an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

pittsburgh

Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns
Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

Have we always topped our most important structures with spires or towers that reach for the sky? I finally decided to capture a photo I’ve been wanting to get for years. I had to park my car and walk to a spot where I could photograph this because it wasn’t one I could get through my windshield while driving. I usually don’t take the time, but for this one, on this beautiful autumn day in Pittsburgh, I decided to take the time to get the domes of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on the South Side with the spire-tipped buildings of downtown Pittsburgh in the background. Old and new, religious and secular, A handful of buildings along the river and a church with onion-shaped domes in gold and patina and several three-bar crosses, it’s one of the things that looks like home to me, important to the people who live here. Below is the full view, including the high-school football field and the homes surrounding.

The church, the city and the high school football field.

The church, the city and the high school football field.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

Friendship Friday on Create With Joy

Friendship-Friday-Button-150


Streets of North Side, Pittsburgh

Galveston Street, North Side, Pittsburgh
Galveston Street, North Side, Pittsburgh

Galveston Street, North Side, Pittsburgh

Part of the “Mexican War Streets”, this neighborhood is a Pittsburgh original, once the destination for the city’s most wealthy, then in the way city neighborhoods often decline and rise again, a good bit of it fell to ruins but is now being revived, as the buildings themselves just waited for their time to come around again.

Galveston Street, North Side, Pittsburgh, another view

Galveston Street, North Side, Pittsburgh, another view

This neighborhood is one of the oldest in Pittsburgh, and was at one time a separate municipality from Pittsburgh named Allegheny, laid out in 1788 and incorporated in 1828, featuring orderly brick streets and a mix of Victorian-era row houses, middle-class family homes and stately mansions softened by street trees.

Originally, lots and homes were awarded to Revolutionary War veterans. As the century wore on, this sophisticated and attractive urban metropolis became the first home to Pittsburgh’s millionaire industrialists. After the Mexican War, General William Robinson subdivided his plot of land and named all the streets after battles in the Mexican War, attracting even more wealthy homeowners; this photo is a section of the Mexican War Streets, sections of which are on the National Record of Historic Places.

West North Avenue, North Side, Pittsburgh

West North Avenue, North Side, Pittsburgh

Along with many other industries that found a home along the Allegheny River near the Point in Pittsburgh, the original H. J. Heinz factory built its home in Allegheny and employed generations of people in creating the “Heinz 57” varieties of pickled vegetables, relishes and chutneys, and many other condiments.

And who grew up in Allegheny City, or North Side? Mary Cassatt, Gertrude Stein, Martha Graham, Kate Harrington, George Washington Harris, John Pitcairn and Art Rooney, to name a few. And who else lived there? Mary Roberts Rinehart, Henry Phipps, H.J. Heinz, Andrew Carnegie, Henry O Tanner, Colonel James Anderson, William Thaw, Jr., Lois Weber and William Penn Snyder. And, of course, Andrew Carnegie built a library here. It must have been a hotbed of creative talent in those early days to have nurtured the likes of those people and attracted so many others. And lots of money.

It merged with the City of Pittsburgh in 1907 but maintained its small-town feel until “urban renewal” in the 1960s took out the original town center and replaced it with a mall and hotel, another portion was removed for highways and overpasses, and “old” sections of neighborhoods were removed because they were “old” and replaced with “new” multi-story modern style brick buildings, removing just enough of various neighborhoods to destroy their cohesion. The mansions of Millionaire’s Row on Ridge Avenue were largely incorporated into Community College of Allegheny County.

But you’ve got to call it the “Nor’side” now, even if it is becoming quite gentrified.

