Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Sunday State Street

Sepia Scenes arrives again and we enjoy the enhancement that this soft monochrome provides.

Boston is unique in that the styles from then and now coexist well. Today it is looking west on State Street on a Sunday morning.

I can't imagine that the detailed look of each structure on a weekday when full of cars, taxis and noise - lots of distractions that cold compel us not to look up (probably a good idea when lots of fast taxis are hard at work collecting fares and forgetting about the pedestrians milling about...)

The character is not unique to this city (plenty of this mix in NYC), of course. It was fun to capture and edit. There is nothing that jumps at you - the urban landscape just seems right in sepia...

See sepia artistry at Mary's fun meme.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Street Fair


The Summer street fair season is in full swing as June comes to a close.

Perhaps the lively color red can be captured here and there for Mary's always fun Ruby Tuesday

Today it is the small city next to us, that being Derby CT, pop. 13,000




Derby is an older mill town as is our domicile Ansonia, which itself was part of Derby until 1893. The weather was a hazy and warm 88°F (31°C).


Yet the heat did not keep people from a closed off Elizabeth Street and the expansive (and shaded) city green.


Vendors of crafts, foodstuffs, home improvement contractors lined the street and green. Music on the street and the gazebo. Pony rides for the little ones.

And of course in this election year 2010, the obligatory candidates for Connecticut governor visited. It comes with the territory at events like this...


Really though, Patti, Allegra and I came for something to nosh on...






And this is the raison d'être to visit a fair like this. But what?


There was Polish (piroges, sauerkraut), Thai, Crepes, sausage and peppers, hot dogs, corn dogs, ice cream, popcorn, smoothies, pizza and fried dough - the usual at least in these parts.


I had pizza, the ladies fried dough. (A higher calorie count, of course :>)


There were a few fresh squeezed lemonade stands - our drink of choice, and delicious on this steamy day.


It was a fun time, even with the crowds. Days like this bring out everyone, and there are no class distinctions - people like to congregate on a nice day together, and I saw no problems about (several Derby PD bicycle officers mingled around though)







So we had a fine time, although all that sun did tire us out upon our arrival home.


Local rubies were to be captured except - we had no battery power in our camera. It seems that we fully discharged both sets of rechargeable batteries when we went to Boston, and forgot to recharge them. Happily we were able to commission Allegra to take a few shots for us. Thanks kid!


See lots more Rubies at Mary's fine meme!






Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Charles Crossing


Patti and I had fun last weekend as we visited Boston for a wedding. We had a great time!

Of course, we missed Shadow Shot Sunday. A really enjoyable blog, a shame to miss...But now we are back!

One thing about traveling to a unfamiliar place is the amazing amount of subjects for all your favorite photo memes. They jump at you from every direction, especially in this city of old and new.


With the graceful Patti taking these pictures as I navigated the van. I chose the modern for shadows instead of the old in this historic city.

This being the Interstate-93 Zakim Bridge south into the city, formally known as the Leonard P. Zakim-Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge. It is a span of style, beauty and elegance - with a shadowy presence that cannot be ignored.

Obviously, a detailed study should have been undertaken of the correct route as the roads and ramps of Boston have a characteristically complex and confusing layout...


Not that we were really lost as we exited in nearby Somerville, but a meandering move on surface streets as we ensued the (well, really my idea of a) prize, the majestic crossing of the Charles River.

The direction to go was finally apparent, so we were going back to the span, with Patti picking neat shadowy frames.

As we were entering the curvy on-ramp to I-93, Patti queried me on doing all this 'to get a picture of a bridge'


Of course the innocent driver of the Dodge had to divulge the real answer: 'of course'

The design is so geometric and stylish. The main towers seem as if wishbones, too dainty looking, not nearly strong enough to carry the ten-lanes of traffic it must support.

Yet it was over-engineered to such a degree that it will withstand a 400 mph (640 km/h) wind - the highest ever recorded in the city was 110 mph (175 km/h).

Strength and style coexist so nicely, and the observant eye will notice that each tower is offset from the other. The lack of true symmetry adds an engineered flair...


In the ensuing humidity, the north tower and modern skyline have a shadowy hue as we look southward toward the Hub.

A great time was had by all, and Boston is a great place to visit again - only 140 miles away, all went fine with the wheelchair vs the cobblestones, the old hotel wheelchair accessible, and we had a fine time with people we don't often see. All made the brief getaway a treat! See shadow artistry at Tracy's fun site!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Looking at the Sky - Airhead is appropriate


It has been awhile, and I have missed my participation in Tisha's Looking at the Sky on Friday. So I return, with a nondescript view, yet hopefully worthy of LATSOF.

