Tuesday, May 31, 2011

151/365: Not Again!

Not Again
I hadn't been down to the riverfront in a couple of weeks. Sunday was a good time to go image trawling. My usual approach is to enter from the south, up Lenore K. Sullivan Boulevard (life was so much more simple when the city called it Wharf Street) from the foot of Chouteau. When I arrived I found barricades across the street. I parked, walked up a hundred meters and found this.

Hadn't it it had all gone downstream, leaving us and infesting Louisiana and Mississippi? No. The river was the highest I've seen it this year, inundating the street and sidewalk below the Arch. Mrs. C. and I have a weekend road trip coming up in a few days to Hannibal, Missouri, (with no elephants to cross the Mississippi, let alone the Alps). We are hoping to do all the Tom, Huck and Becky stuff on the Mark Twain pilgrimage, but we intended to do it all by car, not boat.

St. Louis Daily Photo is back to gratuitous cuteness, with the slightest imperfection.

Chinese Festival at MoBot 10

Monday, May 30, 2011

150/365: Lou Brock's Empty Eyes

Lou Brock's Eyes

The Memorial Day long weekend marks the beginning of summer season activities in the US. It was hot yesterday; my legs didn't carry me and my gear as far as I would have liked. One thing I did was walk by the corner of the baseball stadium with its statues Cardinal greats. Maybe there was a new way to look at them.

Sure, in their faces. There's no good way to do eyes on statues. Greco-Roman sculpture had plain spheres. Later, many artists adopted the technique of gouging depressions to represent the iris and pupil. It may look more natural at a glance but when you get up close and stare in the face, it's like no one's there.

St. Louis Daily Photo is on parade.

Chinese Festival at MoBot 9

Sunday, May 29, 2011

149/365: Dorsa

Dorsa (Washington Avenue)

The Dorsa Lofts are in are in an early 20th Century commercial building on Washington Avenue downtown. I like the off-kilter Art Deco-ish design and color. The name is that of a dress manufacturer from decades ago. There was a theater on the ground floor often used for fashion shows. Now you can look at the neighborhood hipsters and flocks of out-of-towners from the nearby convention center.

St. Louis Daily Photo takes the oriental cuteness competition up a level.

Chinese Festival at MoBot 3

Saturday, May 28, 2011

148/365: The Joy Of Cop

Motorcycle Policeman

This St. Louis motorcycle policeman looks happy, and why not? He gets to ride around all day on this big, black Harley with flashing lights all over it, make a lot of noise, bust bad guys and protect the citizens of the city (at least in theory). People get out of his way. He gets to drive real fast sometimes. No wonder he's smiling.

It's gratuitous cuteness, Chinese division, on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Chinese Festival at MoBot 2

Friday, May 27, 2011

147/365: Cheer

Pom Poms

A cheerleader from one of the high school marching bands in the Annie Malone parade. This beautiful young woman has a tu tu that doesn't quite fit with the hard lines of her top, shaking green and gold cornflowers for pom poms and a dreamlike expression. Maybe not something to inspire the football team but nonetheless expressive.

The sun is made of glass on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Chinese Festival at MoBot 1

Thursday, May 26, 2011

146/365: Take Cover

2011-05-25 downtown storms 1

This was taken from my office at 4:35 PM yesterday afternoon. Tornado sirens were going off in the street while the building's PA system warned people to go to the stairwells. I was following the situation minute by minute online and knew there was nothing bad downtown for the moment. So, considering what I think is important in life, I stood at my window and kept shooting.

This formation crossing the Mississippi looks like it was trying to turn into a tornado. Didn't quite make it. It looked like it had rotation. I like how the autofocus got caught on the raindrops on the window, leaving the background soft and dark.

The storm looked like it might pull the Arch up by its roots, as illustrated on St. Louis Daily Photo.

2011-05-25 downtown storms 2

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

145/365: Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order

Annie Malone Parade 13 (Old Shriner)

A senior Shriner glides down Market Street in an old fire truck during the Annie Malone parade. The phrase in the caption is the start of the official name of the group (more info here). I've never understood why the Shriners, a branch of Freemasonry, adopt all these Arab (and by extension, Muslim) trappings. And the fez is Turkish, not Arabic, isn't it? It's a puzzler, but then all that stuff is supposed to be secret.

St. Louis Daily Photo strikes up the band.

