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

Archive for April, 2013

Woke Up, It Was a Foggy Morning

In The Early Morning Fog

In The Early Morning Fog

My sister and I were on the phone and she  had just asked me about my seeing things to photograph and am I always on the lookout for a good photo and I said I think I take fewer pictures now, that I am not obsessing about getting a decent shot blah blah blah and THEN-

And when I got to the red light at the end of the Liberty Bridge  before the tunnel, I saw the fog enveloping the PPG building except for the pointy towers peeking through.

I opened the back window and took a quick shot.

On the way to school the next day I didn’t get a red light so no photo.

Day three!  A red light and another quick pick of the city without the fog.

Normal Day View PPG


The Extraordinary Art of Bodhi Wind

Buddha became the enlightened one, under a Bodhi tree.  

This is the name taken by native Pittsburgh artist who tragically passed much too soon, the day before Thanksgiving in 1991.  If you graduated from Perry High School, Pittsburgh Public Schools, class of 1968, you knew him as Charles Kuklis.  An incredibly talented artist, he was always sketching and drawing.

Recently there was an article by Joe Smydo in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about what to do with an artist’s work after they’ve died.

Bodhi Wind painted the murals for Robert Altman’s 1977 film 3 Women. (Click here to read about the movie and see a photo of Sissy Spacek and Shelly Duvall and one of the large murals painted by Bodhi Wind.) He designed clothing for Cher and his work was shown in Architectural Digest May 1978.  An archived article in the NY TimesApril 26, 1977  by Jennifer Dunning is online.

blog by Angeliska shows more photographs of Bodhi painting the murals for 3 Women.  We read on this blog that his mother, Jean Kuklis (also mentioned in the PPG article) would welcome speaking of her son and his art.

I had the good fortune to meet Mrs. Kuklis, her daughter and granddaughter, Monday afternoon and got to photograph some of Bodhi Wind’s artwork.  His mother generously shared his story and creative artwork and I wanted to share it with you.  I had the privilege of seeing pieces he created in high school, too.

She hopes her son’s art could be shown in a large space, a bank, hotel lobby or convention center. Some of the painted panels are big.

Many are painted on wood and  interestingly framed.

Readers who would like more information about the artworks should email Bodhi Wind’s family  Bodhi.Wind.Art(at)gmail.com.

Octagonal

detail from the Octagonal

detail from Octagonal

Grace Jones

Large mural

This is one panel of a series.  Very large.  It needs to be turned right side up.  I left a bit of his sister in the pic on the right so you get the idea of the scale.

Looks like Grace Jones

Bodhi Wind Painting

detail

Mural in Garage


Dinner, Sunday

Late Sunday afternoon, I drove across the river to shop for dinner ingredients and some fruit for lunches this week.  The larder was looking a bit sparse. It was either go shop or eat another grilled cheese and/or egg sandwich.  M and I had just talked on the phone, earlier in the day about wanting a real meal.  She was thinking Thanksgiving like.  I opted for meat and potatoes.

At the meat counter I asked the butcher for two petite steaks (on sale).  Not too big.  It’s funny about meat.  Sometimes it actually turns me and I can’t even think about eating it, and other times I am actually craving a serving.  It was one of those days of wanting it. Not thinking about it having a face.

Came home and sautéed an organic yellow onion in some Amish butter and then sliced up a box of fresh mushrooms.  Baby Romaine salad with Steve’s favorite brown Clamato tomato( I swear they look chocolate)  and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Garlic smashed Russets.

After I plated the food, I used the phone to capture the dinner.  Feeling ready for the start of a new week, fortified.

Steak dinner


Peter Celebrates the Big Five O (+)

Stuffed grape leaves, and fancy cheeses.  Goat cheese and fig jam on bruschetta.   Green grapes.  Some bubbly to toast.   M and D brought the most drinkable wine.  A secret in the carafe, a blind test.  Carlo Rossi. No kidding. Beat out the pricey Portuguese wine.  What do we know?

Dates and nuts in a chocolate South African pudding recipe, topped with whiskey whipped cream, created by his wife Janice.  Happy Birthday to Peter.  Live music at a party makes the evening rhyme. Marc on harmonica and Peter and Doug on guitar.  Kim sang a number with the lyrics on her cell phone.

A fun surprise party.  Well done, J.

 

 


Weekly Photo Challenge: Culture

Culture.  We are part of so many different cultures.  I went and read the definition of the word.  More like definitions!

