Twenty days ago, My brother, his wife and I, headed up to Lake Superior. Making a day of wandering along the northern coast. I had never been up there in the winter months and was quite curious about what much of it would look like. We started by chasing waterfalls. Figuring we would go to the most northerly destination first and make our way south from there. We arrived at stop number one and proceeded to be very underwhelmed, the falls were a mass of ice without any detail, or interesting ice formations at all. Ok, that’s fine, let’s hit My favorite waterfall next! A ten minute drive and a short hike later, we arrived! But, it was also a bit of a let down… The ice was not very photogenic. Realizing that the best Ice shots were probably to be had early in the winter, as opposed to our venture near winter’s end, we wandered back towards the car. Instead of taking the trail, we walked on the river. Which turned out to be very memorable! All was well for the first half of the stroll, but then we started encountering some pretty thin sounding ice. My sister in law being pregnant and carrying five thousand dollars in camera gear myself, we departed from the river walk and scrambled back up the hill to the trail. It was pretty rad walking on water though, even if it led to much anxiousness and a bit of fear..
After that, we made our way back towards the south. Pausing for a quick view of this rock beach that I had visited with a friend last year. It is actually private property, but I was a bit suprised to see that there was no sign of humans there. Clearly, this place was actually owned by deer. Who had left plenty of tracks in the snow… There were some pretty cool frozen rock walls, held together by ice. Some spots had a four or five foot overhang. It was pretty neat, especially because of the icey build up on the southern point in this miniature bay.
Then, we stopped at Tettegouche State Park. The crown jewel of the state parks system here in Minnesota. Opting not to bother with the hike inland to the falls, we stayed along the coast and were dazzled by the ice built up around the shore line. Many pictures were taken, much time passed by and just like My previous visits to this park, I did not want to leave…
We did leave this wintery wonderland though. The pregnant one among us was getting pretty tired. So we stopped at Palisade Head, where I took a lonely walk up to the the high ground. Pausing to take a shot of the communication tower piercing through the bold sun dog above, I made it to the overlook. What a view! You can see the southern quarter of the rolling hills to the north and the endless glitter of Lake Superior to the south. It was by far the easiest hike of the day and yielded one of the most spectacular perspectives on the north shore…
Continuing south towards Duluth, we made one more stop. So I could take some pictures of the light house at Split Rock. Unlike anywhere to the north, the bay was mostly iced over. Having walked down a river of ice a few hours earlier, I started My way out to the edge of the bay, walking on the lake… There is an island a couple hundred yards out. I noticed some people were on the island and also made note of the many lines of foot prints in the thin snow all around the bay. The ice was pretty thick, so I was quite confident as I wandered towards the spot where one can take a picture with the island and light house together. About a third of the way there however, there was a cracking sound and the ice shifted under My feet. Not by much, maybe an inch and a half, but I watched a crack form, a foot or so to the side of Me that stretched all the way out to open water. Heartbeat increasing to a rapid pace, I hopped over the crack. Which was inbetween Me and solid ground and hurried off the ice.. I then snapped a couple shots of the light house and neglected to make it out to the planned location of shooting. Adrenaline flowing, I walked the path back to where My brother and his wife were waiting and we departed.
We made a pit stop in Duluth to fill our bellies. Then decided there was still time for another stop. My brother and I were both curious to see Jay Cooke state park. We had camped there a few years ago, but wanted to see what it looked like now. The reason for this curiousity is that two years ago, a damm just up stream from the park broke. Sending a gnarly torrent of flooding southward in to the park. It washed away the bridge that is the only real access to the camp sites and many miles of hiking trails. The water was super low compared to our previous visit and there was a spiffy new bridge over the river. If there were any other real differences, they were hiding under ice and snow..
With the sun sinking in the sky and home being over two hundred miles away, we hopped back in the car and made our way south toward the Twin Cities. Quite the successful day trip! We even got to enjoy a pretty lovely sunset as we cruised down the interstate, on our way home…
March 18, 2015 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: antenna, awe, baptism river, bay, beach, beautiful, bedrock, best, bridge, clad, cliff, cliffs, cloudporn, clouds, coast, coastal, coastline, cold, color, country road, countryside, covered, crystal bay, dam, damm, day, daytrip, deer tracks, distance, dnr, drive, endless blue, explore, exploring, falls, family, february, foot bridge, formations, freeway, frozen, fun, gallery, getaway, glare, great lakes, highlands, highway, highway sunset, hike, hiking, hill, hills, i35, ice, ice laden, ice sheet, ice wall, icicle, icicles, image, images, interstate, island, jay cooke, lake, lake superior, land, landscape, ledge, light house, lighthouse, lovely, minn, minnesota, mn, north, north shore, north woods, on the rocks, palisade head, park, path, photo, photograph, photographs, pic, pics, picture, pictures, reflection, river, river mouth, road trip, rock, rocky beach, rolling hils, rural, saturday, sawtooths, scenery, scenic, sea, shore, shovel point, sky, skyporn, snow, snowy, sol, splash, split rock, spray, stairway, state park, sun, sun dog, sundog, sunset, tettegouche, the north, tower, trail, trip, truss, vacation, view, walking bridge, waterfall, waves, wayside, winter | Leave a comment
We are fortunate to have a picturesque waterfall, within the urban sprawl of the Twin Cities. Minnehaha falls, a very popular spectacle. I’ve taken pictures of it before, but had not investigated what is possibly it’s most awesome feature in a long time. Over the years, the falls have eroded a sizable amount of rock out from behind it. Making it possible to wander behind the beautiful waterfall. The ice laden cavern was about three times wider than My last visit, some 10+ years ago. Allowing for some pretty rad pictures. Sediment captured in the ice gave a pretty cool rainbow effect in some sections. Awesome stuff!
