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

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Jessica and Matthew Got Married at The National Aviary in Pittsburgh

Saturday July 19, 2014

The whole day was filled with love, love, love. There was mist, then drizzle, but no downpour.  A little thunder and at the end of the evening we heard the Pittsburgh Pirates fireworks, boom boom boom.

Jessica and Matthew worked hard on every detail but the weather was out of their control.

Everyone was a good sport and carried umbrellas, one maid of honor wore her boots!   I covered the camera with plastic grocery bags. And then it stopped.

It was long awaited for and very happy day.

You can see the mutual admiration, love and affection for one another in these photographs.  The wedding and reception were held at The National Aviary on the North Side of Pittsburgh

Congratulations and all the best to Jessica and Matthew. It was a lovely wedding to capture.

Enjoy your European honeymoon adventure.

bride in carJessica gets out of the car.  She and used to teach at the same school. She is an Art Teacher in the city.

women at Inn (1)Everyone was at the Inn at the Mexican War Streets on the North Side.

the menin the music room

In front of the mantle in the Music Room

the groomMatthew the Groom in the Music Room

Jessica and her dadHere comes the bride with her father.

first kissFirst Kiss

just married

Just Married!

Jess and Matt at the Aviary

With Disco Pete the Penguin after the ceremony

couple on bridge

Jess and Matt on Bridge Party (1)

Wedding Party on the bridge in the park on the North Side

the womenCoaxing the flower girl to join the women for a photograph

wedding party umbrellas

Matt holds Jess; train

Matthew holds Jessica’s dress

kiss on bridge

A kiss under the veil

MAtt and Jessica Umbrella

A little rain doesn’t matter


James Bond

James Bond and his Bride

couple dance

First Dance

MAtt and Jessica dance

First Dance

sweetheart table

The Sweetheart Table

sisters' toast

The sisters’ toast

cake and cupcakes

Oakmont Bakery made the cake and cupcakes

a sweet kiss with frosting

A sweet kiss after the cake cutting with a taste of frosting!

Bouquet Toss

Throwing the bouquet

garter toss

The garter toss

back detailThe back detail of her gorgeous wedding gown

YMCA

YMCA

(and the embroidery hoop filled with lace, dangling from the ceiling of the tent- remember the bride is an art teacher)

macaron favorsMacaron Favors by Jean-Marc Chatellier French Bakery in Millvale

Best man and wife

and the Best Man Ty and His wife Jean, parents of darling flower girl, too (hope it is spelled correctly) help out at the end of the night

32nd Vintage Grand Prix Pittsburgh- Rich, Luke and Chris and Lauren’s First VGP

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 Lotus

 

 

 

luke explaining about his car

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.

lotus interior

Lotus Interior

 

Luke and his dad

 

 

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 911.

Richard Spritz

 

Inside the trailer that holds the car.

 

Porsche 912

 

 

You should hear his engine when he fires it up!                                                                 Porsche 912 1967

 

replacing the jet

Here’s Rich replacing the jet due to the low altitude here.

 

jet

The jet

fire extinguisher
Rich has installed an automatic fire extinguisher as a safety measure. If the temperature rises above 155 degrees it will go off.

 

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

Rich  and Luke Vintage Grand Prix

 

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.

Vintage Grand Prix Chris

MGB GT 1968  Under two litre class

And here is Richard Barnes the Competition Director and  the man who introduced me to Rich

Richard Barnes

Yes, there are female drivers. Here are some competitors lined up to register.

registration

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.  VINTAGE RACE CAR

VINTAGE RACE CAR 2

A couple more cars so you can see the variety participating

Porsche 912Driving 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:

Lauren at VGP

Photographed by Luke B.

Frank Vittor, Sculptor, Studied under Auguste Rodin

In 1954, Frank Vittor (who has an interesting story if you click his name)sculpted a famous baseball player, Honus Wagner,  honoring his contributions to baseball.

