Thursday, April 30, 2009

Reduce, REUSE, Recycle

The best part of the Magic City Art Connection in my opinion, is the WIDE range of art that is offered.  There's always some art/artists that just blow me away with their talent and creativity. The word "funky" comes to mind!   Case in point is Randy Gachet, a sculptor from Birmingham.  I regret that I don't have a photo of Randy to share.  I think I was so busy trying to capture his art that I forgot to meet him!  

Talk about reusing materials.  Randy uses old TIRES for his amazing work.  The mirror in the top photo was something to see.  I stared wide mouthed for a few minutes before I attempted to photograph it.  The bird and his perch are made from a series of rubber pieces as well.  

I hope Randy is careful when he's out on the interstate picking up those old tires! Blowouts are welcome I would think.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Checkmate at the City Hall

It's not every day that you can go and pay your parking ticket or have a chat with the mayor and have a quick game ( can you have a quick game?)  of chess outside at the same time!  Well the Mountain Brook City Hall in Crestline Village offers this plus this beautiful fountain as well. The chess pieces are toddler size, and I really wanted a photo of some folks actually playing a game, but had to settle this shot.  If I'm ever in the right place at the right time, I'll show you the results.

* Please check out our friend Marley's Cheltenham DP blog today.  Marley has joined the Table/Chair series and a fine one it is!!!!  Thanks Marl.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Under the Umbrellas

Made you smile, didn't it!  Welcome to Zoës Kitchen in Homewood.  Zoë's very first place was just down the street and it was hardly big enough to turn around in,  much less handle the mobs of patrons that lined up for lunch every day.  Now you can dine at Zoës all over town,  and you can find  franchises in AZ, TN, LA, TX, FL, NC, and SC !   Their  motto is "Eat Smart, Eat Healthy" and they mean it, but with  Zoë's great Greek twist.  I eat there a lot and it's always fresh and healthy just like they advertise,  but I have a little secret.......the homemade chocolate sheet cake is the absolute best thing you ever put in your mouth!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Stripes - Table/Chair Series

Sometimes I stumble on the best photo ops when I least expect it.  I went to Wine and Whiners, a really fun group as you've probably  guessed,  last Wednesday afternoon ( after 5 of course!!).  I had never been to Beth's home before and wasn't prepared for all of the great photographs that awaited me.  I took one look around and high tailed it to the car for my trusty camera.  Here's but one example.  I had a little post processing fun with this one so I'm including another photo so you can see how pretty this table and chairs looks tucked away in her backyard. 

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Meet the Artists - Magic City Art Connection

Birmingham, AL

What a great weekend in Birmingham.  I love a good art show!!!! The Magic City Art Connection is always a fabulous event. Set in downtown Birmingham's Linn Park , it is a wonderful conglomeration of art and music and just plain fun!  If you read yesterday's post,  you know I have been a "repeat offender" by attending both Friday and Saturday.  I will have several more posts for you.  Today meet a few artists friends! By the way, I think Daphne and Michael have been inside my head.  IF I could paint worth a hoot, I'd be a big copycat of their work.   

Atlanta, GA

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Coolin' Off

Most of you, outside of the Deep South, won't believe we had temps in the high 80's yesterday and more to come tomorrow.  I joined some friends downtown at the Magic City Art Connection yesterday afternoon at 4:00 and whew,  was it warm.  But what a great event.  I met so many talented , creative, friendly artists.  How will I get all of them on here for you to meet?  I promise to give it a try. Just as I was leaving,  I spotted these cute kiddos finding their own way to cool off in the waterfall at Linn Park.  I  really wanted to dip my toes in as well. Today, I'm on my way back downtown to meet more artists.  Stay tuned!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chaises Vert - Table/Chair Series

Today mon amie Thérèse from Chandler A-Z, has generously offered this great photo to add to my Table/Chair Series.   Before you know it, I'm going to have more guest bloggers than our friend Peter!!   Thérèse actually sent me 3 photos to choose from, all of which were wonderful but this one really caught my eye. Merci beaucoup mille fois, mon amie!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Today the The Happy Bloggers--Maya, Janet, and I--made a field trip to Cullman, Alabama. After visiting the Ave Maria Grotto, we stopped to photograph the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Outside only. Our attempts at illegal interior photos were nixed by the Big Guy Himself. However, as we left I ran, literally, to get this shot of the padre ambling away from the church. For an eighty year-old man, he was moving at a fair shuffle. I was the paparazzi chasing the papa!

