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

Pittsburgh Photos

Steep Streets

Pittsburgh has some steep streets. I plan to find them and photograph them when winter’s gone.

carrick streetA 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.


Two Bikes Eaten By a Tree

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.

Bike Tree

Thanks Marty, fellow art teacher, for moving the sign so I could get a good shot.

bicycle spokes and bark

It is something to see

Bike Tree

You’ve got to see it to believe it

Two bikes in a tree

The power and force of nature 

Freak of Nature

Here’s  the sign that Marty moved for me.


The Bike Tree

Craig MorrowCraig Morrow Owner of Bicycle Heaven – Curator of Bicycle Museum-

A welcoming host and knowledgeable guide for all things bicycle.

Bicycles Bicycles Bicycles Bicycles

banana bicycle seats Banana seats

bicycle tires

Bicycle tires for every bike

BicyclesRepetition and rhythm

mannequin

Not sure what this mannequin’s role is at Bicycle Heaven but she’s interesting

Wanted Antique BicyclesGive 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 ready to mail

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


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


Dedication of “Keeping Tabs – A Holocaust Sculpture”- Pittsburgh PA

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.

Keeping Tabs Memorial (1)

I went up earlier in the day to photograph the memorial sculpture before all the people arrived.

Keeping Tabs2

Keeping Tabs close up

program

Violin Player

Bill WalterReceiving a standing ovation,  Mr. Walter comes to the podium to speakElena and Mr. WalterArtist 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.

bill walter on Channel two

Elena and friends and family (1)

Article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the Keeping Tabs Memorial Sculpture Dedication, this time including Elena Hiatt Houlihan’s name

Keeping Tabs Memorial

One of the many many stones and bricks donated,

One of the many many, memorial stones and engraved bricks. each representing the accumulation of many donations, small, medium and large. I chose this one to photograph because for the inscribed words about “generations never born”- that message struck me.

Pop Tabs in Glass Blocks

filling the last blockThis block will be used for educational presentations.  I put a tab in and then asked the next woman if I might photograph her doing so and she agreed.


Friday Night City Lights

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.

Downtown City Lights

 


Daybreak October First- Comparing iPhone 5 image to Canon 5D Mark ii

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!)

Daybreak October First

This picture is shot with the Canon 5D Markii- a 70-200mm L series lens.

 

 

Daybreak October First Cell phone

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.

Daybreak October First Cell phone 2 pano

 

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.

 

Daybreak October First Cell phone pano

But here is a closer shot taken with the Canon 5D Markii.

Daybreak October Canon 5D Mark2

 

These are unretouched images.  Looks like Pittsburgh of yesteryear with the Heinz Plant spewing white smoke from a stack!

 


Strip District World Festival

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    

Tavern 19

Food-

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

Manuela the Caricaturist

music

Dance to the Music

SteelDragon

Steel Dragon Kung Fu members dance the Lion Dance

Steel Dragon (2)

Steel Dragon (1)

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)

music (6)

Steel Dragon (3)

Look behind you!

music (5)

Alex and Ben were the Lion with Steeler Colors

music (7)

music (8)

music (9)

music (1)

sunseri

Two Pound Pepperoni Roll and Mr. Sunseri

BLack and Gold

Schorin’s has everything

Price Bennett

Mr. Bennett Price

world Festival Strip


“Pittsburgh Recollections” a Mural by Romare Bearden

Port Authority Downtown Pittsburgh Romare Bearden Mural

Port Authority Downtown Pittsburgh- Gateway Center Station 
“Pittsburgh Recollections”Romare Bearden Mural

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.

 

 

 

 


Three More Days of the One-Woman Show, REMAINS, at the New Hazlett Theatre, North Side

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.

 

The New Hazlett Theater

Formerly the Carnegie Library  Now the New Hazlett Theater

Beth Corning

Beth Corning after the performance.

Remains PosterPoster in the Lobby

The lobby at the New Hazlett Theater

The Lobby of the New Hazlett Theater

Market Square

Market Square Scene

Minestrone

A bowl of minestrone at La Cucina Flegrea in Market Square, after the show.


Mazeroski in Moonlight, After the Prom

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.

Mazeroski Statue

 

 

 

 

p.s.

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

 


Bronze Elevator Doors in the City County Building, Pittsburgh PA

Sometimes you see something on the fly-  take a quick picture and later you think, oh,

I should have taken a little more time, shot more views or gotten better photographs as you review what you captured.

I left these  photos the way I took them-  a bit crooked, a partial door- as a reminder to take my time and get the detail, watch the angle,

*note to self- take a few more pictures when you see something magnificent, unusual and interesting.  Take the entire door in the frame!

When we hung the art show at the City County Building downtown Pittsburgh, we were getting into the elevators and I took a couple of photographs of the bronze elevator doors.  You almost felt like you were in Florence.

 Henry Hornbostel was the architect of the building (and about fifty other building that are still in the city) but I couldn’t find who designed and sculptured/cast the elevator doors specifically.  They were amazing to see. Figures with earlier government buildings in hand.  Definitely need to get to the Carnegie Library for some detailed research but just look at the doors and think about how they don’t make buildings like this anymore. There’s a lot of history in the story of the doors that I don’t have at hand.  Details later.

