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

Night Light in the City

General Grant’s 190th Birthday Party

We have interesting friends.   Here’s a creative celebration Steve and I went to on Saturday night.  What a fun event.  Here are a few of the details. Hardtack crackers and dried black-eyed peas.  The sheet music for Tenting Tonight on the piano. Photographs and books bearing the General’s likeness.  A willingness to celebrate and have fun.  A Prantl’s cake with five candles for his rank. I made Rice Pudding after reading that it was a favorite on the Presidents’ Food Timeline.  Thanks Tim and Bernadette for being such welcoming hosts. We had a wonderful time!

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Elvis the Penguin Paints at National Aviary for Persad Patron Party

Pittsburgh’s National Aviary was the happening scene on Friday night in the city.  Steel Band music. Desserts.

  Artist Reception and Patron Party was in full swing.

Elvis the African Penguin Makes Art to Auction Off to Benefit Persad Center

His feet were all aflutter. Perhaps he enjoys making art without an audience.

Here is the piece I donated. They invited a group of artists to create a commemorative artwork to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.   I know one should just make a donation and not tell about it but it is a good cause and perhaps some of my students might seek counseling here in the future and be helped as my good friend J always tells about a former student the organization helped  a long time ago.

 Below is the photograph I created to commemorate their 40th Anniversary.

Thanks to Steve I was able to get 40 candles lit and photograph quickly in the dark dining room at night.

Had to bake the cake first before I could photograph it and I chose the wedding cake recipe from the Cake Bible  by Rose Levy Beranbaum and used lots of gel food color by Wilton.  Buttercream icing.

UPMC presents Celebrate Life, Celebrate Art

 Monday, May 14, 2012

August Wilson Center for African American Culture
980 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
6:00 – 11:00 p.m

“Persad’s signature event is both a verbal and silent auction featuring over 200 pieces of art from local, national and international artists including photography, painting, sculpture and jewelry. Come enjoy great food, drinks and entertainment and take home some fabulous artwork.

To purchase tickets to the event or to purchase an underwriting package, click here.


Yes, That’s Crabmeat on the Asparagus- La Cucina Flegrea

V and I went La Cucina Flegrea on Murray Avenue for a decade and then it closed.  We had missed going there for the Spaghetti Arugula and Rigatoni in Vodka Sauce.  J and I took a cooking class there, you might remember that post click here

Well, Chef Anna is back and she was glad to see us. Our first visit to the new place.  She opened last November but it was Laura’s wedding and all.  It was my friend R who told me about this new location.  Here is the website for the new one, complete with menu-La Cucina Flegrea to downtown’s Market Square.  We were celebrating V’s birthday.  Happy birthday V!

We started with the 5 Fagioli soup and then because we ordered the Baccalá with Sweet Onion and Shrimp Sauce, a Mozzarella Wagon with Fresh Tomato sauce came as an appetizer- 4 balls of mozzarella breaded and fried and accompanied by a delicious sauce. Here’s a shot of the Asparagus with all the lovely, succulent crab meat on it.

Dessert was Baba au Ruhm.  Whipped cream and raspberries, a rum sugar sauce. And a cup of hot tea.

It was a happy birthday dinner and we were glad to eat at La Cucina Flegrea again.  Everything was delicious.

La Cucina Special

La Cucina Flegrea in Market Square

The La Cucina FLegrea entrance is the Pumpkin colored awning


Elegant and Delicious: Spoon

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A classy restaurant we’ve driven by on a daily basis but never stopped to dine.

Celebrating 19 years- our unanniversary- a solid friendship and steadfast companionship, not sure where all that time has gone but there we were in East Liberty and we headed to SPOON.  

What we ate-   the service was excellent and even though we weren’t ordering up the Foie Gras or the Tasting Menu or a Magnum of Champagne, they treated us hospitably and did not make us feel out of place as we were “walk-ins” and didn’t have reservations which would be a good idea for future visits.

Breadbasket: warm cream cheese chive biscuits/baguette and warm muffins

garden vegetable baby mix green salad: Golden Harvest Farm baby mix greens, fresh garden vegetables, champagne vinaigrette

Spoon burger:  8 oz. Kobe beef, aged white cheddar cheese, parmesan + herb fries, challah bun

Too full for the desserts but they sounded wonderful.

 


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


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.


In the Crosswalk at Night- Black and White

Night photography is a satisfying challenge to me.