DISCLAIMER: This text has been written by D.C. Confidential. Any similarity or disparity between my writing and Virginia's is purely coincidental.

 V NOTE: Get a crowd of bloggers under one roof and this is what happens.  We start blogging for each other.  Tonight, after a wonderful dinner by Chef Janet,  we have critiqued each other's photos from today's travels to a fare thee well and collaborated on everyone's post photos.  Tomorrow, I'll be on my own again, but be looking for another guest photographer's offerings coming soon! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zig Zag II

A few weeks ago when I was down under 1st Avenue North at the Sloss Furnaces Iron Pour, I noticed this stairway in silhouette.  Apparently it goes up to 1st Avenue.  I'm not sure why.  This was one time I was smart enough not to try and  find out! 

Two Great Things That Happened Today!  
*I am pleased to have 2 blogger friends staying  chez moi.  Janet, (D.C. Confidential) , and Maya ( Maya Photography ) , are here,  and we are planning an excursion to Cullman, Al today to see the amazing Ave Maria Grotto. Stay tuned for photos and a few tales I'm sure!!

* I received word that I had won 2nd Place in the Samford University Earth Day Art Exhibit!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Trip to the Basement - Lyric Theatre

Last week I promised the "nitty-gritty" of the old Lyric Theatre.  Well today, I'm really delivering on that promise.  I earned my City Daily Photo badge for Valor on this mission!   My friend Tom Cronier, who was my intrepid tour guide,  insisted that I go down under the stage with him to see the dressing rooms.  There had been previous discussion concerning ummmm........rodents down there.  I have a hefty phobia about those,  but I won't go into that now.  Let's just say I went,  but not cheerfully!  Actually when I got down the dark, grungy steps there was light, for which I was eternally grateful.  What Tom knew I'd groove on werethe interesting signs on the old doors.  Well see for youself.  We used his flashlight to highlight my "favorite" - Tom's Rat Room!  We didn't stay long after I got a load of that one.

* I know you're wondering what the  signs on the doors meant.  No one knows!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Golden Stairway

Today we step inside the beautiful Harwell G. Davis Library on the campus of Samford University.  Major Davis, as he was called,  was president of Samford from 1939 till 1958 .  He was instrumental in moving Howard College from East Lake to this magnificent campus in Homewood  where it was renamed Samford University in 1955 .  I had the privilege of knowing Major Davis.  My mother was his secretary for many many years. This library is a fine tribute to this kind and gentle man.  

While I was in the building I decided to look around and take some photos.  Actually, the steps are black marble,  but the lighting turned them into this warm golden color.  I'm adding a ceiling detail as well.  You can see its reflection on the stairs.  While I was wandering around, a young man stopped me and asked if I taught elementary school. He was one of my former students that in now in his second year of law school!  I recognized him beard and all.  It was so great to see him again,  and he wasn't too big to give his third grade teacher a hug!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Reservations for Two- Table/Chair Series

If you read the NY Times article  36 Hours in Birmingham,  you know about Little Savannah.  I featured this lovely neighborhood restaurant here.  Today, we go back for dinner.  I love the starched white tablecloths and the velvet curtains that they bring out for the dinner crowd.  If you ask me for a recommendation from the menu, I'll have to say everything is delicious. Chef Cliff  Holt and and his wife Maureen do an excellent job here.   If you come to Birmingham, you must stop in and have dinner with them!

