Stuffed grape leaves, and fancy cheeses. Goat cheese and fig jam on bruschetta. Green grapes. Some bubbly to toast. M and D brought the most drinkable wine. A secret in the carafe, a blind test. Carlo Rossi. No kidding. Beat out the pricey Portuguese wine. What do we know?
Dates and nuts in a chocolate South African pudding recipe, topped with whiskey whipped cream, created by his wife Janice. Happy Birthday to Peter. Live music at a party makes the evening rhyme. Marc on harmonica and Peter and Doug on guitar. Kim sang a number with the lyrics on her cell phone.
A fun surprise party. Well done, J.
Culture. We are part of so many different cultures. I went and read the definition of the word. More like definitions!
Tried to get a direction.
Friday night was the Gallery Crawl in Pittsburgh. I’m adding two from NYC Spring Break trip that seem to fit into my take on the challenge.
Music, Painting, Sculpture , Art and my wonderful teacher Germaine Watkins from Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild with two of his photographs on display Friday night.
I ‘d gone downtown with my friend Steve to check out and take pictures of the students’ artwork at the All City Show.
It was MIXED BAG (vinyl) in my dorm room in the early seventies. Over and over. Richie Havens sang Dylan better than Bob.
Here’s an email in response to the one I wrote in December.
Subject: A Message of Gratitude
Last Christmas Matthew was back from Croatia and we were sitting in Mark and Erika’s living room in Ohio, remembering the first Richie Havens concert I forced him to go to as a teenager. We saw him together years later in New York City at the Knitting Factory, too. Matthew and Aunt Mary braved a Connecticut snowstorm to see him together and sat right under him.
Thank you so much for taking the time to send along such kind thoughts. I will make sure Richie sees your email.
Best wishes for 2013!
Stormy Forest Productions, NYC
Sent: Sat, Dec 29, 2012 3:50 pm
Subject: Message of Gratitude
This is a message for Mr. Havens as I sit with my 32 yo son tonight (home from Croatia where he lives) listening together to RH on youtube. When Matthew was 14 I forced him to go listen to a Richie Havens concert in Pittsburgh Pa at the Carnegie Music Hall. Oh he was mad cause who wants to go anywhere with their mother at that point of their life? We waited in the corridor afterwards and met Mr. Havens and my son said he emanated positive energy right out of himself into him. Matthew saw him in concert at least six times after that and he said tonight that Richie Havens was able to communicate to his soul. We saw him together at the Knitting Factory years later. So powerful and I wanted to express gratitude for his musical gifts and these wonderful loving memories we share of listening to Mr Havens music and energy. Xxoo Ruth Hendricks
Taken the week before Easter, on Spring Break vacation in New York City. Found the second window picture with the nativity scenes tonight and the pizza man reappearing which I’d missed the first time.
This guest post is in response to Murphy the Airedale’s passing. We are grateful to so many friends and followers for their lovely email and text messages and comments on the blogpost, too. Many of you have experienced pet loss and understand how painful it is.
On Wednesday morning, my neighbor Bob (from across the hall at school) brought me a copy of this wonderful photograph with 1955 written in the margin. It touched me so. Later in the afternoon I asked if I could please share it on the blog.
Here is what Bob wrote for the blog when I asked if it would be okay to post………..
This picture of my dog Whiskers and me was taken in 1955 with an second-hand camera that had light leak. My oldest sister took this photo. He was a mixed terrier. On July 4th, 1957 my pal was attacked by a very large German Shepherd and he passed away 2 days later. I was 6 in this picture. My buddy was 5.
After 58 years, I have never forgotten what a great family member he was and I still miss him. This is on the Southside of Pittsburgh.
My face and hands and my pup were as dirty as the air we breathed back then.
There was a song on the radio that came out just about the time of my dog’s passing. It was ” I’m saving my money to buy you a rainbow“. Whenever I hear or think of that song, it takes me back to those wonderful days with my dog Whiskers, when “life was in black and white”.
Phoneography special. The weekly photo challenge I have been talking about it for days. Unable to do it for a variety of reasons. Out of town. Too dark. Many people shoot with their phones. All day, everyday. Don’t think much of it, the photos sit and take up space. They have them in the phone and that’s about it.
This is just a snippet.
Tonight Steve drove us over to Shadyside for 1/2 price burger night at Shady Grove. I’ve added some shots around town I already had in the phone. This is not an attractive time of year to showcase where I live. If you want to see Pittsburgh at it’s best you can check out Francine in Retirement of Frizz in Germany. I take photos of Pittsburgh frequently. This is a collection of the everyday. The Historical Marker is where musician Billy Eckstine lived in my neighborhood.
