Friday, April 30, 2010

Pic Today 4/30/10


TWO MILES OF GREAT ART
YOU CAN VIEW FROM YOUR CAR




It's a little known art show in St. Louis
you can tour from the comfort of your car.
Painted by truly gifted anonymous artists
are huge graffiti murals
painted on the Mississippi River flood wall.
Take the river front Arch road SOUTH
(the road hugs the flood wall for 2 miles)
and drive by these imaginative walls of art.
There's no traffic, so take your time.
And take it all in.
(Bring your camera.)















Thursday, April 29, 2010

Pic Today 4/29/10


ONLY RUNNERS GET THIS BUMPER STICKER
I've been seeing this bumper sticker around town.
I figured it was some biblical passage and verse,
or something . . .
Then I saw
THIS BUMPER STICKER!
(Exactly two times the first number,
so I did some digging and googling.)



THESE ARE MARATHON AND HALF-MARATHON NUMBERS.
A half marathon is a road running event of 21,097.5 meters,
or 13-7/64 miles, about 13.1 miles.
(And a full marathon, of course, is twice that.)
So that settles that one.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pic Today 4/28/10





THE BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT IN TOWN

IS IN

THE BEST MEXICAN GROCERY STORE IN TOWN

and it's at 2753 Cherokee Street in the city.
Go visit
EL TORITO
Supermercado, Meat Market & Taqueria

(Es muy fantastico!)

In addition to authentic Mexican tortillas, peppers,
cheeses, sauces, chorizo, meats, chocolates, fresh
Mexican baked goods and breads, moles, produce,
clothing, boots, hand glazed pots, and pinatas . . .

the family Medina proudly serves the best
in authentic Mexican cuisine.
All located in "little Mexico" on Cherokee Street
west of Jefferson.

THIS IS WORTH A TRIP.
Ole!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pic Today 4/27/10


WHERE STARS ARE BORN

An incredible photo just released
taken by the Hubble Telescope of
The Carina Nebula
7,500 light years from Earth.

Granted, I am departing from the premise
of this Pic-A-Day photo blog,
whereby I submit photos (and commentary) daily
from MY camera, but this is an amazing photo
in celebration of NASA's 20th anniversary
of the Hubble Telescope.

This image shows a tower of cool hydrogen and dust,
3 light years tall...3 LIGHT YEARS TALL!!!
(Lest we forget, a "light year" is defined as
the distance light travels in one year!)

This is the stuff where stars are born.
Our universe is remarkable to behold.
(Good job Hubble. Keep snapping away.)


Monday, April 26, 2010

Pic Today 4/26/10





ST. LOUIS EARTH DAY FESTIVAL AT FOREST PARK

Neither cold, nor rain, nor blustery winds
kept festival goers from attending
the 21st Annual St. Louis Earth Day Celebration
on the Muny Opera grounds Sunday.
Echo, the rescued greyhound,
got lots of warm pets and hugs,
and reminds us there's still a need
for permanent loving homes for retired
and rescued racing greyhounds.



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pic Today 4/25/10





THE CHICKENS HAVE ARRIVED
AT KIRKWOOD FARMERS MARKET
And they're showing up in neighbors'
backyards too.

There's a new trend across America:
Raising chickens at home.
(They're clean, quiet, legal and fun.
They eat your bugs, and lay eggs too.)

And speaking of eggs,
Pilgrims' Acres (Foristell, Missouri)
will have a table at Kirkwood Farmers Market
every Saturday
to sell their fresh eggs and answer your questions
about healthy, free range, natural chickens.
Go talk to Bryant Cutler (or his brother Brady)
and have him tell you the DIFFERENCE
in natural farm fresh eggs and chickens.
(HINT: It's all about the taste.)









Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pic Today 4/24/10




WHICH IS MORE BEAUTIFUL?

An iris in full bloom?
Or a baby's first smile!

(I saw my grand daughter, Metta, today.
2 months old, healthy and happy.
That smile melted my heart.)






Friday, April 23, 2010

Pic Today 4/23/10





AZALEAS ANYONE?

