Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pic Today 12/31/11


When St. Louis artist, Bill Christman,
opened Joe's Cafe in the Central West End,
the college crowd swarmed into this unique
whimsical studio/art space/venue . . .
especially when he began booking top local bands.

But that was too much for the surrounding
residential neighborhood. Soon thereafter,
Joe's Cafe lost its liquor license.
So Bill closed his doors, and continued
collecting outlandish art and neon signs . . .
until he reopened as a "private club."

Joe's Cafe is thriving once again, but it's
strictly BYOB and a $10 "membership fee" at the door.
Award winning Irish band, Misla, performed
for New Year's Eve and it was

Beside top local bands in this tiny club,
Joe's Cafe is worth a visit
just for the art, decorations and outside garden.

Let the party begin!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Pic Today 12/30/11


Here's an inside look
at a creative execution of a traditional English dish,
Fish-n-Chips (aka fried fish & french fried potatoes.)

In this case, it's
Fish-In-Chips, with Malt Caviar & Parsley.

Filets of redfish are rinsed and patted dry,
then coated with flour & instant mashed potatoes.
(That takes care of the "fish and chips" part.)

Dissolve agar (vegetable gelatin) in hot malt vinegar.
Once dissolved, fill syringe with liquid vinegar gelatin,
and slowly drop into ice cold grape seed oil.
Droplets of gelatin will form and settle to bottom.
Remove globules and reserve for garnish.
(Looks like caviar, doesn't it?)

Now for the parsley drops!
(Best done well in advance.)
Finely chop fresh parsley; mix with
dissolved gelatin in water.
Pour in sheet pan, and refrigerate.
When set, scrape parsley gelatin from pan;
liquify with water in blender.
Transfer to squeeze bottle for final plate garnish.

Plate the freshly fried fish w/potato coating
onto mayonnaise (with Old Bay Seasoning mixed in).
Squeeze fresh parsley dots onto plate.
Top fish with Malt Vinegar caviar.
(You don't taste the malt vinegar until you bite into the caviar.)

Pretty, isn't it?
The flavors combine in a most creative way.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Pic Today 12/29/11


St. Louis' newest craft brewery -- 4 Hands --
hosted the famous Rogue Underground dining club
with a 6-course gourmet "beer dinner."

The secret team of Rogue chefs and staff
transformed the 2-week old "4 Hands Brewery"
into a gourmet dining room,
and matched these hand brewed beers
with extraordinary dishes.

This micro brewery is destined to be one of the
great craft beers in St. Louis,
in the shadow of Anheuser-Busch,
the giant worldwide brewery.

Artisanal craftsmanship wins again!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pic Today 12/28/11


We got our first snow!

It's not much, admittedly,
but enough snow to cover the city
in white.
(And it was gone by noon.)

This is the latest, by far,
we've waited for the first snow.

What's happening?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pic Today 12/27/11


The St. Louis Gateway Arch
is a national monument in my hometown,
St. Louis, Missouri.

Designed by Eero Saarinen (shown above) in 1957,
the Gateway Arch was constructed between 1963-65,
standing 630-feet on the Mississippi River,
symbolic of the great Westward Expansion by Lewis & Clark.
(And yes, you can ride in elevators to the top.)

It is indeed a challenge to photograph the St. Louis Arch,
due to its scale and gleaming brilliance.
As is often times the case,
I love shooting pictures of people shooting pictures
of the magnificent stainless steel monument.
(A challenge, to say the least.)

It is no accident that Saarinen chose the exact dimensions
of the St. Louis Arch, a classic catenary arch,
one of the most stable designs in architecture.

Imagine holding a chain between your hands,
allowing it to fall to a depth exactly the same
as the distance between both hands.
Got it?
Now freeze the chain, flip it over,
and you've got a catenary arch.

(Isn't math wonderful?)

Eero Saarinen photo, courtesy of Yale University archives.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pic Today 12/26/11


Why not keep that Christmas feeling going,
and bring it to life more than one day a year?

That good feeling comes from giving to others.
The real face of Christmas are the less fortunate
and those who "live without."

You can keep Christmas in your heart,
day by day . . . reach out to the homeless,
the poor, to those who live alone.
They live where you live, and are easy to find,
in your city, in parts forgotten perhaps.

They're grateful when you find them, and try.
Warm clothes, food, a smile.
Make Christmas a longer season.
It feels good.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."

-- Ghandi

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Pic Today 12/25/11


May the magic of Christmas touch you
with the wonder of a child's dreams.

Close your eyes.
Make a wish.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Pic Today 12/24/11


A shiny new sports car, please,
'cause I've been really good!

I saw some racing cars
just the other night,
all on the showroom floor.
Here's some hints . . .

Ferrari, Porsche, Mercedes,
Audi, Maserati, Lamborghini.
Any color will do.

But red is nice.