You can see more photos of the North Side, or “Allegheny City”, in this archive.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


On a Street Corner

Shepard Fairey mural
Shepard Fairey mural

Shepard Fairey mural

Interesting to see up close, especially as parts are peeling to see what’s underneath.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Inside and Out

awning in black and white
awning in black and white

Inside and Out

Though the photo looks old, it’s not, but the building is, and on a misty, snowy winter day the rest of the city around the building is misted out while the Victorian light fixtures and gingerbread appear. And the tromp l’oeil of the semi-circular awning reflected in the glass makes it look like a dome, though half of it is indoors.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


All That Glitters is . . . Not a Dinosaur

dinosaur sculpture Philiposaurus in Pittsburgh
dinosaur sculpture Philiposaurus in Pittsburgh

All That Glitters

Isn’t he pretty, all sparkly on such a dark day? Meet Philiposaurus (@ PPG), one of Pittsburgh’s artful dinosaurs. Entirely covers with reflective glass and mirrors, artist Gary Mesa-Gaido’s design was inspired by the similarity between the stegosaurus’s features and the architecture of Philip Johnson’s PPG building.

In 2003, Carnegie Museum of Art and the City of Pittsburgh presented DinoMite DaysSM, celebrating the Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s reputation for scientific excellence and connection with the discovery and research into dinosaurs using three different fiberglass dinosaur models and showcasing the talents of established and emerging artists who themed their 100 designs.

Below is what Philiposaurus @ PPG looks like from the side.

dinosaur sculpture Philiposaurus in Pittsburgh

Philiposaurus @ PPG

And also meet Ketchuposaurus, a Pittsburgh tradition!

dinosaur sculpture modeled after heinz ketchup bottle

Ketchuposaurus

And also Mr. Dig. Here are the three waiting to greet you outside the entrance to the Wintergarden at PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh.

dinosaur sculptures

Mr. Dig and his buddies.

Read more about DinoMite DaysSM and see the other designs.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Monongahela Fog

Monongahela Fog

Monongahela Fog

It could have been a scene from a century ago at the J&L Steel plant along the Monongahela River, but it’s just a foggy October morning.

A spectacularly foggy morning, the type that only autumn provides. This is a bend in the Monongahela River in Pittsburgh, the bit of a bridge you see is the Birmingham Bridge from the South Side Flats to the Boulevard of the Allies in the Lower Hill/Uptown/South Oakland. The steam rises from a concrete plant on Second Avenue, on the river’s edge, where the J&L Plant once stood; in the distance you see the first of the buildings in Oakland leading to Carlow University, Chatham University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. In this fog, this could have been taken decades ago, representing the smog from the mills. The mills are gone, the air and the rivers are relatively clean, but the colleges, the neighborhoods, the essence of Pittsburgh is still there in the rolling fog of an October morning.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Downtown Pittsburgh on a lovely October day.
Downtown Pittsburgh on a lovely October day.

Downtown Pittsburgh on a lovely October day.

Saturday was lovely and whenever I drive through Mt. Washington I try to stop and photograph Pittsburgh, in any season or time of day.

Here’s a panorama I put together from a series of photos.

Panorama of Pittsburgh

Panorama of Pittsburgh

See other photos of Pittsburgh.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Kayaking at the Point

Kayak on the River
Kayak on the River

Kayak on the River

On waters flecked with gold a kayaker rounds the Point in Pittsburgh where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers come together to form the Ohio.

I took this photo and the one below during the Three Rivers Arts Festival in June 2014. Today looked much the same as I drove through downtown Pittsburgh and looked at the rivers. Because the kayaker is in silhouette it was a little difficult to tell what he’s doing so I wanted to capture a shot with a clear shape of the paddle somewhere in the image, but the silhouette itself and the angle of the kayaker made that nearly impossible. I walked along the wharf keeping the kayaker in the line of the sun’s reflection, taking photos all the way, hoping I wouldn’t run into someone in the crowds at the festival and also hoping I wouldn’t just walk off the edge of the wharf.

I was rewarded with the photo above, also capturing the clear and focused sparkles in the front and softened sparkles behind the subject, and absolutely nothing else but him in the water. Below, I also wanted to get that fantastic sun that turned out so cool in so many of these photos, as well as a bridge and the hills beyond, so “Pittsburgh”.

Kayaking at the Point

Kayaking at the Point

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.