Often called "royalty of the garden",
azaleas have enjoyed a particularly
robust and colorful Spring
in the St. Louis area,
due to our mild above average weather.

Azaleas are now known as a sub-species
of rhododendrums, and can be propogated by cuttings.
(You simply cut a 6-12" stem at the end,
insert into moist soil or potting mix,
and VOILA. An exact clone is now growing.)



Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pic Today 4/22/10





TODAY IS "EARTH DAY".
Know what you can do???

Recycle, recycle, recycle.

Be kind to your planet.
Make every resource count.
And use a reusable water bottle, please.

(The 21st Annual St. Louis Earth Day Festival
is Sunday, April 25, 11:00am - 6:00pm
on the Muny grounds of Forest Park.)
Come celebrate.

"World children around the earth"
Haitian metal sculpture
courtesy of PlowSharing Crafts,
137 W. Jefferson, Kirkwood.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pic Today 4/21/10




THE DOGWOODS ARE BARKING!

A spectacular Spring continues
in St. Louis.

This time the dogwoods (pink & white)
are center stage, and magnificent.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pic Today 4/20/10


ADIOS, BOGOTA

Final photo.
Departing Colombia.

Back home today,
safe and sound.

Hope there's more beautiful Spring
to enjoy.




Monday, April 19, 2010

Pic Today 4/19/10


MAZORCA
A Favorite Street Treat

Sometimes grilled, sometimes boiled,
but always enjoyed by children,
mazorcas are Colombian's version of corn-on-the-cob
(or should we say corn "on the stick".)
Rubbed with butter, queso cheese and chili powder.
Adios, amigos.
(My assignment is complete,
and today is "travel day.")

HASTA LA PROXIMA!
(Until the next time.)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pic Today 4/18/10



RARE FRUITS, WORTH THE EFFORT

MAMONCILLOS

Colombians love these lime shaped fruits, mamoncillos,
nevermind each one is 90% inedible seed. Once the
brittle skin is removed, a thin layer of tart pulp
covers an enormous single seed which is almost
as big as the fruit itself. The exotic grape
flavor of what's left is well worth the effort.

CHONTADUROS

The bright orange chontaduros fruits are also
much loved for their edible pulp, also
surrounding a single huge seed. These fruits,
also called palm peaches, grow high atop a
specific type of tropical palm tree in the
jungle and Amazon lowlands of Colombia.
(This is the favorite food of macaws and many parrots.)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Pic Today 4/17/10


PAPAYAS
Wild vs. Farmed

Papayas are a staple fruit in most of South & Latin America.
Fact is, you can buy papayas in most supermarkets
throughout the United States.
That's because they're farmed for mass market
in South America and Mexico.

Colombia exports $-millions of papayas, mangoes,
bananas and pineapples year round (roses, too.)
But papayas and many tropical fruits are still found
and harvested in the jungles of Colombia.
(For local village markets.)

These wild fruits are picked ripe, and although not
"perfect" on the outside, are always
more delicious and flavorful.
This beauty was picked 'wild', and is
much more fragrant than farmed varieties.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pic Today 4/16/10


GUANABANA

Sometimes the ugliest fruits
hide the sweetest surprise.

Guanabanas are huge (the size of a football), heavy (10 lbs. or more) and covered with sharp spikes . . . not the most inviting fruit to pick up at the market. But what a delicious surprise awaits you inside. Guanabanas are prized for their snow white custard pulp . . . which is described as a cross between strawberry, pineapple, banana and coconut. No wonder its juice nectar is a favorite in Colombian fruit drinks. Throw one to a friend . . .
(Ouch!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Pic Today 4/15/10


YES, WE HAVE NO BANANAS!

(They're PLANTAINS, not bananas.)

And you'll find them in every village market
and on every table, at most major meals.
With less sugar than their cousin, the banana,
plantains (platanos) are starchy and must be cooked.
A favorite side dish in Colombia are patacones,
plantains sliced and pounded, then twice fried
and served with fresh made salsa.
Muy delicioso!

(More exotic foods from village markets
to follow.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pic Today 4/14/20





THE COLORS AND FLAVORS
of Colombia.

