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Tashlich, 2010

photo of tashlich ceremony
photo of tashlich ceremony

Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA, Tashlich

Members of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA toss bread off the bridge at Tashlich at the Chestnut Street Bridge over Chartiers Creek, as they have for apparently many years on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. I was honored to observe and photograph the event, albeit from afar to make sure I could get the entire shot.

If you look closely you can see little blurred specks of white against the greenery in the background.

For as much as I know about my home town, Carnegie, and as much as I know about my home creek, Chartiers Creek, I never knew they performed this ceremony here in Carnegie, on this bridge over the creek.  I know the president of the Shul, Rick D’Loss, and when he sent out the notice about events during the High Holidays at the Shul I noticed this and asked about it. Even though it was the first night of our festival I wanted to photograph it if I would be permitted. Rick welcomed me to do so.

Rick is also a photographer, and while I usually try to get a few photos of our community festival I’m usually pretty busy, so as soon as his holiday events are under control he’ll be photographing our festival, this Saturday afternoon and evening.

You can find many resources to read about Tashlich on the internet, but maybe I’ll see if I can get Rick to write something eventually about the ceremony at our local congregation. You can read about the Carnegie Shul on the site that Rick maintains.


Cherry Sno Cones

cherry sno cones
cherry sno cones

Cherry Sno Cones

Luke and Ava enjoyed their cherry sno-cones and everyone else had a great time too at RTQ XIII! Great weather, music, friends and food. More photos to come.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


A Handful of Painters

painters palette
painters palette

Phil’s Palette

On my walk to the post office today I saw a painter with his easel set up along the little path. It was Phil Salvato, painting Main Street across the creek. I stopped to talk for a bit, photographed him and his palette (I love palettes in use), then proceeded on to where he’d told me the next to painters were stationed, Sandy and Keith, below.

phil salvato painting

Phil Salvato

To give you an idea where they are, Phil is standing just about where I encountered the gray catbird last week, and Sandy and Keith are standing where I often visit the ducks and geese in the winter.

woman painting at easel

Sandy

man painting at easel

Keith

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Someone Got Your Goat? 2009

Someone got your goat?

I see no small amount of similarity between these two…perhaps it’s the expressions.

As much as I love my woods and streams, I love to photograph the city. On my occasional trips into Pittsburgh, the camera is always in hand. I’m always sensitive about photographing people, but this guy really didn’t mind.

 


Tashlich, 2010

photo of tashlich ceremony
photo of tashlich ceremony

Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA, Tashlich

Members of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA toss bread off the bridge at Tashlich at the Chestnut Street Bridge over Chartiers Creek, as they have for apparently many years on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. I was honored to observe and photograph the event, albeit from afar to make sure I could get the entire shot.

If you look closely you can see little blurred specks of white against the greenery in the background.

For as much as I know about my home town, Carnegie, and as much as I know about my home creek, Chartiers Creek, I never knew they performed this ceremony here in Carnegie, on this bridge over the creek.  I know the president of the Shul, Rick D’Loss, and when he sent out the notice about events during the High Holidays at the Shul I noticed this and asked about it. Even though it was the first night of our festival I wanted to photograph it if I would be permitted. Rick welcomed me to do so.

Rick is also a photographer, and while I usually try to get a few photos of our community festival I’m usually pretty busy, so as soon as his holiday events are under control he’ll be photographing our festival, this Saturday afternoon and evening.

You can find many resources to read about Tashlich on the internet, but maybe I’ll see if I can get Rick to write something eventually about the ceremony at our local congregation. You can read about the Carnegie Shul on the site that Rick maintains.


And Your Little Dog, Too!

tattooed woman with dog
tattooed woman with dog

And Your Little Dog, Too

I was quite amazed by the detail of this woman’s tattoos, not to mention the pink tips on her blonde dreadlocks.

She was unconcerned about the opinion of the dour woman sitting on her doorstep carefully studying the tattoos and hair as she worked on her plaster house number at the Polish Hill Art What You Got Festival in 2010.

