Lots of people enjoy the satisfaction of popping bubble wrap. Even the virtual kind. On one listing for a computer game it’s called the ultimate time waster. There are apps with popping bubble wrap games. Some people find it a stress reliever and like hearing the pop. Lately I have been receiving packages with a different kind of plastic with air trapped inside and they aren’t nearly as fun, just half heartedly filled with air and don’t make a good POP! More of a fizzle.
You don’t have to explain the rules to this activity. Here’s Maura on Aunt Linda’s back porch, concentrating on the task. A detailed post of various methods of popping bubble wrap has been published over at 1000 Awesome Things( #840) so check it out here. There’s a photo of someone jumping on a big sheet of it! And there are various size bubbles.
Maura was popping the bubbles one at a time and it was fascinating to watch her take her time. It seems a skill that’s a natural one. Pick it up. Squeeze. Pop!
and Jack has found another use for bubble wrap
Another urban shot from last week in NYC. I was walking by this scene and had to photograph it.
It’s a cash only, no slices, no reservations, coal oven pizza place but I won’t add their name cause I am sure this is not their best look. The restaurant grading system is prominently displayed in every window in the city.
And if you liked my Positivity Helps shot from the Urban Challenge, the challenge creator, Terence S. Jones, has added it to his collection of urban images. You can go onto his blog here and click the heart button on the photo. Thanks.
Last Saturday I went to the Carrick Corn Festival at Phillips Park, across the street from the high school where I’d just started my new position (digital photography teacher) the day before. Our principal had invited us to attend and get to know the community plus it was a chance to see the Marching Band perform and shoot some photos of the event. There were Irish Step Dancers and Bhutanese Dancers and I’ve quite a few views of the corn being shucked and boiled, dripping in butter but this is the photo of the day.
At one of the booths, this man was writing people’s names and telling their meaning. I asked if I could photograph his dog (Shammy) who was by his side with a bowl of water on the grass. Sean told me that I should have seen her at the St. Patrick’s Day parade and he shared some snaps of her in her outfit. Here he’s picked her up for another pose. Even though I was short on cash, this generous gentleman wrote the meaning of my name Ruth (a friend to all) on the back of a prayer card, using a calligraphy pen in neat writing.
Not just any prayer card but the patron saint of photographers.
He’d asked me if I knew who the patron saint of photographers was and I ‘d no idea.
He told me the story of St. Veronica and her capturing the image of Jesus’ face in the cloth she offered to him.
Receiving this unexpected gift felt like a special blessing at the start of of the new school year. Thank you Sean.
Last Thursday I was driving back home to Pittsburgh from New York City. I was looking for coffee and exited from Interstate 78. Drove a few miles and couldn’t find any and ended up turning around on US Route 22. I looked over my shoulder and saw the early morning sun hitting the shiny diner. Did a little research and found a listing on a blog all about Endangered Diners in New Jersey. If you have a dream of saving a diner, this might be the place for you. Once you cut through the underbrush and greenery you’ll be able to decide. Seriously, it is sad to see such ruin and decay. Breakfast in a decent diner is my dream meal. Well, one of them. I like all things DINER. You can see a close-up photo on the link above or here.
I could sift through thousands of urban photographs for this week’s challenge: urban.
There are the suburban shots of the family in my file folders, too.
Choosing a cohesive urban series was my personal challenge. The most searched term on my blog and a true urban image is NYC Rooftops at Night which I posted in 2009.
I live and work in the city of Pittsburgh, driving across bridges and past demolitions, playgrounds and chain link fences. There are skyscrapers and empty lots. When I visit my sister in lower Manhattan there are hundreds more images to shoot and file. And why not throw in a couple from Zagreb where Matthew lives?
So much for a cohesive series. Here are my urban selections for this week’s challenge. A couple will be familiar if you’ve followed me for more than a year.
One hundred other bloggers interpretations of URBAN
Trackbacks & Pingbacks
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « e-Shibin
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Fenland Photos
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Flickr Comments
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban | Chittle Chattle
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban | Chittle Chattle
- Le città e il gioco. 2. | Empire of Lights
- Photos by the Dog of a Depressed Woman « Broken Light: A Photography Collective
- WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : URBAN « beyond toxicity
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban | Just Snaps
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban – Downtown Oak Hill, Alabama | Humbled Pie
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban – Joy and Woe
- Urbanizando el tiempo « La Mandraka
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Pictures for Froghopper
- Weekly Photo Challenge; Urban « So where’s the snow?