The snowy park is the neighborhood I live in Highland Park. There are 80 neighborhoods in our city. The edges of neighborhoods are where I drive through everyday to school and across the bridge, over the Monongahela. I’ve thrown in a few you’ve seen before just to round out the gallery.
Last Wednesday’s view of the Highland Park Entrance. The second one is what my driveway looked like! It’s all gone now.
So I got home from my weekend in Ohio, Sunday night with no chance to photograph the neighborhood for the weekly photo challenge as it was dark outside. Changing the clocks didn’t help me with enough light by the time I pulled in the driveway
-but in my inbox I found a message from my son Matthew who lives in Zagreb, Croatia (9 years already!)
The subject of his email: Guest blog The dilemma of what to post? SOLVED!
—————————————————————————————————————————–Dear Ma, Yesterday I spent the evening with the Kaplowitz family. My dear friend Joe Kaplowitz is pretty much the only American I know over here and he invited me over for an American-style chocolate cake. Not only is he a brilliant jazz musician but he is quite an accomplished baker to boot! His beautiful wife Lela is a marvelous singer and they recently came out with a big-band album of original compositions called With Every Breath that you can hear (and buy!) here After enjoying a generously-sized hunk of cake chased by a glass of milk, Joe, Lela, their daughter Lucija and I played a cut-throat game of Name That Tune. Lucija is also a budding musician, so as you might imagine the competition was pretty stiff. Then we headed to the parlor for a concert. Joe and Lucija, who plays the violin, teamed up for a set of traditional Croatian melodies played over some soulful blues piano. Perhaps I was witnessing the concept for the next album being born. Joe’s cake was so tasty that I plan to go back over tomorrow for another sliver. In keeping with the spirit of the blog, will get the recipe tomorrow and send it to you! Love, Matthew p.s. Here is the recipe, just in from Zagreb this morning
Laura really, really wanted a ukelele. She thought her husband was getting one for her. He gave her birthstone earrings instead!
She and James came to Mark and Erika’s today after having been at James’ family Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. We had a festive time opening presents and watching the kids play with their new toys. Preparing a nice dinner, too.
So this was one of the fun moments of Christmas for me. She wasn’t expecting her mom to get her a ukelele. But I did!
Thanks Pittsburgh Guitars on Carson Street, SouthSide!
The man who sold it to me suggested I put her face on the box on top of the model’s and I added James’ face from a photo I cut up of the two of them.
He told me he was selling at least a ukelele or two every day. This one came with a gig bag and a tuner.
It was just a good time as I sat on the floor, grabbed the camera and caught her excitement. Laura learned a couple of chords and Matthew accompanied her on the guitar. Seeing her so excited felt wonderful.
(and yes that is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, born in Pittsburgh, in the right hand corner of the television and the photograph)
A friend had an extra ticket to the The Music of Michael Jackson Tribute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra who put on a stellar musical performance. People were on their feet, clapping and dancing to the familiar music as the star of the show gave it his all. It was a tribute not an impersonation pointed out the star, James Delisco. It was a fun night and an unexpected outing on a Tuesday evening. Thanks Barb and Penny.
The Heinz Hall was elegantly decorated for Christmas. Single glittery gloves were passed out and kids 13 and under got a chance to come up onstage for the last number, Thriller, and show their moves.
Photos by iPhone again.
Macy’s windows were filled with holiday displays. The giant Nativity scene and the Menorah display were by the old USSteel building, now UPMC. Preparations for the holidays are in full swing in downtown Pittsburgh.
Bumper stickers have been around a long time but I haven’t seen them on too many cars lately. Until I drove home from school.
This is from a friend’s birthday party last January. A Juke Box not a voting machine. Through the Years.
I thought some of the titles could be put to good use after the election results are in. Seems everyone has lost their sense of humor these days. Friendships and families, relationships strained. Every individual is pretty certain they are correct in their thinking and can’t fathom why anyone might feel totally opposite or even a few inches opposite.
Help, I’m Down, or Chances Are .
and for some it will be Celebration and Big Girls Don’t Cry.
We’ll skip Stormy.
What about This Masquerade?