That looks like Medea on her left leg right above her Boston terrier’s back, and on her right leg is that Alice after she’s drunk the potion that makes her larger? Not sure, but this woman seems to have myths and stories all over her skin.

The neighborhood, one of the oldest in Pittsburgh as you could guess by its name, is a big mix of old and new, traditional and avant garde, babushka and punk. Not everyone who lives there is Polish, though that’s a relatively new innovation, letting in outsiders. Many college students live there because it’s much less expensive than living near the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham University and Carlow University, all within walking distance if you’ve got a little time.

It was a very interesting place to spend an afternoon, and I’m going to have to go back to visit the coffee houses when I’m not in a festival.


Running in the Rain

three people running in the rain

Running in the Rain

So when you’re a teenager and school just let out and it’s a hot afternoon and there’s a storm and it suddenly starts to rain like hell, what do you do? Run, of course! Run up the hill, just because it feels good! Laugh with your friends! It’s summer, and you’re free! Your whole life is ahead of you!

Some of my kid friends around the neighborhood when the storm hit. I remember days like that. This is from last year, but there’s a storm brewing out there right now, one of those big crashing nightmares that breaks the heat spell.


Carnegie: 2011

photo inside acflmh

Inside Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

The man himself looks benevolently down from a portrait as a Library patron relaxes on the couch by the fireplace with a good book.

This was taken in the main reading area of Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.


Hoops in the Alley: 2011

basketball in the alley

Hoops in the Alley

Every day after school and through the summer and until it snows again, there’ll be hoops in the alley. Those brown leaves will fall and the tree will sprout new green ones, the lilac will bloom and fade, the days will lengthen then grow shorter again and the neighborhood kids will perfect their shots. Perhaps one of them will be the new Air Jordan. I’m sure more than one of them thinks so.


Public Library: 2011

two people using a computer

Public Library

The public computers in the public library provide just as much an opportunity as the books on the shelves ever did. Decades ago, my grandparents learned to read at this library along with other immigrants and then used the library in the midst of all the other dozens of nationalities residents in Carnegie. Now generations of people are still visiting the library, still representing the variety of people in our community, still taking advantage of what it offers, free to the people.


New Year’s Eve at 3rd Street Gallery

three musicians in a gallery

Haywood and Friends entertain for New Year's Eve at 3rd Street Gallery.

Just a small gathering of friends as we listened to more friends, Haywood and Friends, play their brand of jazz at the 3rd Street Gallery in Carnegie, PA. From left is Phil Salvato, painter and bassist, all the paintings on the walls are his; Ron Bossetti, saxophones and clarinets and other such instruments, former high school music teacher and regular at 3rd Street; and Haywood Vincent, jazz pianist and arranger.

wall of paintings

A Wall of Paintings

photo of musicians

Ron, Haywood and Swami Shantanand smiling on approvingly.

photo of piano player

Haywood happy at his piano.

photo of gallery with piano

3rd Street Gallery, Phil's piano and paintings.

black and white photo of musician through piano

Haywood in the piano, desaturated color with film grain filter added (since photos were grainy already).

filtered photo of musicians

And because it's a gallery, a Photoshop dry brush filter of the trio.

Happy New Year!


It’s a Steelers Day in Pittsburgh

two men with Steelers shirts

Phil and Howard with matching Steelers shirts.

I went to lunch with a customer today, and arriving at the restaurant we unexpectedly met another customer and friend. As we sat down they noticed they were wearing identical Steelers shirts, kidding each other about dressing alike. Silly me, I asked how they came to be wearing the same shirt but I should have known. There’s a game tonight. It’s the unwritten code of Steelers fans: wear your black and gold. I didn’t get the gene for “sports fan”, but that’s okay, it’s fun being an observer.

The wearing of the black and gold is de rigueur in Pittsburghers, at least those who are aware of games and such. Black and gold is worn everywhere—I’ve seen priests substitute a gold collar for a white one on game day, and it can even be worn as dress colors, black suit and tie with gold shirt or black outfit with gold tie.