* Thanks to Marie-Noyale (Larchmont DP) and Bob Crowe ( St. Louis DP) for forwarding me the link to the NY Times article!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Catching Some Rays

We're back at Samford University again.  Do those balusters look familiar??  While taking a few shots of them, I walked up on this student hard at work on his tan on the steps of Cumberland School of Law.  I think I woke him up so we chatted and he told me he was from Georgia.  A new "stranger" to add to my cache!  ( Other Samford posts here and here.) I don't know about any of you, but when I was a coed at Auburn University, spring quarter + serious tanning time = less class attendance!

* My friend Marie Reed sent me to this blog yesterday.  Wonderful Birmingham vintage postcards and you will get to see the Alabama and Lyric Theaters on one!  

Friday, April 17, 2009


A few days ago I was on the Samford University campus,  and I noticed these beautiful balusters in front of the Cumberland School of Law.  The lighting was a little bright,  but the shadows were nice I thought. Check out Meandering in Lotus Land today.  I think Wayne I might be on the same track.  Could this be history in the making??

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The "Little" Boys of Summer

"Throw it like a baseball player", said Coach. 

Around here, you just can't start playing baseball soon enough.  If you're too young and don't yet have the motor skills to hit a moving ball , not a  problem!!!  That's why someone ( an overzealous daddy no doubt) invented tee ball.  I pass this field every day when I walk. Yesterday the little guys had their new hats and shirts on for practice.  I grabbed my camera out of the car and tried to get a few shots.  I had to laugh at the seriousness of the daddy/coaches. They mean business,  but the players??  Well as we like to say, it's pretty much like "organizing earthworms".  Attention spans were very, very short and there seemed to be a lot of  just having fun and being goofy little boys  going on.  When you're five and six, isn't that what you should be doing?  ABSOLUTELY!

Time out to get to know your new teammate!  Everyone else is more or less,  
sort of, maybe,  paying attention! :)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Taste of Vancouver - Table/Chairs Series

Well since yesterday was my 300th Post,  my thoughtful producer/manager Wayne,  (Meandering in Lotus Land),  gave me the day off!  How generous to send me this photograph to add to my Table/Chairs Series.  This is the Liberty Bakery off Main Street in Vancouver, BC.  I love the color of that wall and those vintage chairs paired with that neat tiled table.  Thanks W., there could be a raise in your future.  You know, I could get use to this.  Anyone else care to donate??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

For the Birds!! - 300th Post

Meet Augustus, the unofficial boss at the Plant Odyssey ( we've been here before).  He greeted me when I got out of my car. Perched in a tree, he was squawking his head off.  I chatted with him later as I wandered around the outside part of the nursery.  He finally flew down to the open door to get a closer look.  I was a touch nervous, thinking I might be wearing him as a hat any minute.  Owner Libby is a bird lover and has huge cages inside with a wide variety of feathered friends. Augustus pretty much does his own thing from what I can tell.  The bottom photo is a birdhouse on an outside wall.  It's too small for Augustus but I just liked the light and shadows.  You guessed that I'm sure.

Hard to believe that way back last June when I got this harebrained idea to do a daily photo blog,  I'd have 300 posts under my belt.  I've come a long way since the day I asked my "Mac Dude"  at the Apple Store, "How in the heck do I make a blog???"  Well 300 posts, many, many new friends and strangers,  hilarious experiences and about 1 gazillion  photos later, I'm still having a ball!  Thank you all for your visits, comments, helpful suggestions, photo critiques etc.                                                Laissez les bon temps rouler!!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Balcony Seating

Well I've made you wait long enough.  Today we're getting down to the nitty gritty - literally.  I shared last week, the Lyric Theatre has long been abandoned.  According to the experts, Dan Liles, Cecil Whitmire, and Tom Cronier,  it opened in January 1914 and was a vaudeville theatre at the time.  In November 1914, the new Independent Presbyterian Church ( my church!) held evening services there until the church was built.  The Lyric closed in 1958.  It reopened in 1974 as the Grand Bijou,  showing classic films.  After that it fell into a little "disrepute" and showed films under the names Foxy/Roxy. You have to love those names!  1978-79 it closed its doors as a theatre.  As sad as it is to see the theatre in its present state, it's heartening to me that there are people like these tireless volunteers that are looking after it and hopefully will find funding. Until then, let's look around shall we?  Watch your step, it's not safe in a lot of places and there are numerous "critters" calling it home.  

