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

Archive for October, 2011

Superman Contemplates the Jump

The fire alarm went off at church. Too much incense.  Had to evacuate the building. Here is Jack on the fence outside the parish hall where they were getting ready for the All Saints parade for the children.  He switched into his St. John costume complete with eagle.

Anyway, I sewed this Superman cape about 28 years ago for Jack’s Uncle Matthew.  Now Jack(4)  wants to wear it constantly.  Last night I had to sew some repairs. He was so happy that it could be fixed.

Last Christmas time he was into Spiderman and you might have seen Jack on his Uncle Matthew. If not, click here.  Matthew comes in from Croatia pretty soon for Laura’s wedding.  I hope he doesn’t find I gave his old Superman cape to his nephew.


Formerly Nick’s Fat City, Byzantine Church Reflection and a Ghoul


Liberty Tunnel Odyssey 2011

This is for people who don’t live in Pittsburgh. You know we have lots of bridges here.  But today I am highlighting the driving through one of our tunnels.

Experience the Liberty Tunnel as I did last Tuesday night. First opened in 1924.

At first the radio is playing. Then static as reception is lost.

The Liberty Tunnel is 5889 feet long.  The tunnel was empty except for me.  One car whizzes by towards the end.  I put the iPhone on the top of the steering wheel and just drove without looking at it.  Not too fast. Next week the Ft Pitt tunnel so you can see the city at the mouth of the tunnel.

Just had the urge to document the emptiness and the movement  as I traveled through.  The sound of a motorcycle can be heard too.  And then the radio reception returns.  Disclaimer- may cause motion sickness?  Steve said it seems like he was traveling through the atmospheres of Jupiter.  What an imagination.


Nostalgia for Metal Roller Skates and a Key Around the Neck

Photographed at Bicycle Heaven 10-26-11

When my family lived in Newark, NJ my brother and I used to skate around the block.  Your feet would hum after you took off the skates.  You left your regular shoe on your foot and tried to fit it into the metal brace.  I can hear the sound when I look at these old skates. Childhood of the 1950′s.  They were heavy.  At least that is how I remember them.


Bicycle Heaven Shop and Museum

Kurt and Craig in Bicycle Heaven.

People at work.  What an amazing place.  A field trip for photo class Wednesday night.  Craig and Kurt were most hospitable.  And you never saw so many bicycles in your life. Steamers for handlebars, baskets, reflectors, headlamps, tires, gears, seats. You name it. Anything and EVERYTHING for a bicycle. Whatever you want? It is there! Craig has been collecting bikes for 30 years and just put this place together in the last three months.  WOW is all we could say.  Holy Bikes! The four bikes on the wall are Bowden Spacelander bikes made of fiberglass designed in 1948. There are very few in the world and here were FOUR together !!!


Feller’s Garage Castle Shannon PA

Not sure of the fate of this structure.  I did find a nice photo that someone took a year ago. This is just mine as I waited at the red light, taken with the iPhone.


Fruit Tart, Tea and Friendship

A winning combination.  A friend and neighbor asked me over tonight. We hadn’t seen each other in weeks.  It was good to catch up. Hear about what we’ve been up to and the places we have gone.  I read that article asking Do You Bore People? so I tried to not talk about the computer crash and the necessity of a new hard drive but it was difficult cause she missed my data loss experience.    But enough on that already-  AND look what her husband picked up on his way home!  Lovely custard and fruit-topped tarts with a mug of hot tea to accompany the tart. It is good to have friends, especially in this beginning season of darkness and cold.

Almost looks like a reflection!

 


Everybody Loves Italian Men

Strip District shopping on Saturday AM I finally saw the sign R told me about a few weeks ago.  In fact, I parked right in front of it.

After I loaded up the car and got into the driver’s seat to pull out of the parking space, there were two women responding to the sign!   More difficult to read the sign at that angle but I thought the addition of the women going in really added to the scene.


Mr. Lenny Moran-Burgh Nation T- Shirt Man

Saturday morning I drove down to the Strip District of the city to purchase items for the cookie table for the wedding. Ingredients; pistachios, hazelnuts, almond paste, Portuguese Pignoli Nuts, anise seed,fig jam, and some doilies for the cookie trays. Stopped by the Steeler Nation T-shirt display and told the proprietor his shirts were being worn in Zagreb. I bought them last year. We struck up a conversation and before you know it, Mr. Lenny Moran opened his a guitar case and showed me where Tom Petty had signed it T.P. and then had a well-worn leaflet autographed by Muhammed Ali. Turns out Lenny is a songwriter as well as a Steeler Nation T-shirt entrepreneur. If you’re from Pittsburgh you might have heard his Rock’n the Igloo!   Check out his burghnationtees.   He had a tablet with wireless capability and I was able to show him the post of the Steelers slide show where he was featured last January.   Lenny had placed Steelers folding chairs to save a parking spot for a couple of nuns who came and set up a table to sell Advent wreaths.  It was a nice morning.  He graciously consented (I hadn’t asked last January) to be on the blog.  Thanks Mr. Lenny Moran.

