Monday, March 31, 2008

Court House Carvings - Part 2

As mentioned in my previous blog, I had taken a walk to the public library. This photo is a carving of a similar face, but with corn around the head. Since Ohio is a big agricultural state, I can understand the motif of the leaves and the corn.

However, the other carvings did not have any other agricultural items. There were only two other styles before the faces started to repeat. The thing that amazes me about this face is the teeth. It seems a bit odd to include them in the sculpture, and it makes the face seem so creepy.

Court House Carvings

While I was walking to the library on Friday, I had to take the long way around Public Square because they are still filling in the gigantic hole from the water main break. During my detour, I was noticing the carvings on the Courthouse building.

The building has a series of male heads with different ornamentation around the head. This one was encircled with leaves. I have to admit, these faces are a bit creepy, but that might be to scare away the pigeons from Public Square.

It reminds me a bit of Ghost of Christmas Future in Scrooge, the musical version with Albert Finney.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Summer Sunshine

As I was going back through my photos from my trip to Boston, I noticed a photograph from my vacation in Florida that I never posted. I converted this sunset photo of a palm tree to black and white.

When I took the picture the sun was beaming through the trees and knocking out most of the colors in the photo anyway.

Since there isn't much sunshine in Cleveland today, I thought it would be a nice reminder that sunshine does exist and might one day make its way back to our part of the world.

Cheers! - The Pub

While on my walking tour of Boston and the Freedom Trail, we happened across the Bull and Finch pub - also known as Cheers. This pub was made famous by the television show Cheers as the model for the set.

The bar was quite small, but fortunately, my friends and I did secure three bar stools in the back room. Actually, the pub was friendly and poured a great Guinness. Maybe the staff didn't know my name, but sometimes you just might want to go there anyway.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Memorial Garden

When I was walking the Freedom Trail in Boston, we walked through the memorial gardens that are behind the Old North Church. As we were walking through, I noticed this memorial garden.

The memorial garden is an installation to honor all of the men and women (both the Armed Forces and civilians) who have lost their lives in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. The memorial is made up of dog tags that represent all of these people. There are currently 6 panels in place with the dog tags hanging there. I think it is an amazing representation of the amount of lives lost.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Carnegie Bridge Statues

There are a lot of bridges in Cleveland. One of the best bridges is the Carnegie Avenue bridge. Unlike other bridges, this bridge has ornate statues on both ends of the bridge. The official name is The Hope Memorial Bridge.
The Hope Memorial Bridge stretches over the Cuyahoga River. Hope Memorial got its original name because it links Lorain Avenue on Cleveland's west side and Carnegie Avenue on the east side.

It is an art deco truss bridge, and was completed in 1932. Huge statues, called the “Guardians of Traffic” (designed by sculptor Henry Hering and architect Frank Walker) stand on pylons, a pair at each end of the viaduct, symbolizing progress in transportation.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Snow Smile

This morning, I was sent on an errand for my mother. On my way into Target, I noticed someone had drawn this smiley face on the top of a trash can in the newly fallen snow.

At this point in the year, I am really done with any type of snow, but seeing this made the snow seem kind of funny and bearable. It made me smile.

Pennsylvania Barn in the Snow

Growing up in Pittsburgh, I lived in a very urban neighborhood. It was a small town where you could walk around the brick-lined street. You could ride you bike to the park at the other end of town and the local store was a few blocks away.

My parents had lived in the same house my entire life. Recently, they moved to a new house. Although the area is very suburban, the rolling hills and woods that surround their property always amaze me. Their house is on an old horse farm, and this barn is still in use. With a light snow, it is really beautiful.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Boston's Faneuil Hall

As I was touring Boston and walking the Freedom Trail, we made our way past Faneuil Hall. There has been a market place and meeting hall there since 1742. It is a very large building considering the time period in which it was built - it was rebuilt in 1762 after a fire.

Faneuil Hall sits ajacent to Quinicy Market and is very busy today. After walking through the historic north end and seeing the Old North Church, it was a good break to do some shopping.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Boston's Freedom Trail

During my trip to Boston, my friends took me on a walking tour through the city. One of the things they pointed out to me was the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile red-brick walking trail that leads you to 16 nationally significant historic sites.

The photo I took of the Freedom Trail is at a point where there was a marker for the trail. It was interesting because as we walked around the city on our tour for the day, I noticed that we kept picking up the trail in different areas of the city.

