Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mitchell Street, it’s Historic!

Santa Maria

I had been planning on riding the bus down to Mitchell street for ages. I cannot believe how long and how much planning it took for me to get up off my lazy ass and do it. Then I got off the bus about four stops too late. However, that allowed me to stumble upon the virgin mary here. So, all’s well that ends well.

Modjeska 2

Somehow this is less depressing than the Grand Theater downtown. Not by much mind you, but a little bit less. I wonder if it is like the Oriental on the inside? Maybe, it looks a little newer and less adorned. One thing is for sure, it is not open.

Modjeska 1

In the interest of inconspicuousness, I only brought my pancake lens down here. Well, that’s half true, I also wanted to be a super cool street photographer. Check me out with my 50mm (equivalent) walking the streets being all cool. To be honest, I’m really drawn to the idea of scaling back and miniaturizing my equipment. Then I remember how awesome the pictures turn out when you are using huge lenses.

Plaza el Paisano

I have no idea what this sign says.


Mitchell Street is surprisingly vibrant. I know it’s a little intimidating, but there are tons of people out enjoying the shopping. It is a little like Wisconsin Avenue, except that most people are here to be here, instead of here to catch a bus and go.


On of the criticisms of the little pancake is that it is a little too distorted for architectural photography.  I don’t disagree, it makes you really pay attention to framing. Otherwise things get real wonky real fast.


Thar goes da bus. Stupid useful bus.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Just A Little Further


And on the next day. Getting ready with that wonderful juice, coffee. Now, it wasn’t Starbucks, but it was in a Starbucks mug. My father has an obsession with Rocky Mountain Roastery. It is literally the only coffee in the house. That man makes my brother ship packages of the stuff to him to fill his need. Comes back with pounds of it after visiting. What a weirdo. Maybe I should get him a local coffee sampler. Some Anodyne, Stone Creek, Alterra, Sven’s, and maybe some of that fair trade stuff from work. Which is technically Madison, but you get the drift.

Orange Tree

Anything not brown is photograph worthy. If you spend time outside in the early spring, you know what I am talking about.

A Bridge Soon to Be No More

Damn punk ass kids always starting things on fire. A week later I came back, the best photo of this spot I took with my iPhone. Check it out on, I’m jdbphoto. Follow me! Please!

Train Switch

The old rails are so integrated into the community and the river. What an obvious place to find right of ways. I’ve covered quite a few miles, however just beyond this point it became a bit too overgrown.


The bolts, they speak to me. (not in a weird I’m crazy way)


Thursday, April 28, 2011


The State of Affairs

Most of my childhood memories of Estabrook Park are with Kevin Wright. Kevin and I used to go down to the park with my brother when he would fish. Our dumb asses would mess around the damns and trails without a worry. Every once in a while even falling in and swimming out. We knew how disgusting it was, but that’s what dumbass kids do.

Path Goes Where

I don’t have many memories before that age, about 12 or 13, because I don’t think my parents really liked us hanging out in there. They were much more comfortable with us hanging out in Kletsch park a little further up, but more solidly in the nicer part of town.

Curve of Doom

But, somehow when we were that age, how much fun we could have in our backyards was amazing. How when we are 8 or 9 we can create such amazing experiences in 600 square feet is amazing. Sometimes I like to point out that the spinnaker on Promo has more square footage than my parent’s backyard. Unreal.


As we grow older, and are world grows greater, let us try to remember to find the small world’s within.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Enjoying Our River


The Milwaukee River is an interesting place. One part gem, one part dumping ground, and a little whatever thrown into the mix. I’ve begun spending more time along the river. It is an attempt to reconnect to a part of the city that most people have forgotten or discounted. In fact, for the first time in a year I volunteered the day of this writing, two hours and four heavy bags of trash later, I feel pretty good about the river.


There are all these strange reminders of what the river used to be. Some of them are identifiable as train remnants, or someone’s park planning of the past. Others, however, are just random bolts and concrete.


I also started a greater appreciation for the graffiti. Most graffiti in Milwaukee is just some jackass, gang, or vandal throwing up their tag. On the concrete walls along the river the kids at least try to be a little artistic. Something I don’t mind. But, who knows why this guy decided that Squirtle was going to be his inspiration.