January 24, 2015 | Categories: Photography | Tags: accumulation, amazing, andor, awesome, beautiful, behind, beneath, cave, cavern, cold, color, colors, creek, dark, earth, eroded, erosion, falls, flow, flows, formation, formations, freezing, frozen, ice, icey, icicle, icicles, icy, image, inside, layers, lovely, middle america, midwest, minn, minneapolis, minnehaha, minnesota, mn, mpls, natural, nature, photo, photograph, photographer, photographs, photography, photos, pic, pics, picture, pictures, place, pretty, rad, rainbow, river, scenery, scenic, sediment, selfe, shoot, shooting, shot, shots, silhouette, sneak, sneaking, splendid, still, stream, sunlight, tunnel, twin cities, under, view, waterfall, waterfalls, winter, wonderland | Leave a comment
December 29, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: 35e, angular, architecture, art museum, bridge, building, campus, cities, city, cityscape, cityscapes, cloudy, contrast, dark, downtown, evening, fog, foggy, frank gehry, freeway, gehry, glow, haze, highway, i94, icon, iconic, image, junction, landscape, light, lights, long exposure, metal, metro, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mist, misty, mn, mpls, museum, night, nights, northern, photo, photography, photos, picture, pictures, reflection, saint paul, scenic, skyline, skyscraper, skyscrapers, stairs, stairway, steps, structure, style, traffic, train, transit, twin cities, u of m, university, uofm, urban, view, walk, wander, washington ave, weisman | Leave a comment
December 16, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: bird house, bridge, bridges, building, buildings, city, cityscape, cloudy, dam, damm, downtown, drain, fixture, floating, flowing, flows, focus, fog, foggy, grate, haze, ice, iceburg, iceburgs, iced, icey, icy, iron, island, light, lights, main, metal, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mississippi, mist, misty, mn, mpls, nicollet, path, photograph, photographer, photographs, photography, pic, pics, picture, pictures, pole, river, saint anthony, sky, skyline, skyscraper, skyscrapers, smoke, snow, span, stack, stacks, stairs, steam, steps, stone arch, town, truss, twin cities, urban, view, walkway | Leave a comment
December 15, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: bedrock, brush, cliff, cold, contrast, creek, destination, falls, form, formation, formations, freezing, frozen, grass, huge, ice, iced, icey, icicle, icicles, icon, iconic, icy, laden, landmark, layered, layers, ledge, long exposure, long exposures, longexposure, metro, minn, minneapolis, minnehaha, minnesota, minnesotan, mn, mpls, popular, river bed, rock, rocky, scenic, sheet, sights, small, snow, snowy, stone, stream, tree, trees, twin cities, twincities, urban, valley, view, wall, water, waterfall, waterfalls, winter, wintery | Leave a comment
December 14, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: 94, bridge, bridges, bright, buildings, cities, city, cityscape, downtown, downtowns, exhaust, freeway, glow, highway, i94, image, images, interstate, landscape, light, light trails, lights, lighttrails, lit, long exposure, longexposure, minn, minneapolis, minneapple, minnesota, minnesotan, mississippi, mn, mpls, night, nights, pair, photograph, photography, picture, pictures, pig's eye, pigseye, places, reflection, river, saint paul, scape, shot, shots, skyline, skyscaper, skyscrapers, st paul, st.p, stp, street, streets, traffic, trails, twin, twincities, two, urban, view, views | Leave a comment
As many of You know, there was a total lunar eclipse this morning. I wandered out of the house at 3:30am to find a good spot to shoot it from. Not far from home, I set up My tripod, dialed in the intervalometer and captured some of the event in the sky, among other things. This shot, is the first time I’ve ever done image stacking. Needs some improvement. I know..
That should give You a rough idea of what some of this video looks like. I did a much wider time lapse, consisting of 160, 15 second exposures, which were taken every 18 seconds. I then repositioned and zoomed in, taking 400 shots, 3 seconds apart, with a closer view of the neighboring city’s skyline. As the night becomes day, one can see the massive cranes, constructing the new Vikings stadium on the left side of downtown. Which is impressive, considering they are about seven miles away. The sun came up as the moon was setting, which ended up bleaching out the shot just before Luna dropped out of view. Vimeo’s free accounts don’t give a very good image quality, but it does look a little better if You watch it on their site, instead of mine. :(
October 8, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Time Lapse | Tags: 2x multiplier, 3am, 5am, 6am, 6d, 70-200mm 2.8, animated, animation, blood, bright, canon, city, clip, crane, cranes, dark, day, daylight, dock, downtown, eclipse, full, glowing, hub, industry, lapse, lights, lines, luna, lunar, midway, midwest, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mn, moon, moonset, morning, mpls, night, october, orbit, penumbra, photo, photographer, photos, pictures, power line, power lines, rail, scenic, set, setting, shadow, shots, sigma, sky, skyline, skyscraper, skyscrapers, stack, stacked, still, telephoto, time, timelapse, total, tower, traffic, train, trains, umbra, video, view, waning, waxing, zoom | Leave a comment
I bought a Canon 6D and their 24mm f/1.4 L series lens to go with it. Anxious to make use of these new toys, I started asking around to see if any of My friends wanted to go camping. An old friend that I rarely talk to opted in, along with Her husband and three dogs. The morning of departure, I shot them a text to see if they were running on schedule. The reply was, “We have to cancel.” Her family rents out a few houses around the neighborhood, one of which was to get new tennants after the weekend. The person who had lived there decided to leave the place packed full of crap, clutter and furniture. It looked like a pack rat was living there. Hell bent on getting out of the city, I met up with them and we had the place mostly empty in under three hours. Happily, we then proceeded to get in the van and drive north. It was already after noon on saturday, but in My book, any time outside of city life is time well spent. It was a lovely drive, just south of Lake Superior’s western-most point, we encountered a thick fog. These pictures do not do it justice, one could barely see a hundred yards for a good twenty miles.
