Thursday, December 31, 2009

What are You Doing New Year's, New Year's Eve?

I'll admit I was stumped on something to post of New Years Eve and then I found these photos from Birmingham's "The Club"! This private club was built in 1951 and I'm thinking the front signage has been there from the start. The dance floor is a trip back in time as well. On the weekends, bands still play and the dance floor lights up and couples take to the floor and dance the night away. I have many fond memories. I celebrated my 16th birthday here, and I've attended many a luncheon, party and wedding reception at "The Club" over the years. In fact, my great group of retired teachers lunched here recently! It boasts a spectacular view of downtown Birmingham from atop Red Mountain, similar to the one on my header. "The Club", a Birmingham tradition.

Happy New Year everyone. May this year find our world a more peaceful place.

Well look what I found, Diana Krall croons a very nice "What Are You Doing New Years?", and it sounds like a version that would be a hit at "The Club"!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paris ou Birmingham?

Quick, where are we today? Paris you say? Non! We are at one of my favorite places right here in Birmingham, Architectural Heritage. We've been here and here and many other times as well. Today two photos that remind me so much of Paris. Have a look around! ( I snuck in a chair as well. Haven't shown anything for the Table/Chair series lately)

Merci to Roy Morton, the owner. He is always so kind to let me roam around and take photos.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Vintage Skyscraper

For Birminghamians, the City Federal Building is a well known landmark. Built in 1913, the former Jefferson County Savings and Loan building was the tallest in the southeast. It was renamed the City Federal in 1963. This 27 story terra cotta faced building remains the tallest neoclassical skyscraper in the south. Today, it has been preserved and condominiums are for sale right here.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Moons

"I don't know if there are men on the moon, but if there are they must be using the earth as their lunatic asylum."
George Bernard Shaw

Late yesterday my buddy Bill and I headed downtown for a night shoot. Well the sun was setting and I was NOT dressed for the low temps so we left a little early. I got the top photo through the tree in front of the Denechaud House, and the one below in my backyard. I thought a moon quote would be nice. I found two I liked. That worked!

Well I've a very nice tune for your today, Ella Fitzgerald croons "Blue Moon". And if you're feeling like something a little more 60's, try this one by the Marcels! See, two moons, two "Blue Moons" !

( And I know I need to keep working on my moon photography skills!!!)

"The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand."
Frederic Lawrence Knowles

Sunday, December 27, 2009

From the Balcony

My usual seat on Sunday is not in the balcony, but last Christmas Eve, I sat up there and thought these lights would make a nice photo. I returned another day and took this photograph. The sunlight streaming through the stained glass window was a real bonus.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Well if you're like me the day after Christmas, you're tired of the party food and decorations, and ready for some barbeque and bluejeans ( if they still fit). So let's move on from Christmas photos, OK? How about this shiny revolving door at the Regions Harbert Plaza in downtown Birmingham? That late afternoon sun made it come to life!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Joyeux Noël

May the blessings of Christmas be with you and your family, today and for the year to come.

" God bless us everyone."
Tiny Tim

Merry Christmas from my little angels!
Davis 5, Eva 8, Laura Kate 5, Chappell 7, Lindley 8

...and a Partridge In a Pear Tree

Last night we gathered for a neighborhood caroling party. The hosts have not one, but two pianos and friends to play the night away. The caroling starts with sheet music for everyone . Behind the scenes, adults, teenagers, and the little ones, vie for spots in the "12 Days Of Christmas", the highlight of the evening. Well, I'm partial, my Eva has sung... "and a partridge in a pear tree" for the second year in a row. Here she is!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Les Fleurs de Noël

A quick trip back to Sweet Peas Garden Shop today to take in the lush blooms of Christmas!

White hydrangeas and red poinsettias. Beautiful together.

I love the heady scent of freshly blooming paperwhites this time of year.

This was always my mom's favorite color poinsettia.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Faces of Artwalk

Stranger # 96
What a great smile, and love the hair!

Java remembered me from our chat at the 2008 Artwalk. We had a
good visit, and of course I had to take a photo of my friend while he painted right there on the street.

Let's be honest here. I am as busy as you are, and when I perused my photo stash, there was just nothing current to post. OH NO POUTING NOW...... I dug around and found three nice portraits I took last September at Birmingham's terrific ARTWALK! It all worked out and look, you get to meet one new stranger, one bagpipe player and say hello again to our artist friend Java Lewis. I promise to take my camera with me tomorrow. Fair warning, you might get some shots from inside the Apple Store or Target or....... the mess, I mean the wrapping station in my basement. HO HO HO!!!