- Urban Energy « the thirdeyeworld
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Wind Against Current
- Weekly Photo Challenge: My Urban Garden | Cardinal Guzman
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « britten
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Figments of a DuTchess
- Urbaunite « bukaningrat ™
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « A year in the Life
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « MaanKind
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urbane | Canoe Communications
- weekly photo challenge: urban « A Meditative Journey with Saldage
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Efrata Denny Saputra Yunus
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Four Deer Oak
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « matt_pic’s
- Weekly Photo Challenge: URBAN « iñigo boy
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Lucid Gypsy
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Lydia Street
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | A barbaric YAWP across the Web
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « picture-bandit
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Disorderly Chickadee
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « A Happy and Beautiful World
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Picturing England
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Children’s Books & More
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | StandingStill
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « danajoward
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | efahmi.info
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban «
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban « Tacts Blog
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Capture the Moment
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Healthcare Updates
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge | Thrifty Finn
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Ohm Sweet Ohm
- faux statue « primo piano
- Urban Flowers (aka Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban) | One Not Alone.
- Weekly Photo Challenge: The Red Door « Shelf Life of a Bookseller
- WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : URBAN « 2012 – ON THE BENCH
- WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE : URBAN « 2012 – ON THE BENCH
- Two Awesome WordPress Themes For $29 [Deals] | Open Knowledge
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Carra Design
- WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: URBAN – A slice of Metro Manila « mywordwall
- One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish « Detours by Deepali
- Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban « mtlawleyshire
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | perceptionsofareluctanthomemaker
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « DesignHouse9
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Lonely Travelog
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Bams’ Blog
- Weekly Photo Challenge theme ‘Urban’ | Campanulla Della Anna
- Dreaming under the trees « mein27 photoblog
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « JahsWorld
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | My Sardinian Life | La Mia Vita Sarda
- The bride in the city…City Explo[it/r]ation, a WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge |
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Project 365 Challenge in 2012
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | R Shad
- Challenge photo – Urbain – Paris-Plages « Paris en photographies
- urban human « i don’t understand the cattle
- Pont Neuf – urbain « Paris en photographies
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Julie Dawn Fox in Portugal
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Rois
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « miljoanne
- Weekly Photo Challenge : Urban « Cheryl Andrews
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Insanity at its best!
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Emma’s life unravel
- weekly photo challenge: urban « monkeymuesli
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Last Train to QVille
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Monochrome
- Weekly photo challenge ~ Urban | holistic complications
- The Barrio Of Kitsch « The Urge To Wander
- weekly photo challenge : urban | bodhisattvaintraining
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Mirth and Motivation
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | The Blog Farm – A Growing Blog Community
- Urban Silhouettes « Ink.
- weekly photo challenge : urban (part 2) | bodhisattvaintraining
- Weekly Photo Challenge:http://humbledpie.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/this-mornings-commute-across-tampa-bay/ | Humbled Pie
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Olivia May Photography
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Becca’s Photo Blog
- Photos Galore! Travel Photo of the Year Contest, Travel Theme – Silhouette, Weekly Photo Challenge – Urban | newsofthetimes
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban Leiden « What’s (in) the picture?
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Wanderings of an Elusive Mind
- Urbanite | Beyond the Brush
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Stephen Kelly Creative
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | The Retiring Sort
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Chronicles of Illusions
- Urban Rooftops « Broken Light: A Photography Collective
- ER, BAN REALLY AWFUL RHYMES? | Colonialist’s Blog
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban « Zain’s Pix & Text
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Photography Journal Blog
- Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban | Autumn in Bruge
Whether you’re a dog person, a cat person, or none of the above, you know how painful loss can be. Even when a living thing comes to the end of its life, the inevitable is difficult. There they are, with you. And then they aren’t anymore. Ever. And no matter how old or how sick, you just miss them. They entertain you, cheer you, greet you and provide companionship. You care for them, feed them, talk to them and teach them a trick or two.
First there was Eloise, a cat someone dumped in the park across the street where we live. 1992. We took her in. Laura was in second grade.
Lucy- the last of the litter- the only one with long hair, big green eyes- a pretty cat and sweet.
She was the loudest purrer and a docile cat. She was the most vocal and would talk back as your called her name.
My one friend thinks Steve needs a kitten. NOT! We’re not getting any more cats.
