Saturday, October 31, 2009


For this Route 66 Saturday Series and still with a Halloween theme, I am posting the above photo taken from Bob's Gasoline Alley in Cuba, Missouri.
It is no secret to the faithful readers of this blog that I don't care much for Halloween. I do enjoy seeing kids dressing up in cute costumes but I am not really into decorating or going to a Halloween party. There are about a dozen kids in our neighborhood and the families walk together in groups, so the whole "Trick or Treat" lasts about an hour. My husband caught a cold earlier this week and still is in bed with running nose, a light fever and body ache. So it was up to me to be a cheerful host when the children stop by. The kids were excited when I put a handful of candies into their baskets/bags and the parents thank me for my generosity. The truth to be known that I just wanted to get the whole thing over quickly as it was kind of chilly standing in front of the house waiting for the kids to come by! Not wanting to be a Halloween Pooper, I am posting the photos below, a smiling pumpkin painted on a bale of hay and the giant eyeball scuplture - BOO from St. Louis!
American artist Tony Tasset created the giant eyeball sculpture. It is made of fiberglass, resin, oil paint and steel and on display at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Friday, October 30, 2009


For this week St. Louis Friday Series, I am posting photos of The Awakening, a five-part (thus giving the title to this post - Body Parts) sculpture by American sculptor J. Seward Johnson. The sculpture was unveiled on Saturday, October 10th and will be on display permanently at Central Park in Chesterfield, Missouri. "The Awakening" is a 4,700-pound cast aluminum giant, 70 feet in length and 17 feet tall, that appears to be emerging from the ground.

In this photo, Benjamin tried to shake hand with the Giant but he gave up and decided to just "high-five" instead! (As I watch the kids happily scrambled over the face, climbing and sitting in the huge hand and the right foot, I sure missed my nephew and thought JL would have a good time playing around the Giant as well as taking part in make-and-take art activities.)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Well, not wild beasts running around NYC for real, just two plaster scupltures of mean looking big cat and guard dog. I don't have any scary photos (for Halloween) to post for this week New York Wednesday Series, so these close up photos would have to do.
The 4+ years I attended Hunter College I never had time to walk leisurely around the block. With a full time job during the day and trying to take as many as evening classes that were available, I typically rushed from the subway (#6 train station right at the corner of 68th & Lexington) into the main campus, just enough time to get something to eat and double check on papers I was supposed to hand in or last minute reading assignments. Last May I took a trip down the memory lane by visiting my alma mater. I walked around the block, no longer rushing to class, then I looked up and for the first time, saw these plaster scupltures on the building right next to the main campus. Next time, I plan to buy a pretzel and a soda, from a street vendor that has been forever at the same corner, sit down on the steps, slowly removing all the salt off the pretzel, eat the pretzel, drink the soda and just watch the students rushing by, enjoying the moment, knowing I no longer have classes to attend or papers to submit, I already earned my degree as proof that I made it, here at Hunter College in New York City!

Monday, October 26, 2009


This is the perfect pose for either "The Three Stooges" or "The Three Amigos". I am running out of Country Humor, so I am posting snapshots of these cute farm animals as they came right up to the fence when we stopped by. My husband said the sheep wanted to have a good look at his T-bird and that even the sheep appreciate a fine automobile. For this Humor of the Week, you could say that this is a Baa Humor Post.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


This Macoupin County Courthouse in Carlinville, Illinois is recognized as the most magnificient courthouse in the State. It is one of the largest courthouses in the U.S., second only to a courthouse in New York. Designed by E. E. Meyers in 1867, the building began as a $50,000 (that is fifty thousand dollars) project. When it was finally completed in 1870, the total cost was $1.3 million. It took the County 40 (that is forty) years to pay it off. The building was made of limestone and a great example of the mid-1800s Renaissance Revival style architecture.
This scandalous cost inspired the nickname of "Million Dollar Courthouse" which people are still talking about. Something never changes when it comes to politicians spending taxpayers' money or using their elected positions to obtain personal financial gains while pretending to do something nice for the people.