As many viewers know, Patti and I went to a wedding of my nephew in Boston last weekend, and of course photo memes ideas always seem to pop-up - we try to always carry our point-and-shoot Canon with us. And happily, we did...

The weather this weekend was quite warm and humid. While on the restaurant patio awaiting delivery of our Sunday brunch, we were looking around Boston Harbor. The takeoff of airplanes from nearby Logan Airport was steady. And Patti was able to capture this one I think a Boeing 757 (of course I would guess...my blog handle after all is airhead :>)

We see the masts of some large boats, and a portion of nice waterfront housing too. Sky, earth and sea are all represented in the haze. No matter the weather, the sky is the focal point on Fridays...


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sepia scenes - Harbor Scenes

Our weekend in Boston was a fun time for Patti and I. Obviously, when you go somewhere different, ideas for photo memes are a natural reaction.

Like Mary's fun Sepia Scenes.

The morning sky over the harbor is a grayish humid haze. The antique makes the heavens and water look nicer as the large boats are anchored near the waterfront condos.

The stout chain protects us from falls and keeps us from becoming uninvited guests on someone else's boat...





Patti was as generous as always in taking pictures as I drive along the I-93 Central Artery into the Hub city.

I meandered around a bit as I was hoping for a picture of the Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge as we headed toward the über-long 3.5 mile (5.6 km) Big Dig tunnel.

Again, a sepia tone allowed a softening of the views beyond the span and allows the geometric shapes and angles of the bridge to really stand out.

See sepia artistry at this great meme!




Monday, June 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Beantown


Ruby Tuesday brings us back to the preceding weekend. And of course, the useful Canon point-and -shoot is always nearby to capture moments and memories.

We were in Boston for the wedding of my nephew Steven to the beautiful and elegant Aiko, the look of young love so perfectly captured on this warm day. Love was truly in the air. The best ruby is in the glow of bride and groom as the cake is cut.

The reception at the Parris restaurant upstairs in the Quincy Market building at Faneuil Hall has a few rubies itself.

The sign above is reddish in hue, the eclectic ruby lighting a neat artistic effect to all attendees...



After the ceremony, many from the wedding party and guests decided to meet in the touristy part of Boston. So many restaurants and cafes in this old city, the couple who live in Boston and their local friends thought the Red Sky was the place.

Plenty of ruby on this modern building includes the lighting on their sign, the brick facade and the flowers in the boxes on the balconies of the apartments.

The cafe tables outdoors were a nice touch for the old-timers who were there. Boston is a hip place to live if you are young, and upon entering the restaurant I would say the demographic inside was undergraduate plus 2-3 years at the most.

However, outside us older-timers had a great time, talking with cousins and such we do not often see. The conversation was really fun, a nice wrap-up to a most excellent day...





Sunday was not planned, so Patti and I walked around this part of Boston for breakfast. We weren't interested in the few obvious places around the financial district such as DD and Starbucks - we looked and looked. We found this place on the waterfront, although it did not open for brunch until 10:00. Joe's-Waterfront offered very nice waterfront vistas, inside and out.

So the rubies are obvious, the sign and the red-white-blue bunting that lined the pier. Even in the heat and humidity, the briny breezes that wafted from the harbor were nice so we had our stuffed omelets with a side order of nice ambience. We could very easily get used to this...

The city is nice, the history and granite construction of our hotel was stunning, and it was accessible and convenient. The only and minor complaint is that cobblestone and broken (ruby) brick pavement gives a hard ride in a wheelchair. That's it - less than 140 miles (225 km) and a mere 2.5 hour drive. We will be back!

See rubies all over at Mary's always fun meme!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Capitol Sepia


Sepia Scenes allows for this monochrome to add a warm character to many subjects. The formality of the classic look is made softer.

This picture has been posted in color before, but impresses me every time I am in Hartford. It is the State Capitol of Connecticut, designed by noted architect Richard M. Upjohn, and first opened for the General Assembly in January 1879.

The style is High Victorian Gothic, a revival of earlier styles in the 1700-1800s. It is constructed of New England marble and granite and crowned by a gold leaf dome, which can be seen for miles away, especially when the sun is shining. 

