Thursday, July 20, 2017

Eat This To Get That

The cuisine required to own and drive XtremeMuscleCarz. Just don't tell your personal trainer or your cardiologist.          

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Street Rods

I don't know if you could actually drive these on, say, nearby I 55. The license plate in the top photo does not look like it has been valid in the State of Illinois since 1923 and using a Jack Daniels box as a trunk might attract the attention of the police. The Shelby Cobra, below, might be okay if the muffler meets government regulations.

It's not Phoenix, of course, but most people here are hiding out this week. The forecast is for high temperatures of 100 - 102 F / 38 - 39 C for the next four days. We've seen hotter in STL (the highest I remember is 106 F / 41 C) but, as they say, better get used to it.       

Tuesday, July 18, 2017


The car. The fuel, and lots of it.

It's been a few years since I last shot the Catsup Festival. I remember more variety of attractions. Now it's mostly a big hot rod, custom and classic car show. I'm not sure of the year of this old Cadillac (help appreciated) but it has the look of a dreadnought. I can imagine sitting behind the wheel, windows open on a warm summer day, no seat belts, radio blaring Elvis Presley, cruising across St. Louis on Route 66....

Well, no, I can't. But it is impressive in a glitzy, heavy way.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Ms. Tomato Head

There is an odd event each summer in suburban Collinsville, Illinois. A factory there produces a local brand of catsup, Brooks. (Language debate: Heinz, the big national brand, spells it ketchup.) Just outside of town there is a tower with what is claimed to be America's biggest catsup bottle, more about which later. Anyway, it is a celebration of all things red and viscous, along with quite a large hot rod and custom car show.

Hence the hair-dos.  I think the second one is turning into a replica of the bottle. And that's not the big one in the bottom picture, just a portable model. Only in America.       

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Bulgaria In St. Louis

A car found parked on Locust Street when I was shooting at the Theatre Crawl. I didn't know we had much of a Bulgarian population. The world keeps shrinking.

Gotta get out and shoot some new material.           

Saturday, July 15, 2017


Very late post today. Too much to do, too much to do...

The last event I photographed at the Theatre Crawl was sort of a randomized performance of cabaret songs. There were quite a few singers. Each was assigned a number. Audience members drew numbered slips from a jar and that determined who sang. Some didn't get a chance, some got more than one.

The voices were beautiful and passionate.      

Friday, July 14, 2017


This picture sort of reminds me of the shots you see of people watching a terrible event or even a bomb test. It was taken at the Theatre Crawl, where the first event started outdoors and the audience had to stare into the sunset.

Bonne fĂȘte nationale française!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Actors' Studio

The St. Louis Actors' Studio, led by the indefatigable Peter Mayer, above, put on a strange but intriguing little performance at the Theatre Crawl.. The premise was a support group meeting of the gods - Jesus, Zeus and maybe also Jupiter (I was confused), Buddha, Brahma. Hard to keep track. There was whining and backbiting and kvetching, which I suppose is common to such gatherings. (Can't say myself - never been to one. Which is not to say I shouldn't have.)

Everyone in STL has been hunkering down. It's been 100 F / 38 C here the last couple of days. Need to find something to shoot this weekend that's cooler. Our version of the World Naked Bike Ride is Saturday night. That's well ventilated.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Snow White, Again

ERA Theatre, one of the companies at the Theatre Crawl, was working on a variation of the Snow White tale. The finished version is to be presented at the St. Louis Fringe Festival next month. It had something to do with apples and cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon. I didn't completely get it. It should be more fully formed if I shoot it again in a few weeks.         

Tuesday, July 11, 2017


My main assignment at the Grand Center Theatre Crawl was to record the performances. However, while I was at it, another objective was to have a look at the people, the patrons of live theater in St. Louis. There was record attendance and plenty to choose from.     

Monday, July 10, 2017

Grand Center Theatre Crawl

Back home. I've been doing some volunteer shooting for small arts organizations. The night before we left for New York was the first of two days of the Grand Center Theatre Crawl, now in its fifth year. Twenty four local theater (c'mon, American spelling, please) music and dance companies put on short performances. The audience rotates every half hour to see whatever calls out to them. The companies get publicity.

The Crawl assigned me to a group of venues east of Grand Boulevard. First up was Fat Dancer, produced by the St. Louis Fringe, which I also shoot for. Themes of body image, shaming and self-acceptance. (The Fringe main festival is coming soon in August. Go. GO. And go to the warm-up event, Act Your Pants Off, on July 25! It's a hoot! Not that warm-up events are really necessary in St. Louis in July.)

More to come.    

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Four Boroughs

Didn't get anything of Brooklyn on this trip except for the bridge shot already posted. Otherwise, from top to bottom:

Queens - Silvercup Studios in Long Island City. When I was young Silvercup was the major brand of white bread (which everyone ate) in NYC. When our family drove back to Sunnyside on Sunday nights after visiting my father's family, the air would be full of the aroma of fresh baked bread as we passed. Now it is an enormous film, photography and television production site. 

Manhattan: a halal street food trailer outside the Staten Island Ferry terminal. Street food in the city used to be mostly Hebrew National kosher hotdog carts. Now things are more ecumenical. Note the worker wearing the soccer jersey of the Argentine (and therefore presumably Catholic) Lionel Messi

The Bronx: nothing needs more explanation. I went to high school in this borough.

Staten Island: floor mat on the ferry.

NYC political nomenclature is confusing. There are five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. But each of them is also a separate county of the State of New York, sometimes with different names. Manhattan is New York County. Brooklyn is Kings County. Staten Island is Richmond County. It's just to confuse the tourists. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

On High

Working through more New York pix pending new local material (but I have to work today). The top photo features One World Trade Center, now the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. On the left is the Oculus, the new shopping center and transit hub in the WTC.

The bottom picture is the Brooklyn Bridge, taken from the observation deck on the 102nd floor of One WTC.        

Friday, July 7, 2017

Your Moment Of Zen, From New Jersey Transit

On the commuter train from New York to the town where my sister lives in the New Jersey suburbs.       

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A Town So Nice They Had To Name It Twice

New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery's down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun'.
New York, New York, it's a helluva town!
From Leonard Bernstein's 1944 Musical, On The Town. You might say that this was the pre-show on our hotel terrace before the fireworks started.

The top picture is the Queensboro Bridge, sometimes called the 59th Street Bridge for the latitude where it enters Manhattan. Us geezers will remember the song made famous by Simon and Garfunkle. The bottom one looks straight into midtown at about 55th and 56th Streets. 

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

NYC Fireworks

Short video at the end with commentary by Madeleine. Best fireworks ever. Shot from a roof terrace in Long Island City where we were staying.     

NYC Fireworkd July 4 2017 1

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The Fourth of July

Part of the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty says:

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!   
 I don't think we take the words so seriously these days.

Going to try to shoot the NYC fireworks tonight. It's a big deal.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tourist Shots

We all take pictures of lower Manhattan from the Staten Island Ferry. We all sneak pictures of other people in the subway. Everyone takes pictures of their squirmy kids when they travel. Who am I to differ?