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

Archive for February, 2012

Anyone Want to Take a Stab at the Meaning of the Balloons?

A bird’s eye view of a downtown intersection. I think it’s a couple of ladies standing in the back of the truck.


Find the Magic Chef Gas Ranges Sign

City rooftops from the 22nd floor. Through a hotel window.  Raindrops on the glass.

300-500 Pounds of Potatoes on a Weekend Day – Station Street Hot Dogs and Union Pig and Chicken

Another post for indulge perhaps-

Saturday Steve and I ventured to the “new” hot dog shop just a mile from the house. It had been empty and abandoned for the longest time. The shop was built in the 60’s and the tile inside is almost Harvest Gold, Avocado Green  and Burnt Orange. Saturday it was sparkling clean. Chef Kevin Sousa has opened not one, not two, but THREE new places to eat in the neighborhood! A trifecta, all winners for sure.

  You can read about them in the review right here

Station Street offers French Fries fried in DUCK FAT.  Wash it all down with a  Mexican Coca-Cola (with cane sugar).  We had the New York Dog with sauerkraut and grainy mustard and shared an order of fries.The hot dog had a good flavor and a nice bite to the casing. The music playing was the Temptations and you felt like you were in another decade but with new and fresh food.

See the countertop with the talking hot dogs. Even the rest rooms have a hot dog on the door who look like they can walk and talk.

 I drove by Union Pig and Chicken the other night on the way home and took a shot from the car but have to try the food. They just opened up for business. The menu looks inviting so watch for a post in the near future highlighting the fare.  And number three is Salt of the Earth which has an incredible menu on their link.

Count the baskets of French Fries ready to fry!

You can read a review here

100 Years Ago Today

Roy Joseph Hendricks  

Born Farmersville, Illinois

February 26,1912- October 26, 2002

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

Dictionary Reference Indulge-to yield to an inclination or desire; allow oneself to follow one’s will

Isn’t that where we get into trouble?

I thought of fancy chocolates or an ice cream sundae mentioned in so many definitions for indulge. What photo to post?  But after school, Friday Mr. K called a Mental Health and Wellness Meeting at the Double-Wide Grill on the South Side. Of course, this post could be for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret. What you feel after you eat too many of them.  Fortunately, they were shared.

Fellow bloggers varied responses to the weekly photo challenge: indulge are linked here.

Onion Rings and a Draft Beer

Fountains at the Carnegie and a Sad Sign at Kiva Han Coffee Shop

I love to go to the Museum at night. It was just getting dark when I arrived and you can see the progression by the fountain photos I shot with the iPhone.

The Carnegie Museum of Art has free admission on Thursday nights for February and March. When I entered,the gift shop was still open so I bought a book for school.  I had received an email that photographer Dawoud Bey  would lecture (free) and show his work Thursday night. I am so glad I went to hear him and look forward to seeing his show- I was sorry I didn’t get to meet him but he was mobbed by people getting him to sign his book. I would have told him how I’ve photographed my students but can’t show them outside the school.  His portraits were excellent!

 Silver Eye Center for Photography has an exhibition -

Class Pictures: Photographs by Dawoud Bey until March 10th.

The Fountains When I Arrived

The Fountains When I Left


After fifteen years.....

Kiva Han is closed now.  Forever.  Here is the article telling what happened :-(  A franchise is coming in, The Bagel Factory.  Bummer.

How Do You Feel About Eels?

My mother never cooked one.  (she was from Durand, Illinois.)

I can’t remember ever tasting one. An unsophisticated palate or a cultural deficiency?

But I’ve been pondering eels for three days now-and all the people in my life have been talking about food and diets a lot. No one mentioned eels.

I was driving along in the car, listening to the radio and the voice of author, James Prosek, was talking eels and the fascinating book he’s written about them. I mean, this guy knows EVERYTHING about eels.

And I got to thinking how I feel about eels. The eating of them. When you’re driving a couple of hours, you think about all kinds of things. You’ve got time. And as I said it’s three days later and I am still pondering eels?

Now eels, their habits and lives aren’t something I’ve thought much about until I heard him interviewed.  I found a link for Vintage Recipes for eel and the title Collared Eel isn’t  something I’ve heard come up on anyone’s food blog recently.  Maybe eel is part of  your Christmas Eve dinner? Lots of Pittsburghers are talking about eating more fish cause it’s Lent. I’m thinking they’re referring to Fish Sandwiches, not eels.