Tried to get a direction.

Friday night was the Gallery Crawl in Pittsburgh. I’m adding two from NYC Spring Break trip that seem to fit into my take on the challenge.

Music, Painting, Sculpture , Art and my wonderful teacher Germaine Watkins from Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild with two of his photographs on display Friday night.

I ‘d gone downtown with my friend Steve to check out and take pictures of the students’ artwork at the All City Show.  

 

 

 

 

Heinz Hall


The Beerman Cometh

New York City.  Spring Break.

Beerrman New York City


Flowering Pear Blossoms Fall Like Snowflakes

There were thunderstorms and heavy rains. then it cleared a bit.
As I pulled out of the school parking lot, a strong wind came up and the blossoms swirled and fell like snow.

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Sure Sign It’s Spring

Bloomfield Bridge Tuesday afternoon waiting at the red light I looked next to me and saw a vision.
Top down on a shiny brightly colored convertible.
A definite change in the weather and I took it as a sure sign that Spring is finally here. (it’s a Murano by Nissan).

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April Showers, Richie Havens and Here Comes the Sun

Rain on Car Window

It was MIXED BAG (vinyl) in my dorm room in the early seventies.  Over and over.  Richie Havens sang Dylan better than Bob.

Here’s an email in response to the one I wrote in December.

Subject: A Message of Gratitude

Last Christmas Matthew was back from Croatia and we were sitting in Mark and Erika’s living room in Ohio, remembering the first Richie Havens concert I forced him to go to as a teenager.  We saw him together  years later in New York City at the Knitting Factory, too. Matthew and Aunt Mary braved a Connecticut snowstorm to see him together and sat right under him.

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Hi Ruth

Thank you so much for taking the time to send along such kind thoughts. I will make sure Richie sees your email.

Best wishes for 2013!

Leslie
Stormy Forest Productions, NYC

—–Original Message—–
From: ruthehendricks
To: stormyforestprod
Sent: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm
Subject: Message of Gratitude

This is a message for Mr. Havens as I sit with  my 32 yo son tonight (home from 
Croatia where he lives) listening together to RH on youtube.

When Matthew was 14 I forced him to go listen to a Richie Havens concert in 
Pittsburgh Pa at the Carnegie Music Hall.

Oh he was mad cause who wants to go anywhere with their mother at that point of 
their life?
We waited in the corridor afterwards and met Mr. Havens and my son said he emanated 
positive energy right out of himself into him. 

  Matthew saw him in concert at least six times after that and he said tonight 
that Richie Havens was able to communicate to his soul.  We saw him together at 
the Knitting Factory years later.

So powerful and I wanted to express gratitude for his musical gifts and these 
wonderful  loving memories we share of listening to Mr Havens music and energy.
Xxoo
Ruth Hendricks
 
Richie Havens RIP.  Matthew and I spoke on SKYPE last night when we heard of your passing and we will always remember you and your music which touched our souls, deeply.
for Richie Havens Streaming Audio click here

Paris in Pittsburgh

Sunday afternoon, Steve and I were walking across the Schenley Bridge on our way to the Carnegie Library in Oakland.  We saw lots of shiny things reflecting the sun.   As we got closer,  I saw combination and key padlocks.

Not sure when these locks started showing up on Pittsburgh Bridges but this was the first time I’ve seen them.

Love Padlocks or Lovelocks, they’re called.

They signify “everlasting love” according to the entry at Wikipedia.   And they aren’t just in Paris.  There is a whole list of cities – Prague, Rome, Zurich, London, Moscow, Dublin, Sydney.   The padlocks are controversial as some deem them unsightly and akin to litter. Eyesores.  Too much weight on some bridges.

Other citizens are outraged when they’re cut off from public bridges around the world.  Not sure what the stance  is here in Pittsburgh-these additions to the Schenley Bridge over Panther Hollow.  Guess time will tell.

We were able to see names or initials inscribed on them, dates. Most of the  padlocks hung from one section of fencing.

Just now I read that the padlock keys are thrown under the bridge.

I remembered seeing a photo of a ton of padlocks on a Parisian bridge in a Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress: LOVE (click to see photo of Paris Bridge)

and if you want to read the list of locations around the world and see more photos of love locks, click here.

Padlocks on Pittsburgh Bridge

If you look at bridges around the world sporting Love Padlocks, Pittsburgh is going to have to go some to catch up!