The oldest parts of the city
are always the brightest
and most colorful.
(Gives "painting the town" a whole new meaning.)

This blogger's favorite street food . . .
fresh, ripe tropical fruits,
especially fresh-cut juicy pineapple.

Yum!





Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pic Today 4/13/10


SPAIN LIBRARY
Medellin

Bold modern architecture throughout the city
represents a emphasis on public works projects
"for the peoople" including this striking concrete
and steel public library somehow built into
one of Medellin's surrounding peaks.

One floor of this amazing library is
totally devoted to children.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Pic Today 4/12/10




HOLA FROM COLOMBIA

Medellin.
From the air.
Mile high big city,
surrounded by lush Andes mountains.
Meetings today.

Hermosa ciudad!






Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pic Today 4/11/10


OFF TO COLOMBIA . . .
through Bogota, to Medellin!

(with luck, and internet connections,
Pic-A-Day will continue.)
Hasta manana!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pic Today 4/10/10





SHOPPING "ON THE HILL"

And there's no better Italian market than
VIVIANO'S On The Hill.

Treat yourself to an authentic "old world" Italian market experience . . . where else? "On the hill", at 5137 Shaw . . . that's Viviano's (in business at the same location since 1949.) And get ready for an amazing selection of pastas (you won't believe it) . . . tomato sauces . . . cheeses . . . sausages and deli meets . . . olive oils . . . breads . . . olives . . . and delicious antipasti salads.

Your mouth will start watering
the moment you walk in.
(Open today, 8:00 - 5:00pm.)

Bon Giorno!






Friday, April 9, 2010

Pic Today 4/9/10


DANELIONS HAVE A 'BUM RAP'

There's a good side to our yellow friend.

Each spring dandelions sprout in lawns and parks . . .city and country . . . whether we want 'em or not. It ranks right up there as a most notorious and faithful 'weed.' In fact, millions are spent each year on gardening products to kill dandelions, or prevent them from sprouting at all.
(A weed is defined as an "undesirable plant" . . . which pretty much leaves it up to the eye of the beholder.) Fact is, dandelions in bloom offer a blush of bright yellow, and are beautiful to some.

Dandelions (from the French "dent de lion", meaning "lions tooth" referring to its coarsely toothed leaves) offer much more than yellow blooms, which shortly turn into puff balls of 'parachute' seeds for children to blow. Dandelions are widely used in world cuisines:

Leaves picked in early spring (before the flowering stage) are cooked as delicious greens, rich in vitamins and minerals . . . and flowers can be sauteed in butter or oil, or dipped in tempura batter and fried. Its roasted, ground roots can be used as a caffeine free coffee substitute. And of course . . . .

Shouldn't we be making wine or something?



Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pic Today 4/8/10




When is your lawn NOT a lawn?
WHEN IT'S A SPECTACULAR, NATURALIZED
SPRING WILD FLOWER GARDEN!

Nevermind the quest for a perfect, weed-free green blanket of Kentucky bluegrass . . . with countless applications of post-emergence, broadleaf herbicides to ge rid of wild violets, dandelions, chickweed and all those other flowering things. How about letting Mother Nature naturalize your lawn, with a variety of renewable, sustainable, flowering plants? It would take less time, less money, less watering . . . and you can still mow it when it gets too high. Anway . . .

Naturalized lawns are catching on, and at this time of the year . . . THEY ARE AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. (Monet couldn't paint a prettier mural.) All you have to do is NOTHING.

So, CHEM-LAWN and TRUE-GREEN,
STAY AWAY.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Pic Today 4/7/10





NOW IT'S PURPLE'S TURN!
The redbuds have joined us.


The eastern redbud trees are native to Eastern U.S. and plentiful throughout Missouri and Illinois. (It's Oklahoma's state tree.) Throughout Appalachia, green redbud twigs are used as seasoning for wild game. In these mountain areas the redbud is sometimes known as the "spicewood tree."

Native Americans have long held the redbud tree as sacred, and consumed redbud flowers raw or boiled, and eaten its roasted seeds for medicinal value. Redbud leaves are perfectly heart shaped . . . so we love this native tree all the more.