 


American Trouser Company Today

American Trouser Company Today

American Trouser Company Today

This is a ghost sign of a company that was once founded and housed in this building on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh. I can’t find much of the history but photographing the building was interesting, the mix of older, slightly worn brick and even the hinges left from window shutters. The windows have obviously been replaced, but I also liked the rich red of the brick at that time of day, early evening, contrasting with the teal of the window frames, yet the building, obviously built more than a century ago, still has strength and vitality. They still exist, but not in Pittsburgh. I found this old sales receipt on this site.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


A Couple Turns of the Century

turn of the century seward johnson
turn of the century seward johnson

A Couple Turns of the Century

With the peaks of PPG Place in the background, Seward Johnson’s statue “A Turn of the Century,” in PPG Plaza, a 20-foot-tall, 14,440-pound monumental bronze sculpture based on an 1883 life-sized painting by impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir, “Dance at Bougival.” I took the photo at twilight but the sky still has quite a bit of light. The modern glass towers of PPG Place tinted blue by the sky are a wonderful foil the the 19th-century Parisian dancers with even a locust tree lit by a colored light as if they are in an outdoor gathering place at night.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Brickwork

brickwork church facade
brickwork church facade

Brickwork

From the sidewalk to the sky and from facade to interior door this church makes a statement in brick work.

All that red makes a nice statement too.

On Pittsburgh’s North Side.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Forgotten Entrance

door with ivy
door with ivy

Forgotten Entrance

This once stately entrance appears to be forgotten, though it’s actually the front door of the home. It’s on one of the lovely brownstones on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Entering Reality

two figures in black and white

Entering Reality

Not so much what it looked like in life but the way my camera recorded images at this spot, all the figures outside the shadowed area looked vaguely abstracted, kind of cubist or sometimes just a shadowy rectangle because the sun was so bright on the pavement and on the river beyond. As they walked toward the shadow they gained detail. Interesting.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Magic

soap bubble
soap bubble

Outlying Planet

More bubbles from the festival.

soap bubble

Foreign Sun

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


The Magic of Bubbles

hands and bubbles
hands and bubbles

Reaching for the bubbles.

Along with everyone else I was enchanted by the huge bubbles people were making! Two long sticks with a 36″ loop of rope between were dipped into five-gallon buckets of bubble solution then held up to the breeze coming off the river. Sometimes one long bubble would form like a long tube, but if the wind moved about or the make moved the sticks it would twist and fold on itself or break into individual bubbles.

Of course, I had to get the bubbles and the fountain together in a few photos.

hands and bubbles

The best bubble of all.

This perfect bubble moved on the wind through the crowd…

soap bubble

This bubble went floating by…

…then suddenly, pop!

soap bubble

Then…pop!

The most wonderful thing was that everyone around the bubbles was smiling! The light was a little too dim to get a good photo of it, though.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


The Sun and Water

man and child walking by water
man and child walking by water

The Glow of Light and Water

I was enchanted by that big yellow ball in the sky and what it did to the scene of people and pavement and water; this is another in the series of photos from the Three Rivers Arts Festival. The photos above and below were taken through the spray that blew off the fountain over the water, and the sun is refracted through all those flying droplets, some of them landing on my camera lens. The blending of color from white hot to pale yellow to orange to red in the sun is pulled apart into a pattern that I didn’t notice at first until I started playing around with the RAW photos. I ended up not modifying them at all, I liked them just as shot, including a few others that are kind of abstract, shot through the fountain spire and fans.

The photo above shows a man and a little girl walking hand in hand, and I took a few shots as they walked past the yellow path on the water made by the glowing sun. The little girl stopped to point at something and the man paused.

The photo below is blurred, and that was unintentional—it was the first one I took as the two walked toward the path of light and my camera was finding its focus on the droplets of water flying around me, but I like the softened effect, and also the fact they are just stepping into the path.

man and child walking in sunlight by water

Entering The Sun’s Path

In the photos below, I intentionally shot with the sun shining into the fountain, trying to capture the little gold droplets as the water fell from the spire along with just tiny hints of the landscape beyond.

fountain spray

Fountain Spray

Catching a few droplets falling, and one person through the opening.

