After sipping coffee in Squirrel Hill with a friend, catching up on the last few months of our lives, I headed home via Schenley Park. NOT!
Everything was blocked off with white sawhorses. I found a parking spot and strolled around, chatting with the women at the gate letting the trucks and car trailers into the park, realizing that this has been going on for all these years but I’d not experienced it in the 25 years I’ve lived in Pittsburgh. The 32nd Vintage Grand Prix in Pittsburgh where the cars are raced right on the streets.
from their website
“The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s mission is to produce a world-class vintage racing event to raise funds that help provide residential care, treatment and support for children and adults with autism and intellectual and developmental disabilities through the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and Allegheny Valley School.”
I learned a lot in a short amount of time, walking down the road, talking with car owners and pit crew or significant others. I met a volunteer who is a “rope tower” during the races. No one wants his services but I understand some will need to be towed.
A nice couple from Milwaukee with a really cool MG that they toured in England with 89 other MG owners. I’m always fascinated how people get into different interests and activities in their lives, why people collect things, their hobbies. One man had a former show dog, Vivian ( or perhaps Vivien, sorry) who was a distinctive English bull dog. He said showing dogs, racing cars, there are a lot of similarities.
I can tell you that the people I talked to are making themselves happy by participating in this sport, caring and restoring their cars, and being part of an eclectic group with passion for what they are investing themselves in.
Meet Luke. From the North Hills. He has worked on this Lotus for 5 years. Check out the humps he created so he can fit into the car as he is 6’2″. He shared the photos of the work he accomplished, what it looked like when he started and it is amazing. When his mother was expecting him in two short months, she drove demo laps at the VGP. His father was there offering support and advice, cheering him on. He told me how there was a meeting for the drivers and then they would walk the course. He even invited me to ride in the Lotus at the Charity ride but Saturday I am shooting a wedding. I looked in and down and wondered if I would fit or if several people would have had to extricate me from the seat.
Luke taking time to show his Lotus photos and explain how he rebuilt it to a young man who is going to be a seventh grader at Colfax this fall. This almost seventh grader been coming to the Vintage Grand Prix on his bike for the past three years and has a real interest in cars.
Luke and his dad
Meet Rich. Drove in from Denver, Colorado. His wife flew in from a business trip in New York so they are at the VGP for the first time. He races cars after an experience with an avalanche while extreme skiing.
He explained a lot to me (which I am hesitant to write for fear it will be inaccurate) but his 912 (which he got off Craig’s List) uses gas without ethanol. NOTE: A Porsche 912 NOT
Inside the trailer that holds the car.
You should hear his engine when he fires it up! Porsche 912 1967
Here’s Rich replacing the jet due to the low altitude here.
I thought it would be fun for Rich to meet Luke (turns out they will be competitors in the same class) as they were both first time racers in this particular event so Rich drove his car down the road and I followed.
Here are Rich and Luke
And here’s Chris. Chris is from Verona, PA. He has restored cars for years. But this is his first race. You can just tell he has put a lot of love into his car.
MGB GT 1968 Under two litre class
And here is Richard Barnes the Competition Director and the man who introduced me to Rich
Yes, there are female drivers. Here are some competitors lined up to register.
Without realizing I caught a shot of Lauren in line at registration. She is “paddocking” with Luke but wasn’t there when I was doing all the pictures. See edit below with addition of Lauren and the 1956 Turner she drives. Thanks Luke B for the photograph below.
A couple more cars so you can see the variety participating
Driving by some of the open wheel cars. A nice man from Toronto who is on a Pit Crew explained all about the open wheel construction and the rear engines. Another man with a couple of Sprites offered to get me some contact information so I could share the photos.
When I left there were still cars arriving
Late addition courtesy of Luke B the Lotus Owner Saturday 9:00 AM
After reading the post Luke B sent me the following photograph of another first time driver
Here’s what he said
I saw you caught a photo of my friend Lauren at registration. It’s too bad you didn’t get a chance to meet her – she’s paddocked with us now, but I think that was after you left. Not only is she one of only a few female drivers this weekend and one of the few young drivers, but she’s another local entrant and, like me, it’s her first time racing here. Here’s a photo of her and the 1956 Turner she races:
Photographed by Luke B.
It was a busy and happy weekend with the grandsons staying over two nights, the family wedding on Saturday and some generous neighbors/friends inviting Steve and me to accompany them to a Pirates Game at PNC Park.