Like a Piece of Jigsaw Puzzle on Wet Pavement

Puddle reflection

… and Flat Ruthie is in Homer Alaska today so check out the snowy scenery here


Shadyside in the Snow

We lived in this neighborhood for two years in a little rental behind what was the Balcony Restaurant and Jazz Club.  You could hear the dumpster trucks come in the early morning and the beer bottles clash in the alley.  Today on the way home from school I stopped by the Food Museum where the fruit in the window is like  a Flemish painting in the Metropolitan. Better known as the Shadyside Market. An elegant place. They were really nice to me although they knew I was checking the price tags before I made my selections.   I knew I could buy bacon, eggs, and bread and not break the bank. The plan was to use a box of spaghetti in the pantry, the parmesan in the fridge and make spaghetti carbonara accompanied by a spinach salad with oranges and red onion. (had Spinach Salad on my mind, thanks to Chicago John from Bartolini’s Kitchen blog)

With the snow falling I knew that our big markets would be swamped as everyone rushes there to get the last roll of toilet paper or empty the shelves to stock their larder when they hear of an impending snowstorm.  So no food photos of the great meal I was inspired to cook in the winter weather,  But the neighborhood of Shadyside.   Sometimes I cringe when I realize I would let 7 year old Laura walk around the block ALONE to Rite-Aid to buy the paper. What was I thinking?  Prantl’s Bakery makes the Burnt Almond Torte everyone loves. Well, most people. 

Famous for their Burnt Almond Torte. Pamela's is nice for breakfast, too.


Holiday Spirit on Not My House

Not a sprig of evergreen or a single bulb at my house. Not an angel or a garland or candy cane.

And then I drive by this place!  WHOA.

Serious decorations.  I wonder where they store them the other eleven months.  The traffic must stop as gawkers drive by.  Like me.

By a friend’s special request, the first holiday house spotted and captured at night. Last year, or maybe it was the year before,  I used to drive around and shoot inflatable turkeys and then Santas on rooftops and even an inflatable nativity scene and when I got out of the car I could hear the air blowing.   Somehow I lost interest in this subject matter.  On the way to Virginia, one lawn had 37 inflatables the inhabitants told me.  After that spotting, I just didn’t feel moved to try and capture the blowing hot air filling the bright, colored cloth. Everyone had them on their lawn or so it seemed. I stopped saying, “Holy Cow, I can’t believe that display!” and raise my camera to shoot.

It’s not that I am Scroogella or anything. I enjoy other people’s efforts to brighten the darkness (and sunset comes before 5PM these days), I just got out of the “seeing” the decorations and photographing them. .

But I’m back- what else could I do?  This scene could not be ignored.

These  lights demanded my attention and capture.

Discovered because I went to a CD release party in Regent Square. Who knew it was waiting around the corner?

But then


Night Neon & the Double-Wide Grill

Friday night music was great at the Club Cafe on the South Side. I loved the contrast of the neon’s warm colors of Jack’s and cool blue neon of Club Cafe.  I know the “e” is missing but I liked the image of Jack’s going around the corner so I chose this one.   I took this shot from across the street as we left to go home.

But wait, we didn’t go right home-

Even though we were exhausted, R invited us to go to the Double-Wide Grill where the onion rings satisfy that deep urge to eat something not really good for you but doesn’t it taste great. (seem to be doing a lot of that type of eating lately)  You know I have a thing for old service stations and auto mechanics, right?  The old fashioned kind. I did not photograph the food.  Hmmmm.  But you get a feel for the place.

And when we left I took a shot from the outside and the old gas tank had the amount 37 cents on it.  Remember that price per gallon?

Jack's Bar at the corner of Carson and South 12th Street, Southside

Order a basket of onion rings and enjoy!

Vintage gas pump with the 37 cent price- remember when???

A close-up in case your eyes (like mine) couldn't see the 37!


Light Up Night 2011 Pittsburgh PA

On the way home from school I wound around and up Sycamore Street to Mount Washington.  Parked and pulled out the sweater and blazer in the back of the car and layered as best I could.  No tripod, no cable remote.  Took this with the Self-Timer and propped the camera on an iron fence on the Duquesne Incline platform.  Watched the sky grow dark.  Met people from Dallas, Las Vegas,  a couple of Pitt students  and New York City and photographed them with the light up night behind them. An Art Institute Special Effects major was shooting a time lapse exposure and we chatted.  Did I mention it was in the low thirties?  With a wind chill factor that made it seem really chilly.