Steve said maybe a hypoallergenic dog? Down the road a bit. A little terrier? No! We just can’t have any more pets. It’s too hard to lose them. The last couple months seemed to be a cat hospice situation around here with Steve so vigilant and trying everything to make her life nice. She really was confined to one room and didn’t climb the stairs anymore.
Her being in the one room allowed the family to come this summer and sleep overnight as they suffer from cat allergies. Oh how the grandkids loved seeing Lucy. Steve would take them in and they were so happy seeing her, asking about her. I know they’ll be sad to hear she’s gone.
Earlier in the summer, Michael gave me his pet rock he’d made in day camp “for when Lucy dies”.
I think about how Mark, Erika and both of her parents and now even Laura all suffer from cat allergies. So do a couple of my good friends and it has impacted their ability to come and enjoy being in my home. Oh dear. But when Laura was growing up, she used to have cute Lucy crawl under the covers. Now she can’t be near cats without an allergic reaction.
Nineteen and a half years is a full life for a cat. Or as Mark says, she had nine wonderful lives thanks to Steve. Steve has been caring for her so tenderly. Sips of Cat Milk, special food for the thyroid. You name it. Steve was practically chewing up shrimp like a penguin mother. Now it’s hard to handle and dispose of her bowl and her drinking fountain, her pan, all the things she used.
Three weeks ago at the vet they said she was doing well for her age.
Hmmm, I thought. She didn’t look too good to me but her eyes had life and she was still using the litter pan and eating a little.
I knew she was coming down the home stretch. We talked about knowing it was time to put her down. But we hadn’t.
And so the night before the first day of school, Steve came in around 1:30 AM and said that he was petting her and she didn’t wake up. That she was gone. Friday he took her to be cremated while I started my new job. I was sorry he had to go alone. It still doesn’t seem real that she passed and isn’t coming back.
We’ll miss you Lucy.
My sister walked with us from the Parking Lot on the West Pier. We walked down St. Luke’s Place as we made our way to her apartment. Film locations abound in New York City but she thought this one especially interesting looking at night.
Mary goes to the library and can watch the swimmers right from the library window.
AND- Audrey Hepburn’s Wait Until Dark was filmed across the street on St Luke’s Place.(click to see location)
The pool location is Carmine Street Pool(click to see the scene from film) and it was about two am Monday night/Tuesday morning and really dark. There were some bright spotlights, too, and didn’t have time to monkey around with the ideal settings.
I set the camera on the timer so I didn’t get camera shake. Propped it on a concrete ledge of the fence base.
I took it from the angle where the Keith Haring Mural wasn’t visible and didn’t go back in the daytime as I’d planned. Next trip.
A personal note-
Drove home from NYC Thursday afternoon and Friday morning at 7:30 I start a new job as the Digital Photography Teacher at Carrick High School. After 20 years in Elementary Art it is going to be different and I am quite excited. Thanks to everyone for the good wishes and emails and for following the blog, leaving thoughtful comments and being patient when I don’t reply to each note. Making adjustments to the daily post as no more staying up past midnight to blog since I have to leave my house so early.
We went to dinner at Havana Alma de Cuba on Christopher Street in the West Village. Mary ordered the Hemingway- mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops in a green sauce. I had the green plantain crusted red snapper, avocado and sofrito sauce with black beans and yellow rice. Flan for dessert.
Right next to our table in the front of the restaurant, a man came with a wooden box, a press, some tools. Tools for cigar making.
He unfurled large leaves of tobacco and began to roll cigars and cut them. The insides were in the wooden molds.
His hands were a blur. I asked if I might photograph him and he agreed. He told us the leaves were from the Dominican Republic. The cigar pile grew. As we prepared to leave he gave us a few cigars and matches in a bag which I gave to my son for some celebration or occasion. Our grandfather smoked cigars on the front porch when I was a kid. The smell of cigar smoke is strong but nostalgic. One whiff and I can be in that memory. See him in a straw hat. No one was smoking cigars on Tuesday night but it was fascinating to watch the hands of a master roll and cut them.
New York City- Tuesday August 21st. School starts for me in Pittsburgh on Friday so this is the LAST of the summer vacation.
My sister and I were shopping for a corded landline. Good luck with that! You think you have something in mind but your choices are dictated by what is produced AND what is in stock. But that ‘s another whole story.
As we walked by this Vintage Clothing and Accessories store on West 23rd Street, The Family Jewels, we saw a young woman working on getting the padlock out of the security gate. We chatted for a minute and said we’d be back. The vintage tablecloths caught our eye.