The  Honus Wagner statue stands at the Home Plate Entrance of PNC Park, Pittsburgh PA. The statue has been in Schenley Park, Forbes Field and Three Rivers Stadium from what I researched before it was relocated to PNC Park.

I posted a St. Joseph the Worker statue in Homestead which was also sculpted by Mr. Vittor

Here is just one side of the base of statue I photographed this evening, of two young boys pointing up to Mr. Wagner on the pedestal above.

They just spoke to me.   Maybe it was the way the light made their three dimensions pronounced.

 

Honus Wagner Statue

 

You’ve all heard how valuable  the Honus Wagner baseball card is.   (millions paid)  

Here is what the back of the statue says

J.P. “HONUS”
WAGNER
(Back of base:)
ERECTED IN 1955
BY THE FANS OF AMERICA
IN HONOR OF A BASEBALL IMMORTAL
A CHAMPION AMONG CHAMPIONS
WHOSE RECORD ON AND OFF THE
PLAYING FIELD OF THE NATIONAL GAME
WILL EVER STAND AS A MONUMENT
TO HIS OWN GREATNESS
AND AS AN EXAMPLE AND INSPIRATION TO THE YOUTH
OF OUR COUNTRY

SPONSORED BY
THE PITTSBURGH PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL ASSOCIATION
RELOCATED BY THE PITTSBURGH BASEBALL CLUB
FROM SCHENLEY PARK TO THREE RIVERS STADIUM
AND REDEDICATED JULY 21, 1972

SO THAT FUTURE PIRATE FANS WILL BE REMINDED OF HONUS WAGNER’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO BASEBALL IN PITTSBURGH.

A Repurposed Purse as a Camera Bag

(First of all I just reread the Psychology Today article on 8 Tips to Know if You’re Being Boring  by Gretchen Rubin of Happiness Project Blog )  but maybe someone has an old purse they can repurpose to hold a camera………………

What are they called in your part of the world? purse, handbag, pocketbook, tote, shoulder bag, carry-all ?

My DIL sent me a ton of links from ETSY and other places before Christmas as she knew I was looking for a cross body strap camera bag that didn’t look like a camera bag.

And there were some nice ones she found. (thanks Erika)

Her mother sent me an article with a link to camera bags created with women in mind and they were nice, too. (thanks Marlene)

But nothing seemed just right and at an affordable price.  The one I liked the best was about $325 so think again.

I have a big black padded and compartmentalized wheely backpack but it is just enormous and conspicuous.  Barely fits into the overhead on a plane, too.

This old slouchy  gray leather purse had the  lining split around the top.  I wasn’t using it as a purse anymore but the leather still seemed good.  I thought about relining it.  I thought about it so much and it seemed so tedious, I never did it!

I should have taken a before shot.  Didn’t think about photographing it until it was all stitched up!

At the local craft/fabric store I found the answer and I came right home and slipped this extra thick batting into the purse between the ripped lining and bag and then I stitched up the lining around the top with strong black thread.

And now I have a padded camera bag.  There is a zipper pocket inside which will hold camera cards or batteries nicely and there is room for a flash or an extra lens. And a top zipper is always a plus, which this bag has already.   A friend suggested treating the bag with mink oil to help moisturize the leather. It is not slouchy anymore, that’s for sure.

 

 

purse to camera bag 1

Now it stands up instead of slouches.  Grandson Michael tested it as a makeshift pillow as we sat in the bleachers, too.

I don’t know what brand the purse is originally, it has elephants all over the lining and says it was

Made in Italy.

 

purse to camera bag 2

My Tall and Thin Shadow Portrait at Sunrise

Although I’m not at the beach this week, I think about the beauty of the water and sand and the sunrises and sunsets I witnessed. The rhythm of waves.

Tonight I found this photograph.

A self-portrait.  No diet necessary.  Just early morning sun for a loooong look.

I like how the tire tracks and my legs intersect.

 

my tall shadowWe went to the very end of St. George Island in the state park.  

In order to enter the state park, my hosts had to get a special pass and code to enter as the number of cars and people allowed each day is regulated.

