Posts Tagged ‘art’

The Art of Photography While Driving and How it Pertains to Politics

September 17, 2016 Leave a comment

roadway091716A great low-res pic of the roadway in from my car.

As you can see, my fancy new windshield wipers are working flawlessly.

… or maybe you can’t see.  It’s taken with my fancy $10 Vivitar key chain camera bought at Rite Aide 5 years ago. Beats my $2400 Fuji Pro2 any day 🙂

So why post a really bad photo from a camera where it’s in high debate that it actually has a lens in it?

Well, a bit of nostalgia … really capture images like those very crappy film camera you bought in the gum ball machines in the 70s and 80s – a really distorted, although recognizable view of what’s really there.

BTW …. before we go further, a little clarification for the thin-minded: I really didn’t take this while I was driving the car, I was stopped in a legal area to do so with someone behind me for safety. Why do I have to clarify that? … Well, because I’ve been around long enough to know if enough people read this, some of the more dim-witted will buy a few key chain cams and start taking pics around the ‘burgh in their cars while forgetting to actually drive their cars. I would feel bad about any accidents(well, not that bad … they’re the stupid idiots taking pics while driving their cars), considering I’d already have to deal with dumb questions like “how do I get the pics off the cam, it doesn’t have a screen”. I get the same question from people that buy modern day film cameras, failing to realize they bought a film camera (you can’t make that one up).

Ok … now past the incoherent babble, what does this even have to do with modern day politics??

Well, it’s exactly the same thing … a view that looks like what our founding fathers created, blurred a bit so you can’t see the details, but cheap enough you’ll but it anyway (when I did an art project with keychain cams I sold some of the pics at shows for $30 a piece … more than I ever sold with shots taken with my pro camera).

It’s sort of like reality shows (I’m REALLY hoping you don’t think any part of those shows are real), which our elections are starting to get like – well produced marketing with enough blur so you think you are really getting what you ordered until you actually open the box and find a really crappy picture of a road taking with a camera that cost three times less that what you just paid for the picture.

The art of photography and how it pertains to politics … it’s really an unsafe stupid way to get a really crappy blurry image of reality.

Realize what’s around you, look at what’s around you, make informed decisions, don’t let modern day marketing make the decisions for you.

This is our political contribution to the 2016 reality show (ooops … I mean election).



Art All Night 2011 – the wait is over!!!

The Wait Is Over!!!
This is our traditional call out for this time of year.

Yes, it’s getting close, and time to start thinking about Art All Night (click on the logo to go to AAN’s website).

Why? … and for those of you that are new to Pittsburgh, you ask, “umm, OK, why??”

Art All Night, through it’s persistence has really become the official announcement to the start of the Spring/Summer art season in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.  You know spring is coming when you start hearing the volunteer calls for Art All night.  You know spring is here when you start seeing those Art All Night “calls for artists”.  You know one of the main qualities that defines this city is now in full bloom when the first person walks into Art All Night … an sees the defining artistic creativity of the residents of our city.  There is nothing better during this time of year to show you a visual definition of “Pittsburgh”.  Art All Night has become a staple of the area holding it’s artists together every year.  Click Here to read the rest of the article on Sophisticated Pittsburgh.

Art All Night 2010

April 23, 2010 Leave a comment

The post icon is a little larger than normal – that’s because this is a really important time of the year.

At least in Pittsburgh and Lawrenceville.

It’s ART ALL NIGHT time!!!!!

SWB doesn’t have an entry, but Pittsburgh By Mini Cam does, so please check us out.  We have no idea where we will be placed, so that’ll force ya to look at all the other great artists at the show – last year it was over a thousand.

The other great thing is that you can to go through the old Iron City plant and maybe check out that place you’ve bought from for so long.

This show, in our opinion, is on of the best ways we have seen to showcase all of Pittsburgh’s artists freely and openly without politics or preferences.  Anyone can enter one piece of art, and anyone can view all of the art.  Every year we give major kudos to those that created and are now running the show (along with the tons of volunteers).

Along with being great for art … Art All Night IS the perfect example of how Pittsburgh works together to get something new and exciting started.  It shows that whether it’s about manufacturing or cultural activities, we are innovators in all ways.

So attend …. you may see one or your friend’s artwork there (or hopefully your own).


PS – Art All Night continually inspires a ton of other things in our city … so SUPPORT IT!