Though the Steelers lost the Super Bowl in February 2011, a trip to the grocery store that day showed it wasn’t because fans weren’t showing their support.

Actually, they lost the Super Bowl because I decided to wear black and gold that day. I promise I’ll never do that again.


On Strike

striking verizon workers

Verizon workers on strike

Things were more dramatic in downtown Pittsburgh where more workers gathered, but here in Carnegie our little handful had a good bit of support from people driving past and honking, including me. A highly profitable company asking for cuts in wages and benefits is an old story while CEOs are being paid multiple millions, and while they say that the areas where the unionized workers are employed involve wiring which is where business is declining hence the assumed need for cutbacks, they still say that customers will be inconvenienced by the workers’ absence and managers will have to step in to get the work done, so there must be enough need for these workers. We’ve seen plenty of strikes here, and unfortunately they rarely end well for the worker.


Little League, Approaching Storm

little league game

Little League

As if things aren’t dramatic enough in Little League, there’s a dark cloud coming over the horizon and the wind is picking up. I’m pretty sure they got the game finished before the storm because it’s not raining yet.

In Scott Township Park in Scott Township, PA, where I grew up.


Running in the Rain

three people running in the rain

Running in the Rain

So when you’re a teenager and school just let out and it’s a hot afternoon and there’s a storm and it suddenly starts to rain like hell, what do you do? Run, of course! Run up the hill, just because it feels good! Laugh with your friends! It’s summer, and you’re free! Your whole life is ahead of you!

Some of my kid friends around the neighborhood when the storm hit yesterday. I remember days like that.


Carnegie

photo inside acflmh

Inside Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

The man himself looks benevolently down from a portrait as a Library patron relaxes on the couch by the fireplace with a good book.

This was taken in the main reading area of Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA.


Hoops in the Alley

basketball in the alley

Hoops in the Alley

Every day after school and through the summer and until it snows again, there’ll be hoops in the alley. Those brown leaves will fall and the tree will sprout new green ones, the lilac will bloom and fade, the days will lengthen then grow shorter again and the neighborhood kids will perfect their shots. Perhaps one of them will be the new Air Jordan. I’m sure more than one of them thinks so.


Public Library

two people using a computer

Public Library

The public computers in the public library provide just as much an opportunity as the books on the shelves ever did. Decades ago, my grandparents learned to read at this library along with other immigrants and then used the library in the midst of all the other dozens of nationalities residents in Carnegie. Now generations of people are still visiting the library, still representing the variety of people in our community, still taking advantage of what it offers, free to the people.


Handkerchief

handkerchief with initial h

Handkerchief for Memory

The last time I was at Carnegie Antiques I flipped through the pile of handkerchiefs, all different, handmade, store-bought, flowered, embroidered, lace trims, a typical pile of hankies from years past.

I found this one in the pile and recognized the letter “H”, my mother’s first initial. My mother could be difficult to fit with gifts and was often awkward at accepting, but whenever I found a small thing with her initial, mugs, small handbags, shirts, tablets, whatever, I just bought it and gave it to her. She was always pleased with these things and kept them, and it was a quietly happy part of our relationship. They are all long gone now from regular use and from selling her house and its contents.

Even though she died last month I still had the urge to buy this. I initially decided not to—what would I do with it? I have no one to give it to. I am a habitual collector of small things that I then never give up and years ago I cleaned it all out and donated it and can now enjoy looking at something I would formerly have purchased, then let it go, finding I don’t really need it after all.

But I thought about this little handkerchief, such a nicely done pattern of flowers in some of my mother’s favorite colors, and an unusually-shaped letter. I decided that I could continue this little tradition, even if I only keep the handkerchief and other things myself. Perhaps if I collect a number of things, someday I’ll find another daughter who can use a collection of things with her mother’s initial. For now, I have space for this. When I look at it, I think of my mother. That’s enough purpose for me.