Here is a photo I shot at the Zagreb Fish Market when I was visiting a few years ago. Some eels.

How do you feel about eels?

Here’s the book title

Eels: An Exploration, from New Zealand to the Sargasso, of the World’s Most Mysterious Fish
By James Prosek check out his website for more information on his art and writing.


See an EEL restaurant at a fellow blogger’s post here

Zagreb Fish Market

Look What Jackie Baked for Mikey’s First Bday

My friend Amy ( mother of Mikey) brought in the leftover cupcakes her friend Jackie made for Mikey’s first birthday. Here they are on the counter at school for everyone to share


Nod to NOLA in Honor of Mardi Gras

NOLA, not shot ON Mardi Gras! Want to see the real deal in real time? Travel on over to Carla’s One Wild and Precious Life blog  with parades, floats and beads, dogs dressed up  and crazy fun, her mom visiting (from my old hometown in Jersey-WOOT!) for her first Mardi Gras.  You will enjoy seeing Mardi Gras as it happens. My photos shot when I was visiting for a photography show at New Orleans Photo Alliance in June 2009.

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Cantilevered House,View 2, Friday on the Way to School

You saw my photo through the foggy school bus windshield.  Friday morning there was a train going by as I shot this but the cars were flat.  Couldn’t wait for that to change. It was a nice touch, to hear it speeding by on the track above.

I shot this outside the window, not through it and since I was the driver this time, I pulled to the side of the road.  Not a lot of time to experiment or revise on the way to school and no time to get out of the car.  Oh yes, iPhone camera not regular camera.

You read about this home in the New York Times last week.  If you wish to compare the shot from my previous post it is here.

It’s a cool view to see every morning. I watched them build it but didn’t document it. Too bad. One for the regret category.  Since most blog readers are out of town and can’t swing by to see this more clearly and are relying on my view, I wanted to show this unusual home in a nice light. And the school bus was parked.

Morning sun instead of rain and fog, clears up the view.

Carrot Cake, Paleo/Primal Style

You may remember I mentioned my being surrounded by friends and  family eating different ways. Here is one, highlighted.   My son and daughter-in-law have gone Paleo since January 1st. Meat and plants, no grain is the basic plan. A radical change.  They are taking it pretty seriously and I don’t believe it’s a diet I could adhere to totally.   But when I arrived Friday night the dinner was diced and sautéed rutabaga, shrimps on a skewer that were delicious,salad,  and  a cauliflower, broccoli, carrot medley (my name for it, not what it is really called) This cake was the dessert pictured below.

Mark never really baked anything I can ever remember. But he was proud of this carrot cake. After dinner he went out to the garage (where it is cool) and brought in in on a cakestand with a dome!  I asked him how he made it since the diet doesn’t have any wheat flour or refined sugar.  I mean, it looked like a carrot cake. He said he’d soaked 5 grated carrots in maple syrup and then drained the liquid off.   He used coconut flour, an item I don’t have in my pantry. There were some  dates in it.  And if I heard him correctly, TEN eggs.   The icing was whole fat cream cheese and grated ginger.

Whoa, no worries… I just searched found a link with the recipe for the Paleo/Primal Carrot Cake  which sounds just like the ingredients he listed. I’m at Laura and James’ tonight so can’t check Mark and Erika’s cookbook and it is too late to call or text to ask.

Proud of the Paleo carrot cake he baked.

It was sweet but not too sweet. Incredibly moist. Satisfying. It reminded me of eating a baked good in Europe that was unfamiliar yet delicious.  The ginger flavor was more pronounced on the second day which was okay by me but if you don’t like the pungent zing of fresh ginger you might want the vanilla in the frosting. I have no plans to go Paleo but enjoyed perusing their new cookbooks and finding Italian Pot Roast that sounded great for winter .  I see they’re enjoying cooking and planning meals together, shopping for new ingredients. Real converts!  Tonight for dinner there was spaghetti sauce on zucchini that had been cut on the mandolin and was used instead of pasta.  They are feeling good and looking good and pleased with their change of eating habits.