On this trail you get to see great things like the Old North Church, Paul Revere's House, Faneuil Hall and the State House.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

EuroHawk or Not?

A new controversy has started in my office. A co-worker, Dave has just gotten a new coif. Is it a EuroHawk or a FauxHawk. Some of you might remember that another co-worker had gotten a haircut we termed the EuroHawk.

Is it the Comanche or the JoeHawk (for Joe Strummer)? Let us know what you think.

Paul Revere's Ride

During my tour of Boston, I visited the Old North Church. If you walk through the alley on the side of the church and proceed to the gardens behind the church, there is a lovely court yard. At the far end, there is a statue of Paul Revere who had made his imfamous ride after seeing the lanterns in the church steeple.

I like this perspective because it links both Paul Revere and the church in the photograph just as they are indelibly linked in history.

With the way the trees have grown, it almost feels like he is blazing a path on his horse to alert the surrounding towns and villages.

Old North Church

This past weekend, I visited Boston. My lovely host took me on a walking tour of the city. One of our first stops was the Old North Church. The church was made famous for being the place where the "One if by land, two if by sea" signal that sent Paul Revere on his famous ride.

The church is nestled in an historic neighborhood in the North End of Boston. This photograph was shot when we were in the church. It has a very traditional setup. The pews were set up as boxes and each box had a designated family with the exception of the strangers and warden's booth shown.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Celtics at the Garden

Right now, I am in Boston. I went to the Garden on Friday to see the Celtics play. I didn't take my camera, but I snapped this picture with my phone. It was so exciting to be at the Garden . . . even though the team lost.

The referees were really horrible, but the crowd was amazing. Such a great experience!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sir Dale Comic Strip

Sometimes, the most interesting photos are not really of any specific person or object. The photo is taken to capture a piece of art. Today, my co-worker drew a comic strip of Dale, the guy I am dating, and his two dogs.

It fascinates me that Young Adam has not only given him the name Sir Dale Edmund Fitzgerald Rockingham, Earl of Tremont, but he has immortalized him in a comic strip he has penned under the name Lisa Zandy.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lincoln Park

I had made a post earlier in the year that showed Lincoln Park in the snow. When I shot this photo in early January, I was worried that there would not be many more days of snow. Little did I know, Cleveland would be slammed with snow.

As I was walking home tonight, I noticed the desolate park bench in the snow. It seemed like the park was calling out for spring, for people to sit on the bench and enjoy the lovely weather. The weather today was so great, I can just see it in my mind.

It is coming, I swear. Spring is making its way to Cleveland.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Street Lanterns

As I was getting ready for work this morning, I realized that I had not posted a photograph yesterday. I guess that got my thinking about shooting much earlier and opened my eyes to finding something on my way to work.

After I parked my car, I was crossing the street to go to the local market for breakfast. Maybe for the first time, I noticed a series of ornate lanterns that lined the sidewalk along the sidewalk for the building.

I quickly took a few photos. When I was getting the photo ready to upload, I couldn't decide if I wanted it to remain in color or convert it black and white. I toggled the photo for awhile. In the end, as you can see, I decided the photo should remain in color. I really like the warm yellow light from the lanterns and how it forms a small pool of yellow light on the wall. It was probably what attracted me to take the photo in the first place.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Winter Wallop

Cleveland has just started to emerge from an huge winter snow storm. I managed to make my way to the local drinking hole that was open. On my way to the bathroom, I looked out the back window. Some patrons were back there getting ready to make a snow shark.

I think this picture is a good representation of how much snow we got. Notice how most of the tables and chairs are covered to the top with snow. Between the large amount of snow and the drifting caused by the wind, it was an interesting day to say the least.

Snow Shark

This weekend, Cleveland experienced an unbelievable snow storm. Fortunately, the neighborhood where I live is a very walker friendly. Even better, the local bar has a staff that lives either in the building or within walking distance.

As you might know, being inside for hours at a time can make you go a little stir crazy. Not Jack Nicholson The Shining crazy, but it makes people get a little goofy.

Some of the boys who were at the bar where I was hunkering down, decided to make a sculpture in the snow. They made this snow shark. Unfortunately, it was snowing so hard you can't see the can it its mouth that well.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Hail, Hail Rock and Roll

As you know, Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It is also known as the birth place of rock and roll. With this moniker, the people of Cleveland take their rocking out very seriously.

