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

Posts tagged “urban scene

What You Should Never Eat- But Tastes Great!

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Hungry

Sometimes you are hungry
for something that is just not good for you.
And you eat it.

And regret doing so.

Or not!

Wednesday nights I take a class at Manchester Craftsmen’s and eat an early dinner on the South Side, driving down the slopes from Arlington.   The last two weeks it was Carson Street Deli sandwiches but then I started thinking French fries. Undoing all the work at the gym yesterday.

So I crossed at 16th St and went into Mario’s, the only patron at that off hour but not for long.  Cory was hosting and tending bar and took my order for an Alpine burger (don’t ask) and their house cut fries. A tall ginger ale.      I asked if I could photograph the stained glass windows.  Designed by Williams Stained Glass of Bethel Park. It was a good time to photograph the architectural details.  Woshner’s was once “haberdashery” and is now Mario’s.  I was too early for Karaoke night. Had to get to class.


Six AM in the Strip District and La Prima Espresso is OPEN

A two hundred mile ahead of me so getting a bold cup of coffee (and an almond mele) seemed a great start to the trip.  The whole block was dark except for the welcoming neon and glass doors and window of La Prima Espresso and the neighboring bakery (Colangelo’s).  A standing coffee bar with the best coffee in Pittsburgh. A thought of the day on a chalkboard, written in Italian.  Italian TV playing above the barista making espresso, cappuccino, lattes. Fresh squeezed orange juice until 2 PM.  You can see the newspaper outside on the sidewalk by the front doors.

One of the most recognizable scents

I remember when I didn’t even drink coffee.
A hot cup in my hand before dawn–
all is right with the world.
Especially if it from La Prima Espresso!

A welcome sight at 6 Am Saturday morning.


Empty Church in a Foggy Mist

Taken from the Bakery Square Parking lot...

Too many churches, not enough parishioners.  One afternoon I photographed 8 closed churches on the South Side in one hour’s time.  Now a  law office, one a Dueling Pianos Bar, two were condominiums, some just locked and empty.  I had a plan for a series on the  closed churches of Pittsburgh converted for other uses, like the Church Brew Works and Mr. Smalls Theater, the Altar Bar, The Priory etc.  but then I abandoned the effort as it just felt sad to me. No shortage of subjects.     There are some beautiful and interesting preservation photos of St. Peter and Paul (click here)

Could Have Been Taken Anywhere

East Liberty PA
Once a bustling business
and thriving cultural center.
Gone through decades of changes.
Now some new businesses.
I looked out and saw the closed church.
So hauntingly beautiful in the winter fog and mist.


Button, Button, Whose Got the Button? ( & Bridal Veils, too!)

1700 Carson Street is the home of a great button store.  It fascinates me-  Parker Button. Boxes and boxes stacked from floor to ceiling.   All colors, shapes and sizes.  Like an artist’s palette.  Shank or flat. Frogs and belt buckles. Ribbon and trim. Spools of thread to sew them all on for utility or ornamentation. My mother had a glass jar full of buttons.  My sister made me the coolest necklace from vintage mother-of-pearl shirt buttons, strung onto embroidery floss. Do you have any clothing missing a button?

The other half of  the shop is Clarissa’s Boutique .   One word to describe the bridal veils, jewelry and accessories for custom headpieces and wedding necessities-  exquisite? lovely? classic? ethereal?  They will create a custom headpiece for you but allow three months.  Feathers, flowers, jewels, or pearls.       Voted the Best of the Knot for weddings 2011.

These Days Buttons are Often a Part of Web Design

Or people push our buttons.
Press the button to call the elevator
or select your floor.
Today’s post is the old fashioned kind.
Two-hole, four-hole or shank.
Metal, plastic, shell or bone.
Beatrix Potter shapes of rabbits.
When was the last time you sewed on a button?

Today marks 500 blog posts and counting!