Meet Liz. She graciously consented to be photographed. She patiently explained the different ways they procure the vintage items. And you know how I like to ask people how they get started with their collections. She has a collection of poodle items that were gifts from friends who know she likes poodles. She had a poodle and that’s how it all started. See her tattoo and necklace! She had the most beautiful green eyes, too. Thanks, Liz!
Seven years ago I was in Florida watching Anna while Erika and Mark went to the hospital. Happy Birthday Michael Joseph! He just lost his first tooth and is starting First Grade on Wednesday so your last day of summer vacation you don’t have to go to school. Bet you’ll find time to build something with your new Star Wars Lego today.
Blogging from Aunt Mary’s computer in NYC at 3 AM so when you wake up you can see your birthday post. Love, FF Ruthie
It’s an iPhone photo story and the bowl of peelings didn’t come out. This was last Thursday.
Recipe for a summer afternoon.
Generous neighbors with an apple tree laden with fruit- a couple of boxes waiting to be filled. (We filled one.)
A friend to help pick, peel, core and slice.
The crust was butter, flour and salt, a few tablespoons of ice water- mixed up in the food processor, rolled out.
Four open face pie/tarts and one quart of applesauce that looks almost green to me.
We took one of the pies down to the owners of the apple tree and were they ever surprised. I brought one out to Ohio for the family. Along with the applesauce.
Small apples, tart and sweet, firm flesh and delicious. A sprinkle of lemon, dots of butter and light on the cinnamon. A bit raggedy looking but tasty.
The sisters-in-law take a photo class and Saturday morning was the field trip to Franklin Park Conservatory. They invited me to go along. They went out to the Bride’s Garden and the doors locked behind them. I was photographing the Fairy Gardens and the model railroad and they were looking for me. Laura called me on the cell and I went and opened the door. I saw this view as I approached the doors.
I was focusing on photographing the two of them instead of the butterflies and the flowers and this added to my series.
Everyone shoots this one- Chihuly’s Glass.
Sisters-in-law shoot the fountain. They have to create a slideshow with ten images to show to the class.
Bubbles from the fountain.
View from the Gift Shop windows.
This week’s challenge was something to think about on my trip from Pittsburgh to Columbus Friday afternoon. Sorting through images I had in the archives. (in my mind, obviously) Nothing jumped out. And then-
an opportunity presented itself, right in front of me. Standstill traffic. On Route 70 West, Friday afternoon.
A 3 1/2 hour trip took almost SIX hours to drive today due to congestion from road work and merging to a single lane and perhaps a bad accident that was cleaned up by the time I got to the site.
I saw police and emergency vehicles driving the other direction with lights and sirens.
A truck reflected the sky AND an old fashioned airplane is in the left door panel. It looks like a bird. The sky seemed to merge with the reflection in the shiny truck. Nature and machine-made merge. I waited to merge to the left single lane. Other interpretations of merge are here
When my family left my house to return to their home in Ohio, they made a stop before they left the city.
Here’s what I received on my phone.
The four children and Murphy seated on the steps of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Polish Hill.
Anna (8+) photographed her parents on the steps. She has wanted to be guest blogger for a time.
At their reception I photographed Mark and Erika dancing at The Lamont- with FILM – ten years ago.
Now all I shoot is digital. I bought my first digital camera just before Anna was born- 10-10-2003.
My friend Steve told me about a documentary he watched last Saturday night about the Toynbee Tiles. Toynbee Tiles? I’d never heard of them. The documentary is called Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles . It’s a film by Jon Foy and was chosen as one of the best documentaries of 2011 by Roger Ebert.
Turns out there was also an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette about the tiles downtown but I missed it when it came out.
So last Sunday afternoon, Steve and went to look for them. We found three of the Toynbee Tiles. The first photographs of them were in the 1980′s so I am a latecomer to these mysterious plaques. And I am intrigued by their placement in so many locations.
A couple of them are paved over. Chicago doesn’t allow them, they rip them up. But in Pittsburgh they are there for pedestrians to walk over and cars to drive right on top of them. It is a mystery who places the tiles but there are a lot of them in the world. Right by the church where James and Laura were married in Columbus, OH at Third and Broad there’s another one and Laura’s seen it! They are considered guerrilla art. And a mystery!
You can see it in the crosswalk below.
An you can see the above tile in the crosswalk below.
The neighborhood is Shadyside.
Almost to Walnut Street along Shady Avenue, I had to stop and pull over.