Veterans

photo of veterans in parade

Veterans

I took this photo in Carnegie’s Memorial Day Parade, but it could be anywhere in the United States on Memorial Day or Veteran’s Day, veterans proud to march and carry their colors.

This photo is one of the images in my recent exhibit, “Carnegie Photographed”. I’ll be posting a slideshow of this exhibit soon.


Polish Fest

polish festival

Polish Festival

Carnegie still has about 20 different churches, the Polish National Catholic Church being one of them. The first Saturday of every October they host a festival which has mostly to do with food, lots of it, made by the good ladies of the Auxiliary from scratch, from ancient recipes, with no shortcuts.

The big social hall is filled with tables of people eating and drinking and speaking English and Polish, which I rarely hear any more and can barely speak, though I can usually understand it if it’s spoken slowly. Everything is red and white, the colors of Poland. I greeted Father Rick and his wife Karen, priest of the church, and waved at friends.

There was an older man with a really bad combover who was playing a little electronic keyboard and singing out-of-date songs, but singing them well, a little one-man band.

I met my brother there; he is mildly disabled and a little slow after a traumatic brain injury 10 years ago, but he gets along well under many watching eyes. He’d gotten there before me and highly recommended the potato pancakes. I took his suggestion.


Tashlich

photo of tashlich ceremony

Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA, Tashlich

Members of Congregation Ahavath Achim in Carnegie, PA toss bread off the bridge at Tashlich at the Chestnut Street Bridge over Chartiers Creek, as they have for apparently many years on the first day of Rosh Hashanah. I was honored to observe and photograph the event, albeit from afar to make sure I could get the entire shot.

If you look closely you can see little blurred specks of white against the greenery in the background.

For as much as I know about my home town, Carnegie, and as much as I know about my home creek, Chartiers Creek, I never knew they performed this ceremony here in Carnegie, on this bridge over the creek.  I know the president of the Shul, Rick D’Loss, and when he sent out the notice about events during the High Holidays at the Shul I noticed this and asked about it. Even though it was the first night of our festival I wanted to photograph it if I would be permitted. Rick welcomed me to do so.

Rick is also a photographer, and while I usually try to get a few photos of our community festival I’m usually pretty busy, so as soon as his holiday events are under control he’ll be photographing our festival, this Saturday afternoon and evening.

You can find many resources to read about Tashlich on the internet, but maybe I’ll see if I can get Rick to write something eventually about the ceremony at our local congregation. You can read about the Carnegie Shul on the site that Rick maintains.


And Your Little Dog, Too!

tattood woman with dog working on art project

And Your Little Dog, Too

I was quite amazed by the detail of this woman’s tattoos, not to mention the pink tips on her blonde dreadlocks.

She was unconcerned about the opinion of the dour woman sitting on her doorstep carefully studying the tattoos and hair as she worked on her plaster house number at the Polish Hill Art What You Got Festival last Sunday.

That looks like Medea on her left leg right above her Boston terrier’s back, and on her right leg is that Alice after she’s drunk the potion that makes her larger? Not sure, but this woman seems to have myths and stories all over her skin.

The neighborhood, one of the oldest in Pittsburgh as you could guess by its name, is a big mix of old and new, traditional and avant garde, babushka and punk. Not everyone who lives there is Polish, though that’s a relatively new innovation, letting in outsiders. Many college students live there because it’s much less expensive than living near the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University, Chatham University and Carlow University, all within walking distance if you’ve got a little time.

It was a very interesting place to spend an afternoon, and I’m going to have to go back to visit the coffee houses when I’m not in a festival.


Yoga Class is Over

photo of yoga gear on floor

Yoga Class is Over

Such a beautiful sunny morning in a room that was once a grade school classroom, huge windows all around three walls admitting the sunlight and view of the wooded neighborhood around. These two yoga positions just happened to be exactly in the sunny shapes of two windows right at the end of class, the students’ blocks and mats neatly placed.