Posts tagged “N’at

Andy Warhol, the pride of Dawson Street

Hey yinz guys,

It’s been a while since I last blogged. That’s mostly because I went camping this weekend (post to follow). On Friday, my sister, brother-in-law, nephew, boyfriend and I went to the Andy Warhol Museum. We got in for free because of the Regional Asset District’s RADical Days, which just ended.

There we saw that Andrew Warhola lived on Dawson Street in Oakland, where I lived for two years as an undergrad. The house is not a museum, so it’s easy to miss. For some reason, I thought that Andy Warhol lived on Parkview Avenue, but now I remember that’s the street where Pitt alumnus Dan Marino grew up. Here’s a picture of the exhibit detailing Andy’s childhood.

My nephew liked exploring the Andy Warhol Museum. He got a free coloring book too.

My nephew looking through an Andy Warhol coloring book

We had a great time seeing old favorites, like the silver clouds, hallway with of Mao Zedong portraits, Brillo boxes, Jackie O photos and so on. The new exhibits were great too. The museum brought out an old Apple painting in honor of Steve Jobs. The Heroes and Villains exhibit by Alex Ross on the seventh floor was also impressive. I appreciated its comprehensiveness, even including childhood drawings of Charlie Brown as different superheroes. The last favorite worth mentioning is the video of The Milk Truck, the Carnegie Mellon University project, that rescues nursing mothers while shaming those who do not welcome public breastfeeding. I hope to see the truck with a giant boob on top driving around town. Unfortunately, if I see it, that means that The Milk Truck is needed, and that’s a shame.

Anyway, you won’t see any photos of any of these neat things here because the museum does not permit photos on any floors except for the first. I still found some interesting things to chronicle.

This neat mirror was in the gift shop of the museum.

This reproduction of the Andy Warhol's Elizabeth Taylor silk screen hangs in the parking garage near the museum.

Thanks for checking out this post! I’ll post something about my weekend camping trip tomorrow.

-Estelle

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Indonesian Cultural Exhibition in Pittsburgh? Ya!

Halo yinz!

After my pumpkin picking adventure at Soergel Orchards, my friend asked me to go an Indonesian Cultural Exhibition at the William Pitt Union on Pitt’s campus. Judging by the location, I assumed that it was just a small fair hosted by a student group.  I’m sorry to admit that I had low expectations. Student-run cultural events usually don’t last longer than the donated trays of food.

I walked in to the ballroom to see several professional cameras tripods on a stage in the back of the room. The room was nearly full of men and women dressed in traditional Indonesian garb. (There were a few children running around. Two even wandered on stage.) For the men, the dress consisted of mostly bold-printed button-down shirts. The women wore sari-like dresses with embroidered flowers in sheer, shiny fabric. Many of the women wore headscarves, as Indonesia is a dominantly Islamic country.

The Indonesian Student Organization and the Indonesian-Pittsburgh Community hosted the event, which drew from Washington D.C.

I posted some pictures from the event. From a photographer’s standpoint, I was frustrated with the lighting. The seating area was bright while the stage was dimly lit – the opposite of the lighting at the belly dance show at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

These men are practicing pencak silat. This is an Indonesian martial arts style that sometimes uses daggers and sickles.

A Balinese dancer

House of Angklung

This was perhaps my favorite part. These women and several more make up House of Angklung. The angklung is an instrument made with bamboo rods that’s shaken, as opposed it’s older brother, the calung. A calung is a sort of bamboo xylophone that the player hits instead of shakes.

After playing their set, which included traditional songs and the Beatles and Nat King Cole’s L-O-V-E, the band invited members of the crowd on to the stage to play! There were plenty to go around because most of these women juggle three. My friend, Abiola, and I ran up on to the stage to try the angklung. Each instrument had a number from one to seven, and the various combinations created notes. The learning curve is quite shallow, allowing the conductor to instruct us how to play a song in minutes.