Looks Good Under A Sunset

February 24, 2009 Leave a comment


City Of Pittsburgh Sunset

Dazed and confused about what to do with your city and how to clean it up? Here is a tidbit of SWB viewpoint.

Did you ever notice that any city, large or small looks great with a sunrise or sunset? Shots like the one above always gets used for opening city shots, and shots just before a major gang killing outburst. Kind of interesting and a little bit of a contrast between natural and violent beauty.

Look at it this way: The beauty of a sunrise pretty much gets shot down once you get to the next scene in a movie where you get to see the environment us people have created. Now this doesn’t mean that all things people have done are bad, or all cities have volatile gang violence, etc … but maybe it’s a way of highlighting that just because the sun shines on something, that doesn’t mean that once you get there it’s going to look like The Garden of Eden – there is a good chance it might resemble your kid’s bedroom.

So it’s green garbage bag and mop and bucket time.

What do you do from here? Here is my suggestion:

If your kid has a messy room …. don’t punish them by making them clean it. They should have done it anyway, and basically you are going to end up doing it. Instead, hand them a bottle of cleaner, a bucket, a mop and stick them on a bus to the city nearest you that needs cleaning. Tell them when their portion of the city they decide to clean “looks good under a sunset” they can come home – then go clean their room.

A few things will happen: You kid’s room will remain eternally clean, because they will never be able to finish the task you have given them, thus never returning home. They will probably become more educated communicating with the people watching them try to clean their section of the city – because those people probably hold more knowledge than the universities and colleges surrounding them. You will also end up spend a whole lot less money – you might actually be able to retire.

Any takers on the idea?


P.S. This is another one of those articles where if it makes sense to you we suggest you seek out professional help.

Pittsburgh Cultural District Takes A Dump

May 23, 2008 Leave a comment

Well, when the going gets bad in Pittsburgh, the tough give up.

When we all thought the Pittsburgh Cultural District would product what may have been one of the better or best living areas in the city – they gave up. The plan gave us national attention for the already world class area. Unfortunately it also now gives the area national attention for what people now think Pittsburgh does best – give up.

Now, I’m not saying I wouldn’t delay it for a few years – but consider this: If they would have started this year or next, they would be completing just when all of the crisis would be over in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Think about how much they would have benefited.

Clip from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: (c)2008 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Government subsidies were planned to provide much of the overall financing, and the trust took responsibility for meeting with state, county and city leaders on their support, she said. It had the $12.3 million commitment from the state but told her in a meeting May 12 that the commitment had lapsed.

“The trust lost their courage upon that defeat. That’s the last thing that should happen,” Ms. Eastridge said.

Ummmm ….. no guts ….. get somebody in there that has a set of gonads for doing a big project and taking chances.

The Cultural Trust has really made it’s name for itself and the city nationally (no mistaking that is has done much for this city) — it could have really made it’s mark with this project internationally for itself and the city along with proving that an arts organization could do something at this level. Instead, it chose to say “I’m too scared” and stick it’s head under a rock so many people could say “yup …. we told you they couldn’t do it”.

Oh, well … I guess some outside developer only interested in sucking the money out of the city will take it over.

PS – Delaying would have looked smart – giving up was just dumping on the city that supports you.

Pittsburgh Needs To Become More Progressive

May 21, 2008 Leave a comment

…. we are getting there, but we need to do more.

In one of my replies to The Burgh Blog I stated in a post the Pittsburgh is not progressive enough. This doesn’t mean that this is a bad city. It mean we need to move forward faster. Currently we are advertising ourselves and starting to be recognized as one of the meccas in medical and technology industries. We are also starting to be called “Little Hollywood” by developers watching us out west. This is a good sign … and it’s bringing people to Pittsburgh in record numbers to do anything from research and development, to movie filming, to getting an education, etc ……. the problem is it’s not keeping them here for long lengths of time.

This has happened before ….. remember the 90’s? Things were going great, but Pittsburgh held on to it’s past, and slowly all the things we gained trickled back out. Many times this is cause by people not wanting to change or change their thinking. Change can be a difficult thing ….. I change and embrace change because I know at some point it can make my life better. Do I necessarily like going through all the parts of getting to that change? No. Do I sometimes get scared that the changes may make things worse than before? Yes. Will I allow my fears cause me to stop change? No.

