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

Archive for March, 2011

Whether You Like Them or Not, They Sell More Than A Million Copies a Year!

So there’s no Franklin W. Dixon ( or Carolyn Keene for that matter, sorry Nancy Drew fans) But  Frank and Joe Hardy lived nice lives in the books.

All volumes written by various ghostwriters ( who were paid very little and received NO royalties). First published in 1927.  I’d  heard this but never paid much attention until I was at Book Club and saw them all lined up with the great  bright blue spines. (Thank you Lisa and Richard) Click to read more about the Hardy Boys and Mr. Edward Stratemeyer’s Syndicate.

My Bookshelf

You tell me my old books smell
like a Goodwill bin.
Old dust and stick your nose in,

The weight of them
on the house’s foundation.
My hardwood floors sag.
You say I’m impaired
in technology.
Society will evolve without me?
All I need in my life
is an e-reader not musty books.

I like the feel of them in my hand.
Turn them over, slip off a dustjacket.
See the author peer back at me.
The opening of the first page.
Or a slender bookmark to hold my place.
I’m sad they’re closing the store.

My list of reasons to read
from a page (or your preferred screen)–

There’s escape,
maps, cooking, and signs,
travel or how to put something together
take meds,
but for me
reason number one. Two and three.
There’s my mother’s voice
my dad’s, in certain volumes
reading to me-
the escape I mentioned before.
And enjoyment. Sheer enjoyment.
I’m sure you can think of more.

I read a bunch of these when I was in 4th or 5th grade.

Guitarist Shohei Toyoda Plays at Scottie’s Coffee and Tea House on High Street in Worthington OH

Saturday night.  Where we ended up after driving around the city, and dinner out with James (my SIL2B) and my sister Mary in from NYC to visit the family in Columbus. Mark and Erika had gone out and had a sitter so we went out, too.   Cocoa and coffee, lemon poppyseed  cake and finger-picking acoustic music we enjoyed so much that Mary bought 2 CD’s, one for Matthew in Croatia and one for James, who picked this spot to round out our evening together.  Scottie’s Coffee and Tea House was a welcoming venue and the live music was a bonus.  Shohei Toyoda played well to an appreciative crowd, lots of energy and enthusiasm and lively music.  Great sound. Played some of his own compositions and they were quite good.   I asked him if I could blog him during the break and he agreed.

Live Music

Sitting with family
sipping a hot drink.
Listening to live music.
Makes for a satisfying
Saturday night.

He ended with a cool rendition of Classical Gas

Green Eggs and Ham & the Cat in the Hat I Am at School Today (scroll down for image 2)

Do You Like Green Eggs and Ham?

Another day celebrating Dr. Seuss at school.  My friend and neighbor across the hall, Ms. Plummer, took the photo of me in the borrowed Cat in the Hat costume.  A friend, Ms. Manganas. down the hall knew I had the red and white Seuss hat and brought in her aunt’s cat costume. What a surprise.  After a moment of hesitation,  I put in on and went down to the cafeteria as the kids were eating breakfast.   3 Kindergartens and 3 First Grades classes went crazy, screaming with delight as I made my entrance. And entrance it was!  Oh my.  They were so excited.  It was a great way to start the school day.  They were so happy and got a big kick out of my outfit.  I had to take it off as I started the teaching day and they were so disappointed. Just too hot.  I would never make it in a theme park character job.  My friend V suggested the photo of me as The Cat in the Hat at school today and I have been trying to get fit at the gym this past year and the costume seems to add a bit of girth but here I am today at school in the hall. I didn’t know The Cat in the Hat was written in anapestic tetrameter

Did You Ever Wear a Toe Sock?

One of the Kindergarten teachers wore rainbow toe socks and colorful flip flops for Wacky Wednesday, celebrating Dr. Seuss’ birthday.  I had this same pair in 1972 (approximately). Well, a pair just like them.   And Mrs. D said exactly what I remember, how it feels thick in between your toes and they are humorous looking but not something you want to wear all the time.  The floor is the cafeteria linoleum.  Friday afternoon it’s going to be GREEN EGGS and HAM in the cafeteria and if anyone drops green eggs they will blend in with the flooring.  I guess they’ll leave the ham pink?

I wouldn't want to knit a toe sock!

Spotlight Costumes on Carson Street Has Everything You Need for Mardi Gras- and More!

Wednesday class, you know my routine.   I put myself on assignment, covering interesting places on the South Side.   After school I went to the post office to mail a Christmas present I just finished knitting.  Stopped at Carson Street Deli for a BLT on Breadworks bread, a quarter of a dill pickle. And to the Spotlight Costumes LLC where I went in to ask if it would be okay to shoot the costumes mannequin outside the door.  They graciously agreed and thanked me for asking.  I met Ron and also the Make-up artist up from the basement with an armful of petticoats. She is going to be on the Lady Gaga website with the meat costume. (if I heard it right)  Spotlight Costumes does a lot of business with theater.  Stage makeup, wigs, masks and costumes. You name it!    I asked Ron what was popular.  All the superheroes, he said.    I saw a General Patton WWII uniform hanging that had just been returned. Vintage fabric from Kiss Me Kate dancers’ costumes on the counter.    You can rent, buy and they make custom costumes to your specifications.  Right now there are plenty of St. Patrick’s Day beads and glasses and accessories yo might need to be in the parade. Click on their website for more information and their hours. And see some of the inventory.
Support local business or there won’t be any local business, the proprietor said!

The place is packed to the rafters with imaginative and creative costumes and hats.   I bought a red and white striped Dr. Suess hat to wear on Friday at school (today was Dr. Suess’ birthday) when the kids eat Green Eggs and Ham.

Everything you need is in this store.

If you need inspiration, enter this store and imagine yourself any character you can think of....

If the Tree is Straight, the House is Crooked

A couple of blocks from school there is a tree that grows out of the ground on a angle.  This is the effect it has on the object below, when I straighten it out in the viewfinder and shoot.


There are the geometric ones-
acute, right, obtuse or
how we look at things.

Almost looks like it is floating away

Count the Pigeons on a City Rooftop

At first glance you think you are seeing architectural details, all along the roof ledge.  There were at least fifty of them.  Part of city life- the pigeon.  Today’s photo/post  evokes the poet Timons Esaias whose chapbook title is  The Influence of Pigeons on Architecture For a copy ($8.50) contact Tim via his website.

You may remember Timons Esaias was guest poet on the blog for his poem. By Their Sidewalks You Will Know Them (click here) posted about this time last year.

Birds in the City

Not in a tree this time
or flying above.
People have feelings about them.

Carson Street on the South Side. A beautiful blue sky.


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