Above is the Macoupin County Jail of 1869, across the street from the Million Dollars Courthouse. It was in operation until 1988. This Gothic Revival stone structure has cannon-balls embedded within the walls to help prevent jail breaks. Only one person ever escaped and was apprehended a few blocks away. (I wonder if the reason was because of the security of the jail or in such little town where everyone knows everybody, it is hard to run away as a prisoner, trying to blend in with the locals.)
From the photo below, I am not sure if Benjamin was trying to break out of jail or pretending to be the prison guard!

Friday, October 23, 2009


This post is for Qaptain Qwerty's viewing pleasure - let's see how many more puns the Qaptain will have with the names of these Lions?
Above - Royal Coat, Sandy Miller is the artist.

Below in order of posting - Tut-Ankh-Lion (this is a good one). Artist - Beverly Lake Hoffman.
Next is Winding Earthcamo Lion by Genevieve Esson.
Follow by Reflection of the Arts - Byron Rogers is the artist.

On the roof of Centennial Commons building sat "Tye-Dyed Lion". Steve Scherrer is the artist. I hope all the visitors to my blog enjoy these Lions. If you wish to see a specific public sculpture or a particular feature of St. Louis, let me know and I might be able to post the photos in future St. Louis Friday Series.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


When in New York, obey all rules. Don't even think of getting around the rules because the fine officers of NYPD are watching every moves and definitely don't make any funny faces at the security cameras!
Go ahead and honk if you have $350 to pay the penalty.
I heard that this Dog not only barks very loud and bites real hard, it only slashes the tires of any vehicles that park in front of these No Parking signs.

Monday, October 19, 2009


"200, 200, do I hear 210, how about 215? I have 215, do I hear 220? Don't be shy, 220, going once, going twice, sold to the men in the mustard shirt."

When I saw the sign "Shy Auction Co.", I thought of a shy person trying to place a bid at a live auction - not very successful.

Also, if someone made a purchase and paid with a stolen checkbook, he would not have to look far to get bail bonds. How convenient!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


It's official - 2009 summer is over. Being kids-free, our summer "technically" is extended thru the end of October or whenever we have to put on a sweater and a light jacket! We did not have to get ready for back-to-school or driving the kids to any after-school activities, so our definition of the end-of-summer is different. Last weekend, we continued our Route 66 adventure into Illinois towards Chicago and when we came upon the above sign of Route 66 Drive-In in Springfield, we reluctantly acknowledged that summer season was over.
Last June, my husband took me to my first drive-in movie. He wanted to give me an Americana experience. We went to the classic SkyView Drive-In Theater in Litchfield, Illinois. We saw the movie "UP". We brought along the lounge chairs, a cooler with soft drinks (no alcohol allowed) and purchased popcorn from the concession stand. We also brought the radio (tune to 95.5 FM) because we did not know how good the sound system would be coming from the vintage speakers on the stands. We sat outside the first half of the movie and went inside the car when it was getting cold. It was a fun experience but the little boy in the movie made me miss my nephew so much. Do you have any drive-in theater experience you wish to share?

Friday, October 16, 2009


Watch out - Lions in the City, University City, Missouri, that is! This summer the City of University City (say that 3 times real quick), celebrated the 100th birthday of the monumental Lions Gates called "The Gates of Opportunity", located at the edge of the civic plaza and at the entrance to the city's residential neighborhoods. Nine sculptures were selected from submissions by artists in a community-wide art project. These are my favorites Lions and I had fun following the map, taking the photos as part of my Summer Treasure Hunt.

