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


BLT Essential Ingredients from Local Bryant Street Market

I enjoy shopping in a smaller market. A place that isn’t an airplane hangar or cluttered with patio furniture and piles of stuff at the ends of the aisles. Just down the hill is a reopened market on Bryant Street, cleaned up and offering La Prima coffee to grind, a delicatessen case filled with all sorts of meats, cheeses and salads. Sandwiches to go. Enrico’s Biscotti. In the freezer they have Donatelli’s Italian Ravioli-mushroom, artichoke, roasted red pepper and traditional cheese. They sell Allegro Hearth Bread, fresh produce and Turner dairy items, Bob’s Red Mill grain products, spices and Chuckles . They’ve extended their hours and will deliver to your home. After my appointment I stopped in to get lunch ingredients as a friend was coming over to eat. BLT on T shouts summer to me!

Shopping list- Vine ripened tomatoes, sliced with serrated knife

Head of garden lettuce, washed and patted dry

Boar’s Head bacon slices, cooked in cast iron skillet and drained on paper towels

Hellmann’s mayo, in a glass jar

Allegro Hearth Bread, toasted in the fancy toaster V gave me for my 50th bday

Potato chips

Tahitian Vanilla Gelato, for dessert

Front porch, to sit out and eat

A summer day

A friend to share the meal.

Bryant Street Market
5901 Bryant Street
Pittsburgh PA 15206
Phone: (412) 661 8720
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 AM to 8 PM
Sat 9 AM to 7 PM
Sun 9AM to 5PM

Sudden Service in McKees Rocks, PA

At a red light, shot through the windshield, but isn’t this a great sign?  Sudden Service. Open for business in McKees Rocks, PA. How making the same photo black and white it can feel like I took this photograph years ago.  Try four days ago!Dry Cleaners McKees Rocks

VW Family in North Carolina

from the Archives.  I learned to drive on a VW bug. 1969. Black, stick-shift.  Taken in North Carolina a couple of years ago.

Just as it was. No set-up. Generations of Volkswagens.

Across the Street from Ground Zero

From the archives.The weather in New York City was beautiful on Thursday, my sister said. You probably saw it on the news. But here are three people watching construction of the new tower during a rainstorm. The last photo a panorama taken with an iPhone.

Easter Bunny with Knapsack of Tiny Colored Eggs

This is a shot of a portion of my sister’s Easter display. When we lived in Germany we bought the loveliest Easter ornaments. We moved there in 1986 and the Gasthaus where we stayed had a platter of dirt with grass growing and colored eggs resting right in the grass. I thought it was so cool! I still have not reproduced that decoration yet but think about it every year.
Easter Past

When I was little there was a big deal
about an Easter dress and hat,
a scratchy crinoline inside.
An outfit to be photographed in–
under the blossoming cherry tree.
Little white gloves, patent leather shoes
buckle strap, new white ruffled anklets.
A purse to match.
To hold what?
An embroidered hanky, ironed.

Times change.

If you want to read the story of my grandmother’s vintage quilt stars from the Keep or Pitch blog post click here

Mother Mary- Springtime NYC

Someone placed a bouquet in the crook of her arm.   Today’s post remembers friend and poet Christina Murdock who passed one year ago today, a week short of her thirtieth birthday.

from Let it Be by John Lennon and Paul McCartney

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

Santa Claus on April Fool’s Day

Taken at lunchtime on Friday April first.  You worry the homeowner might be ill or injured and can’t get out on the roof to take down Christmas.  A gray sky but a cheery Santa face. Reminds me of the Coca-Cola ads.    I’ve watched and wondered how long Santa will be up there.  I’ve had Christmas up a long time myself, inside the house.  But not into April. Ever. The front hallway always seems so bare when the garland comes down.  

Find the Mantel in the Remains of the House Demolished on Centre Ave.

At first I thought it was an upright piano on top of the pile.   M-a-n-t-l-e is usually a cloak. M-a-n-t-e-l is the fireplace one. Although it seems they are interchanged frequently. I try to spell correctly on this blog but sometimes it’s tricky.

