought on the internet, filled with concrete so he doesn't "walk"

I’ve been driving by this knight for awhile now.  And Wednesday I got my chance to ask about him…

Off the beaten path as they say.  Squeezing in another quick peek at an establishment on the South Side.  Dave was out posting a sign for St Patrick’s Day festivities and I had always wondered about the rusty knight out front.  Bought on the internet it turns out, filled with concrete.  There is an Uncle Fester inside under a black light and his boa is wild. VERY dark inside so hard to get a non-grainy, clear pic on the fly.  Dave tends the bar and dresses up and there is a “thing” type hand on the cash register, sitting there without being attached to a body.  Halloween theme every day of the year.  I hear you can get a little skeleton in your drinks.  When I was there the place was empty except for the murals and masks and spiders and creatures that decorate the place.

A little creepy to me but I hear he is really popular

The front of Jekyll and Hyde on 18th Street.And Dave waiting for the beer

delivery.

He was so nice to let me come in and see the Halloween decor. 140 S 18th St.

Jekyl and Hyde info click here

From Ghoulies and Ghosties

and long-leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night
Good Lord deliver us. “

I did a crewel stitch of this little prayer
for Mark’s baby room in 1976
(or maybe it was Matthew’s in ’80)
It’s all  I can think of to accompany
today’s post.I’ll find the crewel embroidery and
put it on the keep or pitch blog.


Pittsburgh Guitars on Carson Street, South Side, Interior and Exterior Shots

Floor to ceiling guitars!

Two more weeks of class, so two more posts of South Side after my Wednesday late afternoon adventures.  It was raining.  Had a single slice at Sola Pizza again. Then found my way into Pittsburgh Guitars. Floor to ceiling. Acoustic, Classical, Electric, (even a bright pink one!) and the cutest GuitarLele you ever saw on the wall.  The guitar bodies gleam. And of course every accessory for your instrument–metal, nylon strings, capo, picks, gig bags and cases, amps and cords and straps and music and whatever else you might need or want .  Did I mention knowledgeable staff?  Sam helped me.   ALL musicians. You can meet the entire Pittsburgh Guitars staff on their website.  Not a big box store.       Personalized attention. No pressure, No rush.      They know they have a good thing and isn’t it great to handle and play before you buy?  Superior to  internet ordering.    They have a very creative website which is extensive and fun.   You can go in and play the different instruments and check out the sound (please ask for assistance! on yellow tags like baby road signs)      If you don’t play guitar yet, it is not too late to start!

1305 East Carson St.


Maura Eyes a Sleeve of Do-si-dos®

People complain about fewer cookies, different taste, not like they used to be....NO complaints from Maura, two. She bit the cellophane after this shot to get a cookie out!

 


When to Turn the Pancakes Over

You wait until the bubbles start and edge looks like it is starting to get a bit dry. The center set.  Tradition to eat pancakes the day before Lent.  Growing up and living next door to the church in the rectory, you remember stuff like the Pancake Suppers in the undercroft (what they called the church basement).  Everywhere now you hear Mardi Gras for Fat Tuesday but not so much about Shrove Tuesday.  And of course the IHOP just claims it is Pancake Day as if they invented the tradition.

Pancakes

Flapjacks
Silver Dollars
Short Stack.
Real maple syrup from the jug.
Butter.

Made this batch for the grandchildren in Columbus on Saturday morning.


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