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

People at Work

Coffee is Served

Croatia Mall Coffee

Ellis Has To Miss His 60th Duquesne High School Reunion

This is Ellis whom I met in Cambridge Ohio. I thought he was selling eggs. Cambridge, OH on Interstate 70 is halfway between Pittsburgh and Columbus.

I’d pulled into a Cracker Barrel to buy a giant set of checkers and use the rest room.

We got to talking, he told me about the price range for the various brands of balls but I didn’t need any golf balls.

Turns out he was from my neck of the woods.  West Mifflin, McKeesport, Duquesne-  all in the Pittsburgh vicinity.

He will attend a niece’s wedding and unfortunately that’s the same day as his 60th reunion from high school.  Hope I got that all correct, sir.  Thank you.

Ellis and golf balls

crop ellis

To give you a better perspective on his location- above is a crop of the photo below.


People at Work Series

Not sure what number of the photographic series but Saturday morning I was in Oakland,(Pittsburgh) shopping at Top Notch Art Store for the 40% off sale on the Prismacolor Pencils-

and all of a sudden the driver of a USPS truck is waving at me.

I looked  through the door to the silhouette and and recognized him.

He pulled around to the curb and it was fun!  I’d never seen him at work.  I learned about the

OD green boxes on the corners.  Working all day Saturdays.

Thanks for letting me photograph you, Greg. You are always nice to me about my photography!

Greg Mutinelli USPS

Meditation Lights Created With Dual Image Photographs

When I went to pick up my order at my favorite framer, Panza Gallery in Millvale, I saw these lights aglow.

They are “lights not lamps, Mark Panza said.  “You can leave them on all the time and they don’t get hot.”

They caught my eye and I asked Mark about them.  Turns out he makes them and not to share his trade secrets but he uses his signature combined dual images containing architecture, figures, and or nature.  He constructs the base from frame scraps, builds a glass or plexiglass box, adds an LED light  and then Mark lines the box with his image.  Each one is unique.


In some of the pieces you can see recognizable architectural details from the William Penn Hotel downtown Pittsburgh and Sacred Heart Church Rose Window in Shadyside.



They looked even better when Mark switched off the gallery lights.  There was still a lot of daylight from the door but they really glowed.



You may have seen previous posts with Panza Gallery featured.

Mark (and his lovely daughter Jennifer) always do a great job framing my photographs and artwork.

Panza Gallery is “dedicated to the Pittsburgh artist”.

Millvale, PA has a lot happening.



A Full Pound in Zeke’s Bag of Beans

You know how I love coffee.  That one wonderful cup in the morning.

This morning I receive a text from a colleague who’s teaching art in a different school this year. 

He texted where to come for coffee in East Liberty.        Zeke’s.       Huh?              I couldn’t picture it in my mind.

 Zeke’s Coffee on Penn Ave at Highland Ave.  Only 1.5 miles from my home.  I found it easily once I made the left turn onto Penn it was right there all the time.

And I’ve driven 50 feet from it several times a day and not turned down that particular block on my route.  

Today was the first time I was introduced to the locally roasted delicious coffee. And they’ve been there since 2011!

I bought two bags for friends and family to try and my car smelled like a roastery when I got home. Mmmmmm.

Owned by Chris and Tom (who were out at Farmers Market selling the full one pound bags of their beans that they roasted themselves) In fact that’s how they started at Farmers Market and now they go to NINE of them. ( I looked it up and there was no apostrophe in Farmers Market) 

 I met Brye the baker (wife of Chris) and Alex was the barista and operated the register.  I asked if I could photograph them for the blog and they agreed. Steve and I plan to return in the morning when they open at 8.  





80 Pounds of Fresh Linguine in a Day

No, not eaten.  Made!

I can tell you that it is delicious. Today I was buying walnuts and Amish butter and fresh eggs to make biscotti.

On Tuesday they make ravioli.  Mushroom, Imported cheese, artichoke, and many other varieties

Here is Carol in the Groceria Italiana (established 1958) in Bloomfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

She is of Irish German descent but is married to an Italian, she told me. Very hospitable and didn’t mind my questions at all.

There is a lovely photograph of Gloria who has passed but who made fresh pasta for years and years using these same machines.

One machine is 27 years old.