One thing I am sure of… no matter who wins…. we will be Shake Rattle and Roll into the new year no matter what. Seriously. I have heard people from both sides and (in- between) say they can’t wait until it is over. The ads on TV and all. The robo-calls. The hype. The Self-Applause. The millions spent. Billions. Could have been put to good use in school libraries. Well, the schools that still have libraries and full time librarians.
Saturday night, Christopher Mark Jones accompanied by David Hart on Mandolin.Expert musicians played two sets to an appreciative audience. Their music made the house come alive.
Laura and James came in from Columbus to help host. I couldn’t have done it without them. We made a Gourd Tree on the cupcake stand my friend Joanne sent last birthday. I baked a New York Cheesecake, the kind with no crust where you start at 500 degrees then turn it down to 225 and let it bake undisturbed into the night after you turn the oven off.
L said it was the best house concert she had ever attended! Everyone seemed to be in agreement that it was a wonderful concert and lively evening. Friends and neighbors joined in singing a few choruses with the sing along portion and the house lent itself with a warm, welcoming spirit and ambience.
They left their umbrellas at the door. The threat of five days of rain with Sandy coming up the East Coast didn’t prevent anyone from coming.
It was a lovely, musical event. Thanks to Christopher and David! The candles provided a warm glow.
Shot with my iPhone after the piano recital, no camera with me tonight-
The music filled the beautiful church, St. Andrew’s in Highland Park. Pianist Linda Morgan-Ellison played Haydyn, Liszt, Schubert and Debussy Saturday evening. I can’t imagine the number of hours and weeks she had to practice the complicated pieces. She played expertly.
The concert was dedicated to the memory of her friend, Bernadette G. Callery who passed away a few months ago.
At the reception in the Parish Hall was a photo of her friend, propped up under a gorgeous bouquet of dark red roses. I was told the name of the color of roses was Black Magic. Lots of candles flickered in the window sills as some form of bubbly spirits was poured into stem glasses. There was cake, cheese and fruit to share after the recital.
We were talking afterwards and my friend V recognized the first musical piece by Haydyn as the opening and closing credits for the 6 Part BBC Mini-Series Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth.
After the concert, several members of the audience gathered around the piano to try to figure out how she was playing from the iPad.
Ahhh, there was a foot pedal to scroll to the next page of score. Her husband told me it was an app you could buy for $4.99, called forScore app. Amazing!
We met another pianist, Henry Spinelli, who will play a recital at St. Andrews on March 16th at 3 PM.
Friends of Music and the Arts at St. Andrews sponsors many free musical events throughout the year.
We had a lot of fun watching the parade in the Morningside neighborhood, not too far from home.
We went to the festival and the man in the information booth was a colleague from the first school I taught in the city -1989. Small world. We had a lot of fun and the grandkids loved the spin art and crafts in the Kid Zone. They loved jumping the bouncy house.
On the way home we drove to Giant Eagle and got ice cream and cones to eat at home. Fresh berries. Summer!
Scroll down for the slideshow.
Bubble Blowing Champ, Model Railroad Men, Pickle the Mini-Dachshund, Sheep and a Storm at the State Fair
This is what the sky looked like as we made our way down the midway to the van.
Then the rain started. We’d been at the Ohio State Fair about two hours. The photos are not enhanced, that’s the color of the sky!
A deluge. The view from the van shows the lightning. Shortly after four in the afternoon. It got dark as night. When we got home, the power was out so we
went to eat dinner at House of Japan. Thanks to the Kroger booth people at the fair for sheltering me and the kids while Erika ran and got the van and the nice State Trooper who guided us to the van as the wind blew and the rain fell. No hail today, thank goodness. We got pretty wet and it came up fast but all is well.
The first photo of the fair is a small combo at the entrance gate playing Life is a Cabaret. They were good musicians and set the mood.
As we listened to the music we saw this gentleman approach the exit.
His name is John and he blew an eleven inch bubble to win the bubble gum machine and the trophy. He was a good sport and allowed me to photograph him.
The nice woman with the mini-dachshund, Pickle ( 1 yr), let the children pet the sheep and Michael had fun feeding one. Thanks Carrie.
William , originally from Wheeling, was one of the men running the Model Railroad display.
And that is Dave in the PETA shirt in the Sheep Pavilion.
I asked one of the men how they judge the sheep in the competition. He said, they’re choosing the ones who will look best on the table. Some of you know that two out of my three kids are veg, but the one said to me, “Ma, ask that man if you can photograph his shirt!”
Thanks for graciously allowing me to post your photos on the blog today. It was good to talk with everyone we met.
