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

People at Work

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


What the Kids Saw When They Got Home From the Pool

Grandkids

 

Jack, Anna, Maura and Michael got out of the van after swimming practice.

 

 

Cutting Down Tree

 

The sound of a chain saw goes right through me.  The sound that is…..

 

 

Twenty Year Old Tree

 

Shot with the iPhone camera-  the kids counted twenty rings

The men are coming back to grind up the trunk.   Mark and Erika are thinking of planting a Dogwood Tree.

 

 

Firewood

 

The firewood shot with the iPhone camera.

 

and the before photo of the Ash Tree in the front yard

 

The Ash Tree

 

Mark and Erika said the tree had been hit by lightning.

Frazier's  Landscaping

 

My dad used to play The Ash Grove on the piano.


Painting the Bike Lane on Bleecker Street and Bicycles in the City

iPhone shot of the bike lane on Bleecker Street being painted

and all over the city you see brand new blue Citi bikes (bike sharing program)are parked, waiting to be rented.

Bleecker Street Bike Lane

 

Crew painting the blke lane along Bleecker Street- butter mint green?

 

 

Before Painting

 

The Bike Lane before painting.

 

 

Bleecker Street Bike Lane

 

You can see the bike lane before it is painted green

 

 

 

Blue citibikes

 

Man riding a blue Citibike at Union Square

 

 

 

bicycle east side

 

Lower East Side Bicyclist

 

 

Battery Park

 

Bicyclist watching the man do a flip in Battery Park

 

 

 

Coney Island Bike Rental

 

Coney Island Bike Rental

 

 

 

Delivery Bicycle

 

Bicycle delivery

 

 

Hudson River Bicycle

 

Along the Hudson River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man on cell phone on bike

man on cell phone on bike

 

Bicycles parked along sidewalk

bicycles pakred

Single wheel locked up on the sidewalkbicycle wheel


Vacuuming the Sewers in New York City at Night

What is a Vactor truck?,   I had to ask.

Another man on the sidewalk said, “Haven’t you ever seen a vacuum cleaner before?”

(Not exactly an ElectroLux), Mary said to me.

It was night in the West Village near Bleecker and West 10th.  What a nice guy. I can’t tell you his name which is too bad. He said, “sure you can take my picture.” when I asked.

He explained how the other truck had a camera they could look down into the pipes drains and sewer.

Vactor Truck Worker

 

 

 

 

 

The Vactor Truck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vactor Truck


Bob Rumba- Ventriloquist, Comedian, Balloon Artist and All Around Funny Guy

His card states COMIC GENIUS*

and the asterisk below statement says *Genius Available by Appointment Only.  

When Steve and I were downtown at the Gallery Crawl a couple of weeks ago, we were walking  in front of the new Arcade Comedy Theater.   Kristy was out front distributing info and invited us in. I told her my daughter Laura was taking an improv class in Columbus.

Free beer!  Hmmm.  Steve thought that sounded good.  There was improv going on in the theatre.  Lots of good energy in the place.

We promised to return another time when we didn’t have to be somewhere.

We were on our way home but with the free beer and the man in the window motioning for us to come in, too, what else could we do?Just a few minutes.

Turns out it was Bob Rumba, All Around Funny Guy.   

Bob Rumba

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bob Rumba

 

 

Women outside the Arcade Comedy Theater

Gallery Crawl


Divertido – If you Need Russian, Chinese, Hebrew, French or Greek Building Blocks

Divertido means fun in Spanish.

Saturday afternoon I drove down to the Lawrenceville neighborhood to photograph this fun shop on Butler Street.  I’d met the owner, Mary Ellen, when she attended the Christopher Jones house concert at my home last October so this had been on my “to do” list for a time.  I knew visiting the store, photographing it and blogging it, would be a good project.  Six months can fly by before you know it, though.    I needed a college graduation card, too, so what better time to go shopping and blogging?   The greeting cards are definitely out of the ordinary and this was a special one for my friend’s daughter.

Hebrew and Greek Wooden Building Blocks

I loved the Uncle Goose wooden building blocks with the different languages- French, Russian, Chinese, Hebrew and Greek were some of the languages represented.

Everything about the store is fun!  The front windows with the swim noodles and inflatable swim rings as well as the trophies in aqua displaying the jewelry in a case are designed by Sean L. Miller.

The turquoise trophies  took on a life of their own, like an installation art piece.