It was good to have an activity and a place to go after the kids left, so I didn’t have time to be in a quiet, empty house on a Sunday afternoon or think about going to school tomorrow to finish the grades and end out the school year this week.
We had the luxury of excellent seats (thanks, Rich) and as the game progressed (Pirates lost to Brewers 1-zip which was unfortunate) we were asked if we would enjoy something from the dessert cart. Who knew there was a dessert cart in the suites section of the private boxes? Certainly not us. Steve and I are usually getting those fifteen dollar last minute, last row seats as high as you can go.
Our host treated us to lemon cake (although there was quite a variety to choose from. Tim (in the black shirt and gold tie) described each of the desserts with great flourish and he created sundaes for the kids and added a dollop of ice cream to a slice of cake.
I asked him if I could photograph him and at first there is a bit of awkwardness for about two seconds and then he relaxed and we worked together to get his result.
Thanks Tim. ( and Matt is writing up the check which our host graciously picked up) The desserts are baked on the premises. By Levy Restaurants. I asked!
Tim and our host Rich. You might remember Rich as the local man who discovered a new use for the newspaper sleeve on my 777th post
I tasted the root beer cake. It tasted like root beer.
and a couple of photos from the excellent seats
the rain held off although we got drenched from a cloud burst as we walked to the T (subway)
Great seats today, thanks Rich.
Can you spot the two birds on a wire, watching the game!
As we were leaving with some fellow baseball fans
I almost forgot One of my favorites to watch- the groundskeepers team.
Getting on the T I don’t think I have ever ridden it before but am trying to remember.
Used the 70-200mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark ll.
I had to take the 5D into the Camera Repair Shop on Market Street.
One thing when I take a shot like this, I realize I’m not a persistent or aggressive or even comfortable street photographer.
I remained unnoticed and now wish I had taken more angles as I think about it in retrospect.
One certainly wouldn’t want to interrupt the intense concentration.
It was the Sunday night I returned from Columbus OH.
Mother’s Day evening.
The blue night sky asks to be photographed.
I enjoy taking photos of the city at night.
There’s the blimp
From the red light at the Convention Center.Night Game at PNC Park
A favorite place to capture the look of yesteryear but it is tonight. Right now. 2014 from West Mifflin across the Monongahela River.
After being with the family up on VistaView I drove down Outlook Drive. The leaves aren’t full yet and I found a good clearing between two homes.
Propped the camera up onto the passenger window ledge and tried to get a steady shot with a long shutter.
That mill is working all day and night every day and I just drive by for a glimpse a couple of times every year.
I have posted the mill at night a few times but I never get tired of seeing it. Here is it in the snow
And another April shot from a few years ago
Pittsburgh has some steep streets. I plan to find them and photograph them when winter’s gone.
A friend posted an info-graphic Steepest Streets in America. The top ten. Two are in Pittsburgh.
Dornbush Street and Canton Avenue.
This street headed up to Brownsville Road is a steep one. It is also a one way so I didn’t drive up it.
On the way to school the other morning…
The sidewalk turns into stairs and has a railing the whole way up. It isn’t on the info graphic but you know I’m on a mission to find the two steepest Pittsburgh streets listed and photograph them for the blog.
In the early ’90s we used to drive down a street in Mt. Washington that looked like you were driving off the end of the world. Three kids strapped in seat belts in back. We’d go around again, they’d lose their stomachs and we’d pretend we were on a roller coaster.
The list of the top five steepest streets in Pittsburgh -and one is in the Carrick neighborhood where I was driving.
Excerpt from Frontiernet.net below-
- Canton Avenue is a 37% grade, and is in the Beechview neighborhood. It is the steepest street in Pittsburgh.
- Dornbush Street is a 32% grade, and is in the East Hills neighborhood.
- Boustead Street is a 29% grade, and is in the Beechview neighborhood.
- East Woodford Avenue is a 27% grade, and is in the Carrick neighborhood.
- Rialto Street is a 25% grade, and is in the Troy Hills neighborhood.
I went and looked up the info about Steve McQueen driving in Bullitt and what street that was in San Francisco.
Taylor Street is not in the top ten but here is an interesting post about the making of that famous driving scene.
If you’ve been following the blog since October 2011, you might have seen the original post of Bicycle Heaven with the four fiberglass Bowden Spacelander bicycles.