Just south of the lovely town of Duluth, the fog lifted and my friends, who had never been to this part of Minnesota, could see why I love this little city, perched on a hill. The place has an unusually elaborate system of bridges. Partially due to the fact that this is a busy port town, but that still does not explain why the highway has so many bridges, crossing, rising and bending in every which way. Duluth has so many great angles and lines built in to it’s infrastructure. Some time soon I think I shall head up there, just to photograph the genius of those who designed and built the city. Passing through, I snapped a couple of shots through the dirty windows on the car.
For those of us from the Twin Cities, Duluth is the gateway to the north shore. Once You have passed through town, You find Yourself on the red road. The red tarmac doesn’t last long, but is a much welcomed sign that You have left the urban environment behind. From that point, heading north-east along Lake Superior’s coast, is a long, long stretch of rolling hills, rocky shores, winding rivers and endless forest. My favorite place to be! We headed up the coastal road passing through the many State Parks and National Forests. Eventually finding ourselves at Cascade State Park, which is a little more than an hour from the Canadian border. It was already pretty late in the day, but we rapidly set up camp and got a fire going. After filling our bellies, we walked the couple hundred yards over to the lake and spent about two hours just sitting, taking in the vast darkness. It was a foggy night, visibility was quite low, but the sound of the waves rolling onto the rocky shore was just what I needed.
Once back at our campsite, we all went to bed pretty quickly. In the morning, we took a walk up the Cascade River, pausing for Me to take the following pictures and proceeded to head south, Hoping to make a couple of stops along the way back home.
My friend has a bad back, which chose to throw Him into a state of agony on this trip. I felt bad that He was in so much pain, so we took it easy on the return trip. In the end, we passed by all but one of the sights that the North Coast has to offer. I simply would not come up here without a stop at that which has become My favorite waterfall. Which I took a bunch more pictures of.. The overcast sky made taking pictures a lot nicer than the bright, sunny day the last time I was there. I took My time, stopping every couple hundred yards, pondering the angles I desired and taking more pictures, long exposures, all the way up the valley. The place was nice and quiet, we only saw two other groups of people the whole time we were there. What a wonderful place.
After basking in the cool water for a while, we climbed back into their van and headed towards home. Driving back down the coast, leaving behind the natural beauty of this post-glacial landscape and entering the land of human civilaization. The farther south You go, the impact of man kind becomes more and more evident. The lone road gets wider, sparcely placed houses give way to towns, tunnels bring You under towering rocky hills and eventually, You find Yourself looking at the ports and populated hills of Duluth. We paused there to stretch our legs and take a final look at the vast expanse of water, before climbing back into the van and continuing south towards Saint Paul. We managed to ride the leading edge of a storm for a couple hundred miles, all the way home. Arriving back in city life, just in time to see a very bold and beautifully colored sun set. Sorry, I did not get a picture of that, there were buildings in the way…
August 27, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: 24mm f/1.4 L, 35 south, 35e, 35w, 6d, adventure, arete 3 asl, beautiful, beauty, blur, blurry, bridge, bridges, camp, camping, campsite, candle, canon, cascade, cascadestatepark, cascading, city, city lights, cliff, close to canada, clouds, cloudy, coast, coastal, cook county, creek, delayed, descent, drive, driven, driving, duluth, earth, explore, exploreminnesota, falls, fire, fog, foggy, foreground, forest, forests, freeway, glow, good times, gorgeous, granite, haze, highway, highway 61, hike, hiking, i35, images, industry, interstate, journey, lake, lakesuperior, landscape, line, long exposure, long exposures, massive, middle america, midwest, miles, minn, minnesota, mn, natural, nature, nature's, north, north coast, northern, park, parks, path, photo, photographer, photography, photos, picture, pictures, port, ports, quarried, quick, rain, rapids, rei, river, rivers, road, roadtrip, rock, rocks, rocky, roots, scenery, see, sharp, shooting, shore, shores, short, shots, sights, silver creek, site, splendor, stairway, state, steps, storm, stream, superior, superior hiking trail, tent, the north, thenorth, town, trail, trails, travel, travelling, tree, trees, trip, tunnel, tunnels, vacation, valley, valleys, venture, view, walk, walking, walkway, wall, walls, waterfall, waterfalls, wayside, weather, wetlands, wild, wilderness, wood, wooden | Leave a comment
I went out to shoot some time lapse stuff with My friend Thai Phan Quang. We ended up on the walking bridge over 35W, a few bocks south of the I94 junction again. I am trying to stockpile a bunch of different time lapse series so I can eventually make a video which contains nothing but time lapsed segments. This is a single, 1500 image sequence from rush hour today. It lasts a little longer than 45 seconds. I was hoping for more cloud activity, but since there was very little, it seemed right to frame things just above the tallest buildings. The music is by My big Brother’s band: Heiruspecs. The song is ‘Snapshot’ off of their most recent album, Night Falls.
After shooting that sequence, I did some small perspective changes and adjustments. Going for a slightly different feel, by blurring the traffic a little bit. Then shot this twelve second set, consisting of 500 images. Hope You enjoy this silent, short one. Not in HD, because I don’t pay Vimeo and am limited to one, high quality upload per week.
August 12, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: 17-50mm 2.8, 30fps, 35w, 480p, 720p, afternoon, andor, andorblogs, animate, animated, animation, bridge, bridges, buildings, canon, capture, capturing, cars, city, commute, congestion, day, daylight, daytime, definition, down town, downtown, evening, film, flow, franklin, freeway, gridlock, hd, heiruspecs, highway, hour, junction, lane, lanes, lapse, light, link, links, long, metro, metropolis, metropolitan, midwest, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mn, motion, moving, mpls, pair, photo, photographic, photography, photos, quality, resolution, road, roads, rush, rush hour, scenery, sequence, set, sky scraper, skyline, skyscraper, skyscrapers, slow, snapshot, south minneapolis, stream, street, streets, summer, sunny, system, t4i, tamron, time, timelapse, town, traffic, trucks, twin cities, twincities, two, urban, vid, video, vids, view, vimeo | Leave a comment
My friend Ryan and I headed up to lake Superior for the weekend, on yet another one night camping excursion. Before checking in to our camp site at Tettegouche State Park, we headed farther north to check out some water falls. First we stopped at Temperance State Park and hiked the rocky trails along the river. The park is laden with age worn steps, some carved into the rock, others stacked from loose stones. The abundance of trees shed plenty of shade over the various paths and trails. The shallow depth of the soil leaves the roots of many trees visible, snaking around the rocky surface, giving a majestic feel to the already sublime surroundings. With it’s long series of short falls, carving deeper into the bedrock, the Temperance river is a beautiful place to go and spend some time. Clear skies and the bright sun did not make for great photographic conditions though.