Driving to school I saw this pile of rubble which was a house last week. An abandoned, boarded-up house but still standing. Webb Construction guys were nice to let me take the photo. I asked them how they do it and he said you start at the top and work your way down.  Oh, and I met a contractor who restores houses and is looking for worthy pieces to salvage for the homes he restores.  What a contrast.

When It Is Too Far Gone to be Repaired or Restored

It gets torn down.
No one has the money to fix it up.
Houses stand boarded up a long time.
Sometimes there are occupied homes right next door.
Seems the city is demolishing abandoned homes at breakneck speed.
No archeological digs as in Philadelphia sites.

You wonder who lived here and the stories of their lives.

Groundhog Sports Black and Gold Beads

Happy Groundhog’s Day. A friend sent an email of a groundhog finding a Lombardi trophy as a shadow.

You can click here for all the serious information from the official website in Punxsutawney PA.

I hear there are some competitors around the country but Phil lives close by ….   “If Candlemas be fair and clear, there’ll be two winters in the year.”       or this poem from Wikipedia “In Scotland the tradition may also derive from an English poem:

As the light grows longer
The cold grows stronger
If Candlemas be fair and bright
Winter will have another flight
If Candlemas be cloud and rain
Winter will be gone and not come again
A farmer should on Candlemas day
Have half his corn and half his hay
On Candlemas day if thorns hang a drop
You can be sure of a good pea crop

not sure about the shadow. Will find out in the morning. Spring or more winter?

One year(1990) my sister and I went to Punxsutawney to see Phil the groundhog. Pre-Groundhog Day movie.

2010 in Review from wordpress

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 69,000 times in 2010. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would have performed about 3 times.


In 2010, there were 352 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 451 posts. There were 633 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2gb. That’s about 2 pictures per day.

The busiest day of the year was May 31st with 18,398 views. The most popular post that day was My Bookshelf .

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were reddit.com, mail.yahoo.com, mail.live.com, jimmyr.com, and facebook.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for disco ball, new york city, city rooftops, new york rooftops, and new york city at night.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


My Bookshelf May 2010


New York City Rooftops by Night Light July 2009
4 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


Furry Convention in Pittsburgh June 2010


Their Eyes Looked at Me as I Walked By- I Had to Photograph Them June 2010


Memories Sparked by Disco Ball Reflections? November 2009
1 comment

Homestead Smokestacks at Night

You see images of these stacks often. This one from the parking lot by the movie theatre.  All that is left of the US Steel Homestead Works- a dozen smokeless stacks.

Former steel mill site now a shopping complex, restaurants and movie theatres.

How to Put on a Swim Cap Before Your Event

Experimenting with the settings on the camera from across the pool.  The swimmers have to wet the cap before putting it on! Caught the cascade of pool water with a 70-200 L series lens(Canon). Converted to black and white as the color was a distraction from the water splashing.

The swim cap held a lot of water.

The Water Balloons at Field Day

Red teams, blue teams. Hot, muggy weather. Friday at school was Field Day. Tricycle races, tug-of-war, scratchy burlap potato sacks. My station was Golf Ball Relay- balance a golf ball in the bowl of a spoon,walk  the course without dropping it. Such concentration!  The station after mine, run by my colleague Erin,  was the water balloon toss. Take a step back and lob it across to a partner.  The filled balloons like swollen jelly beans, waiting in the giant garbage can, told me to run upstairs to my locker, get the camera out and photograph them between morning and afternoon sessions.  The students were so excited to go to the water balloons when Mr. Miller blew the whistle three times.

Water Balloons reflection

Noticed my reflections in the balloons, like a cameo.

Pointe Shoes Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

Using an India Ink Artist Pen, I wrote ballet terms in French on the right shoe, and on the left shoe, all the ballets the Pittburgh Ballet Theatre has performed the past 40 years.  This pair of pointe shoes is on display at the Benedum this weekend and ballet goers can bid on them in a silent auction. The call was for artists to make an artwork using a pair of used pointe shoes, which you could pick up in the strip where they practice.  Just before I turned them in I took a quick photo of them in the car. They are in an acrylic box for display.  Update Saturday afternoon:  Just got a call that the shoes were selected to be in the top five! Chosen by Eric C Shiner, The Milton Fine Curator of Art at the Warhol Museum! Invited to a Swan Lake Soiree Cast Party tomorrow afternoon.  I am excited!