Today after a district in-service meeting at Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a few of us dropped over to see Craig Morrow and his amazing Bicycle Heaven. We got to see the latest addition.
Two bicycles in a tree were found in a farmer’s field that was being cleared.
The tree enveloped the bikes as it grew.
Found near Alliance, Ohio. Posted on Craigslist. And then someone gave Craig a call about the Bike Tree and thought he might be interested in adding it to the Bicycle Museum’s collection.
When they cut the grass and underbrush, they found this….. a 1930’s bicycle and a 1960’s bicycle, enmeshed in the tree’s growth.
Thanks Marty, fellow art teacher, for moving the sign so I could get a good shot.
It is something to see
You’ve got to see it to believe it
The power and force of nature
Here’s the sign that Marty moved for me.
Craig Morrow Owner of Bicycle Heaven – Curator of Bicycle Museum-
A welcoming host and knowledgeable guide for all things bicycle.
Bicycle tires for every bike
Not sure what this mannequin’s role is at Bicycle Heaven but she’s interesting
Give Craig Morrow a call. Make a trip to Pittsburgh to see Bicycle Heaven in person.
If you need bicycle parts, he’ll mail order
Bicycle parts awaiting shipping.
You can rent the place for an event, too.
Here is a link Blog follower Jack sent to me later today about another old rusting bike, enveloped by a tree
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.
Sunday afternoon was the official dedication of the Gary and Nancy Tuckfelt Keeping Tabs- A Holocaust Sculpture at the Community Day School at the corner of Beechwood Boulevard and Forward Ave. The sculpture is a maze in the shape of the Star of David, created with glass blocks which are filled with six million pop tabs which took almost five years to collect , each tab representing a human life lost in the Holocaust. Many people contributed time, money and effort to the creation of the sculpture and the beautiful surrounding park. Walking into the maze, one is struck by the magnitude of the horror of genocide, the number of victims is hard to fathom but the pop tabs in the glass blocks are a reminder of the millions killed.
The resident artist, Elena Hiatt Houlihan has been with this project since 2002. Pop tabs were being collected since 1996 and Mr. Walter the History Teacher at Community Day School had aquariums filled with them when Elena arrived to help the student teams design the sculpture. Their original artist statement was read by her at the dedication ceremony today.
Elena had been a resident artist at Greenfield Elementary when I was the art teacher there and I remember her talking about the ongoing work of this sculpture and then funding and other circumstances delayed the completion.
It was a beautiful Autumn afternoon and there were speeches and prayers and an 8th grader played the violin. A chill wind and shadows gave one a shudder and reminded those present of the significance of the memorial sculpture. Never Forget.
I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.
Receiving a standing ovation, Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakArtist in Residence Elena Hiatt Houlihan and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Bill Walter who started the collection of the pop tabs when he was teaching the Holocaust to middle school students at Community Day School.
Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name
After the homecoming dance I drove up to Grandview Ave. on Mt. Washington. I mistakenly thought the Liberty Tunnel was closed until 6AM. Not!
The clear fall night air lent itself to a couple of photos, sans tripod, just a fence.
The Gulf Building lights are pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
I tell the students at school, the only way to improve photographic skill is to practice. And that is what I was doing yesterday morning.
On the way to school, I detoured to Mount Washington to catch the sunrise and the PNC Park lights on, readying the field for Tuesday night’s playoff game. The city looked so inviting, the light coming fast.
Everyday the city is a different color, a variety of colors, sometimes golden or pink.
And a glimpse of the Lucky Duck (which is bigger than my house!)
This picture is shot with the Canon 5D Markii- a 70-200mm L series lens.
Looks pretty good to me and not sure why I took the photo with both the camera and the phone but this one is the iPhone 5 camera.
And here is the panorama of the scene.
Still working on getting those panorama shots right. You can see a dark bar indicating I need more practice. But it was fun trying. Love the lettering on the Duquesne Incline station house.
But here is a closer shot taken with the Canon 5D Markii.
These are unretouched images. Looks like Pittsburgh of yesteryear with the Heinz Plant spewing white smoke from a stack!
I was going down to the Strip to work on an ongoing photography project I started.
Seemed like a good day to go as I was in town, no school on Sunday and the weather was perfect.
As soon as I neared the Strip, I saw an incredible amount of traffic backed up and some tent tops. Parked immediately instead of trying to get closer and walked the rest of the way. Here’s what I saw
Strip District World Festival- A Community Event
I ate a delicious Baklava from Taverna 19, a new place with Greek food and dancing at night. (Right across from Primanti’s) I had already eaten lunch at home. Who knew?