I took the window designer’s business card from the counter  which has the words imprinted -Think Outside the Box.  He definitely does and gets you thinking that way, too. The eye catching colors and design were so inviting.

Front Window by Sean L. MillerTurquoise Trophy Case

Mary Ellen wasn’t sure she wanted her photograph taken but she graciously consented.  Here she is in front of the counter with a cool, antique door on the front.

Thanks Mary Ellen.  Another shot for my People at Work series.

Mary Ellen Gubanic

You might have visited the store when it was down the street but Mary Ellen has been in business for nine years.  And if you live out of town, no worries, she has online shopping at her website and you can LIKE her on the DIVERTIDO page on Facebook, too.

Divertido

3609 Butler Street


The Beerman Cometh

New York City.  Spring Break.

Beerrman New York City


NYC Locksmith and Metal Artist: Philip Mortillaro

Philip Mortillaro

Do you know how many times I have walked by this locksmith on 7th Avenue and it was always closed?  The intricate collage of keys always caught my eye.

Wednesday morning,  Mary and I were returning from the Post Office and the locksmith’s door was open.

Mr. Mortillaro was speaking with a customer. Mary walked on ahead but I signaled to her to wait.  After the customer left, I entered and although I’d photographed the facade on other occasions, I asked the proprietor if I might photograph him.  Mr. Mortillaro was totally welcoming and agreeable and here is the portrait I captured.  He told me he has been a locksmith since age 14!

The links to his website and a trailer of a video are found at the end of the post.

Keys Made Locksmith

Ket to Heaven

Although he says he is not religious, he has actually made St. Peter (a gift)  the Key to Heaven 

Complaint Department

IMG_5514

IMG_5519

Just like the New York Public Library-  Patience and Fortitude guard the entrance.

You can see a trailer to Mr. Mortillaro’s video Do Not Duplicate 

and visit his website to see his Metal Art

Do Not Duplicate Trailer


Inspired by Christopher Boffoli Miniature Food Work

When I saw photographer, Christopher Boffoli’s work, I thought that this was something we could do in the digital photo classroom.  He has really perfected the art in this department of miniature food scenes.   And we tried to recreate one of his ideas at school. The miniatures are so appealing.Miniature Food Scene

Only problem is 6 mini HO scale figures run almost 14 bucks at Esther’s Hobby Shop  so that makes it pricey.          They’re fragile too but oh so fun.

The Oreos were on sale at Giant Eagle.  But they don’t last, either.   I took in beans and rice and we had some Cheerios but it just wasn’t feasible for more than 120 students to get satisfactory results.

This is one of my practice shots.  The students liked the little figures.  I had some larger plastic dogs that they photographed, too.

Thanks Mr. Boffoli for the cool inspiration.  It isn’t that easy to do it as successfully as you’ve done.

I’d photographed a model railroad mother hanging out the wash before but not the whole scene with props.

Be sure to check out his picture show at this link cause his creativity and imagination is endless.


Incline Operator

Meet Chuck Wise.  He says his job has its “ups and downs.”  You can find him on youtube he told me!    Thanks for the tour, Chuck.  I was showing fellow blogger Vastly Curious around the Burgh Wednesday night, all the fine sights (  the city view on Grandview Avenue in Mount Washington)

Brrrr it was windy out on the platform.

Churck Wise (like the potato chip he reminded me so I’d spell his name right) has been operating the incline for about 15 years, just as his Great Grandfather did.

He graciously allowed me to photograph and blog him.. Thanks Chuck.

Chuck Wise in door 003

Opened to Public: May 20, 1877
Cost to Build: $47,000
Length of Track: 794 feet
Elevation: 400 feet
Grade: 30.5 degrees
Speed: 6 miles per hour
Passenger: Capacity 18 per car
Chuck Wise on Controls 002
Incline 007
Incline 004
Incline 006

The Cigar Maker

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.

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Mannequin Feet Require Upsize Shoes

We popped in to the local Old Navy store so my DIL could return something. My DIL’s mother Marlene was the spotter for this shot for the blog today. Thanks to Tim who didn’t mind that I snagged his putting the shoes onto the uncooperative mannequin. He is the one who told me you need larger shoes for the feet.

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Water Tower Message Completed

It was a wonderful milestone birthday celebration and there are photos of sparklers and candles and fireworks seen from the backyard. They are still in the camera.