After a couple of hours wandering the river side, we departed and stopped at a place Ryan’s friend had told him to go. Driving by it on the main road, You would never guess what was lingering just inland from the shore. Nor would You think that You would find anything particularly special once You parked in the small ten car lot. It was another small river, trickling over the rocks in a nearly deserted valley. Such is the way of this part of Minnesota. Every couple of miles is yet another river, stream, or creek, feeding into the vast lake to the south. This particular one however, is a gem among the parks up here. Somehow, it was also the least travelled of the places we went. All of the other parks and falls had tons of people buzzing around the crowded parking lots and river sides. We saw eight people on our hike up this stream. One was panning for gold in the lower part of the river, He told us it was wise to keep going up the path nearby, “so long as we didn’t mind the 158 stairs.” Unsure about what was to come, we hiked up the trail. It went up above the river pretty quickly, after only ten minutes or so, we were at least 75 feet above the valley floor. Then, after a little more hiking, we rounded a bend. The sound was unmistakable. Waterfall. Shortly after hearing it in the distance, the path split, one way went up, the other down. We chose the downward option, discovering a long meandering set of stairs. “This must be what that guy told us about.” Was the thought that passed through My head. At the end of the steps, flowed a gorgeous falls. Pouring into a calm pool, surrounded by a rocky beach and towering cliffs. We stayed for quite a while. Ryan went for a swim while I soaked My feet in the cool water and snapped a ton of pictures. This was My favorite part of the trip… We couldn’t even see the whole falls, because it made a bend or two as it went down. Nor did we hike up to the top, because we lingered so long at it’s base, we had to rush farther south to check in to our camp for the night.
Our camp site was at Tettegouche State Park. Having not planned this trip, I simply booked the lone site available on the entire north shore. I could see right away why it was the only site available on the hundreds of miles of coast. This site was ten feet from the trail down to the shore and sadly, most of the people who came up from the shore, walked right through our site, instead of the trail. So it was a high traffic home! My goals for the weekend were to shoot the full moon rising over the lake, shoot some time lapse of the stars at night and some time lapse of something, anything during the day. After mostly clear skies all day, the moon managed to hide behind clouds when it came up. Once Luna was up in the sky, the clouds moved out, but the moon was so bright, it blotted out the stars. It was no darker than an ordinary overcast day, except it was night time. I did manage to shoot a time lapsable sequence during the day, but it was spoiled by people walking by, a lot. So I managed to succeed in none of My goals for the wekend. It was a great time though!! In the end, I just want to move farther north. I’ve been saying this for half of My life time, maybe I should just act on it soon? Clear water, endless forest, massive rock formations, cliffs and rolling hills, waterfalls and an abundance of wild life. The north shore is marvellous. I will be back there as soon as possible.
August 11, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: adventure, alcove, amazing place, bark, bay, beach, beautiful, beauty, bed, bend, best, birch, blue, bluff, bottom, boulders, bridge, camp, camping, caribou, carve, carved, carving, clean, clear, cliff, cliffs, coast, coastal, creek, crystal bay, deep, destination, epic, fall, falls, flow, flowing, forest, forests, formations, friends, gorgeous, granite, great, green, grey, high, hike, hiking, hill, hills, journey, lake, lakes, lakesuperior, ledge, line, marvellous, meandering, middle america, midwest, minn, minnesota, minnesotan, mn, natural, nature, north, north coast, northern, outcrop, palacade, park, parks, path, paths, patterns, pebbles, penninsula, pile, piled, piles, pine, power lines, pristine, raging, relaxing, ripple, ripples, river, river bed, rivers, road, roadtrip, rock, rocks, rocky, rushing, shore, site, skies, sky, stack, stacked, stairs, state, steps, stone, summer, superior, swim, swimming, tall, temperance, tettegouche, texture, the north, top, trail, trails, tree, trees, tributaries, tributary, trip, vacation, valley, view, views, walk, wandering, water, waterfall, wild | Leave a comment
This weekend is the Car Craft Nationals here in Saint Paul, Minnesota. I have been taking a LOT of car pictures lately, so I opted not to attend the gathering it’s self. Instead heading out with My buddy Ryan Clemens of Opposition Motors, to post up on the side of Snelling, just out side of the show. There was a very wide variety of vehicles out and about, mostly American made, spanning many decades, but there were some other cars out cruising too. It is nice to see classic and modern muscle cars, massive land boats from the 70’s and 80’s, low riders, high riding trucks, kit cars, sports cars and a whole lot more, out on the streets at once.
This was like a throw back for Me. When I was Younger, University Avenue was the home of all things cruising. Every weekend there were thousands, upon thousands of cars and huge quantities of people out on the strip. We had one of the most robust car cultures in the world, on display, three days a week. Over the last ten to fifteen years, this scene has been broken up and dispersed, to the bain of an awful lot of local businesses. So many local and family owned restaurants and shops have gone out of business since the city started it’s campaign to end the cruising scene’s dominance of our weekend culture. Much of the blame lands on the shoulders of a large home for the elderly, building and expanding to become a sprawling complex, right on University, next door to the beating heart of this, now miniscule scene, Porky’s drive in. Naturally, the people at the Episcopal Homes complained heavily about the noise and abundance of people walking next to their building. Sadly, three or four years ago, Porky’s, the lone 50’s style eatery left in Saint Paul and home to some of the best all American eat’s around, went out of business. I really, REALLY miss having My double supreme burger, with that great “special sauce,” the city’s best pork cutlet sandwich, the best onion rings I’ve ever had and a thick, chunky strawberry malt, whenever I want. Now I, as well as every one else, will never get to eat their great food again. Below is a picture from their last year in business. That crowd, is nothing compared to what was around for decades in the past. The massive bland buildings in the rear, are two of the four newest buildings of said retirement home. I am all for giving our elders reasonable homes, with care takers to look after them as best they can, but why choose the busiest street in a bustling part of town? Can You guess who expanded in to the space left when Porky’s died?