Annie Malone Parade 3

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

144/365: St. Louis' Finest

Annie Malone Parade 10 (SLPD)

I have a lot of respect for the St. Louis Police Department. Urban cops have a hard job. The ones I've run into have been helpful and courteous. Reports of corruption are very rare here. Locals don't have a reason to fear them - unless there is a good reason to do so.

Slap hands with a burger pusher on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Annie Malone Parade 8 (Ronald Gives A High Five)

Monday, May 23, 2011

143/365: Quo Vadis?


One of these targets is 630 feet tall and made of stainless steel. The other is the largest river in North America. Visitors with a poor sense of direction can fuel up on a big steak, then follow the arrows. They're straight ahead, can't miss 'em.

St. Louis Daily Photo offers refreshment for slow cyclists.

Tour de Grove 8 (Premium Lounge 1)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

142/365: Trinkets

Annie Malone Parade 9 (Vendor)

Back at the Annie Malone parade, a couple of these vendors worked the crowd. Nothing better to celebrate African American cultural identity that a cheap inflatable Spiderman.

By the way, the tattoo of a housefly crawling down his neck creeps me out.

Speed and skids on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Tour de Grove 5

Saturday, May 21, 2011

141/365: Hey, Camera Boy!

Party In The Plaza 5

Wandering around at the Party In The Plaza, shooting the crowd. This man saw the big lens pointing at him and invited me in.

St. Louis Daily Photo asks if we've got the stuff or not.

Cinco de Mayo Festival 4 (Si Se Puede)

Friday, May 20, 2011

140/365: Txt

Party In The Plaza 17

Two strangers on a staircase in Roberts Plaza. Is any communication taking place?

St. Louis Daily Photo looks inside and out.

Annie Malone Parade 1

Thursday, May 19, 2011

139/365: Forward, March!

Annie Malone Parade 2

Part of the University City marching band at the Annie Malone parade. The tuba says Jupiter on it but it could use a Great Red Spot.

St. Louis Daily Photo wonders if Ronald McDonald has Buddha nature.

Bodhisattva Ronald

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

138/365: Ain't Too Proud

Annie Malone Parade 6

After the Annie Malone parade last Sunday there was a free blues and R&B show in Kiener Plaza. The chilly, damp night kept the crowd small but those attending were rewarded. I didn't get the name of this group but they were playing The Temptations classic Ain't Too Proud To Beg with more energy than the original. These guys were slick.

St. Louis Daily Photo considers screaming monsters and the consumer society, and tries to tell them apart.

People's Joy Parade 32

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

137/365: The Band Goes Tropical

Party In The Plaza 19

For some reason the singers in this band make me thing of minor characters in the old Miami Vice TV show. Quite the tropical look and never mind that they were standing in the middle of downtown St. Louis, playing at the first of the summer's Party in the Plaza events.

It's Befriend A Biker day on St. Louis Daily Photo.

Latin American Motorcycle Association 1

Monday, May 16, 2011

136/365: Annie Malone Parade

Annie Malone Parade 4

The annual Annie Malone Parade celebrates an agency that has been serving the black community since 1888. It's huge. colorful and full of drums. These boys may find themselves marching in the event for decades to come. The weather was miserable yesterday, chilly and drizzling, but it had no effect on enthusiasm.

St. Louis Daily Photo is not skilled in reading palms.

Party In The Plaza 10 (It Is What It Is 1)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

135/365: Happy Together

Party In The Plaza 9

Now I can't get that song out of my head. It came out the year I graduated from high school. The best version, though, was when The Turtles lead singer briefly toured with Frank Zappa and belted it out on The Mothers of Invention Live At The Filmore East. I still cherish my copy.

Anyway, this was at the Party In The Plaza last Thursday. Most people are happy to let me take their picture when I ask, a few decline (like the crew in the 5 Hour Energy booth at the
Tour de Grove yesterday who were horrified by the suggestion, but you shouldn't be drinking that stuff anyway) and some insist that I photograph them, like this young lady. But there is more she wanted the world to see. Find out what on St. Louis Daily Photo tomorrow.

Today's post on St. Louis Daily Photo is about the few, the proud.

People's Joy Parade 21

Saturday, May 14, 2011

134/365: Awww...

Party In The Plaza 3 (Puppia)

Gratuitous cuteness returns! These are two happy members of the crowd at Thursday's Party In The Plaza. You can barely see the label on the little dog's sweater or workout top or whatever it is. The brand is called Puppia. Isn't that cute?

St. Louis Daily Photo has the cutest human in the crowd, hands down.