The cake Laura baked, Erika’s garden eggplant, Mark grilling shrimp, the kids enjoying Grandma’s birthday party, the card they made for me- waiting on the flash card til tomorrow.  Below is the breakfast of a special raisin loaf (avert your eyes, Greg) that Marlene (Erika’s mom) brought up from Roanoke.  You might remember we were supposed to go to VA for the fourth celebration but they lost power in the violent storm almost a week ago and still don’t’ have it back.

And a crazy couple of shots from a sweltering parade July 4th AM.  They are in the camera on the flash card and not uploaded tonight.  But I wanted to return to this scene on Tuesday to photograph the sign on the water tower I had photographed on Monday..

No longer just d-e-l-a-w .  You might have seen the partially painted message on Tuesday’s post d-e-l-a-w-

I offered to return the library items and took Murphy for a ride, cranked up the AC and left the rear window open a crack for that rush of air he likes to feel on his nose.

Pulled over right after the railroad track and got out and took three shots.  How those men were able to paint in this extreme heat I can’t imagine.

I didn’t know this area was considered a playground but it is complete and here is the photo of it.

And isn’t this handy?  A drive through library return?  I ‘ve never seen one where you drive through. In the city they have large metal depositories outside the library but nothing this convenient.  A smart design.


Men at Work on a Water Tower along Orange Road

We were driving back from the store and I was in the third seat of the van with two of the grandchildren.

My DIL said, quick get your camera. There are men painting the water tower.  d-e-l-a-w (a- r -e)  I think.

Talk about fleeting moment, she was about to fly by and I was stuck in the back of the van.

She said, I’ll slow down ( going about 45mph) Ha.  Somehow I shot through the back window’s glass. You can see the reflection of a white fence.  I had the 24-70 lens on the camera.

The one we scraped the stickers off the window just recently. Good thing. I can’t imagine working that high off the ground.

Painting the water tower on Orange Road

 


Steel Making- Braddock PA

Edgar Thomson Plant  United States Steel    Mon Valley Works in Braddock, PA Shot less than two weeks ago

How does color or lack of it affect a photograph? What about cropping?

The five photos below are all from one master image.

Discovered the folklore of Joe Magarac, a legendary steel worker from Croatia  tried to find online if that statue of a steelworker is supposed to be legendary Joe Magarac. Check out the article Folklore or Fakelore?

And I found a cool driving tour of the mills video from 1988

or see the Steel making process in this video


Bedford, PA- Home of the National Museum of the American Coverlet

Laszlo Zongor explains the system of Jacquard Loom(see below) and the punched holed cards, each card a single line of weaving.

 

 

A two hour drive from Pittsburgh.  My book club had a fun and memorable getaway weekend trip.  We stayed at the Historic Bedford Resort.

Sunday, Joan and I went to see the National Museum of the American Coverlet- housed in a beautiful Historic Common School.   A coverlet is a woven bed cover, although there were some floor coverings, too.  The coverlets display changes every four months.  We learned a lot about the history of the coverlets with our knowledgeable guide explaining the differences. The last photos are of the gift shop where you can purchase reproductions of the antique designs and fabric for quilters.

 from the National Museum of the American Coverlet

The Museum and Museum Shop are open daily, year round.
Hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
Admission is $6 ($5 for age 60 and over).  Kids under 12 are free.  Group rates available.

Laszlo Zongor explains the punch cards used in the Jacquard loom.

 If you have a coverlet, you can bring it to Melinda and Laszlo Zongor and they can help date it and identify the weaving method.

The Jacquard Loom

There are looms and spinning wheels on exhibit.


People at Work: Body Artist

This is not your ordinary face painting!

Last week one of my student’s moms came in to create a special gift for the Communications student teacher as a farewell present on her last day of student teaching.  The timing of it fell on Friday afternoon when they were scheduled for Art class and they asked if it would be okay and I agreed it would be fun to see an artist at work. ( I think she is going to return for Career Day, too)

Michele Johnson is the owner of 7 Heirs Body Art Co/ 7 Heirs Media and was telling us about how she was doing body art  painting during the Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears concerts, drawing a crowd as concertgoers looked on at her work.  It is true, she is quick and creative and the design appears rapidly and beautifully and the addition of jewels tops it off. The students gave a nice round of applause and it took no time at all!