In 1977 and my parents lived in Philadelphia and I lived there for a year with Mark when he was one, I remember there was a restaurant  that specialized in a rich carrot cake if you want to compare recipes.  What I remember about that carrot cake was how you didn’t want to eat a whole piece. It was too much.

My mom used to bake an occasional sourdough carrot cake in a Danish green enameled lasagna type pan and I found a recipe for that online.

I would feel comfortable serving the Paleo/Primal carrot cake to dinner guests. Thinking about carrot cakes. Diets. Nutrition. Ingredients.  Eating together with family is the best, no matter what is on the plate!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Down

What does down mean to me?  It’s something I prefer not to be.

I’m Down by the Beatles is a favorite

Down on the Corner by Creedence Clearwater Revival.

The Stars Look Down by Rush

Lots of songs with direction.

We all know plenty of people who try bring us down. One thing I know- I used to shoot a lot of single gloves and mittens on pavement,  a baby shoe in the gutter, scratch-off lottery ticket, manhole covers, sidewalks that are stairs.  Brides pushing the down elevator button to the lobby.

I used to hear,” I’m down with that.”

Here’s my response to the weekly photo challenge: down.  Looking down at my granddaughter Anna as she’s playing in the grass at Aunt Linda and Uncle Frank’s house. I have her in focus in another image with the feet blurred but I selected this single shot for down.   Original file not available so it’s a cropped screen shot from an online photo gallery I don’t use much anymore. 

Here are the responses of fellow bloggers for this week’s challenge: down.

Shrouded Downtown Church from the Parking Garage Spiral & Detail

Going to fact check but believe this is the church with 13 Tiffany windows

Distant View Through a Chain Link Fence- Close, Closer and Closest

Drove by and it was a blur through the chain link fence.

(Don’t worry, Steve was driving. I was the passenger.)

What do you think these are?

Guess no one flew South.  Read that the Canada Goose is now a year round creature of urban environments.   And the plural is Canada Geese- not Canadian Geese.  You probably already knew that, Mary Lynn!

Basketball Fans Reflection in a Glossy Gym Floor

Our friends’ son is a basketball coach for a local high school team and we were invited to see them win the last game of the season last night.  I was shooting with a 70-200 lens and not moving around much but as I sat there this reflection caught my eye. At the half I switched sides for a different view from the fans’ perspective but I was glad I’d captured this reflection earlier.

These fans were enthusiastic and moved around a lot but at this moment they were all still.



Anchovies and Arugula Pasta in Omaha- An Engagement Party Thank You

Today is a guest blog with three contributors, Joanne, Anne and Mary in Omaha.

I met Joanne in Germany when I was expecting Laura (28).

The photos are by Anne and Joanne.

 My friend Joanne writes……
Anne, Mary and I have been friends for some years.  We take adult ballet together and get together now and then for what Anne calls a “drag-around” which means whoever is driving, drives the others around town and decides where we are going …. sometimes we start with coffee or breakfast (ricotta three-berry pancakes at Amato’s featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives youtube and J says the pancakes come at the end).  Then off we go for a massage or the botanical gardens or the consignment shops … whatever suits the fancy of the driver.
In September, Anne and I co-hosted an engagement party for Mary’s son and to thank us she promised to make the anchovy pasta.
We waited months and months and she decided to have us over on a wintry Sunday afternoon in February.  It was worth the wait!

Mark Bittman -Minimalist: Pasta with Anchovies and Arugula article and video in the New York Times

Here’s the recipe for the coffee tort on from the kitchen of Army friend in Germany Janie Zimoni:
2 Tbsp flaked coconut
2 Tbsp finely chopped almonds
1 egg white
1 Tbsp dry instant coffee
6 Tbsp sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract
Place coconut and almonds in a pan.  Broil for a few seconds to toast lightly.
Whip egg white and coffee, gradually adding 2 Tbsps sugar.  Pour cream into this mixture and whip.  Gradually add 4 Tbsps sugar and extracts.  Whip until firm but not stiff.
Fold half of the almonds and coconut into coffee mixture.  Spoon into small elegant serving dishes.
Top with remaining almond-coconut mixture.  Freeze until firm, about 2-3 hours or overnight.
Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.
And some photos from the engagement party

How Many Deer Do You See?

Three is the answer.