Lenny Moran and his autographed guitar.

Note to SELF:

 Carry good camera at all times

Carry good camera at all times

Everywhere, ALWAYS!!!

All iPhone once again.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Opportunity

A set of circumstances that makes it possible to do something

The sound of the engine caught my ear. I looked up. Had camera in hand, CLICK. The auto focus found the tree and utility pole but got the fire engine between as it whizzed by. I was going to visit my friend S and have tea in her artist's studio (formerly garage) last September.


People at Work- Marie is a Horticulturist

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild photo class went on a field trip to the Bidwell Training Center greenhouse where there are orchid “crops”. I learned how to use custom white balance in some strange light(thanks Jill) and  I asked our guide how she came to be doing the work she is doing.  She used to work in hazardous waste.  Her undergrad was something to do the with environment (sorry Marie, I didn’t write it down) and she always loved the forest and growing things.  She was inspired by a Ziggy comic panel which she still has of Ziggy on his knees in awe of a flower blooming.  (didn’t write down the punchline either but Marie, if you read this post Friday please comment and remind me)   Getting a Master’s Degree and being a horticulturist became the next step when work in hazardous waste started to disappear.  She knows a lot about orchids and was patient as our class tried to get beautiful shots of the elegant flowers in a different full spectrum light.  And thank you Marie for the informative tour and consenting to be part of the People at Work series.   Marie is an example of finding your passion and doing that work!

Marie told me that photographers place her between the rolling flower holders so I did the same.


Pittsburgh- Zombie Capital of the World

Thanks to George A. Romero and his classic Night of the Living Dead(1968).  Would you believe I missed the recent Zombie Fest in Downtown Pittsburgh the first week of October?  That is what Zaq told me as I asked him about his shirt he was sporting on the South Side.  I had just been to the Post Office and was headed for a slice of pizza at Blue Grotto and I stopped on the sidewalk and asked if I could photograph him in his shirt for the blog.  Sure!  I asked him where he got the Pittsburgh Zombie Capital of the World T-shirt and he said, ” The Monroeville Mall!”  That is where they used to hold the Zombie Fest.  I regret that I missed the Zombie Prom I was invited to a few years ago.  I know I could have gotten some great shots.  But here is Zaq (with a Q) on Carson Street and he said I could blog his shirt, with him in it.  Thank you Zaq!  And thanks to your friend who was with you.  I should have taken him with you.

I see the most interesting people and scenes on Carson Street in the South Side.


What Would You Rate It? C+

 

 

Saw this across the street from the church where I shot a wedding.   No way to avoid the reflection.   Looked like a rating to me.  


Weekly Photo Challenge: Comfort

Last week’s challenge.  I think the idea of the weekly challenge is to  accomplish it in the week it is presented.  I am LATE.

Comfort is so individual.   It came to mind when I got home from school today and wanted to make comfort food for supper.  Pulled out the lone can of Campbell’s tomato soup from the pantry shelf and added a can of milk.  Stirred it with a whisk over the gas flame.  Yes, I know it has too much sugar and salt in it. Some taste of childhood perhaps speaks to me.  I put shreds of extra sharp cheddar in the bottom of the bowl and pour the hot soup on top.  Not to mention the grilled cheese sandwich to accompany it, grilled in the cast iron skillet.  A slice of cheddar and a slice of swiss.  Pepperidge Farm White Bread. We are talking comfort here.  And it was that loaf that inspired the menu too. (thanks Steve for that)    Or maybe the upcoming field trip to the Warhol museum with the eighth graders this Thursday brought the can of soup to mind!  Oh, the school day disappeared in the warmth of the soup, the melted gooey cheese with the toasty grilled buttery bread.  Life is good.  One fast shot with the trusty iPhone (Old model, no line for me) before savoring the simple comfort on a chilly autumn afternoon. And J remember the woman who used to come and help you in Kentucky and you’d make her a grilled cheese for lunch and she’d ask you to “burn it a little!”.  She came to mind as I tried to NOT burn the bread.  Dessert was a Farmer’s Market new apple, sliced and cored and three gingersnaps. What is your comfort food?

Grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup right out of the can!


Maura Eyes the Wedding Cake Being Cut

First cousins once removed on her mother’s side. That is such a strange sounding label! She’s also my youngest grandchild. Fun to be part of a family wedding. Congratulations to Jaclyn and Michael. It was a happy night.