I wish I had a better picture of this iconic eatery, but I don’t. In the end, all hope of the cruising scene on University being revived, was crushed by the construction of the recently completed light rail line, which runs right down the center of the street. The car culture is still visible, but since there is no place that everyone knows to go to, the numbers of cars out on the weekends are laughable. There is no where that You’ll find ten, or fifteen thousand people gathering, like in the past. So those of us who wish to re-live the sight seeing, less the food that’s not available anymore, must wait for two or three events per year. Back to the Fifties and Car Craft being the main draw. The local economy has been delt a pretty big negative impact overall. These hand full of gatherings do help a lot, but that doesn’t change the fact that the miles of road occupied by smaller businesses are now lined by endless corporate chain stores. Funneling money out of the Twin Cities. The general lack of low riders and imports out at these events is a huge loss of variety too, but at least we still have something! I guess.
July 20, 2014 | Categories: Automotive Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: 190e, 2014, 350, 427, 442, ac, american, auto, automotive, autos, ave, avenue, back, baracuda, bee, bel air, benz, best burger, biscaine, blower, boat, boulavard, boulevard, buick, business, c5, c6, c7, caddy, cadillac, camaro, can-am, car, carcraft, cars, carshow, charged, charger, chevelle, chevette, chevrolet, chevy, chip foose, chrome, chrysler, city, classic, clean, cobra, convertible, cool, corvette, coup, coupe, craft, cruise, cruising, cuda, culture, custom, cutlass, dart, datsun, days of old, deville, dodge, door, drag, dragster, drive thru, drive-in, driving, drop top, eatery, el dorado, eldorado, engine, enthusiast, fair, falcon heights, fast, fast back, fastback, fat, fin, fins, flames, foose, ford, four door, frogtown, fun, galaxy, gathering, general motors, gm, gmc, grand, grounds, gt, gt 350, gt 500, gt350, gt500, high, hood, hoodless, hot, hot rods, hotrod, huge, icon, iconic, image, images, impala, impalas, iroc, iroc-z, jaguar, july, kit, kit car, lights, lincoln, low, low rider, lowrider, mach 1, mach1, massive, merc, mercedez, mercedez-benz, mercury, merica, middle america, midway, minn, minnesota, mn, mod, monte carlo, motor, msra, muscle, mustang, mustangs, nationals, nhra, nice, ninety-eight, nostalgia, nostalgic, nova, old, olds, oldsmobile, original, paint, paint job, photo, photographer, photography, photos, pic, pick-up, pickup, picture, pictures, pix, pontiac, porkys, rag top, ragtop, ramsey county, rat rod, resto, resto-mod, restored, rider, riding, rims, riviera, rod, rolling, roseville, roush, saint paul, scene, scoop, sedan, shelby, shots, SHOW, sled, slick, snelling, speed, spider, sport, srt, ss, st paul, state, sting ray, stingray, street, streets, strip, style, super, super sport, superbee, supercharger, supreme, tires, town, trans am, trans amt, transam, truck, trucks, tubbed, twin cities, twincities, two door, two-tone, university, v10, v8, vette, viper, wagon, wheel, wheels, wing, wings, z28 | Leave a comment
July 6, 2014 | Categories: Automotive Photography | Tags: 1, 2014, 302, 350, 351, 427, 473, 840hp camaro, american, andor, angles, anoka, auto, automotive, bling, blog, blogs?, boss, buick, cadillac, camaro, car, cars, carshow, chevrolet, chevy, chrome, classic, convertible, cooper, corvette, county, curves, custom, dash, detail, drag, dragster, end, exterior, ford, front, gallery, gathering, glitter, grill, grills, gt350, holiday, hot, image, images, interior, july, light, lights, lines, ls1, lt1, mach, meet, metallic, midwest, mini, minn, minnesota, mn, model a, muscle, musclecar, mustang, mustangs, northern, old, oldies, paint, photo, photography, photos, picture, pictures, plymouth, pontiac, pony, profile, rat, rear, rod, round, row, rows, saturday, shelby, SHOW, ss, steering, style, styled, styling, suburbs, sunny, super sport, swap, swapped, tail, trans am, trim, turbo, twin cities, twin turbo, vette, victoria, weekend, wheels, window, wood, wooden, z28 | Leave a comment
July 6, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: afternoon, bloom, blooming, blooms, blossom, blossoms, bold, bright, close, close-up, deck, dog, dogs, double, female, flower, flowers, focus, friendly, garden, green, grey, layers, macro, middle america, midwest, minn, minnesota, mn, patio, petal, petals, photo, photographer, photography, picture, pictures, pig, pigglestein, piggums, pink, pit, pit bull, pitbull, plant, plants, pollen, potted, range, red, summer, sunny, two-tone, up, yard, yellow, zinnia, zinnias, zoom | Leave a comment
July 5, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: 17-50mm, 70-200mm, barge, barges, beetle, bench, bend, bends, bluff, bluffs, boat, brick, bugs, building, buildings, burial, camera, canon, capitol, car, city, cityscape, classic, color, daisies, distance, downtown, dragonfly, east side, f2.8, field, flower, flowers, flowing, foreground, fountain, high ground, hike, hydrant, image, images, insect, insects, invasive, japanese, landscape, lens, lenses, lime stone, limestone, lush, macro, marlin, menace, middle america, midwest, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mississippi, mn, mounds, mpls, park, path, paved, pavement, photo, photographer, photography, photos, picture, pictures, pigseye, pink, point, portrait, purple, Rambler, recreation, red, river, saint paul, scene, scenery, scraper, scrapers, sculpture, shade, sigma, sky, skyline, skyscrapers, st paul, state, statue, stp, t4i, tamron, tc, telephoto, trail, transparent, tree, trees, tug, tug boat, twin cities, twincities, two cities, urban, vantage, view, walk, walking, wander, wild roses, wings | Leave a comment
