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

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Learning to Knit Mittens

Five hours in. Knitting a mitten.  A Baby Alpaca yarn mitten. I looked at the clock. I knew what time I turned on the TV and what time I turned it off .Time to stop knitting and get to bed.

The Weekly Photo Challenge is relax but I remember some people found learning to knit stressful. Have to get past the possibly awkward part of learning the basics before you get to the Zen. Holding the needles. Finding the right place to stick the point.

My friend Ann texted (after a volley of texts about the miserable weather and whether we really NEEDED yarn) that she’d pick me up and we’d go to Oakmont to the Yarns by Design store.  She brought a fingerless mitt and a matching cowl she’d completed and since I had the same pattern at home –Susan B. Anderson Waiting for Winter Mittens pattern– I felt inspired to knit mittens  Thanks, Ann.

Now I Thought I’d start the new effort in the morning .. but the new yarn spoke to me and I started.

Ann said they worked up faster than socks. She’s right about that!

 

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The Schlumbergera Bloomed

Last night I was knitting the sleeves of Laura’s sweater, watching television and Steve came upstairs carrying the Schlumbergera-the species name of Christmas Cactus.  He bought it a couple of weeks ago at Whole Foods. Christmas Cactus. It had bloomed.  It had buds when he bought it. Flowering plants in winter appealed to him.

My mother kept a giant Sclumbergera, cascading out of a huge planter. She had a green thumb  but that gene skipped me

(What a name for this pretty plant-Is a single one a Schlumberger?)

When he brought it to show me the pink blossoms, I was flooded with memories of my mother and how thrilled she was when hers bloomed. I “get it” now. I’m sure I barely paid attention to her enthusiasm then. Pang.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like…

Christmas.

Decking the halls. Preparing for the Christmas season. I haven’t done any decorating, yet. On the recent trip to New York, the effort was in full swing. A couple of Pittsburgh shots, too.

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Hambone’s, Saturday Night

Hambone’s Saturday Night-Lawrenceville neighborhood on Butler Street.

Steve said,  come on let’s go -so I put my book down and layered up in warm clothes and we headed down. Ordered a draft. Settled into a booth and listened to some great musicians take the chill off the almost winter night.

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Christopher Mark Jones  and the Roots Ensemble 

Vince Camut on pedal steel

Mark Perna on Bass

Eric Kurtzrock on drums and vocals

And joined by Mr. Marc Reisman on harps in the third and final set

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Relax

We ran into Mr. And Mrs. Claus on the sidewalk in front of Hambone’s as we went to our cars img_1776

 


At the Movies

 

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There were a handful of us in the theater Friday night. When Steve and I walked in theater 7 we made four.   Two more couples arrived before the show started. We saw the Amy Adams film Arrival which had a 94% positive rating in Tomatometers. I hadn’t been to the movies in awhile. Guess it’s the same for others. Home on the couch in front of the TV or out listening to music? They weren’t at the theater(s) lined up to buy tickets. Friday night used to be a big night out at the Movies.

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Two people arriving on the right, reading the board. GThis week’s challenge is Relax.  Show how you unwind. We went to the 6:30 show. It was desolate.

there were boxes and boxes of new chairs to be installed

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The Art of Gift Wrap

Thursday, I was going to meet a new baby and wanted to take a gift.

Called around and found wooden milestone blocks/cubes and in the colors of the nursery!

A helpful man answered the phone and said there was one set at their store- Contemporary Concepts.

When I got there I took a look around. Found a couple of Christmas gifts to purchase, too. A very eclectic mix of gifts from elegant tableware to crazy socks .

Contemporary Concepts does mail order, too.

The colorfully printed Pittsburgh dish towels caught my eye for those who have moved away.  Lots of interesting toys and potential baby shower gifts, too. They feature cool Pittsburgh neighborhood t-shirts Neighbor Teaze designed by Julia DiNardo- an elementary school classmate of my son Matthew.

(I won’t go into how the store moved 6 months ago to the Trader Joe’s building, pretty close to my house-that’s another story. Of course, I drove to the old location in Squirrel Hill first. The new location has free parking)

But I finally arrived and was thrilled to find  the right present waiting. And in the colors of his nursery, too.  Yes, I said it twice cause it was a Serendipitous find!

 “Would you like it gift wrapped? “

Now the thought of complimentary gift wrap evokes nostalgia for customer service of yesteryear- and what a lovely touch.

Meet Abby.  She did the beautiful gift wrapping.

I asked her if she’d mind being included in my People at Work series And she agreed.

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Meet Bob Bastone

I’ve been taking my cars to Bastone Auto for 25 years. You want to go to an auto place you trust! Being located in a former church seems a nice touch.

Pennsylvania car inspection was due and the temporary registration I’d gotten online was about to expire Dec 2nd.

My goal’s to get a photo of the Bastone  brothers in front of their place.  I thought it would be a great addition to People at Work- Primarily Pittsburgh (show at Panza Gallery. July 2018)

As I was asking Bob about getting Jim and Frank to agree I said “here I’ll take a quick sample on the phone to remind you to ask them”

 

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Bob is also an expert Amateur/Ham Radio operator  (licensed call sign is WC3O) and here’s an article

Skyview Radio Society News

If you need a speaker for your organization’s event, he’ll expound on all aspects of automotive service, repair and maintenance in his “I Hate Cars” tour.  His flyer says “hear the straight scoop from an ASE certified Master Mechanic with a lifetime of experience in the automotive repair and maintenance field”

Bob has a great sense of humor, too.

Thanks for letting me take your photo, Bob.

Please ask your brothers to make a time and I’ll be over with my real camera.

Oh and my car is happy, too.

 


Wedding Party in Hudson River Park

 

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Saturday afternoon, my sister and I were walking back from Battery Park with three of the grandchildren.

The kids were running ahead on the Dog Free Zone boardwalk.

Oops!

We bumped into this wedding party taking photos so we doubled back to the concrete walk along the Hudson River where I took a quick picture.

The female attendants had to be freezing.

 

 


The Schuylkill

 

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The Schuylkill River. Philadelphia.

On my way back to Pittsburgh from New York after a nice Thanksgiving holiday with the family.

Here’s a shot taken Monday through a train window- #43 The Pennsylvanian – as we crossed over both the river and the Schuylkill  Expressway.

My parents lived in Philadelphia 12 years but I lived there for only one of those years. A flood of nostalgia as the train rolled  into Philly.

There are interesting place names (how about Wissahickon?) you don’t find anywhere else in the country. The river and expressway name always was hard for me to spell correctly. It’s that extra “L” in there. Turns out it’s a Dutch word meaning “hidden or skulking creek”


The Real World by Tom Otterness

img_0539Artist Tom Otterness created The Real World installed in 1992

(You can see more of his artwork Life Underground at the 14th Street-Eighth Avenue Subway Station)

Also known as Penny Park  along the Hudson River in New York City.

Michael, Jack and Maura enjoyed exploring the bronze sculptures.

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We were headed to the Staten Island Ferry- at the end of the day our walking total was just shy of nine miles.