Steve says he is glad he is not a deer. These are woods IN the city.

Shot Through the Bus Windshield

You saw Thursday’s post of the passenger photo from the school bus ride to the Carnegie Museum of Art when it was snowing.  Here’s another one.  We were coming back from the Teenie Harris exhibit headed back to school.  This photo has a cool story and link.

My friend R came over in the snow for a bowl of minestrone soup, Friday night.   She told me about this cool house on the South Side, featured in the New York TImes.  “A cantilevered house over a glass factory”, she said.   I said, “I drive by that house EVERYDAY on the way to school. I watched it being built!”  I’ve photographed the trains going by, the weather. I have pulled over there many times and photographed the scene.

On Wednesday I photographed a piece of this unique house through the school bus windshield. You can see a glimpse of their Emerald Art Glass Factory, the school bus yard  on the left and the train trestle where I’ve photographed trains in a blur. Up on the slopes is formerly St. Josaphat’s church that’s now closed. If you want to see the house as it should be seen then you will have to go and watch the NYTimes slideshow.

Here is the link  and the NYTimes amazing photos in a slideshow of this really cool house in detail.  You just see a snippet of the house in my photo in the upper left.  After you see the pristine and fantastic photographs at the New York Times you might wonder why I posted my iPhone photo of the same scene?

Southside Flats and Slopes


Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

Regret one has to clean up the results of the cold glass jar from the garage placed onto the room temperature countertop.

No photographs of the things I regret having done, or things I haven’t done that I wish I had….the regret of not sending the birthday card in time, not calling on the phone in time, not leaving early enough in the day to be there to say good bye. The disappointment and sorrow of the human kind not in the archives.  A true challenge to come up with a response to the challenge.

Fellow bloggers responses to the weekly photo challenge entries are here 

Thought this a creative response -you can hear Edith Piaf sing No Regrets on this fellow bloggers WPC: Regret

And Flat Ruthie is 90 miles from Cuba in the Florida Keys if you want to check her out here

First Jelly Roll I’ve Baked in Years and a Blooming Hellebore

Filled With Homemade Four Fruit Jam- Sour Cherries, Raspberries, Gooseberries and Currants

I brought the dessert.

Otherwise Known as a Lenten Rose

These bloom in the snow and are quite beautiful.  Hellebore is a hell of a name, though. My friend is quite a gardener.

Matzoh Ball Soup and Homebaked Challah

Full Moon from my Driveway

The Passenger’s View

Took the eighth grade on a Field Trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art to view the Tennie Harris,Photographer: American Story show. We had a wonderful day.  Here’s the view from the passenger seat.  (note the sidewalk on the right is stairs!) You can see the stop sign at the bottom of the hill.  And the reflection of the  school bus in the right side mirror. Shot through glass on a snowy day.

Through the front window. It was great to be a passenger.

Fresh Spring Rolls from Tram’s Kitchen

Everyone I know has been talking diets lately.  Paleo, Eat for your Blood Type, Low Carbs, No Carbs and a couple of Vegetarians.  After speaking with a friend about her shopping and cooking for the day I started thinking I wanted a hamburger on a white bread bun with grilled onions and a side of fries made from some regular old white potatoes,  the four cheese macaroni and cheese at Tin Front Cafe or just a trough of grain.

Steve brought this offering home Tuesday evening and I found it on the kitchen table, right next to the box of Clementines when I arrived. I photographed the tray of Fresh Spring Rolls right then- before we ate them!  I sliced one in half so you could see the interior.  There’s a detailed  review of Tram’s Kitchen  at TastyBurgher here  and an AllMenus link full menu and reviews here.  The tiny containers of sauce- peanut or HOT chili really accent the Vietnamese Spring Rolls.  *And Tom and Chee posted a new note on their webpage with a link to the Cardboard Me Travels blog 

Tram's Kitchen Fresh Spring Rolls

They were delicious.

Tram's Kitchen Fresh Spring Rolls

Downtown Reception

Not sure who is watching what but plenty of antennae and dishes on this roof

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ready

WordPress posted the WPC this afternoon and here is an iPhone photo of the dining room table ready for guests to eat dinner. A tad grainy, soft focus, and dark and yet inviting to me and a good illustration of the weekly photo challenge: ready.


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