Young and trendy. Stylish and chic. These fancy shoes separate the youthful fashionable and the older woman’s footwear. I wore brown clogs. Quite a different look!
It was a good party. The live music made it great. The singing, the piano playing. The friends. The snow was falling as the night wore on. We’d seen a bad pileup on Bigelow Boulevard and the exit ramp due to black ice on our way to the party. Wondered if we should turn around and go home and avoid the first treacherous driving of the season.
But we were almost there so went forward with the evening’s plans-
the weather discussion goes on forever around these parts and it is usually not good
……Vanessa said she is 5’1″ and that these shoes are really comfortable. I had to ask. I was fascinated with the glamorous high heel.
I can’t even imagine. She seemed to maneuver perfectly. Vanessa and Nina sang and Luke played the piano and sang, too. He can transpose into any key. Incredibly talented young man looking at colleges now.
I had asked to blog the women and they agreed but didn’t get permission to show Luke on the blog. Nina has a website here. I’ll email and ask so it may be up with the three of them.
Friday night music was great at the Club Cafe on the South Side. I loved the contrast of the neon’s warm colors of Jack’s and cool blue neon of Club Cafe. I know the “e” is missing but I liked the image of Jack’s going around the corner so I chose this one. I took this shot from across the street as we left to go home.
But wait, we didn’t go right home-
Even though we were exhausted, R invited us to go to the Double-Wide Grill where the onion rings satisfy that deep urge to eat something not really good for you but doesn’t it taste great. (seem to be doing a lot of that type of eating lately) You know I have a thing for old service stations and auto mechanics, right? The old fashioned kind. I did not photograph the food. Hmmmm. But you get a feel for the place.
And when we left I took a shot from the outside and the old gas tank had the amount 37 cents on it. Remember that price per gallon?
If you want to hear some good music in Pittsburgh this Friday night, head down to the Club Cafe on South 12th Street for the Early Show.
Christopher Mark Jones- Songwriter will be performing with the band. You might remember two of his tracks from his Heartland Variations CD were featured in the poet bio I filmed- Michael Wurster: CIty Books Session.
Christopher’s new CD Suburban 2-Step will be released in Spring 2012.
Eve Goodman will be performing with John Caldwell, too.
You can listen to some samples here and also see another photograph I shot of Christopher. Tickets are $10 at the door. Show is 7-9 PM.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Highland Park, Pittsburgh. 174th Patronal Festival.
What the Rector said in the neighborhood List Serve ”November 20, the people of St. Andrew’s observe our patronal festival, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, with festive services including, at 11 a.m., our good friends of the Syria Highlanders Pipe and Drum Band. The bagpipes will begin in front of the church at about 10:45 and will play as well during the service.
A festive reception after features a traditional Pittsburgh cookie table . .” I saw a woman enter the Parish Hall with a square plaid tin of butter biscuits. Sorry to miss the cookie table. One of the bagpipers came 140 miles today. They practice once a month.
If you want to check out all things Scottish in Pittsburgh including the Syria Highlanders click here
My Funny Valentine expertly played by Sean Jones on trumpet- we stopped in for about twenty minutes as we headed to megabus. Matthew was here for about ten hours.
Jazz starts at 8 on Thursdays Check out http://www.cjsinthestrip.com and to listen go to http://www.rogerhumphries.com
Saturday morning I drove down to the Strip District of the city to purchase items for the cookie table for the wedding. Ingredients; pistachios, hazelnuts, almond paste, Portuguese Pignoli Nuts, anise seed,fig jam, and some doilies for the cookie trays. Stopped by the Steeler Nation T-shirt display and told the proprietor his shirts were being worn in Zagreb. I bought them last year. We struck up a conversation and before you know it, Mr. Lenny Moran opened his a guitar case and showed me where Tom Petty had signed it T.P. and then had a well-worn leaflet autographed by Muhammed Ali. Turns out Lenny is a songwriter as well as a Steeler Nation T-shirt entrepreneur. If you’re from Pittsburgh you might have heard his Rock’n the Igloo! Check out his burghnationtees. He had a tablet with wireless capability and I was able to show him the post of the Steelers slide show where he was featured last January. Lenny had placed Steelers folding chairs to save a parking spot for a couple of nuns who came and set up a table to sell Advent wreaths. It was a nice morning. He graciously consented (I hadn’t asked last January) to be on the blog. Thanks Mr. Lenny Moran.
Note to SELF:
Carry good camera at all times
Carry good camera at all times
All iPhone once again.