The problem many times with Pittsburgh is that the people that have grown up there will do anything to not see the parts of the city that represent their childhood go away. Candy-Rama is a good example, Kaufmann’s is another. Both of them were icons in our city – I almost cried when they were announced to be gone. Although I didn’t want to see Candy-Rama go, I knew the apartments that would take the place of the business would bring more people into the city – attracting even more businesses and more jobs and better living. The Kaufmann’s conversion into Macy’s brought a little better retailing and the Macy’s charm to the city – attracting people who like Macy’s. Macy’s also tends to be a better employer.

There are things that people coming into the city look at too, especially since we are getting people moving here internationally now:

* Art – people really look progressive at art, and many times something you or I as Pittsburghers don’t consider art, the people moving into Pittsburgh do consider art. Graffiti can be one style (not tagging or vandalism). So we have to provide venue for the types or styles of art people coming into the city want to see. If you don’t build it the people won’t come – if you don’t put the venue out there, the people won’t patronize it.

* Music – Pittsburgh is mostly a rock and blues city. Which is great. I spent many a night down at Nicks Fat City (when it existed) listening to those styles of bands and I’m also a Billy Price fan. I don’t necessarily like Diesel as much as I liked Nick’s, but it’s a nice addition to the SouthSide. We are there a little as far as accepting more music styles, but if you talk to any band playing what people are listening to outside of Pittsburgh and PA trying to make a go of it in Pittsburgh …. they will most likely tell you they will have to move out of the city because it won’t support their music or style because Pittsburgh is stuck on the same old thing. There goes their money and possible recognition for the city if the bands actually did make it.

*Living Space – we are actually doing good on this one (Mark Pyatt, Big River Developnment “The Cork Factory”, etc) have set the standards for Pittsburgh, and I believe the Cultural District will set another living space standard when they finish their projects. Unfortunately we need permanent people in those living spaces, not just 3 to 6 month renters.

Along with people mistakenly still knowing us as “The Steel City” and the “Smoky City”, we are also know as “The Safe City”. Not safe as in you won’t get mugged … but safe as in we only support “safe” music, “safe” radio stations, “safe” art, etc. “Safe” meaning that what is being done contains almost guaranteed possibility of at least working a little – maybe not being hugely profitable, nor generating allot of new customers. Unfortunately “safe” does not keep the new residents here with their money, knowledge, and talents. Remember what happened in the 70’s and early 80’s with the steel industry because it didn’t want to change?, and in the 90’s because the city didn’t want to be as accepting as it needed to be with tech companies moving in? We lost many chances to become a city people want to move to because we wanted to be “safe”.

Here is a good example of how change worked: The Firehouse Lounge in the Strip district started a house night featuring Steel City Funk. From talking to people that attended before I did, it took 8 to 12 months before it gained a really sustainable crowd. The point being that the owners embraced a change that normally did not include guaranteed success in a Pittsburgh based venue and gave the time for Pittsburghers to start accepting it, and the group running it time to tweak it to the area. We need to apply this attitude towards allot of other change in Pittsburgh. We tend to want immediate results.

I’ve been to places that I’ve grown to love, that are now gone because they wanted to be “safe” and avoid any chances associated with change. Don’t let Pittsburgh get that way. The people moving into Pittsburgh won’t wait for us to get past our fears of change and not being “safe” – they will just move to cities that have already gotten over their fears of change. Something our children seem to be in a habit of doing too, once they find out what is available outside of our city.

Remember – everything you have now was once something someone hated and spoke out against. (Rock Music, Sky Scrapers, Computers, Cars, Electronic Billboards, etc), so change has proven itself (although sometimes difficult) to be a vehicle to make things better.

Our current Mayor Luke is one of our better chances for change – and look at the flack he gets when he tries to make any changes or improvements. It’s the same flack the city gets from it’s residents when it tries to make any change.

I don’t want to see Pittsburgh disappear due to change, but change so it doesn’t disappear.

Cereal, I Love You So

May 16, 2008 Leave a comment

I love cereal … it’s great … even better if I had milk (but that’s another entry)

Which is why I am just a *little* disturbed when I see all the new flavors … it’s bad enough people had to screw with potato chips, but CEREAL????

Life isn’t looking good when you get toast flavored cereal, banana nut bread flavored cereal, etc, etc …… but there companies now experimenting with cereals that taste like veggies (found it on some obscure corporate link ….. but still it concerns me). What’s next? … cereal that tastes like chicken noodle soup, steak and potatoes, and eventually tripe???? Ick!!

On the flip side …… a company is coming out with a drink called Liquid Cereal …. cool!

BTW … this is my senseless stupid blog for the week.

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