Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Almost To Omaha...

So I flew over to Kansas City to attend a wedding.

Not mine. My grandson.

He lives mid-Missouri in Columbia and I had some time to drive around KCMO before heading to his huge event.

Oddly enough, I spotted a few University of South Carolina t-shirts amidst big screen venues showing World Cup coverage. Hmm?

Duh, geography major. Just a little north was the baseball CWS, the College World Series in Omaha.

I really did not have enough time to drive up there but I saw the World War One Memorial sitting atop a hill overlooking downtown Kansas City.

The Crown Center Hotel at the world headquarters for Hallmark was nearby so I planned to pop in there too.

Great photo op - an indoor waterfall in the lobby.

Back in the 1970s I worked with the Convention & Bureau for KC and knew a lot of the familiar sights to see.

But many have changed since I left. And new ones have been developed.

I remembered the lyrics of "Goin' To Kansas City" as centering on 12th Street & Vine but a major jazz development is around 18th Street.

I parked and walked around and went into the Jazz Museum. Across the street was a full-size fiber glass cow painted on the side with a saxophone player and bright colors.

The plaque said it was honoring "18th & Bovine."And, yes, of course I had a Kansas City Strip Steak.

Here they just call 'em strip steaks.

(Click on the photos - twice - for fantastic detail. The Canon S90 rules. Thank you.)

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

PETS: Weather or not....

C'mon. You've thought about it.

The dog would LOVE to strip off that hot, furry coat in summer.

That just makes sense.

Not sure that a vet would agree but I took scissors in hand one year in San Diego and did a "little trim.".

Fido stayed in the house for a long, long time.

He really didn't seem to want to go out at all.

It started one day when I used a clothespin on this lovely sheepdog and "pinned"his hair out of his eyes.

"Wow/Woof," he said as he raced around the back yard, barking at the sun he had never seen before.

My cat is orange striped and sheds a lot.

That tells me he wants to have less hair. Do cats sweat?

I remember he liked our surprise snow last February.

Wallaby wished his legs were longer of course.

Cats don't like water but he didn't seem to make that connection whenever I put him out in the snow. That was often because I liked taking pictures of him. As he adjusted.

Oh yes, he quickly adapted to global cooling.

There was evidence of yellow snow.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

IRISH-ish Pubs...

Well, it opened as a Guinness corporate-owned bar.

The entire place was built in Ireland, broken down into numbered pieces and shipped to our little Island .. of Daniel.

It was carefully reassembled and, I believe, was called McCaffrey's. It was one of 400 Guinness-owned pubs in the U.S.

Unfortunately, it closed rather quickly and the building sat idle for over a year on Seven Farms Road.

It re-opened a few months ago as Two Rivers Tavern but it's no longer officially "Irish." The nooks and crannies (known as "snugs") have been removed but a lot of the original wood paneling is still evident. Check out the pressed tin ceiling.

Over in North Charleston - near Park Circle - Cork Neighborhood Bistro opened for daily lunch and recently added dinner Monday-Saturday.

They welcomed patrons to their part of Montague Avenue during this year's St. Paddy's Day celebration with a special beer for the occasion.

Hmmm..when I visited County Cork, in Ireland last year, I found that Bud was considered an import and cost more than Guinness.

Down the street on Montague is Madra Rua.

All Irish, all year long. Slainte.

(Click on the photos for more details. Yes, that IS a Guinness in the glass.)

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Monday, June 14, 2010

So Very 21st Century....

OK, I admit that from a technology point of view, I am probably more of an 18th or 19th Century kind of guy.

But, there is hope for me.

This picture, for example, was snapped with my small digital camera. Very modern.

I was touring the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam.

Notice his trademark "Triangle" lighting effect on the right cheek.

I'm pretty sure photography was prohibited in the museum.

Yikes. Gutsy.

But the other night I really saw first hand just how advanced high tech has become without me keeping pace.

A small group had gathered for a going away celebration.

A few drinks. Some appetizers and an entree or two.

One couple had to leave and dropped some money on the table as they said goodbye.

Later, when the bill came, it appeared they had misjudged how much they owed. Woefully short. I probably would have kept a copy of the bill and discussed it later.

Nope. An iPhone (?) took a close-up picture and a tweet-pic (?) was sent to the mobile phone of the couple who had left half an hour ago.

They sent a text (?) back and apologized.

End of problem.

Life is more simple now.

[Click on the pictures for more detail. Actually, I was born in the last century! Thanks.]

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Friday, June 11, 2010

Some Things You can Bank On ...

It was a Piccolo Spoleto one man show called Man 1, Bank 0.

A true story told by Patrick Combs who deposited a fake non-negotiable $95,000 "You may already have won" check.

The account started earning interest, and, by phone, his bank assured him he could spend it.

He had the bank issue him a cashiers check which he put it in a safe deposit box. At the same bank.

Then it got interesting.

Another choice you can take to the bank is the 2010 Piccolo Spoleto Festival JAC Jazz Series.

Upstairs at McCrady's Restaurant Thursday night was the setting for the Cobblestone Quartet featuring George Kenney.

David Archer was on guitar, David Keller on bass and Asa Holgate manned the drums.

There were works by Ellington, Gershwin, Miles, Jobim and a guest step-to-the-mic by Jennifer Davis of Mt. Pleasant.

To round out the evening, a few doors down East Bay Street at Southend Brewery, it was the Thursday "Salsa Night" with dj Luigi.