Party In The Plaza 1

Friday, May 13, 2011

133/365: Party In The Plaza

Party In The Plaza 2

Just a quick note since Blogger's problems have forced me to post this at work on Friday afternoon. Last night was the first of a summer series of Parties In The Plaza (the one in front of Roberts Tower) sponsored by The Partnership For Downtown St. Louis. A really good R&B group called Fat Pocket entertained the crowd. As you can see, everyone had a good time. If Blogger doesn't restore yesterday's post I'll try to reconstruct it to keep my 365 day sequence in order.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

132/365: God Bless

God Bless
This diner has been at 14th and Olive for decades. The owner seems to have some strong views on theology and politics. He or she keeps up with British news, too, but seems uninterested in anyone but the mother country and her unruly child.

This place has a strange back story.
Extreme movie fans may remember the film White Palace, in which a young Jewish advertising copywriter from St. Louis falls is love with a middle-aged, red-neck White Castle waitress played by Susan Sarandon. (If you don't know what White Castle is, check the link. It will become obvious.) They couldn't use the actual name White Castle so they called it White Palace. They couldn't shoot it in an actual White Castle restaurant (Sarandon's character was supposed to work at the White Castle at Grand and Gravois, as blue collar as it got at that time) so the producers took this beat-up old diner and transformed it into the movie set. The movie was based on the wonderful novel by the late Glenn Savan. I was Savan's lawyer at one time, and a more intelligent, literate and tragically ill client I may never see again.

There's a double arch, metal and ephemera, on St. Louis Daily Photo.

2011-04-28 Arch And Rainbow

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

131/365: Got A Spike?

Alder Lofts Murals 3

This is the last of the three strange murals on the front of the Alder Frame Lofts building. The graphics on all of them are arresting but creepy. Our eyes are drawn to the woman in the foreground of this one. Her eyes, hair and wine are all black, her piercing gaze fixes the viewer. Sections of the image have been torn away. I think the building has vampires.

Yes, St. Louis Daily Photo has bananas.

People's Joy Parade 10 (Banana Man 1)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

130/365: If You Lived Here You'd Be Home By Now

Alder Lofts Murals 2

This is the second of the three strange murals made of weatherproof sheets, hung on the side of the Alder Frame Lofts building toward the edge of downtown. There must be some marketing idea behind it, however strangely expressed. Maybe it's trying to tell hip, young professional women that this is a good place to live, or men (young, hip, professional or otherwise) that you could live down the hall from someone like this. I don't know if the approach has been successful.

St. Louis Daily Photo is jumping for joy.

People's Joy Parade 6

Monday, May 9, 2011

129/365: Up Against The Wall, Baby

Baby Mural, Adler Lofts

But why?

This mural, for want of a better word, is on the front of the Alder Frame Lofts at 21st and Washington. It is one of the many old commercial buildings in the neighborhood converted into residences. The image seems to be printed on sheets of vinyl and bolted to the facade. What does it mean?

There are two other murals to the right on themes that seem more appropriate to yuppieville. We will see them Tuesday and Wednesday.

St. Louis Daily Photo is on the march.

People's Joy Parade 5

Sunday, May 8, 2011

128/365: Dark Waters

Citygarden Fountain

And I'm not talking about the Mississippi this time. Just one of the fountains in Citygarden near sunset on a showery day. The water comes down and the water goes up.

St. Louis Daily Photo is eating Mexican ice cream.

People's Joy Parade 2

Saturday, May 7, 2011

127/365: Desolation Row

Under The Highway
Bob Dylan sang Desolation Row so long ago that I was in high school. We all thought it was really deep, although we didn't understand a bit of it. This plot of land in the southeast corner of downtown could have been one of the stops along the way. It's under the elevated section of I 55 just south of the Arch. The chain link and barbed wire fence is baffling - somebody needs to keep people out of here? Or was something/someone once contained inside?

I like how the morning sun lights up that little bit of grass in the foreground. Maybe the place is salvageable.

St. Louis Daily Photo wonders about a 19th Century gymnast and perhaps proto-Nazi today.

An Old Coot (Friedrich Ludwig Jahn)

Friday, May 6, 2011

126/365: Wet Feet

Eads Bridge, Wet Feet

There are usually traffic lanes through those first two arches of Eads Bridge. The levee should be under the third and a long way off to the right of the frame.

The Mississippi is dropping here but a great surge is heading south toward Memphis and New Orleans.

Today's post on St. Louis Daily Photo plots the escape route.

Historic Route 66