WIsh I had a quote from her. Will have to show her the photo and add it!


Little People®- 3 Generations

I never played with Fisher-Price Little People® as a child but I used to love to play with the FP garage with Mark in 1977. I can still hear that ding as he would crank the elevator.    The wooden figure on the left is from the 70′s and belonged to my DIL. The one on the right is 2011.  No one is going to choke on that girl!.  Was in the basement playing with the grandchildren and saw these three figures in a bin.  Stood them up on top of the toy shelf. Just a compare and contrast photo. With the good old iPhone.  By the way I was at the Apple store and it was hopping, people outside in a queue with precious tickets to get a new iPhone. Just crazy.  And I am not going to write about my excessive data and computer crash and some loss of photographs.  Instead I will shoot more and be grateful I have the weddings I need to work -safe on the original cards, Phew. Trying to keep what is important in perspective. So you lose about 16,000 images? The backup on the external hard-drive did not do what it was supposed to do. It is not bad news from a doctor. I am sure there are many of you who can relate to loss of data.  Or the simple playing with little toy figurines and using one’s imagination.

I like the personality of the old wooden one on the left.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Possibility

The challenge spoke of doors and paths, travel.  This is what Arlington Avenue looked like on the way to school Thursday morning.  The October light made the brick building seem to glow.  That is the color it was when I saw it.  No retouch on that brick.  Just morning sun.  I like to think that the start of the day offers POSSIBILITY.

What I saw on the way to school Thursday morning. Shot through my windshield.


Andrew Tosses the Pizza Dough in the Air

He can’t remember how long it took him to learn to do this.  I was impressed with the height and ease in which he tossed the dough.  We had parent conferences until seven  PM so got to go out to lunch.  I headed down to the South Side to the bank and stopped in the Blue Grotto Pizza shop on the corner of 19th and Carson.  Thom B came by.  Told me, “…they really care about their food which is a good thing.” I waited for a slice of Pizza Margherita and you can see by Andrew’s hand that the slice was ENORMOUS!. It was also delicious. It was when I was leaving that I saw his tossing the dough and photographed his expertise.  I asked if it was okay to blog and he said, “Sure.”  Would have been good to have a tripod and cable remote but the soft capture still conveys the story of his skill.   A rhythmic series of the pizza dough tossing is an idea for a future post.  Could be in the People at Work series, too.


Heinz Plant at Night

Shot from the Penn Brewery Parking Lot


An Hour’s Difference in the City Fog- 2 views


Firefighter Takes a Moment to Pose

Mark and Erika were cleaning out the garage on Sunday afternoon. Anna was helping. Maura napping. When you start a major project like that it’s difficult to stop. You don’t want to lose momentum! It’d be tough to get back to the task. They were readying the space for pulling the cars in as the frost is coming.  BUT- Michael and Jack really wanted to go to the Fire Department Day.  I was packed and ready to head back to Pittsburgh- E asked if I could take the boys to the Fire House.  An unexpected good time to share!  I drove the boys to see the fire trucks and I am so glad we went.  We saw them burn and extinguish two rooms, one without a sprinkler system and one with. Yikes!  Will post the one without the sprinklers as it is more dramatic. Michael, Jack and I had a great time together. They climbed into all the emergency vehicles and ate popcorn and there were free balloons.  I  love when they read all the car logos in the parking lot.

Spectators at the Firehouse Demonstration


Anna and Her Best Friend

Anna is eight years old today.  I remember going to the hospital in the dark, and then watching the sunrise over the Monongahela River from the window.  Then I went to school after she as born and everyone was so happy for our family. It was a happy day. Here is a portrait of her with Murphy the Airedale when she was one.  It hangs in her bedroom.

And a recent photograph of Anna and Murphy….

  The artist of the painting , Alison Zapata,  is a new mother herself and paints wonderful pet portraits. Her website is here


Thinking about Wedding Cookie Tables, Again

Cookie tables at weddings? A recurring theme, I know.  The biscotti in the basket, the pizzelles in another.  Trays and trays of cookies.  Little boxes or bags to take cookies home.  Anise, vanilla, the scent of fresh baked cookies.  Today Laura and I shopped in a restaurant supplier for trays for the cookie table next month.  We’re thinking a lot about cookies.  I’ve posted cookie table photos before. I’m sure I will be posting them again.  


Places to Get Food-#4 in a Series-Alexandria, PA

Route 22- Alexandria PA-  the info I found on yelp says it is like a time travel experience, going back about 25-30 years when you enter!  I pulled over to the side of the road and photographed it but then wondered if I should be procuring food in this series and write a review?


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