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Do you think a sword was pulled from this stone?

Do you think a sword was pulled from this stone?


Steak Hibachi Dinner at Ginza

It was Steve’s idea that we should try the new Japanese Restaurant. He brought home a menu that said Grand Opening.

Turns out it opened at least a year ago, but they had a lot of menus printed up with that on the front.

So we headed over for dinner on  Saturday night.  A clear soup, salad, Steak Hibachi with vegetables and rice added up to $13-

The food was fresh, nicely prepared and delicious.

The server told us there was a bad review on YELP but I checked it out and they are mostly favorable, especially about their Sushi.

Lunchtime meals are about 6 bucks.  Really reasonable.

It ‘s a BYOB but we had no B to bring tonight.  We are planning a return trip to explore the menu. It’s in the Italian section of the city, Bloomfield.

 

Ginza Restaurant

iPhone shots of the exterior and my dinner below.

Steak Hibachi


Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

 

Up!      Crane your neck a bit.

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1—–Maura is ready for rocket launch!

Rocket Ship Launch

 

 

 

Greenwich Village Night in the backyard by the garbage cans

Greenwich Village Backyard

 

 

 

Jane’s Carousel and Bridge- Brooklyn NY

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Jack Erika and Mark at the Rock Climbing PlaceIMG_5613

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds on a wire Route 51 IMG_0079 - Version 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bleecker Street Store Ceiling at NightIMG_5579

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rockefeller CenterIMG_6362

 

 

 

 

The Black Widow on the upswing at KennywoodIMG_4950 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Headed upstairs to the brigeIMG_5673

 

 

 

Maura Rock Climbing

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Pittsburgh IMG_5469

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Skycoaster at Kennywood

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Pizza Chef Again in E.Rossi & Co. Windows- Grand and Mulberry Streets

Religious statues     Taken the week before Easter, on Spring Break vacation in New York City.  Found the second window picture with the nativity scenes tonight and the pizza man reappearing which I’d missed the first time.

The little girls’ mom is pointing out the Mary riding on the donkey with a hand on her expectant figure.       Nativity and Pizza Guy        


Bob and Whiskers – 1955 – Guest Blog Post

This guest post is in response to Murphy the Airedale’s passing. We are grateful to so many friends and followers for their lovely email and text messages and comments on the blogpost, too.  Many of you have experienced pet loss and understand how painful it is.

On Wednesday morning, my neighbor Bob (from across the hall at school) brought me a copy of this wonderful photograph with 1955 written in the margin.   It touched me so.   Later in the afternoon I asked if I could please share it on the blog.  

Here is what Bob wrote for the blog when I asked if  it would be okay to post………..

This picture of my dog Whiskers and me was taken in 1955 with an second-hand camera that had light leak. My oldest sister took this photo. He was a mixed terrier.  On July 4th, 1957 my pal was attacked by a very large German Shepherd and he passed away 2 days later. I was 6 in this picture. My buddy was 5.

After 58 years, I have never forgotten what a great family member he was and I still miss him.  This is on the Southside of Pittsburgh.

My face and hands and my pup were as dirty as the air we breathed back then.

There was a song on the radio that came out just about the time of my dog’s passing.  It was ” I’m saving my money to buy you a rainbow“.  Whenever I hear or think of that song, it takes me back to those wonderful days with my dog Whiskers, when “life was in black and white”.

Whiskers and Bob 1955

Thanks for your kind sympathy Bob.  I appreciate your thoughtfulness to me and also my family as we grieve the loss of dear Murphy.

Pyramid of LED Lights on the Gulf Tower, Change with the Weather

Dear Blog Readers,  

Thank you for the thoughtful expressions of sympathy, your comments and emails yesterday, on the passing of Murphy the Airedale.  

It means a lot to the whole family to read such an outpouring of love, care and concern.  Your words offer comfort and understanding.   xxoo Ruth

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

For years the Gulf Tower Building ( built in 1930) had a beacon that displayed the weather- red lights for fair  or blue lights for precipitation

Now The Gulf Tower has a fancy installation of programmed LED lights that change with the holidays, sporting events and  special occasions but still tell the weather at five minutes before the hour. The combination of lights can produce any color.

Designed by Cindy Limauro,  professor of lighting design at Carnegie Mellon University and husband, Christopher Popowich, partners in C&C Lighting LLC.

Read more: at the Post Gazette article with a chart telling how to”read” the lights.