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Growing up we had a record with the song ( these lyrics are from 1929)

Button up your overcoat, When the wind is free, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Eat an apple every day, Get to bed by three, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me! Be careful crossing streets, ooh-ooh, Cut out sweets, ooh-ooh, Lay off meat, ooh-ooh, You'll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum! 

Whose Chairs?

A recurring theme around the city as I travel between schools-  I see chairs.  The chairs make me wonder about the owners, their usual occupants.  Somewhere in my hard drive I’ve a photo of a high chair near the curb, waiting for pick-up.  Chairs have a personality of their own. I love to hear the names of different types of chairs, each evoke an image- wing chair, ladderback, Windsor or Eames. Lawn chair, rocking chair, lounge or arm.  High chair, club chair, captain chair, molded plastic, patio or kitchen chair.  School chairs are not particularly comfortable. Kids love the rolling ones on wheels. Folding, stackable, side chair or throne.  Where do you sit?

Everyone has a chair.
Some more comfortable than others.
What kind of chair do you prefer?
As always,

Two yellow chairs and a gray one on Evaline Street. Yellow curb peeking through the snow.


HERE WE GO! Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Jets Playoff Game- Single Digits on the Thermometer Predicted

Pittsburgh Steelers Spirit 20

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Reporting from Pittsburgh- I put myself on assignment.       Saturday morning I was thinking about a post for Sunday’s game.  It was all blue sky and about ten degrees.  Got out of bed and drove through the Strip District on my way down to Heinz Field.  The guy who sold me the Croatian STEELERSFan T-shirts last year agreed to a shot. Fans lined up for breakfast outside DeLuca’s.   Dumptrucks were being filled with snow from the stadium parking lots. Rows of Porta-Potties stood empty, waiting for the Sunday tailgaters. Up in the stands I saw an army spreading salt left and right.  Went for coffee in Aspinwall afterwards and ended in the J & W Variety Store (EST. 1969)  where I purchased a tiny 99 cents pencil sharpener. Lots of STEELERS gear and accessories for sale. I asked if it would be okay if I photographed the display and the proprietor said – Sure!      Handed me a complimentary HERE WE GO button as I left.  Everyone’s pumped!  I read a letter to the editor (5th one down)in the Post-Gazette from the guy in the New England End Zone Militia asking us to drown out the JETS fans and win!   Similar to the players message to the fans click here- BE LOUD!!


Red Sky in Morning from the Birmingham Bridge

Left the house a bit earlier to get to the other side of the city this morning. As I hit the Birmingham Bridge I saw the sunrise.  I pulled to the edge, hit the flashers again and sat quietly, and shot the sky over a few minutes time.  The other direction I could see cars on the Parkway with their headlights on.  A nice way to start the day. But the Red Sky,Sailors Take Warning turned out true as it is snowing (about 3 inches so far) and already they have called for a two hour delay at school.  The dark band along the bottom of the photo is the Jersey Barrier. Unretouched photograph!

Red Sky in Morning, Sailors Take Warning

Finding more beauty in winter.


Steelers Inflatable in a Silver Pick-Up

Arlington Avenue.  Driving down the curvy slope, slick tracks under your tires make a distinctive sound.  Note the trolley tracks and wires. They still run!  I had to turn around and get this inflatable.  From the rear. Drove up the hill again and came down, took a shot of him from the front.  It was the unexpected sight of a huge Black and Gold inflatable, leaning over the cab of the silver pick-up.  This view was the better one.  Playoff fever mounts as Sunday night’s game with the Jets is on everyone’s minds.  Well, most everyone.  It helps us make it through the winter.  And if you want to purchase one of these blow up football friends, get down to Mike Feinberg Company”The Party King” in the Strip on Penn Ave.   Fans have a variety of ways to express team spirit and I know everyone will sport Black and Gold at school on Friday.  Throughout the city!  I find team allegiance an interesting study.  Where you are born, where you live, family traditions, civic pride. There are photographers who photograph the Steelers Fans for years.

What determines the level of team pride?

