Wednesday, May 24, 2017

My Guardian Angel

Low-res phone cam shot, taken while waiting for the traffic light at Olive and Broadway downtown.  There are many segments of American society. I suppose this represents one of them. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Things Don't Change

Late post. I left my laptop at my office last night.

Our iconic statue, The Runner, is back. I think it came from the 1904 World's Fair. (To paraphrase Marlon Brando, we used to be somebody.) The circular pool is now much smaller, giving the sculpture more of a direct impact.  In the old installation, persons unknown used to dump red or blue dye into the water if something special was going on with the baseball or hockey teams. Now it has infinitely variable LED lighting.

And, of course, Fredbird, the Cardinals' idiotic mascot, often hangs around. Here, he is challenged by a fan of the San Fransisco Giants who were in town.

There is a good photo how the eastern half of the plaza used to look here.  Pretty bland and often unkempt. Also, there is an overview shot of the new plaza here. Hard to tell from the picture but that big lozenge of grass is hump-backed. The developers claim that if will provide seating for 2,000 people for concerts. I'm sceptical but we will see. Otherwise, it doesn't look very useful to me. Only a bit of shade around the edges and our summers are hot. 

Monday, May 22, 2017

What We Lost

Kiener Plaza 2011-12-24

These are old pictures of what used to be the west half of Kiener Plaza. There was an amphitheater surrounded by a collonade. The stage, below street level, was was in the middle of a wide brick floor that could contain, for example, the Kansas University band and cheerleaders. (Some phase of the college basketball playoffs was in town.) In back, there was an irregular waterfall flowing down concrete steps, a treat for local families during our hot summers.

It was a delight, and well used. I shot political demonstrations there, music performances and civic events. Apparently, the amphitheater did not fit the very flat plans of the new architects (see yesterday's lead picture). Losing it is the worst thing about the new Kiener Plaza.

KU Band At Kiener 1

Hispanic Festival 2012-09-08 17

Kiener Plaza Unoccupied 1

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Kiener Reopened

STL's main downtown square, Kiener Plaza, has been closed for a year for renovation. It was completely redesigned and opened again this weekend.

There are pluses and minuses. A lot of it looks quite barren to me. The new landscaping, where it exists, is better. (It couldn't have been much worse in the old one.) There is more seating and a cute, if somewhat cramped, children's play area. It will look better when the trees fill in.

I'm going to cover this for a few days with some comparison shots to the old plaza.           

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Canción Mexicana

A Mexican festival needs Mexican music. I'm a bit amazed by people who play this kind of accordion. A piano keyboard gives a performer reference points to the notes. This instrument just has dots strewn across it. Must take a long time to learn.      

Friday, May 19, 2017

We The People

We're all Americans. I don;t care if some of us wear a hijab, a rapper wears a backwards baseball cap, a Hasidim wears a wide-brimmed black hat, a biker wears a bandana or John Wayne wears a cowboy hat. 

Makes me think of this picture from the Women's March with a similar spirit.              

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Clowning Around

This person in the first picture was pretty out there, aggressively sticking his face in my lens here and there through the afternoon. It was the kind of clown that can give clowns a bad reputation, scaring children and such.

The second one makes me think of a kachina. I don't know if that was the intention. We will be spending some time on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in September. I'll think about it some more then.