From the Train Station

This  photo was taken  from my car window while waiting or my sister to buy her train ticket back to NYC at the AMTRAK station downtown.

 


Murphy the Airedale- A Family’s Best Friend

Murphy Joseph McGrath.  Murphy passed today. He just turned 11. He was patient, loving, loyal, humorous and adored by everyone.  What a personality!

It is a very sad day for the family.

If you’ve been following the blog you’ve seen his photograph many times.  I swear he smiled for the camera.

He was one of the first posts on the blog, Murphy Waits for Michael.

So many of you expressed sympathy recently on the passing of Erika’s parents Italian Greyhound, Cleo.  It’s been a hard month.

Today’s tribute is for Mark and Erika’s, Anna, Michael, Jack and Maura’s dear sweet boy- Murphy!

When Mark and Erika brought each of the babies home from the hospital, Murphy was there to welcome them into the family.  Murphy was a pup before M & E got  married.  He was a loving and well loved member of the family. ( Erika would get mad at me if I called him “dog”)

There are no words to describe the sadness, the missing.  You may remember the photos from his  Tenth Birthday post last year.

Anna is nine now but here she is just home from Mercy Hospital

anna murphy baby

Murphy Christmas

Fall Murph

Virginai

Christmas Murph

family

in the van

Murph in the snow

Anna and Murph

Steelers family

boys with murph

murph and anna

murph xmas

Murphy’s favorite tree in Virginia.  He represented for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful.  Murph under the tree in Virginia

Murph on stairs

Photographed by Erika

maura and murph

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In Hardy Virginiamurph and kids

Rest in Peace Murphy

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Get in on Knit the Bridge Project NOW! Deadline is June 1st.

My friend Ellen sent me an email about the Knit the Bridge project.  You know how we Pittsburghers feel about our  bridges.

The Knit the Bridge project is a YARN BOMB thing planned for the Andy Warhol Bridge and is an outreach project for Fiberart International 2013   Knitting Communities together one bridge at a time 

We even got together with another friend and knit a bit one evening.  Well, not much. We were catching up on one another’s  lives now that we don’t teach in the same school anymore.  I was reluctant to commit to knit for the project as I had so many projects started.   I thought I would knit one 17×17 inch square to help out.  It has to be in acrylic yarn and bright colors are desired.  I even went to the Red White and Blue Secondhand shop looking for donated yarn to purchase.  No luck.  The knit or crochet pieces/panels are due June first.  There are directions and suggestions for the knit and/or crochet panels at the Knit the Bridge  (wordpress blog) and all kinds of information if you want to consider participating.  You can mail me your knit pieces and I will turn them in at a drop off point.  Of course I plan to photograph the bridge when it is KNIT!

Now I have signed up to knit an entire panel.   I’m just starting.  It will be 72″ x 34″.   Oh my.   They need almost 600 panels!

What have I done? I bought some yarn and started my granddaughter Anna (9) on a square 17×17.  Then Maura (4) wanted to sit on my lap and learn how to knit so I started her off and amazingly she seemed to “get it” right away.  Both granddaughters are left handed so I didn’t know how to do it any differently from how I already knit.

Just got in from visiting the family in Ohio this weekend and so took a quick pic of the bag of yarn to knit in the foyer after I unpacked the car. I put the phone camera down into the bag of yarn and the hall light on the desk illuminated it through the white plastic bag.

Knitting Yarn

Some crazy colors that should show up nicely.

I like to do plain knitting, back and forth, back and forth, watch it grow.

It calms me, sucks out my anxiety.  I am going to be very peaceful and relaxed when it ‘s complete

with all that knitting required!

 


Kids Marvel at Typewriter

In this age of devices and flat screen tv, the kids marvel at my friend V’s typewriter. She said remembers how she used to type her college term papers on it in the early 70′s.
Michael (7) was fascinated with Tin-Tin and  inspired by the typewriter he saw in the movie. He asked if I could bring one out to Ohio. V had given this to Laura when L was in high school. I had it in the hall closet. Michael typed the name of each member of the family and the others were mesmerized.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

Change.

Have you ever tried to?

Change your mind about something or someone?

Change-the  only constant of our lives.

Oh, you changed your hair.

“You’ve got to change, baby”

Change trains.

I have a friend who can change the subject on a dime.

Many people don’t enjoy change.

I can change a diaper. Four quarters for a buck.  Switch directions in the car when necessary.  Change lanes.