Manuela the Caricaturist
Dance to the Music
Steel Dragon Kung Fu members dance the Lion Dance
This note from Chris at Steel Dragon the dance is actually a LION DANCE
I would like to mention that actually we did a lion dance today. The MC confused the name of what we were doing. Our name (as you know) is Steel Dragon (or Gong Lung in Chinese). What we did was a lion dance. The actual name of the one we did today is “Eight Immortals Carry the Mountain to Fill the Eastern Sea”, which is a story from a classic novel called the Eight Immortals Cross the Sea.
Incidentally, Dragons have many more people than lions (7-100 people vs 2 in a lion) and when you see the head, you can tell their different. If you want, you can check out the video we just posted which has clips from lion and dragons dances on it (plus I just edited so I love when people look at it :-) ) The link is on our website under videos. (see link)
Look behind you!
Alex and Ben were the Lion with Steeler Colors
Two Pound Pepperoni Roll and Mr. Sunseri
Schorin’s has everything
Mr. Bennett Price
To see and read more about the mural painted by Romare Bearden in 1984 click the article here.
Appraised at 15 million dollars.
Most people who pass by it on their daily commute, probably have no idea. It’s 60 by 13 feet.
I tried the panorama setting again on my new iPhone.
My friend R sent me an article from the Pittsburgh Post- Gazette by Sara Bauknecht, about “Remains”, a one-woman show playing at The New Hazlett Theater on the North Side – Thought I might be interested in going. I read the part about going through boxes of memories and stuff from one’s parents and it piqued my interest.
You can read more about the star of the show, Beth Corning, at her blog
“This year’s offering is a one-woman show (starring Beth Corning ) made with Tony Award-winning choreographer/performer Dominique Serrand, co-artistic director of Minneapolis-based The Moving Company.”
and before you know it, R went online and bought us tickets. I’m so glad she did. It was excellent. Powerful. Graceful. Moving. Evocative.
And it’s there for just 3 more days!! If you live in Pittsburgh, you should make a plan to go this weekend.
We went to the performance Thursday night and stayed for the Talk-Back afterwards.
Beth Corning asked the audience if we might Tweet, Facebook and tell friends about “Remains” – (a Glue Factory Project) which is playing Friday June 7,
Sat June 8th and a Sunday Matinee at 2 (June 9th) when you pay what you can for admission.
R and I went to the lobby and then I wondered out loud how to blog about it and R suggested I ask to take a photo of Beth. So we turned around and went back and I took a photo with my iPhone.
A nice man, Alex showed me how to take a panorama with my new iPhone in the theater lobby and showed me where to stand in the corner. A bit dark but fun. Thanks Alex
We headed to Market Square to La Cucina Flegrea where the kitchen had closed but served us each a bowl of delicious minestrone and some bread.
And if you don’t live in Pittsburgh, you could invite Beth and Dominique to come to your city. Maybe they will consider a tour! The show’s theme is personal and universal simultaneously.
Formerly the Carnegie Library Now the New Hazlett Theater
Beth Corning after the performance.
The Lobby of the New Hazlett Theater
Market Square Scene
A bowl of minestrone at La Cucina Flegrea in Market Square, after the show.
Pittsburgh Carrick 2013 Senior Prom was held at the Lexus Club at PNC Park tonight.
I went and took pictures of the kids and it was a great evening. My friend Steve picked me up and then had to turn the car around to be in the homeward direction.
This is what we saw at the circle by the Bill Mazeroski statue-
I got out into the chilly air and took a few shots. The clouds kept drifting over the moon, making the clouds luminous.
In case you don’t know about the Greatest Home Run Ever Here’s the youtube video of Bill Mazeroski running to home in the 1960 World Series
Just added this gorgeous panorama photographed by Instructional Team Leader for the Fine Arts Department -Michael Dean.
The Pittsburgh Carrick High School student Art Show is hung and waiting for the Monday opening reception at 5:30.
Anyone who works in this magnificent building will get a sneak peek during the day. There were ten of us working most of the day Saturday to hang the art and place the tags by each piece.
Awards ceremony is Monday evening at 6:30 PM. Sponsored by CITIPARKS!
How about those Tiffany columns? The marble, the windows, the painted ceiling? And all the student artwork? Wow!