Artwork for the Silent Auction Fundraiser at Swan Lake

Ballet terms in French on right shoe, Repertoire on the left shoe

Kite Flying

Uncle Robert was an avid kite flier.  He had all shapes and sizes of kites and would fly them  expertly wherever he traveled. Family and friends see a kite and he comes to mind.  He was with us today.  One time he and Aunt Rhea visited us in Clarion (1982)and we drove to the football stadium parking lot.  He pulled a cool looking kite out of the trunk of his car. He had it soaring in no time at all.  Mark was just about the age Michael is now. I remember how excited Mark was to see the kite sail in the sky. Today the wind was strong  and Laura had the idea to try the kite with Michael and Jack.  They loved it!  Mark told me we bought Uncle Robert a kite in Bibione, Italy– a paratrooper and we mailed it from Germany.

Michael and Laura fly a kite in the backyard,

Another first. Today it is flying a kite. Michael tried to fly it too but Laura kept in the air the longest.

Groundhog’s Eve Sunset

Centre Avenue Sunset East Liberty Pittsburgh PA Feb 1, 2010

Christmas House Lights at Night

Last year I used this house as my Christmas Card- From Not My House to Your House greeting.  Photographed it again last night, a year later. No snow this time, though. It appeals to me, even if it is over the top!

Last year a 24-70L Lens This year a 50-1.4LSeries ( Canon)

Count Dogs in Stroller Again (in Central Park)



How many dogs in a stroller? Central Park New York City


First Shot

New York City Bus Window View- Empire State Building

Headed downtown on Fifth Avenue bus.  Just a snippet through the glass.

Empire State Building Through BUs Window View

November 7, 2009 NYC Bus Window View

Autumn Tree, Anna called it a Tomato Tree, JB says Persimmon,Sand HIll Berry Farm


Autumn Tree at Sand Hill Berry Farm

Two Historic Landmarks of Incongruent Architecture and Style-Cedarburg Wisconsin

Cedarburg Wisconsin is a lovely town full of perfect brick stores.  This massive landmark is the mill built in 1855.  And the Pagoda(1926) was once a service station, now converted into a jewelry store.  We stared across the street a long time trying to understand how the pagoda got built right next to the mill-“Wadham’s Oil and Grease Company of Milwaukee” was one of the first business to have a distinctive  and recognizable brand with these filling stations and there aren’t many examples left!  You have to go to Cedarburg and see these two together to fully appreciate the scene.  I checked and there is a similar photo on wikipedia but the blue sky with the white cloud sky in mine appeals to me!

Diverse Architectural Styles Right Next to One Another

Diverse Architectural Styles Right Next to One Another

Chicken Soup, Saltines, Applesauce, Fresh Squeezed OJ, Memories of Childhood

I’ve fought off invisible germs for weeks now. I cancelled tonight’s plans.  All day at school I’d cough, wash my hands.  A tear leaked down my cheek.  I drove straight to Ruggeri’s Food Shoppe on Northumberland and Shady.  Bought the mother remedy. Came home,  heated up the soup and applesauce, drank the juice, opened a waxy sleeve of saltines.  Placed it all on the hammered aluminum tray.  Comforted my cold misery with the salty broth and parsley bits floating.   It could be Seagram’s Vernor’s or this time Canada Dry.  Missing my mother. Missing my mothering with all the family grown and gone.  Came home with a brown grocery bag containing the ingredients for healing at least my spirits if not the sniffles. In bed for an hour already. It is 6:35 PM.

Chicken Soup, Fresh Squeezed OJ, Saltines, Ginger Ale, Applesauce

Chicken Soup, Fresh Squeezed OJ, Saltines, Ginger Ale, Applesauce

Salt & Pepper Souvenirs-Childhood Vacation 1962 Yellowstone Park

Yellostone Salt and Pepper

Salt & Pepper Shakers Crafted from a Pine Tree - Purchased 1962


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