The bagpipe player was in conversation so I quietly took her photo.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Historic Terrace Court

Today we revisit Southside's historic Terrace Court building. Located on the corner of 20th Street and Highland Avenue, my sources say it was the first high rise building built in the south. ( Guess that was pre Burj Dubai! ) I'm guessing the tile floor below is original to the building. I've posted photos from two businesses housed here: Chaffin Carousel Carving School here and Dave's Pub here. Hope to go inside and get some photos when I make a visit to Chaffin's after the holidays.

The Paris Through My Lens Calendar Giveaway is going on over on my Paris Blog.
Hop over and leave a comment letting me know you'd like to be in the drawing on Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Angels We Have Heard on High

( A rehearsal, so the cute Converse sneakers were allowed!)

One of the hightlights of the Christmas season for me is attending the Service of Lessons and Carols presented by the Advent Episcopal Day School in downtown Birmingham. I'll admit I'm partial, two of my five granchildren attend the Day School. Rick and Suzanne Philips, the music directors for the 4K through 8th grade do a fantastic job.

Today a photograph from a rehearsal shortly before Lessons and Carols. This is the Choral Ensemble, an elite choir of students chosen from grades 4-8. Nationally recognized, they are as professional as any choir you will ever hear! The entire student body participates in the service, and I regret you cannot hear an audio clip but you can order CD's of the choir here.

I am giving away a Paris Through My Lens 2010 Calendar on my Paris Blog. Leave a comment there and let my know why you'd like to win! Bonne chance mes amis. Drawing is Christmas Eve.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Santa Claws?

When it snowed a few weeks ago, this lion, and his matching pal, looked even more festive all decked out on my neighbors' front porch. Ho Ho Ho......grrrrrr.

I'll be giving away a Paris Through My Lens Calendar on Christmas Eve. Go to my Paris Blog
and leave me a comment letting me know you want to put your name in the chapeau for the drawing!

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Finally Meet Charlie Lucas in Person!

Wednesday was my lucky day. I was invited to a friend's home to meet nationally known Alabama folk artist, Charlie Lucas! Charlie, also known as the Tin Man, was up from his home near Montgomery to install this piece of sculpture in their yard. Avid art collectors, they have many pieces of Charlie's work. What a nice man. He took me all around the yard and talked about his sculpture. If his name sounds familiar, you've read about him here and here and here. Don't worry, I'll have more photos to share!

Paris Through My Lens 2010 Calendar giveaway!
Leave a comment on my Paris Blog telling me why you would like to win one of my new calendars, and I'll put your name in the hat for the drawing on Christmas Eve! Want to see each and every month or purchase hundreds for all of your dearest amis?? Click on the calendar in the white box on the right sidebar!

Charlie points out a piece from an old wagon that he thinks may have been made by his grandfather.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas at Sweet Peas

You know how I love to photograph here at Sweet Peas Garden Shop in Homewood. Wouldn't you???

Buy your tree here and they'll deliver and set it up in your house without griping and complaining, like you know who!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pretty in Pink

A little change of pace today. I took this one at the Pepper Place Market a few months ago. To answer your unasked questions: Yes, her dad saw me taking her picture and no, I didn't pose her. I walked up as she was having fun playing on this curvy bike rack. Much too cute to pass up!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Foggy Sunday Afternoon

The city from the crest of Red Mountain

The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dave's Pub

Lest you think I spend all my time in bars and pubs, let me just tell you right now, that I took these photos of Dave's Pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Well now that I've spotted these great wire chairs on the front patio (very French I think) , I might be a threat to drag some friends and actually go at night and taste one or two of their zillion fancy beers! I'll have to pass on the chic cigar offerings. Dave's has been in business for 13 years, which for a pub is probably something to crow about. It's located in Birmingham's trendy Five Points district in the vintage Court Towers. Then again, I might wait till the weather warms up, and we can enjoy sitting outside!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Birmingham Rouge VI - The Mighty Wurlitzer

Quick, what's BIG, red and at 82 years of age can still belt out a tune? The Historic Alabama Theatre's "Mighty Wurlitzer" of course! Big Bertha, as she is affectionately known, has to be the most over the top organ anywhere! At the time the theatre was built in 1927, silent movies accompanied by an orchestra were the norm. Using an organ for smaller shows and matinees was a way to save money. I have many fond memories of afternoons spent here as a girl. Before and after the movie, the spotlight would dramatically shine on the stage and the floor would open and the organ and organist would magically rise up! From 1937 -1956 audiences were entertained by Stanleigh Malotte, who not only played but added some interesting commentary on Birmingham politics etc. The Alabama's faithful steward, Cecil Whitmire, not only oversees the preservation of the wonderful old theatre, but still plays from time to time. On my tour with volunteer and friend Tom Cronier, we were treated to a concert via the computerized system that has been installed. The Alabama Theatre is a Birmingham treasure that thankfully has been lovingly preserved.