Thanks for letting me photograph the process with my iPhone.  I will return with my good camera one of these days.


Another machine rolling the dough into strips.





Preparing the strips for the machine.


Carol making linguini 2

Here the pasta strips are being cut.



Carol can make 80 pounds of fresh linguine in a day!


pasta cutterYou can see the different widths on the pasta cutter machine. Gloria’s photo is above the machine. Carol said her spirit is with them still.

The Village of Rockton Illinois Afternoon

Another Spring Break post-

Mary and I drove from Durand, Illinois (our mother’s hometown and the town where our parents were married in 1939)

to Rockton, Illinois in Winnebago County.

We browsed in Main Street Antiques Mall and Mary bought a couple of handkerchiefs.  There were two vintage jukeboxes playing records as we enjoyed looking at all the vintage items.

Main Street Antiques



Rockton IL 15

Rockton IL 14



Rockton IL 13

We had these exact bookends in the house when I was growing up.  I think they are at Mark and Erika’s house now



Rockton IL 19

Had just been in San Antonio for a wedding a couple of weeks ago.


Rockton IL 16






Truman was president when I was born!

Rockton IL 18

Then we went into the library.



Rockton IL library

What a beautiful library!  The Talcott Free Library is celebrating 125 years this year.




Rockton IL 5

Inside the library-


Rockton IL 3







Rockton IL 12 Rockton IL 11


A close up of one of the ships in a glass case at the library.



Bring a puzzle, take a puzzle.  A jigsaw puzzle library.

jigsaw puzzles



Wedding Cake Ice Cream was the recommended flavor at the Dairyhäus, according to a guidebook Mary had read in NYC.

The Dairyhäus was located right next to the library and opened at 3 PM.

I sampled several flavors but decided on the Peter Rabbit which was a carrot cake flavor. Mary had the Toffee Fudge.  Ice Cream season had just started.  One employee who has worked NINE seasons at the Dairyhäus created the counted cross stitch Care Bears sampler.


Care Bears Cross Stitch



The Dairy Haus




Brent MurrayOwner Brent Murray shows off an ice cream cake his wife had just put together in the back.  Brent really enjoys his work!  He said mother had purchased the ice cream store in 1994 and he has been there ever since. He’s enthusiastic about his product and with good reason.


Cotton Candy Man

This was taken at PNC Park last August at a Pirates Game.   People at Work is an ongoing project for me and this is one from the archives.

The WordPress Weekly Challenge didn’t appear in my email today so am thinking of a word to go with this image.  Any suggestions?

Not that one should consume any of this cotton candy confection, but I liked the photograph.

Wonder how heavy it is to carry that palette of cotton candy, so high in the air.

Found an article from Chicago- Behind-the Scenes Ballpark Jobs by Debra Auerbach which discusses food vendors and concessions. And Cotton Candy originated “at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair” says Kitchen Daily Blog where there’s a recipe.

Cotton Candy Man

Zamboni at Ice Castle

Castle Shannon ,PA.

Castle Shannon Boulevard.

Ice Castle Arena.   I’d driven around in the dark in unfamiliar territory, spending a few minutes on Castle Road, a reidential neighborhood  NOT the right castle.


Here is Zamboni on Ice after the second period.

One of my students plays on the Carrick team and invited me to come and watch and bring my camera.  I sent his mom the photos I took of him but am posting this one of the Zamboni driver, grooming the ice for the third period.

Or resurfacing as they say in the biz.

Zamboni biz.  Kudos to Frank Zamboni (1901-1988) who invented this mighty machine.

Click here  for his photo and the Zamboni story.


Zamboni on IceOne for my People at Work Series

Senior Picture Halloween Costume Via Laura

If you follow the blog through FB,  you probably already saw Laura’s Halloween Costume for her party at work.

I thought it was creative and would make a fun post.  She is a “Senior Picture”

Here’s she is-   as photographed by a coworker (Lori, she thinks)    Not a terrific photo credit but that can be rectified tomorrow.

Laura sports her supervisor’s actual High School Senior Photograph, held by paper clips and ribbon.

The look-alike sweater from JC Penney.

(didn’t want to post on the blog until her supervisor said she didn’t mind  :-)  I think she’s a good sport for allowing it)

Laura as a senior photo


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