But change?

Really truly change.   Change my ways.  Change my habits.  Change my thinking?

Lots of people are worrying about Climate Change.

Subtle change, drastic change.

Here are some suggested change illustrations-

Hot Dog Vendor checks his supply of change.

Architecture changes over time.

The window dresser changes the window.

Waiting for the red light to change.

And you can always count on the weather to change,

the seasons to change-

although sometimes the pace is agonizingly slow.

 

Thanks to everyone who sent good words for the milestone 1300th post.  Now what?  Can’t change it up now, so here’s  #1301.

 

 

 

 

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This is a sad change- what it looked like about 7 years agoLunchbox New York City

The Lunchbox

 

 

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On the way into school Friday morning.  Steeler umbrella, daffodils, new green grass and a Spring rain NOT snow! A change for the better.

daffodils

 


Thirteen Hundredth Post Today

This is the blog’s 1300th post today.  I don’t think I mentioned when it hit number 1200 or 1100. Thanks for following and looking and writing when you can.

 Maybe it was the 13 which was the lucky number for two of my kids on their baseball uniforms years ago!   

 I was sitting on the floor and looked at some of Matthew’s books on a shelf at his Aunt Mary’s, thinking about him.  Saw the brick wall reflected in the vintage looking alarm clock. 

bookshelf and alarm clock


What Laura and James Found While Digging in their Garden

It’s gardening season finally.  Planting grass seed.  Thinking about what vegetables to plant.  James and Laura were preparing their garden and found this Old School original Fisher-Price Little People® girl.  Wooden head.  Wooden body.

I think she got transferred from my son and his wife’s  house to my daughter and her husband’s  house.  Not by a bird but a grandchild.  Will have to check and see if the same girl is living in two homes.

Awhile ago I did a post on the various generations of the Little People® I’d come across at the family’s house in Columbus.

No worries about choking hazard when these were manufactured.  And here’s the crazy part.  I discovered a site that identifies the Little People®.

From what I could determine she’s from late 60s early 70s.  On the site she is listed as Occupation: Girl.  

Old School Fisher-Price Little People

 

 

 

I think they are a match!

 

Here are the three generations from the October 2011 post

fisher-price

 


Need an Ohio Spider ID

How do you feel about spiders?

Found under the kids’ sandbox when cleaned out on Sunday.  Not sure if it is a biting spider or not.  I had no idea there were so many types of spiders in the world.

Looked at some photos online but started to feel confused.  Hope someone can tell what kind of a spider he is and if we should worry he is making his home underneath the sandbox.

Anyone have a clue?

I remember reading the kids a book when they were little  -Be Nice To Spiders.

Ohio Spider


Portrait of Husband Who Waits for Wife While She Shops in the Shoe Department

How about this department store for ambience?  Hospitality?

Von Maur Department Store in Columbus, Ohio at Polaris Mall.  This is Donald, my son’s father-in-law waiting in a comfortable chair by the fireplace in the shoe department.  I was shopping too and saw him sitting there and had to photograph him in this elegant setting.

A few weeks before, Anna had told me that a Giant Sock Monkey was on sale at Von Maur.  (What’s a grandmother for?)   Making sock monkeys for all the grandchildren had kept me busy but this one was giant.

My sister and I drove out from NYC the day before. Early Friday morning we went and and picked up the Giant Sock Monkey and had taken it to the car as a surprise for later. He’d been in the Customer Service Department where they said they were feeding him bananas daily.  A couple of weeks ago,  I’d called from Pittsburgh and ordered him by phone and asked them to save him for pick up at Easter time. There was a thank you note from the sales associate Taylor attached to the huge package. thanking me for my purchase. The Customer Service at Von Maur is excellent.

Anyway, Anna wanted to show me something in the Children’s Department but when we got to the spot, whatever she wanted to show me was GONE.  Little did she know that the Giant Sock Monkey was already wearing a seat belt in my back seat.  It was a fun day.

Waiting in the Shoe Department

Giant Sock Monkey


Anna and Her Sock Monkey Photo Shoot

Anna set up the sock monkey clan in the family room and photographed them. The most cooperative subjects you would wish for. A couple sock monkeys must have been hiding but collecting four grandchildren’s monkeys is the challenging part. Trying to get the real family for a group shot is much more difficulty. I get a kick out of the kids trying out their photography skills. Anna(9) photographed this one with the iPad. Thanks Anna for the guest blog.

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