Above - Stars of Senior Success (William Baur is the artist) -one of the nine lifesize fiberglass lions that were placed throughout the City.
This is my favorite Lion entitled Read Between the Lions, sculpted by Tracy Dorsey. I think Qaptain Qwerty, being a punster, would appreciate this Lion. The sculpture is sponsored by City School District and placed in front of University City Library, how appropriate! Furthermore, the artists designed the Lions using printed media covering the body, thus the title, Read Between the Lions, how clever!
Below - Roaring with Colors by William Curtis. The design was simple but so beautiful when captured on a sunny summer afternoon.
(Below) A Breit Lion, designed by Mary Engelbreit, a well-known graphic artist who designed colorful and cheerful greeting cards, magazines, books, calendars and a product line of accessories. (Hey, Qaptain Qwerty, do you see any puns here?")
Of course, Benjamin insisted on riding on the back of the lion. Just like the story of a monkey accidentally fell from the tree, onto the back of the lion. As the lion running through the jungle, all the animals tried to get out of the way. Upon seeing what happened, the monkey thought the animals were afraid of him and that he, the little weak and bottom of the food chain monkey, has become the King of the Jungle. Thus, the moral story about individuals (i.e. modern czars who were appointed as political paybacks) riding on a powerful person's coat-tail and thought he himself was so mighty!
(Bottom photo) The lions above the monumental Lions Gates was sculpted in 1909 by George Julian Zolnay, atop the pylons designed by architects Eames & Young.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Last April, during one of my walks around the neighborhood of Bensonhurst (or Bath Beach or Gravesend, whatever it was), I was pleasantly surprised to see the sign, "Societa di Licodia Eubea - Established 1929 - Donated by Chieto Family" on the building (above) tucked between a Chinese Super Box Buffet and Nails 86, probably a Vietnamese or Korean owned business. With "always in my bag" camera, I took a few photos because I did not wish to take a chance that the next time I visit this neighborhood again whether this "Licodiesi Brotherhood Society" would be around, or most likely would be taken over by another Asian or non-Italian business.

I understand that neighborhoods, particularly in New York or any big cities, are in constant changing as new immigrants are moving into the area. Walking along 86th Street, you will see various cultures such as Russian, Hispanic and most prominently Asians by looking at the storefronts, listening to the languages being spoken by the shoppers, you witness the living history of Bensonhurst being written, just like the Italians and the Jewish people when they settled in this community in early 1900s.
According to Wikimapia, "Bensonhurst (also known as "Brooklyn's Little Italy") is a neighborhood located in the south-central part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. Bensonhurst runs from about 14th Avenue to 25th Avenue and from Gravesend Bay to 53rd Street, encompassing Bath Beach, New Utrecht, and part of Dyker Heights and bordered by the Bath Beach, Bay Ridge, Gravesend, and Borough Park sections. For many generations of Jewish and Italian residents, Bensonhurst's geographic boundaries have been defined by the streets where the ethnic mix of Bensonhurst begins to fray. Interestingly, since about 1993, the rapid expansion of the population of Orthodox Jews in neighboring Borough Park, has encroached deeply into Bensonhurst, such that the ethnic geographic boundaries now begin from about 18th Avenue to 25th Avenue and from Gravesend Bay to 60th Street. This 1.4 square mile change represents an expansion of Borough Park and a shrinkage of Bensonhurst, as defined by traditional ethnic boundaries. It represents a historical parallel to the shrinkage of Manhattan's Little Italy as a result of the expansion and encroachment of neighboring Chinatown."
The first time we attended St. Mary, we realized that 9:30 a.m. Mass was entirely in Italian. Just like when we attended Mass at Our Lady of Paris - Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris (Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris) and last year at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, we loved the structure of the Roman Catholics Rite of Mass. No matter where we are and what language is being spoken, the universal sense of belonging, of being connected in our faith, we always know what to expect of the celebration. The traditional Mass begins with Introductory Rites, then Liturgy of the Word, next is Liturgy of the Eucharist, Holy Communion Rite and ending with Concluding Rite. The only time we might feel out of place would be if the presiding priest told something funny during his Homily and we would be the only people who did not even crack a smile or looking around wondering why other people are laughing! Also, we would be reciting The Lord's Prayer in English instead of French or Italian!