I can’t wait for the students to see their artwork on display in such a wonderful setting.
There will be refreshments at the reception.
Everything looks great!
You have to see it in person to get the full experience.
Remembering our mothers every day of the year
….and so when I leave school and I’m driving down Parkfield Street (AKA the Cow Trail) and someone’s driving uphill, the road’s so narrow you have to pull over to the curb and allow the uphill car passage. Even pulled over it can be a tight squeeze.
Wouldn’t you know it, I got lucky on Monday afternoon and as I’m at the curb I look out the passenger window and see the neighborhood of Carrick and St. Basil’s Church up at the top of another hill. One shot with the window down and then I put the camera back in my school bag and take my foot of the brake and head down the hill as the uphill driver gives a wave of thanks.
Looked up St. Basil‘s story, too.
This shot shows Pittsburgh topography. Hills and more hills.
The trees are full of leaves now. Shot with the Canon 70-200mm lens as I was headed to the Girl’s Softball game.
I got down early to catch the first marathoners in the wheelchair division. It was a perfect day for a marathon.
There was a street sweeper operating at the intersection of Highland and Bryant when I got down. I knew the wheelchair participants started about 6:45 AM and I calculated when they’d arrive at almost mile twenty down the bottom of our hill. I didn’t have too long to wait.
When I witness their effort, a catch forms in my throat. It’s inspiring. Accompanied by a bicycle escort, they “run” the course with determination and hard work.
I am dividing the post into galleries. The first shots I stood across the street from the local coffee shop – Tazza D’Oro.
DICK’S Sporting Goods flew about 3 dozen marathoners to Pittsburgh from Boston so they could run the marathon. These runners were ones who were unable to complete the marathon due to the attacks.
There were thousands of runners today for the Pittsburgh Marathon so this is just a small sampling of the day. Perfect weather!
Here’ s the first gallery-
The Wheelchair Participants
The lead runners just flew by, almost effortlessly (well, it seemed easy watching them) Soooo fast. So smooth.
There were lots of dogs in attendance today.
And then there were the fun runners, the monkey, the man with the
trumpet.bugle?, the guy in a kilt and sandals, women wearing tutus who were texting, and some wild hair and outfits. Many patriotic displays and one guy running backwards. A man wore a Chicago Runs for Boston shirt.
One man ran the whole marathon blindfolded, tethered to a co-runner. He did this to raise awareness and to experience what his 7 year old daughter must experience in life- she’s legally blind. To read about his efforts click here and another article about this father’s running the entire marathon blindfolded- here
A few more runners
And all the volunteers and the workers who made it all possible
The street sweepers, the garbage collectors, the police, the paramedics, the course marshals, the volunteers who passed out water and picked up the cups from the course. The bus who came to sweep up the runners who needed to ride for the remainder of the course. All photos shot with a 70-200mm Canon L series lens on Canon 5D SLR camera
And the partiers, the cheering section, and as neighbor Mike coined the term the CHAIR-ATHONERS. for further coverage you can go to the Post-Gazette
Yesterday Sue commented on the new tulip tree being planted in front of my house. She told how her father had the city plant trees up and down her street, thirty five years ago, and how they were a memorial to him. He was featured on the blog for a Veteran’s Day post- Martin H. Cooper.
Today I was driving by her street on my way home from the Waterfront. Took two cell shots of his trees. Thanks Sue for your good words on the blog.
Night on Bryant Street- Italian(2), Belgium, Japanese, Thai, a PayPhone, the Laundromat, a Market and a Bus
Monday night when we drove through the neighborhood in the rain, none of the restaurants were open except for Smiling Banana Leaf. (Thai).
Joseph Tambellini’s is the first exterior I photographed and you should taste the delicious meatballs.
At the end of the Bloomfield Bridge, when I sat at the red light, I saw the Bloomfield Bridge Tavern in the snow.
The Polish Platter “Red” consists of
Pierogi, Kielbasa, Golabki, Haluski,
Open Mic Acoustic Night on Tuesdays at 9PM
Just a few. Here are some bridges that cross the Allegheny River. Since I showed the one closed yesterday, it seemed to make sense to post a shot of more bridges.
If you want to read about Pittsburgh Bridges, click here .
Taken from Mount Washington, Duquesne Incline observation deck just last week.
And the Tenth Street Bridge in the Tom Cruise movie (Jack Reacher) isn’t in this shot but here