The upper balcony back in the day, was for "coloreds" only.  They purchased their tickets at a ticket booth on 18th Street, went up a different stairway, and sat on benches instead of seats.  Not a practice anyone in Birmingham is proud of , but a historical fact that needs to be noted.  Today, the benches have been replaced.  The top photo is a row of seats in the balcony.  I am thinking the design is Art Deco but I could be totally wrong.  While Tom and I were stomping around up there, I spotted a large pigeon sitting in the window (see second photo as proof)  and a bat was zipping all around, a little disconcerting.  Those of you that know me well, will be amazed that I didn't run flying out of the place screaming like a banshee. Oh the things I endure as your intrepid photographer in the name of City Daily Photo!

You get a bonus photo today.  My five cute chicks all dressed up in their Easter duds,  and I am very pleased to report that there wasn't a major meltdown over the photo shoot this holiday.  Behold the power of  "popsicle bribes".

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sunday

Today is Easter Sunday,  and I am pleased to share this beautiful cross that will stand in the front of my church this morning.  At 11 and half feet tall, it took my breath away when it was finished,  and the last lily was lovingly tucked into place yesterday. What a powerful message it symbolizes.  I'm including another photo as well.  This is the cross our crucifer will bear as he leads the processional into the sanctuary this morning.  For those of you celebrating Easter around the world , I send blessings to your and your family!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Memories

Today, the day before Easter, I thought I'd share a special photograph from my childhood.  I'm guessing I was about 2 years old.  A treasured memory of my Momma and me in our Easter bonnets.  

The photo below was one I remembered when Laurie, at South Pasadena DP,  posted a 1957 Chevy Thursday .  I think it's interesting how our parents often  posed  us next to the family car. I know my mother and I were very "car proud" when she bought this fine finned vehicle,  so it rightfully shared the Easter pictures with me that year!

Today I leave you with a clip of an  Easter commercial that my girls always loved.  
"Thank you Easter Bunny, Bawk, Bawk!"

Friday, April 10, 2009

Three Crosses

I discovered these three beautifully carved crosses at the Plant Odyssey on 6th Avenue South on Birmingham's Lakeview District.  Libby has owned this nursery for many years and has a loyal following.  You can't miss the shop.  With it's quirky  pointed roof, it looks more like something out of Hansel and Gretel.  We'll come back another day and you can meet Augustus.  You're going to love him!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Dancing Chairs!

I hope you'll love this post as much as I do.  This is another photo from the "abandoned office building adjoining the abandoned Lyric Theatre."  This photo made me smile when I took it. What made it more fun was the response my friend Bob Crowe, ( St. Louis Daily Photo),  had when I sent him some of the photos.  Bob, may I quote you???

" What are those things and how do they stand independently?  My immediate strong association was to a poor-side -of -town version of Mickey Mouse's buckets and mops in the Sorcerer's Apprentice section of Disney's Fantasia.  Whatever those things are - old chair backs? - they are dancing. "

Well, my friend and tour guide of the Alabama and Lyric, Tom Cronier, had something to add:
"Wander, wander
Faster, faster
Fetch your master
Gushing from the buckets

See when I look at that room I see old Alabama Theatre seats that were stored  here when the Alabama got new ones.  BUT you and Bob see something magical."