The Capitol was built at the then cost of $2,532,524. I could only imagine the cost to replace in the same materials today.This grand structure seems to wear sepia well, adding to its elegant and dignified style...


Monday, June 14, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Family Party




For Ruby Tuesday, I see some rubies at a 1996 summer party at my sister Michele's home. Conversation, food and drink were outside.

However, momentary boredom seems to have set in inside the air-conditioned house. Allegra, Cameron and a cousin seemed a bit bored and oblivious to the camera.







Yet moms always seem to have the ready advice when the kids say 'we're bored'

She would say 'go outside' and get some fresh air'. A little oxygen won't hurt anybody bored at any age.

So outside later, young cousins congregate with a Frisbee. They don't look bored at all

Rubies abound in bright summer clothing and house shutters too. See more ruby artifacts at Mary's always fun meme!




Saturday, June 12, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Changing Exposures

The sun seems to play an oversized role in the world of shadows.

Not that we mind! So, for Tracy's Shadow Shot Sunday, a day in the life altered by the moving sun.

We went to a baby dedication ceremony function for a niece at the Union Congregational Church in Rockville (CT). This church built in 1895 is the third building - the first two were wood structures, and burned down in fires. The stone seems to give a permanence to the house of worship.

The left picture, facing the sun, was taken about 10:00 AM, the moving sun allowed for deeper shadows about 2:30 PM. Such a difference, shadows changing the external character a bit. For more shadowy captures, join the fun at Hey Harriet!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Steeple and Stone


Sepia and stone work well, the lighter monochrome adding a warmth of tone to offset the cold of rock. Mary's Sepia Scenes arrives just in time.

Decades ago I was in front of the imposing Cologne (Köln) cathedral in then West Germany. The twin spires are 577 ft high - too big to capture in one frame with the then old SLR camera in use.

So it was not possible for the artistic look as much as the stonework and detailing. Which in either an antique or deeper sepia looks huge, but not stern. Although standing, and thus taller in those days, I am still dwarfed by the cathedral...

See more at Mary's fun meme!



Monday, June 7, 2010

Ruby Tuesday - Buckeye rubies

Ruby Tuesday and reminiscing is a natural combination for me.

The year was 1999, Gooma was staying with the kids, so Patti and I had an excellent 520 mile (one-way) adventure in a drive to steeltown Steubenville Ohio. Birthplace to Dean Martin, we visited my alma mater Franciscan University after a then nearly two-decade span since graduation.
The scanned prints show their age, but the ruby hue has not faded. The flowers on the island as you enter the Catholic school are arranged in the shape of a cross. I found it a dramatic entrance, brilliant manicured rubies. Nice touch for the visiting alumni...






The time we were there was at the tail end of the unusually hot and humid summer that year, so the hazy sky laden with moisture looked gray. The blurred ruby on the sign above the US 22 bridge over the Ohio River offered us a positive message, so we felt duly welcomed.

Random rubies reminisce...see many more rubies at Mary's fun meme.




Saturday, June 5, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday - Lafayette

Shadows appear out of thin air. Alas, the driver has to watch the road, traffic lights, other cars, etc., so shadow captures are not always possible. However, when the lovely Patti is a passenger and has the camera, I see, I ask and she pushes the shutter...

Which is perfect for Tracy's always fun Shadow Shot Sunday, as we were passing through Hartford one recent evening, I saw this shot. The statue of a French nobleman, sword in hand preeminent. This is the Marquis de Lafayette, who arrived in America in 1777 to assist the American colonists (and secure the assistance of the French) in the conflict with the British.

This busy intersection is usually full of traffic, although not on a Saturday evening. With the saber raised, Lafayette seems poised to lead a charge into the past...The artist was Paul Wayland Bartlett, born in New Haven Connecticut who moved to France and studied art under Cavelier, Fremiet and Rodin. The sculpture, originally designed to stand in the courtyard of the Louvre was copied and cast in 1907, and placed in Hartford in 1925.

Too bad the harried commuters probably don't even notice the artwork as they go to/from work. With this shadow, we noticed! See Hey Harriet for many more shadows as art



Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sepia Scenes - Memorial

I continue with the Memorial Day theme for Mary's Sepia Scenes

Here is a unique neighborhood memorial in our town of Ansonia, this being the Woodbridge Avenue Honor Roll. Originally built in 1942, it was updated to now include Korea and Vietnam casualties.

The stone construction shows strength and permanence - I hope of the memory of the bravest from our town who served and sacrificed. Their memory is maintained...