Brass vs. Bronze the difference in the two metals information here

 

 

Elevators sign

elevator doors

 

 

 

detail of elevator door

 

 

 

 

 

detail elevator door


City County Building Hosts Pittsburgh Carrick High School Art Show

Update:  5-13-13   

Just added this gorgeous  panorama photographed by Instructional Team Leader for the Fine Arts Department -Michael Dean.

Panorama Pittsburgh Carrick Art Show

 

 

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.

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There will be refreshments at the reception.

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Everything looks great!

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You have to see it in person to get the full experience.

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If you are in the city, please come see the amazing student artwork.
(Parking downtown gets cheap after 5)

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P.S.
Remembering our mothers every day of the year

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Cars Driving Uphill Have the Right of Way

….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.

Carrick Neighborhood

 

 

 


Pittsburgh Marathon Photos – Almost Mile Twenty

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

man juggles running marathon

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


The Trees Sue’s Dad Had the City Plant, 35 Years Ago

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.

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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.

(more…)


If You Need a Polish Platter

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,
and Kluski

Open Mic Acoustic Night on Tuesdays at 9PM

Bloomfield Bridge Tavern

 


Happy Chinese New Year- Year of the Snake

Mine is a single photograph today…..For a beautiful and informative post on the Chinese New Year be sure to click hereIMG_6708


Got Bridges?

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 

Pittsburgh Bridges in Winter


Last Sliver of Sun

Before I drove up the mountain, I went to one of my favorite spots on West Carson Street.  This is what made me decide to head up to Mt. Washington to catch the incline in the snow as the sun set.

 

city skyline


Incline in the Snow

I returned to the Duquesne Incline platform on Monday evening as I arrived from Ohio.  Not quite as much snow as I thought there would be.

Taken just as the sun sank in the sky and the temperatures dropped.  Will try again, a different winter day.

Couldn’t wait any longer to shoot when the sky was darker as it was too windy and cold.  You might have liked the night time version better.

IMG_3530


Downtown Alley

 

 

The illumination challenge could have kept me going for the rest of the year.  I shoot a lot of photos in the dark with lights!  When you look at your body of work ( or parts of it) you notice different things and details on different days.

When I was sifting through files, I found this city alley downtown and just liked the perspective, the people, the shapes and lines. Although it was captured in another season, the thermometer went up to 69 degrees ( I saw it lit up on a sign!) and for the second week of January it feels odd.

I think I need to return downtown and shoot some more alley views.

 
downtown alley


There are at Least 14 Ways to Spell It!

And here is an article explaining the most popular and the second most popular way to spell- Hanukkah or Chanukah? The Festival of Light. 

Tuesday- the fourth night.

I was invited for potato latkes and the lighting of the Hanukkah candles at my friend’s house.  We taught together these past 6 years until I moved to the high school this year.  The first photo is her beautiful Menorah on the mantle. Her kids are grown up and out of town, too.  She and her husband and I sat by there fire and then she lit the fourth candle. It gets dark so early now as we approach the shortest day of the year.  The warmth of the fire and the glow from the colorful candles was lovely.

After we ate the latkes(served with sour cream and or applesauce)  Ann lit the fourth candle.

We left for an adventure, traipsing around Squirrel Hill, Murray Avenue and Forbes.  Up and down trying to decide where we should eat!  At least it wasn’t raining.   We had a nice evening, catching up on our families and school and mutual friends.  When we walked by the Giant Eagle supermarket and a young man asked if we were Jewish and she said, yes and he asked if she had candles.  Then we saw the table set up in front of the market with another young man cooking latkes on a griddle.  They had applesauce available and their organization had a big sign on the Menorah.  They told me they were “spreading light in the world.”  I asked if it would be okay to blog them and they gathered to gather for a group shot.  Pulled out the cell phone camera.  Yep, my camera was back by Ann’s house in the back trunk of the car.

Thanks Ann for including me in the candle lighting and for taking me on a good healthy walk around the neighborhood to find the best dinner.

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Home of the 5 lb. Hamburger!

Yes, that’s 80 ounces of meat.  But not a photograph to prove it exists.  Just this sign on the overhang. A site describes this place as a Sports Bar, a local hangout, a joint!

Maybe the five pound hamburger weighs a bit less after grilling?  The way the punctuation goes I’m not sure if there is a five pound hot dog or a five pound pirogue, too

I was at a red light on Friday at the intersection in some traffic.  Good timing.  When you have a 50mm fixed lens on your camera and you’re in the driver’s seat, stopped, there’s no maneuver room, no way to get more of the establishment in the frame. This is the shot. There was no place to park or get out.  I was on my way to see the family. Friday afternoon traffic, bumper to bumper.

But it was the sign that caught my eye.  Nobles on Nobles Lane down the street from school.  It wasn’t open when I was stopped in front.  I know it would’ve been cool to actually go in and order one, document the gargantuan meat.

Home of the 5 lb Hamburger2


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