Tuesday, October 25, 2016


It finally feels like summer is really over here. It was a long one. Every autumn Citygarden covers its long stone wall with a row of pumpkins. The color is striking if you get the light right.             

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palms Out, Palms Up

More of the same, but pretty good ones. I need a break. Going to a conference in Seattle next week, though. I'm supposed to work but there's so much to shoot in that city . . .  

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Traffic Cop

Well, that's what these pictures make me think of. Probably not a good uniform out amidst the exhaust pipes but, if this were their job, they would still be obeyed. Japanese people are, above all else, respectful and polite. We've walked around in Tokyo traffic and everyone keeps their cool.            

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Peppermint Sticks

The first of the Japanese dances involved walking in a circle while clacking these candy cane sticks in many rhythmic patterns. Not exactly a get up and boogie number but fun to hear and watch.             

Friday, October 21, 2016


Late post today. These 11-12 hour workdays gotta stop.

Anyway, the title means hello or good day in Japanese. The St. Louis Art Museum has a special exhibition going on called Conflicts of Interest: Art and War in Modern Japan. I think the beginning of the title is a pun. It's about art, propaganda and illustration during Japan's military conflicts from the 19th Century to World War II.

The museum held an event recently with Japanese-themed activities. These women are preparing for a folk dancing demonstration. I thought it was a bit staid but those gorgeous kimonos and the crimson obis with a dash of yellow at the back were stunning.             

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Two true river stories:

1.  When I was a senior in high school in The Bronx in the spring of 1967, I had made the decision to go to St. Louis University (heaven knows why). Hanging around the school library, I pick up a then-popular folk music magazine called Sing Out. My eye was caught by a column by the blues harmonica player Tony "Little Sun" Glover. The title was Ten Best Things To Do When You Got The Blues. At the end of the list, Number 1 said piss in the Mississippi. It'll give you a feeling of immortality. So as soon as I got here... 

2.  Many years ago Mrs. C and I visited Varanasi, India, what the Brits used to call Benares. It's the holiest city in Hinduism. A guide took us to the banks of the Ganges before dawn. He hired a little rowboat and gave us each a waxed paper cup with a tiny candle. As we floated out into the stream the sun rose over the opposite bank. The idea was to send your candle down the Ganges and say a prayer. I thought of my children.

Each year Artica has a parade down to the edge of the Mississippi. People do their own version of the same thing.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Truer Words Were Never Spoken

There was a group at Artica making an artistic statement about how all of us - and perhaps all things - are interwoven. The sign says "We are all connected in some way." You know the question that has been put in many different forms: if a butterfly in Africa beats its wings, does it affect the weather in Topeka? Yes, but perhaps invisibly.

They marched in the festival's parade carrying a great length of many fabrics tied together. There were long balls of yarn unfolded among its segments. Point well taken.