Eclectic Collection of Color from Monday

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Swim Meet Monday afternoon into the evening and night.

Ohio State University.

Just the older two swam in the meet.

michael swim dive

Michael diving off blocks

Duck

Coach Jeff inspires his team by wearing a duck suit

mascot

The duck mascot takes a break on the Lifeguard chair

t shirtHadn’t really thought about it. Good shirt for a swimmer

orange

Promoting team spirit ( not our team but loved the hair)

watching the coaches swimWatching the coaches relay

red in puddleRed light in the puddled.  The magic of wet pavement.

after the swim meetAunt Lala came.  Daddy’s car was in the other direction.  The magic of wet pavement.  It was pretty dark but shot with the 70-200 lens.

basketball

Wet basketball court Ohio State University

Color Car WashWe drove by the car wash on the way home Erika slowed down the van so I could get a quick shot.

Henry Watched Me Photograph Penny with Lala and James

Laura and James were leaving after Sunday dinner at Mark and Erika’s.

I said, “Grab Penny and I’ll take your photo” as the sun was setting and it was such a nice light.

And when I looked on the computer screen, there was Henry the Airedale, peering out of the storm door.

I can’t read his mind but there are several captions possible.

 

Laura James and Penny and Henry 2

Penny was watching the neighbor instead of me.

 

 

Dog Action and Kids Laughing in the Back Seat

We had a nice time at North Star for dinner and Jeni’s Ice Cream for dessert. Then we went back to Laura and James’ and the kids played with Penny in the backyard.

Soccer.

 

IMG_9199

Penny made a good catch

soccer dog

 

 

soccer dog 2

 

 

Then we went to pick up Anna at a birthday party and while I was waiting in the van at sunset, I put the camera between the seats and caught them looking at a funny clip of a video Laura had posted of a kid who wasn’t thrilled about going to Disneyland.

 

kids

 

 

 

laughing in the back seat

Weekly Photo Challenge: Relic

Something called the Century Plant is going to qualify as a relic today.

My friend Kristin had been sending me photos of the Agave Americana (known as the Century Plant)   as it was growing in her family’s front yard on

St. George Island.    When I went down for vacation I got to see it first hand. I couldn’t believe how tall it had grown.

It is definitely at least twenty + feet tall!

It was preparing to be in full bloom- and then it will die.  I saw some other Century Plants on the island in different stages of their life cycle.

Kristin sent me these photos on the phone and said, “Wait until you come and see it in person.”  She wasn’t kidding. I took some photos of it too.

How it starts.  The mother plant sends out “pups”

baby plant

 

 

century plant

 

century plant 2Look at the thickness of the stalk

 

century plant 8

I used a flash at sunset and it makes the buds look interesting.

century plant 6

 

 

A shot at night

Agave Americana Agave Americana with the American Flag

 

 

 

 

 

American Agave with moon

 

Someone else’s Century Plant fell over.

 

century plant 4

 

 

 

Lahma bi Ajeen at Joan’s Thursday Night

Steve and I drove across the Highland Park Bridge to Joan’s for dinner. You’ve seen Joan’s spools of thread  and checking out where she used to teach.

Since I went out of town on my  birthday, we made a plan for when I would be back in town and when we could get together

Joan made James Beard’s recipe for  Lahma bi Ajeen. The fresh tomatoes, cucumber and peppers,Baba Ganoush, Hummus, Yogurt Sauce with Fresh Dill from her garden, and wonderful olives.

Lahma bi Ajeen

The Lahma bi Ajeen recipe from Beard on Bread cookbook (A well used page)

James Beard Recipe

 

 

buttermilk pound cake with rhubarb

Buttermilk Pound Cake from World of Baking by Delores Casella topped with fresh rhubarb sauce.  Rhubarb from Joan’s garden- we ate outside.

 

Joan's Garden

 

Thanks for a nice dinner and good conversation, Joan.  Everything was delicious

 

 

 

joan

 

Joan inside her doorway keeping the dogs inside.

 

 

 

buttermilk pound cake

 

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