Here’s a better view of the instrument:

Reog Ponorogo Singolodoyo

This was the closing act – Reog Ponorogo Singolodoyo. There were several other performances, including vocalists and Javanese gamelan players. It was such a fun and educational experience.

I’ll leave you on this, a merging of East and West: Rihanna’s “Umbrella” played with angklungs.

-Estelle


Soergel Orchards’ Pumpkin Palooza and Apple Fest

Happy fall, y’all! (I love rhymes just about as much as I love yinz guys.)

Today was a very successful fall day.  My boyfriend, his mother and I went to Soergel Orchards to pick pumpkins and take in the lovely autumn atmosphere.  I would like to set a scene with the cliche smell of crisp fall air, but that didn’t happen today. It was friggen hot – about 80 degrees.

But no matter. It was the apple festival at Soergels! Like many other city slickers, I donned my denim shirt and rustic booties for this special trip to the country. I’m reluctant to say that we went to a pumpkin patch today. Soergels Orchards, though not on the scale of Knott’s Berry Farm, is the quaint Wexford version of that farm-themed park. There’s a corn maze (or maize tee hehe), hay tunnel, bouncy castle, hayrides and an area where kids can prospect for arrowheads and semi-precious stones.

My main goal was to find the great pumpkin we’ll carve this year. This hunk of love is 25 pounds.  I also picked up a little guy as a bonus. He’s 75 cents well spent, I say.

Here are the rest of my pix from my pumpkin palooza. Most need no further description.

At 75 cents each, this should be...

Sheep: Oh hey!

"Let me tell you about my best friend..."

I hear Harry Nilsson’s “Best Friend” in my head when I see this photo. 😉

OK. Here’s where the photos need prefacing. We went into the apple pressing demonstration. Soergels employees described and showed eager onlookers how they process 250-300 gallons of apple cider each hour!  Apparently the difference between apple cider and apple juice is apple cider is not heated as much as apple juice. It’s pasteurized to kill the bacteria, but it’s not filtered and heated as much as apple juice. Apple juice is shelf stable, but apple cider, should be treated like milk.

These apples are on their way to get chopped and mashed.

The mashed apples come out of the hose and on to blanket-covered metal plates. The workers make several layers.

Getting the squeeze

After this, the juice travels to the pasteurizer. Then, it sits in a giant tank to let some of the apple bits settle before bottling. 🙂

Soergel Orchards’ fall fest is still going on. You can visit on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. You might have missed your “one shot” to see Tom Cruise and his family there though (check out the pictures halfway down the page).

On a side note, I’m taking suggestions for pumpkin carving ideas! Patterns and links are preferred. This is what we did last year:

Flame effect was an accident but a welcome one! Photo: Haris

Stay safe in your pumpkin endeavors!

-Estelle


Bras across the Hot Metal Bridge

Hey yinz,

October is breast cancer awareness month, and American Eagle decided to do its part by zip-tying 4,000 bras across the Hot Metal Bridge in the South Side. For the next week (til October 6), Aerie, will donate $1 for every bra sold to Bright Pink, a non-profit organization that encourages women to be proactive in breast and ovarian cancer detection. Aerie will contribute up to $50,000 to this organization, which educates women about issues from prevention and early detection to legal advising for possible employment and health insurance discrimination.

This display definitely got a lot of drivers, cyclists and walkers looking up and thinking.  I had a great time shooting these pictures and blogging for this great cause. I might go back to shoot some more photos in RAW and with the Pittsburgh skyline as a backdrop. The bright colors look so pretty across the blue sky and against the darkness of this historical truss bridge. Check them out:

High contrast. You caught me, but you won't get any apologies. I love the blue!

On a side note, Aerie bras range from $29.50 to $44.50. So, lets just say that Aerie didn’t use so many of the more expensive bras. At $30 each, there’s 120,000 buckaroos of brightly colored polka-dotted, striped and lacey brassieres! Ooh la la!

-Estelle