July 5, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: 2014, 4th, 4thofjuly, american, andor, andor 2000, andor2000, bang, blowing up, blur, boom, building, burst, canon, capitol, celebration, color, colors, crop, cropped, display, explodes, exploding, explosion, explosions, fire works, fireworks, flash, flashing, foreground, fourth, friends, frogtown, holiday, holidays, hps, i94, july, launch, launching, light trail, light trails, lights, long exposure, merica, middle america, midway, minn, minnesota, mn, mortar, parking lot, people, photo, photograph, photographs, photography, photos, pic, pics, picture, pictures, ramsey county, rondo, saint paul, scenery, shots, sigma 30mm, st paul, st.p, stp, street, t4i, tamron 17-50mm, view, xsi, zoom | Leave a comment
About four years ago, My Brother’s Wife introduced Me to what rapidly became one of My favorite places to eat. The Uni Deli, inside the United Noodles Grocery store. In the time since, They have had a small, but reasonably consistent menu. Tonkatsu/Tonkotsu Ramen being the gem of the line-up. The afore stated bowl of deliciousness has, without question, been the single best bowl of soup in the Twin Cities for years now. I have told dozens of people to head that way, with statements such as “It’s just amazing,” “You won’t be disapointed,” or “simply the best” ringing in their ears. Nearly everyone has agreed with My assessment. My sister-in-law has sent even more people that way, as she has been shopping at the grocery store aspect of the place her whole life. This past winter, a group of us made a weekly ritual of tonkatsufying ourselves, but no longer.
Spicy Tonkatsu Ramen @ Uni Deli as it has been for years RATING 9/10
Tonkatsu Ramen @ Uni Deli as it has been for years RATING 8/10
This year, particularly the last four months, things have changed DRAMATICALLY! The Uni Deli seems to have lost focus. In early May, I went there three days in a row, taste buds anticipating the wonderful thick tonkatsu stock flowing in to My belly. However, I was thwarted each time. Monday has become experimental day, okay, that’s fine, You’ve got to test new ground. Their label for this has been “4 unique ramen varieties every monday.” Which is a lie, since one and often two of the offerings aren’t even ramen. Soba, udon and other things are fine and dandy, but don’t lie about what You’re offering! Saturdays lately have been their “Asian Grill” experimental day. Again, I’ve no isue with testing different things and seeing how customers respond, but how many days a week are You going to stop offering that which got You where You are? Keep the experimental stuff to one day a week, or less. Try once every other week!!!
Experimental Day Aruba Soba @ Uni Deli RATING 5/10
Shoyu Ramen @ Uni Deli RATING 5/10
Experimental Day K-Town Ramen @ Uni Deli RATING 6/10
Experimental Day Black Tonkatsu Ramen @ Uni Deli RATING 4/10
Experimental Day Red Miso Ramen @ Uni deli RATING 5/10
EXPERIMENTAL DAY Tan Tanmen @ Uni Deli RATING 5/10
I have gone over all My receipts from January 1st of this year, up til now. I have gone there and ordered food 37 times this year, nearly every time with friends, often their first encounter with said deli. There is only one thing I want! TONKOTSU RAMEN!!! In the realm of ranking food, it has been a consistent 9/10. There is nothing else on the menu which ranks better than 6/10, that is an honest truth.. In those 37 visits I had tonkatsu 28 times. Sometimes trying other things to remind Myself why I don’t get them more often, other times because their experimental days mean they simply do not offer the regular menu. Sadly, I can also tell You that in the same time period, I have gone there EIGHT TIMES, only to find them closing early, thus getting NOTHING AT ALL. I know sometimes there are technical difficulties, such as the record rains this year made a hole in the roof, or electrical issues preventing people from swiping their debit/credit cards. By all means, close shop and fix the roof, I won’t complain, but when the electro payment is not working, don’t close like You did. We were there as a group of six people, perfectly happy to go find an atm and pay in cash. We watched 50% of the people entering the grocery store, turn around and leave without getting anything, because they came for the Uni Deli. Clearly, somebody cares nothing for their customers, even those who drum up more business for You…
Which brings Me to another failing that the Uni Deli has undergone recently. The prices went up by $1 per bowl of soup, PLUS if You want it spicy, it is now an extra 50 cents. They use to put plenty of chili oil on top, but now that You have to pay for it, they give You half as much. On top of that, the quality of the food has gone down. I’ve had different noodles, bland tasting broth and 45 minute waits in the last couple months. I AM OKAY PAYING MORE TO KEEP THE QUALITY LEVEL WHERE IT IS, BUT PAYING MORE FOR A LESSER BOWL OF SOUP IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ! ! ! If You are going to skimp on the supplies, don’t raise the price. If You want to keep the same supply, but it’s costing You more, then raise the Price. Pick one, not both! The waiting would make sense if they didn’t have 6, 8, or more orders sitting on the counter, ready for customers, but not getting to customers. So it isn’t like the kitchen was that far behind.. More than once I have walked up and taken My food, without them calling the number on My receipt, wondering why they can’t just grab the microphone and call it out. It isn’t that hard to look at the order tickets and see which ones are the oldest and thus should be filled first is it? The lowest number is the top priority, right?