My headlights reflect on the truck, the headlights from the oncoming car on the wet street...


Steam Cleaning 100 Years of Soot and Grime

I drive by this structure most days, the corner of Stanton and Negley.  It was in bad repair for a long time.  Then it started to be cared for and fixed up.   Attended some poetry readings here a couple of years ago.  The accumulation of soot speaks of another time in Pittsburgh’s history, when the mills ran around the clock,spewing “carbon, sulfur dioxides and gypsum” (residue listed when they cleaned the  Cathedral of Learning) .  The buildings with the evidence of another time are dwindling. Tomorrow I will get the name of the company who is doing the cleaning and add it to this post.

The Union Project homepage states “Union Project’s purpose is to create connections and opportunities for learning through the arts and through community-based programming intended to serve the needs of the surrounding neighborhoods.”  (click here for entire mission statement and more info on space rental and programs, stained glass classes and ceramics)

The right side is already cleaned, and the tower is being worked on now.  I was at a red light and got the one man cleaning the tower but turned the corner and pulled over and rolled down the window to catch the other two workers and the contrast of the clean and the remaining visibile sign of the  mills.

Formerly Union Baptist Church

Beautifying and serving the community.

Diana Nelson Jones wrote an  article 12/11/10 in the Post-Gazette about the restoration of all the stained glass windows.

This cannot be easy work!


Rain A Tribute to the Beatles

I was making a pot of soup when the phone rang.  “What are you doing?  Some tickets just dropped in our lap!”     It was Barb S asking if Steve and I wanted to see opening night of Rain   A Tribute to the Beatles.  When?   7:30.  I looked at my clock on the stove.  It was 6:38.  We had ten minutes to get down the hill to there house and off we went to Heinz Hall.  The roads weren’t too bad.  I figured no two hour delay in the morning.  After the show I walked across the 6th Street to document the fun evening. It was nostalgic.  Good energy.  Unexpected live music!  We stood and swayed, singing along   “All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  Given the snowstorm, I was surprised how full the theater was!

Tuesday night, downtown Pittsburgh, snow doesn't deter theater-goers.

See the dusting of snow on the awnings?


Dippy (Diplodocus) in the Snow

Driving through Oakland. A snowstorm.  Lights in the night. An enormous Diplodocus accumulating snowfall on his back. Sporting a red knit scarf. Pull to the curb. Forbes Avenue. Turn on the flashers.  Get out of the car.  Focus. Shoot. Find the beauty of winter.

Diplodocus Carnegiei-22 feet high- 84 feet long- 3000 pounds! Click the blue word Diplodocus in text above to read about him.


Waiting While Someone Parallel Parks on Pearl Street

On the way home from school this late afternoon, crossed the Bloomfield Bridge, down Howley Street past the Shur Save and  turned to the right instead left.  Too much traffic by the new Children’s Hospital.  On Pearl Street the car ahead of me was stopped.  It took a long time for the parallel parker to get into the space.  Thought the row of houses on the right had some good repetition and rhythm.

Winter in the city.


Jigsaw Rooftops

In Lawrenceville. As I walked over the 40th Street Bridge I looked up and saw all these houses packed so closely together.. There was no air between the rooftops.  Reminded me of a difficult jigsaw puzzle.

Lawrenceville. Looking up from the 40th Street Bridge.


Winter River from 40th Street Bridge

And the birds flew up into the shot. I was wishing I had taken my new fingerless gloves from Christmas. Just left the Millvale Post Office (no line!) to mail Joanne’s Christmas box I’d been driving around for three weeks. And the cards that each needed an additional 5 cent stamp.   As I came back over the Allegheny I saw the light stream down onto the city. Pulled into the Bus Stop indentation at the end of the bridge, put the flashers on and walked to the center.  Fortunately the light was still there. Could have used a filter, too, but it was a stunning late afternoon in winter.  Could feel the bridge vibrate as I stood out on the walkway.

