Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pizza King

If you are a neon afficionado, it's worth going out of your way to visit the American Sign Museum in Cincinnati, Ohio. Housed in an old factory, the roof was elevated and rebuilt in order to accommodate the tallest signs. Walk through the galleries and witness the changing styles and materials: printed cardstock, wood, glass, metal and plastic. The signs encapsulate the history of graphic design in the U.S. At the moment, this one is my favorite. Who knows whether Mr Cassano truly deserved the title of Pizza King, but he sure knew how to come up with a fabulous neon sign.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Botanica Window

Our local botanica is a neighborhood fixture.The front window is an ecumenical tableau of nativity scenes, Buddhas, the Virgin of Guadeloupe, Jesus as a child, Saint Michael, Saint Francis and more. The shop's shelves are crowded with terra cotta pots, herbs, rosaries, candles and special oils. There are candles in glass cylinders devoted to every saint you may or may not know. Lately there has been an increase in the sales of those candles, as people look for a way to take some small action that will give them some hope or keep them and their loved ones safe. When you are feeling alone or helpless, you can at least light a candle and offer up a prayer of hope.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Fig Leaves

My friend has a very prolific fig tree. The leaves are such a beautiful shape that they almost make up for the fact that critters are the first to grab most of the ripe figs. The fig is the third tree mentioned in the Bible. Fig leaves are permanently associated with Adam and Eve. In the early 1500s, church officials tried to reduce the nudity in artworks of the day. Fig leaves were added to already-completed statues and paintings. This fig leaf addition continued for centuries, which is why "adding a fig leaf" implies covering up something that everyone knows is there. One of the larger leaves here in my photo would be big enough to fashion a bathing suit bottom that would have been considered modest in 1960. I'd prefer for the leaves to just stay on the tree where they belong.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

CherryTomotoes

It is finally tomato time at the farmers market. The cherry tomatoes look like beads carved from semi-precious stones: amber, carnelian, citrine and jasper. Their imperfect roundness contrasts with the square boxes, an attempt to instill order amidst mild disorder. I love the blue edges, little lines of added color. All red, all yellow, mixed colors, big ones, little ones, they are at the farmers market waiting for you---deliciously beautiful. 

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Dotty Beads

It's almost impossible for me to resist the urge to paw through a cache of beads. Becky Hancock, proprietor of Saint Theresa’s Textile Trove, has uncounted numbers of beads. She knows where they came from and how each type was made. This box is my current favorite. Most of the beads sport dots; vibrant little punctuation marks that encourage me to keep looking and touching their cool, bumpy surfaces. Some are eye beads, thought in many cultures to help ward off bad luck. No bad luck here, just joy in a box of beads.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Fireworks Over the Potomac

Alexandria, Virginia celebrates its founding with fireworks on the Saturday after the Fourth of July. A riverside patio is an ideal viewpoint. Years of mixed success have taught me to spend only a small portion of the show shooting a few photographs. I want to enjoy the evening breezes, the flashes of color, the whizzes, bangs and pops. Last July, I came home with just a few images, all underwhelming. For fun, I experimented with filters and tried balancing the light this way or that. Surprise! My image suddenly looked the way it felt to be there! I try to adhere to reality in the photos I post, but perhaps, sometimes, it takes more than that to capture an experience. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Really Big Dandelion

This is the largest dandelion plant I've ever seen. Three feet high and an arm spread wide, it managed to take hold in almost no soil and has flourished along the front of an otherwise tidy building. If the wall was painted a nice shade of blue or green, it might  look more decorative or even artistic, but against a sickly red, the plant is impressive mainly for its size and sheer determination. Something to think about, the next time you dig a dandelion out of your lawn...