According to Wikipedia, "Today, the Italian American community numbers over 50,000, or more than one-third of the population. Despite increasing diversity, Bensonhurst is heavily Italian-American, as its Italian-speaking community remains over 20,000 strong, according to the census of 2000. However, the Italian-speaking community is becoming "increasingly elderly and isolated, with the small, tight-knit enclaves they built around the city slowly disappearing as they give way to demographic changes." [3]".

Monday, October 12, 2009


Here is another Country Humor post - why do chickens cross the street? In this case, this chicken from Cookin' from Scratch, has to cross the street because its car broke down and it has to walk to get to the other side - haa haa
I know this post is not that funny - but do I still get a PRIZE for my extraordinary efforts to create humor, thus giving hope for funnier posts, and to work towards a world without lame humor? How many times do I have to "apologize" for not being funny enough or how many Committees I have to kiss @#*%& to get the PRIZE?

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Last weekend we attended Route 66 Festival at Old Chain of Rocks Bridge. We started on the Missouri side and walked the entire length of the bridge, 5,353 feet, a little over a mile each way, after we got to Illinois side, instead of taking the shuttle bus, we walked slowly back to Missouri side. It was a good exercise while admiring the vintage automobiles on displayed on the Bridge and taking in the view of the Mississippi River. (I highly recommend coming to this area with a large group of people or when an organized festival takes place. Search the web for more information about the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge and you will understand why you should never be here alone!)
Here is a bit of history from Trailnet website, "The Old Chain of Rocks Bridge was constructed in 1929 as a toll bridge. It became part of the now-historic Route 66 in 1936 and was purchased in 1939 by the City of Madison, Illinois. The opening of a modern free bridge 1,800 feet to the north led to a decline in revenue and ultimately the Bridge's closure in 1968. Demolition was planned in 1975; however, a steep drop in the value of scrap steel rendered it unprofitable to tear it down. Trailnet became involved in the project in 1997 when it initiated a restoration project to re-open the Bridge as one of the world's longest bicycle and pedestrian bridges."
Above - It was a great photo of the T-bird on Chouteau Island, with the background of Canal Bridge and the barge on the Mississippi River.
Below - A view of the Arch and downtown St. Louis from the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.

Above - The T-bird with the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge, look closely you could see the 22 degree turn in the middle of the bridge. The Bridge is open year-round for hikers and bikers, but remember to be careful and for your safety, travel as a group.
Below - The T-bird with I-270 Bridge in the background.

Friday, October 09, 2009


Below - God Bless America - J. Seward Johnson, Jr. on displayed in front of Chesterfield Arts office.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 10th, I am planning to go to Central Park in Chesterfield, Missouri (not Central Park in New York City, I wish) to see the unveiling of The Awakening, a monumental, five-part sculpture by American sculptor J. Seward Johnson, Jr. The event is a community celebration scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m. with the unveiling at 11:00 a.m., and all sorts of art activities including T-shirt painting, sand sculpting, hands-on family art projects, dancing performances and food from area restaurants.
Since early summer, twenty life size bronze sculptures crafted by Johnson have been placed throughout the City of Chesterfield as a preview to the arrival of this 70 feet in length, 17 feet tall, 4,700 lbs cast aluminum, monumental piece called "The Awakening". This week, I am posting a few of my favorite sculptures. I like all of the pieces and promise to post work by other artists that are on displayed at public parks, office complexes, street corners, in future St. Louis Friday series. It was a lot of fun to look for public arts, just like my own treasure hunt and cost only a few dollars of gas.
Above - Coming Home, on displayed at Chesterfield Mall.
Visit for more information and for placements of these sculptures and other outdoor arts.
Below - Out of Sight, on displayed at Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex, North Outer 40 Road.
Above - My World - inside Sachs Library. (Note - Benjamin looks as if he was part of the sculpture being next to the young lady - haa haa)
Below - Midstream - in front of Chesterfield City Hall on Chesterfield Parkway West.


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