As seen in this photograph, Young Adam and Mazz are rocking it out during an extended happy hour. It was a stirring round of jukebox playing. We were rocking it out so hard, a man came up to me and asked if we were the one who had been playing the song. When I answered yes, he handed me $5 to play more songs.
Hail, hail rock and roll!

The Nauti Mermaid

After a long week or a long day at work, the folks I work with like to go for a drink. Fortunately, there is a local establishment a few doors down from where we work. The Nauti Mermaid is a place the people at Optiem like to gather.

The restaurant has a nautical theme, so when I was there I was hoping there would be something interesting for me to photograph. I didn't really see anything until I was about to leave. When I was walking out the door, I looked up and noticed a statue of a mermaid.

Since I didn't want to use a flash, I took the photograph using only the ambient light. The photo came out better than I expected. The combination of the wood and the type of lighting in the vestibule gave it this amber orange glow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

White Trash Only

On the way back from lunch today, my co-worker Young Adam and I had to circle around the block to get back to the building because the streets of Cleveland were flooding from the snow melting.

We were making our way back to the office and chatting about the recent Ohio Presidential Primary and the impact on the upcoming race for office. When we took a break from out in-depth analysis of the previous day's results, I noticed this barrel that had "Trash Only" on it.

Although the moniker was meant to instruct people of the restricted type of items that could be placed in the barrel, we were wondering if trashy girls or white trash people were qualified as the "trash" the owner of this receptacle was talking about.

Young Adam was demonstrating my point about the "White Trash" dilemma for me. Thanks Young Adam!

Ben's Surprise Bagel Shower

It was an interesting morning in Cleveland. After a horrible ice storm last night, the city was coated with a heap of snow. It was also interesting because a co-worker of mine at Optiem and I had planned a surprise baby shower for our co-worker, Ben, whose wife is expecting their first child in a few weeks.

We organized the gift. We got bagels, muffins, donuts and decorations. Since the weather had been so bad, I decided to push the event back a half an hour to make sure everyone could get here. I had scheduled a simultaneous meeting with Ben.

After everyone's difficult commute, the snacks and juice really hit the spot. It was a great gathering for the team.

Congratulations, Ben!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Viking Ship in Dublin

While on vacation in Dublin, I visited the Museum of Decorative Arts and History at the Collins Barracks. Although the museum is an out of the way location in City Centre, I like a few of the exhibits that are in the permanent collection - specifically the one on Eileen Gray.

Much to my delight, the museum had an replica Viking ship in its courtyard. The ship, call the Sea Stallion project, was built and sailed into Dublin with a crew of 65 members. The ship is on display at Collins Barracks until August 2008. It is not only an impressive piece of craftsmanship, but also amazing to think people actually got into these boats to sail across the seas.

They were either brave or crazy! There are a few more photos on my photo account.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Guinness - My Modern Mecca

As you might have noticed, I talk about Guinness a lot. I love the black stuff. I wrote a post on attending the Guinness Believer event in Chicago and a recent one about my Winking Lizard World Tour blog about visiting the Guinness factory.

When I was walking out of the Guinness factory, I snapped this photo. One of my co-workers commented that it almost didn't look real. Looking at it now, it does seem like someone photo shopped the sign on the wall. Sometimes, I wonder if it was a just a lovely dream. Fortunately, I have photos from inside the Guinness factory that prove otherwise.

Knobs and Knockers

As mentioned in the previous post, Georgian Dublin is filled with great architectural gems. However, it is often the details of the remaining townhouses that make strolling through the neighborhood a great time.

While on vacation, I was walking through Fitzwilliam Square on my way back to the hotel. I noticed this door not only for the color, but the ornate knocker that was being used. I am not sure if it was an original or if someone had gone to Knobs and Knockers to get something updated and stylish when they were restoring the building.

At any rate, the door knocker is pretty incredible. There a photo of the entire door online as well.

Letters in Dublin

There is an area of Dublin called Georgian Dublin. This area was built during the British occupation of the city. Luckily, most of the lovely town houses that were built during that period are still standing and in great condition.

Some of the homes have great ornaments such as door knockers or boot scrapers. This home had a lovely ornate letter slot. Although a bit worn, you can see the letter slot has been polished and taken care of over time. It is just one of the things that so enjoyable about strolling through old neighborhoods.