All I needed was a barge to come up or down the river. Not today.


Rooftop Deck View of City from the Southside

The holiday lights down below give the clue as to the time of year.  Two gatherings Friday night. Live music at both.  Extraordinary piano playing.  Walked up to the third floor and out the door onto the roof.  Propped the camera up on the deck railing and shot without the cable release. The lights felt magical. A beautiful cold winter night.

Night view of the city from the South Side.

Rooftops fascinate me. A terrific vantage point.


East Liberty Winter Sunset

Had just left the bookstore and was walking to my car. I could see the Cathedral of Learning in Oakland from the parking lot on the roof.  Smoke rising, silhouettes, a stunning sky. This is my 444th post today.

Another artist's palette, this time in the sky.


Lone String of Lights on Larimer Laundromat

I had to put the car in reverse and pull over. Yes, it seemed blog worthy.  I have shot the laundromat before.  I drive by it most days. Grateful for a washer and dryer in my very own basement.  I like the smell of laundromats. Clean laundry.  You could get Chuckles in the vending machine in the one on Highland Ave.  One time I went with some friends to see a little play in a laundromat in Shadyside.  Figures made from dryer lint. I wonder who thought to drape the sting of lights on the sign.

On my way home tonight.....


Snowstorm Softens Skyline Edges

Coming back from training in the West End I pulled into the Cigna lot and took a couple of chilly shots.  Although a color photo it appears to be black and white.  Looked for lights  in the city but the snow blocked the view.  You can see the snowflakes against the river background.  The railroad tracks, partially covered, made for nice lines. The best thing about being asked to drive across the city in the snow (when it feels like you shouldn’t get on any road!)  is that you get to see a view you wouldn’t have seen if you hadn’t made the trip. You might remember the blogpost - same vantage point- without the snow.

Pittsburgh

Where the rivers meet


Christmas Camels in the City

He looked straight at me.  I don’t think he wanted me to take his picture. I heard a deep camel growl.   The streetlight behind outlined his head shape just so.  There was an ox and a donkey, I’d say they were “lowing”. An angel passed out candy canes.  I went inside and the sanctuary was filled with the sound of Go Tell it on the Mountain. Christmas has come to the city, right on Penn Circle North, across from Home Depot! There was a second camel who seemed less agitated by the whole scene.  People were crossing the street and taking pictures with their cell phones.


Making Spirits Bright

Christmas Lights on a house in Highland Park

Almost a gingerbread house, sparkling in the snow. Good thing there is a fence to keep in the reindeer!


Snow Enhances Lights

Left school so late that it was dark. Drove a circuitous route home to check out the lights in Morningside. The house I have photographed the past two years didn’t have a single light. Thinking about the possible reasons for no lights this year but maybe they just moved. This house up the street looked lovely in the snow with the greens and ribbons on the white fence.

Looks like a Christmas card.

Looks more like New England than Pittsburgh to me.


Keeping the Darkness at Bay

No one seems worried about the electric bills!  The days are growing shorter and the light displays increasing.

What an effort! Wonder where they store them all year long.

East Liberty off Negley Avenue.


Between the Neon Beer Signs on Carson Street

South Side.  There is a house sandwiched between storefronts and bars on Carson. Here is how it looked Friday night.   In this view you can’t see the Jockey lawn ornament by the life-size Santa and Mrs. Claus.

Between the Neon Beer Signs on Carson Street

Making the season bright!


“You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”

We watched A Christmas Story (1983) over Thanksgiving.

Friday night I walked by this window on Carson St after listening to Don Hollowood and the King Cobras at Excuses. Saw the display and thought anyone who has seen this holiday movie would enjoy the picture.  Found out it was shot in Cleveland.  When I was in high school I used to listen to Jean Shepherd on the radio.  I never knew anyone whose tongue stuck on a frozen flagpole.

Red Ryder Box on the Right

Ralphie in the pink bunny suit sits under the fishnet leg lamp, Red Ryder on the right.


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