A week ago we were in the Columbus Athletic Club bowling and preparing for the wedding celebration.  Didn’t feel like driving right home after school and had stayed late to get ready for next week.  An art room always needs attention.

My blog header is Light Up Night 2010 shot from the Monongahela Incline.


Pittsburgh jazz scene alive and well at CJ’s in the Strip

My Funny Valentine expertly played by Sean Jones on trumpet- we stopped in for about twenty minutes as we headed to megabus. Matthew was here for about ten hours.
Jazz starts at 8 on Thursdays Check out http://www.cjsinthestrip.com and to listen go to http://www.rogerhumphries.com

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Bride and Groom at the Hotel Parking Lot

What a beautiful day!

James and Laura are married.  Friends and family shared in the celebration.   And I was off duty with a camera.  I did get this one of the couple at the end of the night as we pulled the cars into the parking lot. Specifically for the blog.  Laura is sporting a Faux Fur from Paris that my sister brought from NYC.  Years ago, on the streets of NYC, Andy Wahol  complimented the coat (when worn by my sister’s friend Blanche ) Mary brought it out from NYC .

It was a beautiful day.

More on it to follow at another post.

 


Tom Cruise Movie, ONE SHOT, Lights Up 10th Street Bridge Wednesday Night

The movie is causing a buzz and some traffic around the Burgh.  One Shot is the name of the film after a novel by Lee Child.   On the way to my photo class I saw the lights set up on the bridge and a few giant movie lights on top of some buildings.  Heard on the radio Armstrong Tunnels would be closed.  Remembered my photo for the weekly challenge of fall, with the 10th St Bridge in the autumn light and thought I would go my usual school route.  Here is the series of bridge shots taken on the way home from class Wednesday night. A circuitous route but worth the detour in my opinion.

I could hear and see a car race and screech across the bridge as I photographed.  Next time I will bring a spotter to keep watch as I pulled the car over but it is dark and a bit creepy up on the top of Arlington Avenue, my route home from school. I have shot from this angle before and here is the link to the daytime photo.

Photo four has a bright movie light on the right of the photo.


Heinz Plant at Night

Shot from the Penn Brewery Parking Lot


Find the Bicyclist’s Headlight – North Shore Riverwalk

Riverwalk at Riverfront Park, North Shore, Allegheny River

Along the Allegheny River, across from downtown.  Riverfront Park.  I was on a field trip with a photography class I signed up for through Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.  Next week we’re going to a greenhouse to photograph orchids.  The other class members are people I have taken classes with before so that is fun!  Wednesday night was Light Up the Night Walk for Lymphoma and Leukemia.  One walker said they raised $700,000 dollars if I heard him correctly. The walkers had red balloons with flashing lights inside which I tired to photograph but didn’t really work out.  I’ve shot this skyline angle before. But then the moment happens and the bicyclist drives by into the frame and because the shutter was open for 30 seconds you can see the trail of light.  I think it adds interest to the scene.  There were lots of people readying the area for the Tom Cruise movie they are shooting, putting tape down on the cement walk to mark the actor’s places.  Turning an office building into a hotel. There were benches and additions to the walk- a kiosk and a rental shed.


PNC Park at Dusk

from the archives- Pittsburghers will notice fewer lighted signs on the downtown buildings in this shot- taken 7 years ago this time of year. Tuesday’s post will be back in “real time” . Baseball equals summer to me!


Gateway Clipper Cookie Cruise

The 19th Annual Bob O’Connor Cookie Cruise- this year’s charity chosen to benefit is the Cribs for Kids (SIDS). Matthew and I were invited to sail Wednesday night and were the fortunate guests of some dear friends and neighbors. A perfect summer evening. We shook hands with a slew of politicians including the mayor as we boarded the The Majestic. The city was in a beautiful light and as dusk came the scene was heightened in drama, especially as we sailed past the Pirates game in full swing at PNC park. Hot dogs and watermelon and pasta and fried chicken with coleslaw was the menu.There were fireworks over Heinz Field and what caught my eye were the guests lined up to get the cookies once it was announced- the sheets were about to be removed and the platefuls they took to eat- piled high.