Maybe I’m drawn to the graffiti because it is so hard to find color in the mud season betwixt winter and spring.

First of Spring, They Never Leave

I’d say it was the first robin of spring, but I don’t think they even bother to migrate anymore.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where You Go

Like a Stock Exchange

If you would like to exchange your old railway for a new one. They also have a railway futures market, just in case you would like to hedge your future rail crop. Though I would go in with some trepidation, the railway market is volatile.

The War Half

Also where to go to see men in loin clothes. The other side of this flagpole is peace. I think it is a pretty awesome flagpole.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Fountain at the VA

Fountain of Abudance

I heard a disgusting thing the other day. That 26% of the homeless are veterans, and that 46% of those have PTSD or other serious mental disease. But that’s not the disgusting thing I heard. I heard a man say in regards to his son seeing a bum, “Well, that’s a lesson in why you stay in school and get a job”. The ignorance and ideology embedded in that statement is stunning and hurtful to our society. 1 in 4 homeless are veterans, but in your world all homeless are bums who cannot find work. I am appalled at myself for not saying something, and I am appalled at those who think the homeless are lazy or unwilling to work. Be a real father, find the truth, tell the truth. The homeless are most likely to have a mental disease, are very likely to veterans, and that many families have been cast aside in an ideological war over society that those who view all men as equal are losing to the greedy.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

River Walk


Go there. Its awesome. Soon you’ll be able to drink outside. Which, seemingly is the only way to get anyone outside in this state.


Friday, April 22, 2011

No Way, Tiny Trains!

CP Lonesome

The first lesson I learned from this experience, shooting big trains and making them look small, cool. Shooting small trains and making them look tiny, not as cool.

BN Taking the Lead

Don’t get me wrong, I truly enjoy the narrow depth of field from these pictures. But a world of model trains is a world all of its own. And if you make it look tiny in pictures, you lose some of its effect.

BN Engineer

Your, well at least my, mind’s eye looks at the trains, tracks, men, and equipment and imagine they are real sized. That there are real lives, manufacturing, and movement on the table. That there really is a whole world contained in that small space.


The illusion created by our imagination is tremendous. And when I looked at these pictures on the big screen, they sadly remind me they are just miniatures.


So next time, I will go with a deep depth of field. Make the trains look huge! Expand the world in my mind with pictures.


Not that I hate these. Just that they aren’t perfect.

Oil Rig




Happy Trails!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Art Deco Masterpiece


The Ambassador Hotel is a really impressive concept in a neighborhood that sorely needs it. Smart development that updates and integrates with the community. One day, I hope to actually be able to recommend someone stay there.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Secret is Out



Seriously, this place is awesome. Perhaps a bit “Christ-ey”, but awesome. They make truly spectacular drinks. The margaritas are exactly what they should be, and their version of a white russion, to die for.


Monday, April 18, 2011

Stacked Up.

Stacked Like Cordwood


An amazing view of the Beerline Condo development. When I grew up (Ha! I’m old just for saying that) this was railway trash and low grass. I’m very conflicted. If we do not make places for people to come move to the city that show how beautiful it is, no one will care. However, we really missed a chance to create a phenomenal river parkway that would have gone almost ten miles of uninterrupted nature. Tough call indeed.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Best Street Around

My Favorite Street

Certainly one of my favorites. The classic Milwaukee architecture across from the new, combined with our crazy roads which don’t quite line up. Plus, I’m there quite a lot. On may way to and fro from work, and when we go appreciate the wonderful Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Such a golden wonderful street. Plus, Kat and I had our first date on this street. Which is cool.



Buffalo Street

And one very scared gargoyle. Oh, if we could only see what he has seen. Maybe sped up a bit. Streets are mostly boring after all.


Friday, April 15, 2011

Just Like the Other

Coffee, With Booze Now!