Below, a little more abstract as the sun touches one thing after another.

fountain spray

Fountain Abstract

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


The Fountain at The Point

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh
the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

Two young girls run through the wading pool around the fountain.

I went to a concert at our annual Three Rivers Arts Festival weekend before last, and I captured so many images I was absolutely overwhelmed—as well as busy with a big project in house so I barely had a chance to review and edit photos. I realize it’s been a week since I posted anything at all! But a little distance from all those photos and getting the big project done gave me a little more perspective and choosing and editing images was actually easier.

The Point at Pittsburgh is the headwaters of the Ohio River, and the reason Pittsburgh exists where it does. The Allegheny River flows from the northeast and the Monongahela River flows from the south east and they come to a confluence in this valley and flow on to West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois until it reaches the Mississippi River in Cairo, Illinois. It’s an interesting feeling to stand above this point and see the rivers come together and flow off through this landscape that was once so scarred by industry and pollution, but which is now clean and green, the hills still tree-covered, the waters, well, I’ve had a swim in each of the rivers.

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

People gather at the point during the festival.

The most surprising thing is the point itself. Because river travel was so important for industry, this very point was once the site of factories and warehouses, trainyards, docks and even coal tipples that loaded barges and boats to carry raw and finished materials from the hinterlands of Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia into Pittsburgh, and picking up more to travel down the Ohio. If you’ve ever seen the land left behind after a steel mill or a chemical factory or a glass plant has moved on, it’s about as dead as the earth can be. But with the beginning of Pittsburgh’s Renaissance in the 1950s, this point of land was taken for a state park, rehabilitated and made a lovely place to visit and see the city and the rivers from a unique point of view—Pittsburgh is very hilly, and there aren’t many places that are this flat.

The fountain celebrates this spot with three short fans each facing a river, and the spire in the center fed by the “fourth river”, an underground river that flows out of Coal Hill or Mt. Washington directly underneath the Point.

the fountain at the point at pittsburgh

The plate marking the Point.

The seal above is on the pavement near the edge of the wharf and has the names of each of the rivers on the side facing that river and also reads, “Point of Confluence, Point of Conflict, Point of Renewal”. A pentagonal shape marks the spot where Fort Duquesne once stood. I’ll be writing more about that with other photos coming in the next few days.

Below is a photo of the point from up on Mt. Washington from 2011 when the Point and the park were under construction so that you can get an idea where this fountain stands and see the confluence of two rivers that makes a third.

photo of pittsburgh pennsylvania

Pittsburgh

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Dressy Lamps

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.
A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

Dress Lamps

From across the street, a lingerie display? But not among the art galleries during Unblurred along Penn Avenue.

Close up they are actually lamps, handmade paper garments and sculptures by paper artist Katy DeMent wired with a light so they cast a soft and natural light through her handmade paper.

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

A paper lamp bodice3 by Katy DeMent.

Katy told me, “I’m a seasoned paper maker from Atlanta (20+years, teaching at Society for Contemporary Craft and Phipps locally) now living in Highland park. I was not in that space during first Friday as I had work in 4 other places including the Hotter than Hell fashion show at Glass Center that evening, (Garfield art works) , had my skeleton as part of Artists Against Fracking, and Most Wanted Fine Art had another paper dress. ”

A paper lamp by Katy DeMent.

A paper lamp dress by Katy DeMent.

You can find Katy’s work on her Facebook page, and she also has an Etsy shop—you’ve got to see her handmade paper wedding dress. She’ll be at Three Rivers Arts Festival June 12-15 left of the big stage.

 


Gateway Clipper Fleet

gateway clipper
gateway clipper

Gateway Clipper

Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper Fleet reflecting on the calm Monongahela River in early morning.

Too bad the guardrail got in the way at the bottom!

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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.