For previous posts on the Alabama click here , here. and here

A HUGE congrats to our dear friend Bob Crowe who is celebrating his Saint Louis MO Daily Photo's 1,000th post today. Can you believe that??? Bob has to be the hardest working blogger on City Daily Photo, and might I add a terrific friend and mentor. Take a big bow B!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

100 Strangers Challenge - Pepper Place Guys

Strangers #93, 94, 95

Oh you thought I'd forgotten all about my 100 Strangers Challenge didn't you? Well umm...I had. How could I forget these three nice gentlemen? They had staked out a prime spot in front of the General Store at the Pepper Place Market, so they could have a ringside seat for the antique car display last fall. I have 5 to go before I hit 100. Now I'm thinking I might want to sign on for another 100. This has been so much fun!

Oh, and the guy below? Well he could have been #96, but I couldn't wake him up for a chat now could I ?

PARIS THROUGH MY LENS CALENDARS are $9 off right now. Click on the calendar on the sidebar!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Games People Play

I love the Bottle Tree. It's a photographer's dream, what with the vintage album covers on the tables, old TV shows playing on the big screen, and its hilarious and very electic decor. Today's photo is a prime example. Anyone care to challenge me to a rousing game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos???

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow Saw

Last Saturday's snowfall was just magical. Forgive me for posting more photos, but you must understand that snow here in Birmingham is such a rare sight, that we relish every minute and every image. Bear with me, not many more.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Perking Along!

Monday I visited the new coffee shop in my neighborhood, Forest Perk. We are thrilled to have them in our Forest Park neighborhood!! All of my Birmingham readers need to stop by and give them some business. They're located next to the Piggly Wiggly on Clairmont.

Owner Caleb Kinsaul and friendly employee Matt

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keeping Watch

Saturday, our first stop for snow photographs was the playground at Triangle Park in Forest Park. It was deserted except for this one little guy perched on the railing keeping watch.

I'm joining Aileni's Monochrome Weekly group again this week. Click HERE to see the other participants!!!

The swings seemed to be waiting as well

Monday, December 7, 2009

We're Waiting For You!

Ever wonder where all of those gorgeous carousel animals come from ? Well I was shocked when I heard there was a place right here in Birmingham for carving them. Chaffin's Carousel Carving School is located upstairs from Five Point's well known Dave's Bar. I was on my way home from lunch yesterday and passed these wonderful creatures peering out of the windows at me! Well I just parked my car and took a few dozen photographs. I'll bet you're wanting to see more, right? Well me too! I'll be paying another visit when they're open, and I'll have photos galore! Today a few shots to whet your appetite.

I especially like this photo. The reflection is the wonderful old apartment building, Terrace Court, where Chaffin's School is housed.

These giraffes looking down on me made me smile!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow Fell on Alabama

Yesterday morning we woke up to a winter wonderland of sorts. Who knew the weatherman would be right for once? A nice covering of very wet snow made for a perfect photo op. This is the way we like snow down here. It snows, the roads stay clear, you get all the photos you can take, and by noon it's all melted and you're done for the winter. What could be better! A little like ordering a snowfall online! I came home yesterday with almost 400 pictures in my camera. No, I won't make you look at them all, but you'll have to humor me and let me share quite a few!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Star, a Homewood Tradition

The star hanging at the top of the hill in downtown Homewood has been shining at Christmas for as long as I can remember. (Yes, we had electricity back then! ) I like it when communities honor longtime traditions! I featured it last December from another angle here. I decided to try it from another perspective a few nights ago. Twinkle, twinkle!!

For days the weather man has said we'd get snow flurries late Friday night. We all laughed and laughed and said our usual, "It won't stick!" Well hello snow. This is what I saw from my bedroom window this morning. The roads are clear so we're good to go but it is a lovely scene to enjoy with my morning coffee.