I get that this looks just like my beer shot from last month. I have two things to say about that. One, forget you, I’ll do what I want. Two, it just seems like the best way to compose a shot of a drink at a bar. Idk, sometimes things just work that way.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Franklin Manor

Franklin Manor

Such wonderfully big names for such average places. However, the awning on this one is a show stopper as far as I’m concerned. And look, it is fallout shelter. I wonder if they include that on their rental listing.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ich Will am Strand


Perhaps the greatest German pop song I know. In high school German class we would watch Deutsche Welle. Not really sure if there was an associated lesson, or the teacher was board, but that’s what we did. Anyway, one day we watched this hilarious German music video, which some seniors took upon themselves to mock by creating a video of their own. Which, took place at Bradford Beach, at this very beach house. Mind you, when I was in High School, low that decade ago, Bradford Beach was not exactly a place one wills to go. Hilarity, and memory has been with me ever since.

A small aside about writing my blog. This is the third attempt at getting this to post correctly. I wanted this to schedule for 3/27 when it would properly sit by the lakefront walk. Unfortunately, I forgot to post it correctly, deleted it. Then forgot to copy my original comments. So, I rewrote it and rescheduled it, only to discover I put up duplicate postings for that day. If you didn't know, I generally write these in chunks of about twenty so I don't have to remember to write every day, and hopefully write them when I am particularly profound. So, this sits in the wrong context, as I was not going to risk screwing up rescheduling 13 days of blogging. As I mentioned above, even attempting to reschedule one leads to deleting. Imagine. I have also revised how I upload pictures. I used to use Picasa by Google to store the pictures, and the Windows Livewriter program to resize and upload the pictures. That method was easier, since I dragged and dropped pictures into livewriter, however it was not the way to go. The program was slow in compressing, slow in uploading, and frankly Windows does a shitty job resizing jpegs. So, I've switched to pulling the html code from Flickr. The pictures were a different size, prompting the website 'redesign' (I just clicked a different format), and a tedious process of copying and pasting the html. All in all, I think the new way is the way to go. I still use livewriter, as editing in Blogger remains crap. So, now you know how the sausage is made. Hopefully it doesn't ruin the magic.

Also, I don't generally edit my blogs for spelling or grammer. Or, most importantly to see if they make sense. Which probably explains alot. (get it alot, not a lot. Tee-hee-hee)


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Nightmare Park

I'm not creepy at all

Cass Street Park reminds me of those ridiculous Russian parks with the creepy as all get out sculptures and features. And we have them, right here in Milwaukee.

Come Play With Me

Actually, not quite nightmarish. But, creepy. I see how it is cool and arty and child focused. Maybe its my conservative adult eyes that makes it creepy. Perhaps the children, with their wonder and excitement are uniquely suited to enjoy the art.

Is Bird

I also discovered a similar set of sculpture along the Beerline. Which was cool, but made me wonder, is totally creepy art going to take over all the parks?


Monday, April 11, 2011

Greater Milwaukee

Greater Milwaukee


Good lighting, classic seventies paneling and chairs. Damn mats. Damn you to hell.


Sunday, April 10, 2011



This is the art I truly enjoy. The art, my picture of the art, the whole experience. Yeah!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Art Trip

Almost to the Line

Another almost perfect shot. If Matt hadn’t kept winging the pucks at me as I was shooting, I think I could have gotten what I was looking for here. But, I am totally stoked I got the black line in perfect focus. I heart you, 25mm pancake.

Hey Erin!

Hi Erin! Hope your sail is going well. I remember doing that. It sort of sucked. But still, I’d never turn down an opportunity to do it again.


Simple acrylic. Pretty cool. Modern art rocks in my book, and so does sculpture. Bring ‘em together and BOOM!!

A World

There is a huge one of these in Spain. How cool would it be to have a twenty foot tall one of these. I know, anyone short out there who wants to pose next to this one to make it look huge? You’ll have to be about two feet tall and properly proportioned. Together we will make beautiful art.

Art Up Close

Sculpture, up close. The worst thing about these is that you cannot touch them. They look like they would be so fun to touch. The little metal tips would bang against eachother and make such a delightful noise. That’s it, lets go back and vandalize through indifference to the rules.



One day you will reach the burrito. Don’t loose faith.

At Least not Assless

I’d say this sculpture is half assed, but clearly it is whole assed and half legged.