Walking to the Sky in the Morning

"Walking to the Sky" sculpture
"Walking to the Sky" sculpture

“Walking to the Sky”

This sculpture, a copy of “Walking to the Sky” by Jonathan Borofsky, stands in a common area of the Carnegie-Mellon University campus. It’s quite prominent and seen from the street and many people didn’t like the idea of it before it was installed in 2006 and still don’t like it today. But then a certain number of people don’t like anything new, and it’s just not to others’ taste. Seven individuals of various ages, races, genders and occupations walk up a stainless steel pole set at a 75-degree angle with a couple more watching from below. I like it better knowing the story of its inspiration, stories the artist’s father told him when he was growing up about the giant who lived in the sky and would help those below, and father and son would visit in the stories.

I like the view of it above, it’s interesting and for me illustrates the idea well. Below is a distance view of it from the side, and even though I knew what it was it actually looked as if there was a crane and something was under construction.

You can read more about it on Wikipedia

and in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the CMU Tartan.

"Walking to the Sky" distance view

“Walking to the Sky” distance view

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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.


Elongated Patterns

shadoes on bridge
shadoes on bridge

Elongated Shadows

The winter sun’s low angle creates dramatic elongated shadows as the afternoon wanes crossing the McKees Rocks Bridge, a a steel trussed through arch bridge over the Ohio River near Pittsburgh (you get to know bridge types when you live in a city with, well, 446 bridges within the city limits–three more than Venice, Italy–in a county with nearly 3,000 bridges and a state with 22,280 bridges, and that’s not counting the ones shorter than 20 feet that carry local traffic across streams or deep ravines). The double steel arches and criss-crossing trusses make an interesting pattern of light and shadow.

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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.


Attending the Paintball Exhibit

The Paintball Exhibit
The Paintball Exhibit

The Paintball Exhibit

Traveling under the Bloomfield Bridge, you never know what you’ll find. Here, Mr. Top Hat Metal Sculpture sits in the snow, shirtless to appreciate the skills of local paintballers in a modern-day Jackson Pollock style. Would Pollock have thrown balloons full of paint onto a canvas if he’d had the chance? I’ll bet he would have.

metal sculpture

Mr. Top Hat

Above is the shirtless Mr. Top Hat Metal Sculpture today, and below from a photo I took of the same sculpture almost three years ago in the summer when someone had taken pity on his bare metal in the sun and given him cover.

metal sculpture

Mr. Top Hat in summer

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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.


The Vertical Neighborhood

Polish Hill, Pittsburgh
Polish Hill, Pittsburgh

Polish Hill, Pittsburgh

Polish Hill has long called itself “Pittsburgh’s most vertical neighborhood” and you can see that you are on the edge of a very steep street, and with the descending roofs of the buildings on the left this street is at least one example of that designation. They are all pretty steep, many just as steep as this one, and all dominated by Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church where mass is still said daily in Polish, the industrial and warehouse district of Pittsburgh beyond, and the Allegheny River and the 31st Street Bridge beyond that. It has its share of immigrants and descendants of immigrants and working people and young people, all clinging to the hillside.

Below is another shot I found interesting because I liked the bike parked by the rail at the top of the hill, and still the church over all; these buildings are the backs of the ones seen in the photo above. But it was a dark snowy day and there was an ambulance behind me so I had no time to get out of my car to get the photo. One of these days I’ll go back.

photo of city street

A bike at the top of the hill.

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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.


Magenta Meander

walkway lit with pink lights.
walkway lit with pink lights.

Magenta Meander

A walkway to the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, under the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

I was at the Convention Center for the Pet Expo over the weekend, and when I left Saturday night after a long day, I heard water and thought it was raining. As it turns out, there was an area to drive through between the two sides of the building, and this pathway between the lanes with a waterfall, the water flowing down the vertical walls then down the stepped area next to the walkway, lit with magenta lights. It was totally enchanting! This couple had also been taking photos, one figure walking all the way down below the catwalk I was standing on, then walking back up to the person taking photos.

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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.