A summer cloudburst, along with the sun appearing in the western sky- rainbow!
I’m sure the image could be tweaked a bit to darken the colors, but this is just as it was. The building is Calvary Church Parish Hall on the left, the church on the right. The 50mm 1.2 L lens was on the camera.
My friend Barb brought these beautiful figs. I rinsed them and put them in a bowl to take out to the front porch. They looked so lush and colorful, I pulled out my phone and photographed them before we picked one to eat. They were perfectly ripe and delicious.
Roller Coaster connoisseurs have a preference I’m sure. Some prefer solid ground and wait for family and friends while they ride.
I know our friends Rob and his son Bradley were touring the country, riding roller coasters in many states. I even have a friend who told me tonight that she sat in the first car on the Phantom’s Revenge and I was in awe of her bravery.
That’s not for me but I’m fascinated by the lines of people waiting to get on and ride. Summertime is the time for thrill rides at Amusement Parks and if you live in Pittsburgh the place to go is Kennywood Park in West Mifflin, along the Monongahela River.
Thunderbolt is the big wooden roller coaster but there are two other wooden coasters- The Jackrabbit (built in 1920) and Racer, which is a double track wooden coaster.
One of the newer coasters is the Phantom’s Revenge. You watch it go up, up, up to the peak and then drop. Even though I’m not on it, I imagine what it is like, just before that steep drop and the rapid drop itself. You hear the screams.
Here’s a photo of the wooden Thunderbolt and the metal Phantom’s Revenge, photographed as my family waited to board the Turtle.
Both coasters make different sounds.
I rode The Jackrabbit last week and still can’t believe I actually went on it-
and yes, you do lift out of your seat, YIKES!
I’ve ridden the Thunderbolt and the Racer but that was when the kids were younger.
And the kids loved the Pittsburgh Plunge, getting wet on a hot day didn’t seem to bother them. It goes up slowly slowly and when it comes down…………….
A flag in tatters. Montclair, New Jersey. Corner of Claremont and Valley Road. A revolutionary marker at the site commemorating George Washington’s Temporary Headquarters.
Parking on the wrong side of the street, going the opposite direction of traffic. Some neighborhoods ticket for this offense.
No Cardboard (you may have seen this one before)
No Parking in New York City. Just over the line.
Green Eggs. And other interpretations for this week’s photo challenge may be seen here
My son Mark sent me this photo he took with his phone. He’s on business. He said I could use it as a guest blog today. Thanks, Mark. I have to watch this classic film again. Here is the theater from the movie The Blob filmed in 1958. Phoenixville PA.
More info on The Blobthe blob says it’s the screen debut of Steven McQueen
Laura’s 29th birthday. She says it is her FIRST 29th birthday. The family gathers on the front porch because most of them are nearby.
This year I didn’t run around and get in the photograph. Just wanted them. I’ll put it on the fridge. Look at it until we’re all together again. In the middle of winter I’ll glance at this August evening, celebrating Laura’s birthday and be glad I have the picture.
Not too many people really want their photo taken. Maybe a few. The family allows me to photograph them one more time.
They’re gracious and they love me and they know it’s what I like to do.
They probably wonder when I’ll get tired of wanting to photograph them but they don’t complain. Much. Photographing them while they ignore me is easier.
Of course, I want the shot where everyone is with me and looking pleasant on this occasion. Ha. Erika says to me, “Good luck with that!”
I get it the best I can.
Don’t want to drag it out too long, make it quick, Just SHOOT!
Thanks family. Matthew is the one who said to his friends at his college graduation ” This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now, but later you’re glad.”
Penny the Golden Doodle with Lala and James on their front porch.
And Maura and Murphy pose for Mark. Caught them from the side as he got them to look at his phone.
Last week before the photo opening, fellow photographer Andy told me he enjoys following the blog. He said my blog makes him think of a slideshow on the Kodak Carousel Projector and every day’s new photo is a different slide. Ektachrome slide film had such brilliant color.
Kodak Carousel evokes nostalgia most certainly. At least for my generation. Art History class in college and the professor would arrive with trays of slides.
The auditorium lights would dim. The projector made a distinctive sound.
A couple of days ago when the kids were home, they found an old carousel tray in the attic. The slides out of the slots but I plan to go through them and see what treasures they unearthed.
I know there are more trays of slides upstairs. And a projector in the back of some closet. A tiny screen folded up that made a memorable sound when raised like a shade.
Thanks Andy. I am sure there are many people who have trays of slides