WTF, Bland Broth Having Tonkatsu Ramen, with Different Noodles Than Usual @ Uni Deli RATING 5/10
I do not like leaving negative reviews, particularly when it involves a place that I am, or in this case HAVE BEEN, a fan of, but You deserve it Uni Deli! Get Your act together and stop this two, or three day a week experimental crap! It is hurting Your reputation. I know all these hipsters have finally discovered You, but that is not a liscense to turn Your back on those who have poured thousands of dollars into Your register over the years. Keep the menu small and simple, You do not need to cater to everyone. You have a niche that until recently, only You did well. Now that You are sleeping at the wheel, others are under-cutting Your position. Now if You’ll excuse Me, I am going to have some Tonkatsu Ramen, at Fuji Ya(Someone named Michael has stepped up the game). Which is where I shall tell other people to go, unless You can stop Your madness and stick to what You’re actually good at. What a shame. .. …
I went back to the Uni Deli this past weekend. Having gone there so many times, I couldn’t actually stay away.. Unlike the last couple of times, the tonkotsu was up to par with what I’ve been use to getting from them. My brother ordered the shoyu ramen, which was a little different than in the past, but still a pretty average bowl of soup in My opinion. His wife ordered the black tonkatsu, which is on the regular menu now. It was about the same as the first time I had it there, but the times inbetween were far less flavorful. There was a distinct garlicy flavor that wasn’t so pronounced the last two times, they also salted it more, which was a good thing. Hopefully they don’t toy around with the regular tonkotsu recipe anymore!
Spicy Tonkotsu Ramen 9/10
Shoyu Ramen 5/10
Black Tonkotsu Ramen 6/10
June 23, 2014 | Categories: Random Thoughts | Tags: best, bowl, closed, closing, deli, dish, early, experiment, experimental, food, get your act together, getting worse, grocery, hours, inconsistent, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, miso, mn, mpls, negative, niche, noodle, noodles, price, prices, ramen, ramens, rank, rated, review, rice, shoyu, soba, soup, south, spicy, stew, store, tayaki, tea, tonkatsu, tonkotsu, top, twin cities, twincities, udon, undeli review, uni, uni deli, uni deli review, unideli, united, why?, wtf | Leave a comment
June 21, 2014 | Categories: Automotive Photography | Tags: 20's, 2014, 30's, 40's, 50s, 60's, a lot, america, american, archer, area, auburn, auto, automobiles, autos, back to the, backtothe50s, backtothefifties, base model, beautiful, bel air, best, big, biggest, biscaine, bling, blue sky, body, boss 302, bright, btt50s, buick, cadillac, car, car show, cars, carshow, chevrolet, chevy, chrome, classic, clean, clear sky, close, closeup, collector, color, continental, convertible, corvette, crowd, crowded, curves, custom, customized, day, decal, decals, deco, decorative, destination, detail, details, display, door, doors, eight, end, event, exhaust, fab, fabrication, fair, fair grounds, fender, fenders, fifties, fixture, flake, flashy, ford, from, front, galleries, gallery, garfield, gathering, glitter, gorgeous, great, grill, grills, grumpy, gryphon, hard top, hood, hot, hot rod, housing, huge, hydraulics, impala, jag, jaguar, light, lights, limo, lincoln, lines, lot, lots, low rider, lowrider, luxury, maintained, massive, mercury, metal, midway, midwest, mini, minn, minnesota, mn, mustang, of, old, older, oldies, olds, oldsmobile, opel, open, openned, ornament, packard, paint, painted, panel, panels, parked, parking lot, part, pearl, people, pic, pics, picture, pictures, pipes, pix, profile, rat rod, rear, rebuilt, restored, retro, rod, rolls, rolls royce, round, rows, saint paul, section, shiny, shot, shots, SHOW, show off, side, sky, spare, sparkle, sparkling, special, spokes, st paul, sticker, style, summer, sunny, super, super charged, super charger, super eight, supercharged, supercharger, swan, taste, thousands, tire, ton, top, towncar, truck, trucks, trunk, turbo, twin cities, variety, vehicle, vehicles, vette, victoria, view, vintage, wheel, wheel well, wheels, window, windows, woody | Leave a comment
Ten years ago, I discovered this frame on eBay. I wanted a full suspension set up, but had pretty much given up on finding such a frame that wasn’t stupidly heavy for My purposes. I was looking for a light weight mountain bike frame to build up for riding the city streets. This beauty weighs in at 4.55 pounds, that is the frame, shock and the black seat mount together. It just doesn’t get any better than that, unless You want a rigid frame. It was made by a company called Amp Research, formerly Amplifier, in the late 90’s. Originally, these bikes came with disk brakes, the first bike ever with disk brakes in fact. Though that made for some complications in My build. Now, there are standard mounting points for brake calipers and rotors, but since this was before standards came to being, the only ones that work are the original Amp brakes. Unfortunately Amp Research is an engineering group, that dabbles in many different types of things and at the turn of the century, they ended their decade-long run making bicycles. Needless to say, finding all the hardware, without buying another one of their bikes, whole, was not an easy task. Over the next couple years, I actually bought two more variations of them. This one aquired on auction from a police department in Michigan.
Only the frame and fork were from that auction, along with a set of the old Amp disk brakes. These black and white bikes were originally made for the New York police department, amp added the rack to their standard issue Mercedes-branded bikes and sold them to cops around the nation. I love the front fork on this bike. A second generation Amp model, which has a mere two and a half inches of travel, but they are so smooth and absurdly light. This is a B3 series frame set. Which recieved all of the rest of it’s components, less the brakes and wheels, from My old specialized rock hopper. I bought the Vuelta wheels and a set of Shimano IS Hydraulic disk brakes once I figured out an adapter to be able to mount the now standard brakes. Which was a four year hassle that eventually led Me to sell this bike in frustration. The front worked just fine, but the rear brakes were mounted in a pretty shody way. At least I doubled My money on it.