He explained they were moving to the sound of the BACHATA beat. It is scheduled for every Thursday night at the downtown brewery.

[Click on the photos for more details. Thank you. It was a busy evening.]

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Monday, June 07, 2010

You Gotta Have An Angle...

We photographers are always looking for a different angle.

Here is the view the performers had on Sunday at Bowen's Island.

"Rollin'" Bob Margolin and his band were the headliners at Blues On The Dock and the dock was pretty crowded.

A Stono River breeze helped cool things down.

I noticed one of the screens was missing at the end of the pier so I walked down and stuck my camera in to see how the audience looked to the performers. Neat!

The whole Sunday Piccolo Spoleto Festival show was put together by Andy "Smoky" Weiner, local blues harmonica demon.

He and some pals opened the show and sat in with the Margolin band during a set.

Smoky was smokin' as usual and it was a music-filled afternoon.

From 1973-1980 Margolin traveled with Chicago Blues legend Muddy Waters.

He formed his own band in 1980 and has won many awards - and fans - since.

His CD is titled "In North Carolina" and the band played tracks from it during the performance.

Matt Hill, his young sidekick, was energetic on bass, guitar and vocals. And threw in some great Chuck Berry dance moves.

Their drummer Chuck Cotton was laying down a steady beat.

Smoky opened the show with Nature Boy Nik on guitar and Chuck "The Cat" Morris on harp.

As the sun sank slowly in the west....another fine day ended on a musical note.

It's the summer outdoor season and Bowen's Island has food and fun on the menu.

[For more details, click twice on the photos. Thanks.]

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Sunday, June 06, 2010

No Cameras Allowed...

It's not really a "hidden" camera.

I mean, you can see it sitting in my lap, discretely aimed slightly upward.

I'm in the first row in the Cistern Yard, right on the center aisle and I'm hoping the Sao Paulo singing star Fabiana Cozza doesn't look directly at me and yell "Security!"

Or whatever that word would be in Portuguese.

Many shows and concerts dislike cameras and "recording devices."

People popping flashes are indeed disruptive. My camera does well in low light.

I think that restriction means those pesky cell phones that people hold over their heads while the music is playing.

Hey, they're not making a phone call.

They are recording a video!

I always smile when I see someone doing that ...and bouncing the phone (camera) along with the music. Yikes.

Life was easier a few night before in that same spot at Cistern Yard watching the New York City group The Ebony Hillbillies.

This lively group had the audience up on its feet and they invited us all to come forward and dance.

Cameras appeared everywhere - and so did mine. One fellow had his on a large tripod.

This bouncy crowd shot would have been a tough picture to get using a "hidden" camera.

[Click twice on the images for more detail. My Canon S90 is the size of a deck of cards or a pack of cigarettes.]

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Saturday, June 05, 2010

Hello, Charles .....

A politician called me today.

Actually, it might have just been a candidate for a political post. Or maybe a volunteer worker. The kind who tacks up posters on telephone poles. Or hammers a sign into a lawn.

Amazing that a person would have the time to pick up the phone, find my number and give me a call.

Wonder how many calls he made on this Saturday morning?

He probably would be more efficient if he had used a social network and sent me a "tweet."

But no, that would not be as personal as the recording that played when I got up and walked over to the phone and answered "hello?"

I'm sure all these interruptions will end next Tuesday after the polls close.

[Don't bother to click on the images. I found them on the Internet and they are tiny.]

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Thursday, June 03, 2010

Early Bird Special...

When you reach a certain age, some phrases just seem to jump out at you.

Like "Early Bird Special."

Not that a late night event deters me. I just like the concept of an occasional afternoon musical delight.

Say 5:00pm to 7:00pm... featuring the BLUES ... during Spoleto.

Performed at Mad River Bar & Grill on The Market.

I've mentioned before what a great room this is for musicians and for the audience.

The former Seaman's Chapel has a vaulted ceiling and wood walls. The "lively" music bounces around nicely.

An attentive staff serves food and beverages as you sit back and relax in booths or tables and at the long bar.

Meanwhile, playing a fantastic set, Freddie Vanderford and Brandon Turner are cranking it out.

Freddie, on harp, last month received the 2010 South Carolina Folk Heritage Award at a ceremony in Columbia.

I called a few friends to join me and we all scrambled for parking spaces.

A fun afternoon. A delight.

The Specials continue through June 9. Check details at the Mad River website.

[Click (twice) on the photos for more details. Of course I had my camera with me.]

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Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Toast of the Town....

Growing up in Charleston, I attended a few events at the Dock Street Theatre in the 1950s.

It just re-opened after a massive renovation that took several years and millions of dollars.

The "new look" was given a toast a few nights ago at the end of Noel Coward's play Present Laughter.

I think I startled the man sitting next to me in the 10th row when I eased out my camera and took a picture.

He obviously doesn't know me very well.

My little digital camera is usually with me everywhere I go.

Even after all these years, I remembered the theatre's hard wooden seats were uncomfortable. You'd get a pain in your back.

Part of the expensive re-do was to put pads and cushions in the chairs.

The bad news is it only helps up to the intermission for a 2.5 hour show.

Toward the end, I looked around and saw familiar squirming and shifting around in the seats that I recalled from before.

The play was great ...but it felt good to stand and stretch as we made our way out.

[Click TWICE on the pictures to see more detail. I don't use flash indoors.]

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