Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas at the West Side Market

Fish Monger behind Counter at West Side Market stand

Right before Christmas, I had to go to the West Side Market to meet an artist to pick up a print for my mother's present. I snapped this photo with my camera while I was waiting.

It definitely put me in the Christmas spirit to see all the decorations and people shopping for the holiday.

There was even a band in the upstairs viewing loft to add to the Christmas mood.

Even better was the flash mob of choral singers doing the Allelejah chorus.

There are so many great things about living in the city and the West Side Market is near the top of the list.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Christmas Story in Tremont

Leg Lamp on Tree

As some of you may know, part of the movie "A Christmas Story" were shot in Tremont. This time of year, you can see leg lamps in several of windows of restaurants and shops throughout Tremont.

About 6 years ago, we visited the Christmas story house. It was before they renovated it or had a museum across the street. My mom bought a string of leg lamp lights and gave each one of us a cover as a souvenir.

I lived in Lakewood at the time, so I find it kind of funny that I now live in Tremont very close to the elementary school. Every year, I put my leg lamp light cover on the tree. It just one more thing that makes me love the holiday in the city.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ghosts of Christmas Trees Past

Christmas Tree in Lakewood Apartment

As I have been looking back through some old image files, I found this photo of the christmas tree in my first apartment when I moved to Cleveland.

I had only been here a few weeks and there wasn't any furniture in my living room .. not even a light. The only light I had was from the Christmas tree. Eventually, the furniture that I ordered arrived.

There was a huge snow storm today, and it is getting me in the mood for the holiday, and I am excited to get my tree this week!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Meeting the Drum Guy

Bill and I with the drum guy at the Tribe game

As mentioned in my previous blog about the drum guy at the Tribe game, I was very excited to meet him. As a matter of fact, my brother and I were checking out the drum and get grabbed this photo.

Almost everyone in the city knows who this guy is, but how many people can say they met him or held his drumsticks. Stellar!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Drum Guy at the Tribe Game

Drummer at the Tribe Game

There is a tradition in the city of Cleveland that I always thought was very cool. There is a man who goes to pretty much every tribe game with him drum. He has been attending games with his drum since Aug. 24, 1973.

At a recent game, the attendance was so low, that my brother and I were able to get up in the stands and talk with him. He is a very cool guy and I snapped this picture of him in his perch in the outfield bleachers.

My brother and I were able to play the drum and hold the drumsticks. I am thoroughly convinced that when they started charging him for a season ticket for his drum, it might have cursed the Indians.

Maybe if we figure out a way to pay for his ticket and for the drum, the curse might be broken.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pat O'Briens in the French Quarter

The sign outside of Pat O'Briens in the French Quarter

One of the best placed in the United States, if the not planet, is New Orleans. What most people think of when they think New Orleans, is the French Quarter.

There are so many great bars and restaurants. Fortunately, a vast majority of these places were not damaged by Hurrican Katrina, so a lot of tradition survived.

Speaking of tradition, in New Orleans, the Hurricane drink is a big tradition. They are delicious and pack a punch. One of the best places to get one is Pat O's . . not only because they are yummy, but the courtyard with the flaming fountain at night is a great scene.

Besides, who could resist a drink that comes in a glass with "Have Fun" on it. BTW- they trademarked the term.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boats in the Galway Harbor

Boats docked in the Galway Harbor

One of my favorite cities in Ireland is Galway. Even though it is a relatively compact city, I find myself always exploring new streets and walking the strand along the sea like it is the first time I was there.

On my recent trip to Ireland in July, the weather was less than wonderful, but it didn't take anything away from the experience of Galway. On my first day in the city, I fought the blustery weather and walked to Salt Hill along the bay. I snapped this photo of a few boats in the harbor on my journey.

It would have been a rough day at sea, and in the harbor with a pint of Guinness was a much better place to be.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fiddlers at the Cobblestone

Two Fiddlers at the Cobblestone in Dublin

During my trip to Ireland, I stopped at the Cobblestone to hear a session of local musicians play traditional Irish music. The music was incredible. Mick also sang a couple songs and has an incredible voice.

It is interesting that the Cobblestone almost met with distruction because the area, Smithfield Village, has gotten so built up. Ironically, when the Celtic Tiger started to collapse, the owner of the building was not able to sell, and the Cobblestone was saved.

There are not very many places in Dublin that you can find traditional music that isn't played for the tourists. This session is played for Irish people who want to keep the tradition and the old songs alive.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Big Sam's Funky Nation in Pittsburgh

Big Sam and the Funky Nation

This past weekend, I was in Pittsburgh for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I had the good fortune to see Big Sam's Funky Nation.

Big Sam is from New Orleans and I remember seeing him last year the Blue Nile. His energy exhausted me then, and he did it again.

Somehow, Big Sam managed to start a second line and have it follow him all around the Rex Theatre.

Nothing like great music . . . an definitely nothing like great brass!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Cool Guy

a cool guy in lolita

When I was out in Tremont on Friday, I stopped into Lolita. My friends and I lucked into some seats at the bar. The perfect place for people watching.

As fate would have it, this 'cool' guy was sitting at the corner of the bar. He is one of my favorite people to watch. Although you could make fun of this dude, (actually, I said that he looks like he just emerged for the casion scene in Reno)you have to love him.

He is living the dream. He is dressed in some groovy threads and out with some friends (it might have been his daughter) as a cool joint in Tremont.