Shortly after selling that bike, I found an Amp F3 front fork, with the carbon fiber pipes, from their last(B5) frame. I proceeded to replace the Girvin Cross-Link Elite that had been on My silver B4 frame for 5 years. This was a welcome change, since the old Girvin fork was nearly twice the weight. Oddly, the carbon fork is actually heavier than the older, all aluminum one. It does have a longer range of travel, but it is not as smooth as the elder fork was either. It does match the carbon rear end of My frame and the bike is much nicer to ride than it was with the cross-link on it. I must admit though, I liked the look with that girvin fork too.
I was happy to aquire My third Amp Research bike(not pictured) because it had the v-brake clamps. If I had not worked out a way to run them, I would have had to switch to some regular wheels and run the same lack lustre rear disk brake arrangement as on the police bike above. I really did not want to take the non-disk braking, carbon composite Spin Tri-Spokes off of this bike. They just look so great and if You haven’t connected the dots, just think, Mercedes-Benz logo, only they are the wheels. Yeah, I went there… Having rode this bike for 4 years with only front brakes, clamping on the mounts for the rear end was a nice feeling. So was the feeling of being able to stop really fast, without flying over the handlebars. Six years after getting the frame, the bike had reached what should be it’s final incarnation. I wish I could have fit a larger front gear, but the angle of the lower-rear fork will not allow more than the 48 tooth that’s on it. She rides like a champ, quite fast, easy to accelerate and it has a firm ride, but takes the edge off of those massive Minnesota pot holes.
June 10, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: 1990's, 1997, 1998, 9, 9-speed, 97, 98, 9speed, a.r.s., absorber, adapter, alloy, aluminum, amg silver, amp, amp research, amplifier, ars, awesome, b4, benz, best, bicycle, bicycles, bike, bike rack, bikes, black, brakes, build, built, bull horn, bullhorn, caliper, cane creek, cantilever, cantilevered, carbon, carbonfiber, chain, city, clamp, clamps, color, composite, cops bike, couple, crank, cross link, damper, deore, derailer, disc, discontinued, disk, elite, f2, f3, f4, fast, fiber, fibre, fork, frame, frames, fresh, gear, gears, geometry, girvin, greatest, grey, gt, handlebars, horst, horst-link, hot, hydraulic, illest, is, knobby, light, link, made in california, mercedes, mercedes-benz, metallic, michelin, midwest, minn, minnesota, mn, motion, mount, mountain, mounts, mtn, non-standard, not standard, old, older, pair, parts, pedal, pilot, pipe, pipes, plain, police bike, police issue, quick, rack, rad, rare, rear triangle, research, ride, rotor, round, saint paul, screw fixed gear, seat, shift, shifter, shimano, shock, shocks, sick, sickest, silver, single, slick, slicks, smooth, sold, speed, spin, spoke, spokes, spring, springs, sram, street, style, suspension, three, tire, tires, tread, treads, tri, tri-spoke, tube, tubes, tubing, twin cities, two, urban, v brakes, vintage, wheel, wheels, white | Leave a comment
Last night, I went out with a friend who is in to time lapse photography. Which basically means You will be sitting in one place for a couple of hours. So, I set up My tripod and proceeded to take a bunch of long exposures. These pictures captured something more than just the lights of buildings and cars passing by. The lights of the vehicles revealed the vibration of the bridge upon which we stood. That bridge being a walk-way, maybe eight feet wide, spanning the ten lanes of traffic on I-35W, just south of the I-94 junction. It was pretty windy early on, but it was the semi trucks that were causing the bulk of the motion. You can see in the cropped image below, the effect of a large vehicle passing underneath. Head lights apear as if the highway was a row of small waves, with increased hight when a large truck goes by.
Despite the constant vibration and the rain early on, I came through with some decent shots of downtown Minneapolis. They are not a crisp as I would like, but the texture added to the streaking lights is kind of nice. A neutral density filter, which I usually do these kind of shots with, was not involved. I will try that spot again sometime, but clearly a more stable position to do long exposure shots with traffic and the city skyline is more desirable. This is a great vantage point though, there aren’t many places in town with such a nice perspective.
June 7, 2014 | Categories: Photography, Random Thoughts | Tags: 35w, andor, awesome, backpack, bag, beautiful, blur, bridge, buildings, camera, canon t4i, cars, city, cityscape, cloudy, cool, down town, downtown, dusk, evening, exposure, fence, fences, fencing, foreground, freeway, glow, going by, hanging, headlights, highway, hole, holes, hue, i35, illuminated, junction, june, landscape, lanes, light, lighting, lights, long exposure, look through, looking through, metro, middle america, midwest, minn, minneapolis, minnesota, mn, mpls, night, odd, orange glow, passing, peer, phenomenon, phillips, phone, photo, photographs, photography, picture, pictures, platform, point, resonance, resonating, scape, scenery, shakey, shaking, sigma 30mm, single shot, sitting, skyline, snaking, south, stability, stand, stool, streak, streaked, streaks, subject, symetrical, symetry, tall, tamron 17-50mm, time, town, traffic, tripod, twin cities, twincities, urban, vantage, vibration, view, vribrating, waiting, walkway, wave, wavelength, wierd, wobble | Leave a comment
About a month ago, My brother asked Me if I would keep Him company on a drive up north. He was playing a set at Legacy Glass Works, located in Minnesota’s second lovely’est city. Duluth, 2 hours there, two hours of glass blowing and musical performances by Midway Felix and Kanser Troop and two hours back to Saint Paul..
May 19, 2014 | Categories: Photography | Tags: 2014, april, blowing, blown, burner, clouds, concert, dock, docks, drive, duluth, dusk, evening, event, feliks, felix, fire, flame, glass, glass works, harbor, hip hop, hiphop, indoors, kanser, kansertroop, lake, lakesuperior, legacy, legacy glass, live, mid-west, middle america, midwayfelix, midwest, minn, minnesota, mn, music, new mc, north, north coast, northcoast, northern, photo, picture, pictures, rap, rapper, rapping, roadtrip, shop, SHOW, sky, small, stage, store, superior, torch, twin cities, twincities, unicus | Leave a comment