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

Archive for July, 2011

Two and a Half Year Old Photography Assistant

This would not be a funny picture if granddaughter Maura had knocked it over. I was shooting her grandfather’s family reunion last Saturday. Caught her with my phone camera.


Cat Out of the Bag at Panza Gallery

The other day I took this watercolor painting to be matted and framed.  I painted it at least twenty years ago.  I found it in a closet and thought I would frame it to remind myself why I use photography to express myself instead of painting.  But I like the way the bag looked in the light. So did Panza’s cat in residence at the Gallery.  Oh my.  Maybe she thought it was a 3-D bag and not a 2-D bag.  She really went for it.  Knocked it on the floor twice and I am sure if it had been a precious artwork it would have been a concern but it was pretty funny.  Just liked the painting of the bag so much.  Art critic feline?  It definitely spoke to her.  You know how cats love it when you introduce something new in the house and they think it is for them.


Pug Guard Dog in Shadyside Shop Window

Yesterday was a very happy birthday and thanks for the emails, cards and nice comments! Laura baked a homemade angelfood cake and it was delicious.  We had strawberries on it and some vanilla ice cream. James grilled out bison burgers and bratburgers, some tomato mozzarella salad and broccoli slaw.

You know how dog lovers have their specific breed they prefer?  (Right Sarah and Amber?) And my cousins and their dachshunds and the Payer/McGraths and their Airedales.  Laura and James have gone Golden Doodle.  I know Debbie loves Golden Retrievers.  Anyway, it’s a theme I’ve examined before. My animals in the city series.   E and I were walking on Walnut Street after a summer breakfast last week and we stumbled upon this pug in the shop window.  I think she was snoozing on the job!


Fourth of July Dessert

Last Tuesday I went to see my friend V. This is what she served me! Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries on top of vanilla bean ice cream presented on a blue and white china plate. A perfect Fourth of July dessert. The summer berries combined with the rich creamy ice cream were delicious. I wanted to lick the plate. I knew it wold be a good post as soon as I saw her serve it. Good thing I brought my camera.


Jimmy Stewart Statue and Old Glory-Indiana, PA

Got invited to photograph my daughter-in-law’s family reunion in Indiana PA. What a happy party and celebration.  I considered posting photographs of all of the Polish food- Kielbasa, Haluski, Pierogies, Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage) but when I was headed back to the city the sun was low on the horizon. There was the Jimmy Stewart Statue in front of the Indiana County Courthouse.  And on Philadelphia Street!!

One problem though, I was shooting into the West so shooting into the sun!  I wished I had a step stool or ladder to capture the statue’s face from a different angle. Amazing how a statue can look so different depending on the light and the angle. The metal is bronze but at first there was a fiberglass statue that is now in the museum.

I waited until a burst of wind unfurled the flag.  I  was patient.

My family used to love watching Jimmy Stewart movies and the tradition is carried on with the annual It’s a Wonderful Life  Christmas viewing at Mark and Erika’s home.  There is a Jimmy Stewart Museum adjacent to this location but closed of course .  Will have to research what is inside and return when it is open.

Twenty seven years of military service, A Brigadier General in the USAF Reserve-  seems fitting that the flag is part of the picture to honor Jimmy Stewart’s service.

Just seemed like a perfect Independence Day Eve photo.  A fitting tribute!

Footnote added July 10, 2011    Be sure to read the NYTimes article by John Marchese Visited Bedford Falls Lately?


The statue was erected on the occasion of Jimmy Stewart's 75th Birthday.


Pittsburgh Artist Captures 16th Street Bridge on Canvas

Thursday evening Bill Pfahl was painting the 16th Street Bridge down in the Heinz Plant parking lot. I was on my way back from Sheraden and headed home. I called Bill to tell him about the churches I saw in McKees Rocks Bottoms- two Ukrainian and one Orthodox and one Byzantine. The sun was dropping on their domes and I pulled off to photograph them.  Turns out Bill has already drawn them in pastels and they were sold and are on display in a Wyndam hotel in Oakland 3454 Forbes Avenue

A man came out to his car to go home  and he complimented Bill on his artwork. I asked him about the ketchup. Hasn’t been made in Pittsburgh since the 70’s.  They made ketchup packets for fast food chains here but all the ketchup is made in Ohio.

I have the Most Holy Spirit Church in Millvale painting on my living room wall. I bought it from Bill during the Art Teacher Show at the Board of Ed a few years ago.

My People at Work series has taken twists and turns this week focusing on artists- emerging and established.  Bill is the artist who painted the church Mark and Erika were married in and gave it to them as a gift.   I learned about armillary spheres and how the four of them on this bridge were brought by truck and boat as they were too wide for the railroad. Remember the recent Artist’s  Palette Post?  Bill was gracious to allow me to photograph him while he was trying to paint before the sun set and the light was gone.

Here is Bill’s palette for this painting.

Bill packs up his paints and brushes as the sun goes down

Click here to see more Pittsburgh painting by Bill Pfahl


Remembering My Friend’s Mother- Olga Melynchek Muraska

Today’s post is in loving memory of my friend’s mother, Olga Melynchek Muraska.  Born 11-29-1921 – Died 6-27-2011.  She was always so good to my children and me.  And her homemade pierogies were the best!  I took some photos of classic photos her daughter Marianne compiled for the memory collage when she was putting them together at her house the other night.  I asked if I could make a tribute to her mother’s memory on the blog and she said that was fine. I took the more recent one at a Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast a few years ago. You can see her downtown and as a bride. She had a smile for everyone and was working well into her eighties.  An amazing hard working woman who loved wholeheartedly. 

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