Have an event and need some pizazz, call Michelle 412. 586.5006 or email her –     kristal_klere(at)yahoo(dot)com


Bleecker Street Hat Shop

My grandfather wore hats. So did my dad.  My sons and son-in-law all enjoy wearing hats. My grandsons sport baseball caps.  My cousin Jim loves hats and I know my friend E’s husband collects them. I have purchased hats to cheer myself in winter. To provide shade in summer.

I walked by Goorin Bros. storefront on Monday and went in, learning that their first hat was sold off a horse cart in Pittsburgh PA in 1895 (according to the story on their website).  I live in Pittsburgh so this caught my attention. The woman behind the counter was coaxing a flattened straw hat back to life after a shot of steam. She showed me the old tractor seats that are now stools in the store.  I was waiting for my sister to complete some work and walking around the West Village, exploring.  The photo of the exterior on Monday had the cellar metal doors open so I went back Tuesday afternoon and took another. The door was open and there was a young man sporting a hat behind the counter.  I asked if I could take his photo and he said okay, (as  I’m sure tourists ask all the time)  So this is Ryan selling some very cool hats.  Jessica, I will photograph you next time!

The store interior. Check out the white tri-cornerd hat, although it seemed rounded corners so I am sure there is an official name for it.

 And they have a blog 


People at Work- Butcher at Schwartz’s Market (now closed)

The market closed a year ago after being open for 83 years! Photo taken 2009


Woodcarver at Work in Croatia

People at Work series

 

I wonder what this job would  be like?   I wish I had purchased a wood carving but the one on display was so large.  This is from a summer visit to Croatia.  As I remember this village was in Istria but I can’t remember which one it was.


Update on Demolition, Sign Painter at Work and Cooking Outside Wholey’s

Similar colors.  A friend emailed to let me know that the once silver Civic Arena/Mellon Arena roof looked completely red so I drove downtown to capture the progress of the demolition.

I drove to the Strip on a most crowded holiday shopping day.  It was Saturday afternoon in the Strip District and I saw a sign painter was painting above the crowded sidewalks.  I realized I walked under a ladder.  Didn’t think I was superstitious but when I saw this photo for the people at work series, I remembered a tinge of concern.  It makes sense to not walk under a ladder as a bucket of paint could spill on you or you could hit the ladder and knock someone off.  Need to do some research but not tonight.

I can tell you that the scent of grilled veggies and shrimp was inviting but I’d just eaten lunch. ; – (

Zucchini strips on the left. Grilled shrimp on the right.


Panoramic Time Lapse Gigapan on McArdle Roadway

Four Canon Digital SLR cameras shooting about 900 frames an hour ( with the kit lenses) mounted on gigapans and mounted on a long panel, attached to a tripod with a super duper car type battery-

and the results will make up a 10,000 frames which will be combined in a time lapse video. We will be able to see it at some point!  

-and here is the story how this came to be on the blog today.

After school I was hightailing it up to Mount Washington to do a shoot for an engaged couple.  On the way up the mountain at the top, I saw some camera equipment and a huge tripod. The guy manning it started to wave to me and then jog to keep up with my car as I slowed to a red light atop Grandview Ave.  It was a former teacher of mine, Dror Yaron, now at Carnegie Mellon.  I had taken one of his early Gigapan classes at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild.  {Here is the link to one of the gigapans I shot in 2008.}

I said , “I have to go shoot an engaged couple  at the Duquesne Incline platform”, and he said, “Stop back here after that.”

As it turned out the couple couldn’t make it and so I parked close to the spot Dror was and walked down the sidewalk of McArdle Roadway, high above the Monongahela River.

In a few minutes the  Senior Systems Scientist Randy Sargent and another CMU Robotics team member Anne Wright (forgive me Anne I didn’t get your title but remembered the “e”) arrived on the scene.

Randy had been there since 5 AM and planned to shoot until 11 PM. Oh my.

It was really cold, too.  They were taking turns with the equipment.  Later on I returned at 10 during the Steelers game just to document the commitment to the project. Randy had donned the ski gloves at that point.

I asked Randy about what he wanted to do when he was a child and he said he always liked to build things. EVERYTHING.  Not just lego but pieces of scrap lumber from construction sites.  I find that interesting how people are guided on a path to their current work.

Dror Yaron, Anne Wright, Randy Sargent

 

With the moon

Randy checks the battery and equipment

Heinz Field turned on the lights to get ready for the night game against Cleveland.

Sunset was at 4:53 PM on Thursday the 8th of December.

Randy and Anne after ten, the temperature really dropped!

Here is the link  to the site to learn more about the projects and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.


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