This is not a guy ready for the retirement village.

The thing that caught my attention were the shades, but the leather jacket with the zippers kept my attention. I just wish the lighting was better so the picture would have been clearer.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Biking through Tremont

Man biking through Tremont

One of the things I love about Tremont is there is still a great cast of characters in the neighborhood. Although a lot of young urbanites have moved into the neighborhood, the immigrant roots are still firmly planted in the soil.

On my way to get on the highway, this gentleman was biking down Clarke Avenue. Bundled in his winter gear, he was biking with some supplies in his basket.

I don't think he was trying to save the planet or anything, just trying to get some groceries and get home maybe, but hats off to him because he did't have to pay the $2.69 a gallon BP was charging.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

DC's China Town gate in Washington DC

China Town Gate at night in Washington DC

While I was waiting for my friend outside of the metro, I got to watch a lot of the bustling crowds of people wandering by. I was standing right by the China town gate and thought it looks really lovely glowing in in the dusky evening light.

It is pretty amazing to me that China Town has become a hot spot because it was an area that was generally pretty quite other than events at the MCI Center (which is now renamed).

The neighborhood has a good vibe and it was cool to see so many people enjoying the city and cool restaurants.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morning Fog In Tremont

Tremont Morning Fog on my street

This morning, Cleveland was embanked in fog. It is probably the worst I have ever experienced. It gave my neighborhood a very odd, weary feeling. The strange trees and slightly titled angle from just holding up the phone while I was driving makes everything feel off kilter . . . even a little bit spooky.

It almost seems like this photograph is something out of a 1950s archive from the neighborhood. It is like some of the pictures in the history archives that reflects it immigrant, mill worker past.

Tremont Morning Fog on my street

Tremont always has a bit of a throwback feeling to it, but with the fog masking anything that seemed modern day and the sun only a gleeming spot in the sky and not a visible mass, it made me stop my car, get out my phone and snap these pictures.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Strolling on the Strand at Bray Beach

Strolling on the Strand at Bray Beach

If you hop on the DART in Dublin City Centre and take the train about 20 minutes south, you will be at Bray. Bray is a seaside town that is about as close as Ireland gets to the Jersey Shore in America. There is a promenade and a couple of arcades for the kids and adults.

Mostly, it is a place where the Irish gather to enjoy a great view of the water. On this day, it was about 30 degrees (Fahrenheit). Since the sun had made an appearance and the kids were off of school, the area was packed with people. In American, we would have been hiding in our houses. The Irish, they never miss soaking up a minute of sun.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Heading to Dublin - Áth Cliath

Road sign for Dublin - Áth Cliath

One of the things I always love about Ireland is that the road signs are in both English and Irish. It often helps you figure out how the Irish pronounce the name of a town.

There are a couple of exceptions where the Irish for a place and the name of the place are different. Dublin - the capital city - is a great example. The name Dublin comes from the Irish Dub Lin (or black pool), but the Irish name for it is Áth Cliath.

At any rate, I love the weathered signs that you find around the country. It adds to the romance and charm of the Emerald Isle.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Feilim's Lake

Photo of Lake in Dublin | Wicklow MountainsOn my recent trip to Ireland, I had the good fortune to be escorted to Wexford by a lad named Feilim. Although the trip to Wexford was nice, the journey back to Dublin the next day was extraordinary.

You can make it from City Centre Dublin to Wexford in about 60 minutes. The drive back was a relaxing 2 hours of great stories and side roads. With Feilim as my guide, I got to see some out of the way and interesting sites.

Although I had taken a tour through the Wicklow Mountains, I had never seen this lake before. I don't know the name of the lake, so I am aptly naming it Feilim's Lake because it reminds me of that trip.

Any time you are laughing so hard you and you driver have tears in their eyes, you can chalk that up to an amazing day!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Clancy's Pub in Bray, Ireland

Exterior of Clancy's Pub in Bray, Ireland

When I lived in Ireland, I had made a day trip to Bray. During that day, I shot a few photos on the strand. However, by the time I had started walking in to town, the skies opened and it started pouring down rain.

Since I didn't have an umbrella, I headed for the first pub for a bit to eat and pint. In Ireland, you can often wait 10 or 15 minutes and the rain will pass. The rain didn't let up.

I was totally discouraged and headed back to the Dart (subway) station and headed back to Dublin.

Clancy's is one of the closest pubs to the Dart station, and I had NEVER seen it. Bray is a great little town, within 20 or 30 minutes of Dublin, that has a lot of character. I spent the entire afternoon walking the streets, having lunch and enjoying the sites the town offered.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Sunset on Cape Haze

Sunset from restaurant in Cape Haze, Florida

I shot this picture with my phone while I was having dinner with my parent's in Cape Haze, Florida. The palm trees and water look amazing in the sunset.

Of course, I pulled the ultra mean moved and sent it as a picture message to my friends in Cleveland who were enduring 25 degree temps and getting snow.

It is much better to seeing the sunset in person than on a picture message!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Venice Beach Jetty

Venice Beach Jetty

While on vacation in Florida, my family and I went to Venice Beach. Tucked away from the main promenade is two jetties where a lot of people go fishing. It is a pretty amazing spot. The water is so blue and it is entrancing to watch the waves.

One of the things that I think is incredible about the beaches on the gulf is that there seems to be a more mellow vibe than the beaches on the Atlantic Coast.