Matthew and the Megabus

Picked Matthew up from downtown Pittsburgh tonight. He came from Columbus on the Mega Bus. I had not seen one before. Big and bright and clean. Dropped him in Regent Square for an impromptu School Reunion at D’s Six Pax and Dogz. He’s in town for 48 hours. Headed back to Zagreb at the end of his visit. World traveler. But the Mega Bus was a great deal. $18.50 one way from Columbus. You can reserve early and get real deals on tickets. Learning he was coming here just last night, I cleaned today and didn’t worry so much about the first day of school Tuesday morning.I think he’s planning to come to school and help get the two art rooms ready for the first day with kids on Monday. Matthew is the one who says to his friends when I was photographing them at his college graduation-”This is what my mom does. It’s annoying now- but later, you’re glad!” I tell that to so many people I photograph. IT is true


Moonrise Over Bocce Court in Bloomfield

As I an writing this post I think that it is almost two years that I started the blog.  And when I checked the stats I see that the first post was 7-14-09.   Two years and a day. Happy Blog–aversary. Thanks to all the readers who have followed my blog, written comments on the blog, written nice emails to me or told me about which photo they enjoyed seeing. And to the friends of friends who have shared the posts and photographs, whom I have met only online, I appreciate your good feedback, too.  SO here is the today’s post-

Stephanie cuts my hair. She asked me how the photography was going.  I told her how I photograph and post a photo of the day on the blog. (Today is the #658 post.) She told Jack, her husband and he looked at my photos online and invited me down Thursday night when he  plays Bocce. Here is his website.

It was a perfect summer evening and the men were gracious, allowing me to photograph the games.  Tried to be unobtrusive and hung there for over two hours. One gentleman is 97 years old!  I sat on a bench at the end of the court for a time, shooting intermittently. A little conversation here and there.    And there was the moonrise over the bocce court.

Although I was invited to the mid-season party at the Pleasure Bar on Tuesday, I already have plans with the grandchildren….but I got to hear the menu!  Mmmmmm.  I am really missing out.   Fortunately there is an end of season party in the fall!.

Thanks Jack and to the Bocce League, playing under the cars passing over the Bloomfield Bridge on a summer night.


Steelers Garden Gnome

Steelers Garden Gnome Stands Guard

As I was leaving B & B’s home in the slopes, this little guy caught my eye. He is standing guard.  I hadn’t seen a Steelers Garden Gnome before. B’s mom bought it.  My DIL is always promising to get me a garden gnome for my yard but I bet she hasn’t seen this model.

And just a bit ago, V texted me-  Hines Ward won the Dancing With the Stars competition.  Earlier in the week she’d seen something on TV about Pittsburghers all watching and voting for Hines as the “Steeler Nation felt it was their civic duty”.  With her instruction and encouragement, I was able to go online and vote for him, too! That was fun! Not sure if other regions have garden gnomes(click for origin of garden gnomes) sporting their team’s colors, but wanted to share this one wearing the Black and Gold.


Super Moon Over Pittsburgh

No Cow Jumping Over

What a moon! Big and bright.
Illuminate limitations of photography.
Capture an enormous sky, city light, moonlight.
Being there and looking at a photo later/
what I experienced earlier are so different.
Just hard to capture huge super moon tonight.
But lots of fun trying.

Steve went with me to Mt. Washington and what a crowd of photographers set up with their fancy equipment and tripods when we arrived. I have a nice camera but I can’t imagine what some of that equipment cost!

I wish I had asked Keith or Andy some tips on how to shoot the city light and super moon light simultaneously and get a good effect.  I thought it was hard.  And that Spring weather was 40ish but felt like a freeze with the wind from the river.  I shot primarily with the 70-200mm lens.  Wished I knew more about how to get the city and moon at the same time but there wasn’t anything you could do about the positioning of the moon in relation to the buildings. Duh.   Oh it was so bright!

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Almost Full Moon Over Roberto Clemente

Saturday March 19th will be the SUPER MOON. I shot this on the way home from class on Wednesday night. I was shooting the statue of Roberto Clemente and noticed the moon in the frame.  Going to try and shoot the super moon Saturday night.

No Concrete Proof

Some theorize human behavior
is influenced by the moon.
It’s Saturday-
so no school
on this day of the super moon.
Wonder how the kids would have been affected?

The lights at night, the moon, the swollen river rushing below the bridge, the lifelike statue- created a presence.


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