What can I add,  but that these are the side panels from old seats from the Alabama Theatre across the street that are piled in this room.  You  will have to admit they seem to be dancing to the window to get one last glimpse.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Finery

Down here in the Deep South, we take Easter garb very seriously.  I 'm not especially proud of this,  but in the 70's when I spent the winter as a P.O.W. in Neenah, Wisconsin, I drove through a snowstorm in order to buy my 2 year old a pair of white Mary Jane shoes for Easter.  You can probably guess she was the only child at church on Easter Sunday not wearing a snowsuit!  That said, when I spotted these adorable pink shoes and the exquisite dresses in Christine's Across the Street's  window in Mountain Brook Village,  it all came back to me.  The Easter shopping ritual.  How fun it was to get the new outfit, shoes, even the brand new socks and slip!  Of course mine were never as fine as these, but a delight nevertheless.  Christine's is a mother's and  grandmother's paradise alright. When I hit the lottery, I'm going to shop right here!

* I've added a new music player on the sidebar. You will need to click on the player and choose the song using the blue arrows.  Please let me know how this works for you.

New photos of the Sloss Iron Pour on Flickr 

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Old abandoned office building adjoining the old abandoned Lyric Theatre.  You get the picture. Located on the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 18th Street, this is yet another "treasure in the rough" I was privileged to explore on Sunday.  Coming Attraction:  the Lyric Theatre.  Stay tuned, you won't want to miss this!!!

Oh, I hear mutterings about black and white.  Trust me on this one. This photograph said ...color!

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Faces of the Sloss Furnaces Iron Pour

Well after all was said and done, I got to spend two days at Sloss Furnaces enjoying the incredible activities with the National Conference on Cast Iron Art going on there.  If you missed my first post on Friday,  here it is.  Well my friend Elise took me back on Saturday to see more.  I have so many photos I suppose I'll put them on a Flickr slideshow. We'll see if I can figure that out.  For today, some mighty cool strangers I got to have a chat or just a few words with. Enjoy! 

Sunday, April 5, 2009


For Christians around the world, today is Palm Sunday.  I love chronicling events at my church, Independent Presbyterian Church, and this season is no exception.  These palm crosses were made by ladies in our church and will be worn today by everyone attending services.  The top photo was taken in a small room off the sanctuary where the afternoon sun was streaming through a stained glass window.  The colors and effect were a pleasant surprise. 

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Gone, But By No Means Forgotten!

I hate having to make this post today.  My favorite bookstore and coffee shop has closed .  My friends the Van Eatons ran  Jonathan Benton Bookseller  in Mountain Brook Village for years,  and it was the kind of bookstore where I  could wander around and get great personal service and helpful suggestions ( do you get that in the mega stores? I think NOT ) .  The Daily Cup in the front of the bookstore had the best peach muffins on the entire planet and some mighty fine gazpacho and pimento cheese. They also knew I wasn't a coffee snob and didn't try and talk "Starbucks" to me!  They closed before I could have one last muffin.  I'm sad today.  They will be missed.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Recreating the *Magic

"I'm too sexy for my goggles"

Wednesday my photography buddy Bill called me up and gave me a "hot" tip .  The National Conference on Cast Iron Art was getting cranked up at Sloss Furnaces.  I was a little skeptical but he persuaded me to grab my camera and get on down there.  Merci Bill!  I wouldn't have missed that for the world.  What I found were teams from all over the country building their own make shift furnaces in order to actually pour iron!  Birmingham owes it's nickname the *"Magic City" to its rapid growth due to the production of iron at Sloss Furnaces.  No longer active, Sloss is a National Historic Landmark.  On Wednesday night at 6:00, furnaces were lit once again.  It was something to see.  Today a sampling.  I can promise this won't be the last!

Previous Sloss posts are here, here , here and here.

Houston, we have lift-off!
( I'm thinking that was a water heater in another life)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Wisteria is in Bloom!

If you haven't experienced springtime in Birmingham, bless your heart!   For the next week or so I hope to give you all a glimpse of just how absolutely, spectacular this season can be.  Today, wisteria in bloom .   A lot of folks around here will tell you that wisteria can be a bit unruly ( invasive ). Well yes it can!  We try to overlook that this time of year,  when it's hanging from trees and telephone wires,  as gorgeous as can be.  I' m sharing several photos today because the blooms won't last long!