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Saturday, March 22, 2014

St. Cecilia's Mexican Fish Fry

There are countless fish fries around the St. Louis area during Lent, but St. Cecilia's Mexican Fish Fry is one of the most unique that I have ever experienced.  

Although we waited in line for an hour and a half, the weather was perfect and there was plenty of "entertainment" in the parking lot and in the gym.

We had our first run-in with the Tilapia Mafia, a die-hard group dedicated to seeking out the best fish fries in the area.  As their shirts say, "Take the Fish, Leave the Cannoli."

 A kid from the parish walked up and down the line selling sodas.  The Tilapia Mafia was disappointed that he wasn't selling beer.

I had the "privilege" of watching the driver of the blue Escape park his car.  His wife (or girlfriend) had to climb out of the driver's door.  As another customer in line said, "You're supposed to leave a fish fry drunk, not come to a fish fry drunk."  ...Didn't I say there was plenty of entertainment in the parking lot?

The beer man!  Only Mexican brands of beer offered at this fish fry.

The dancers!  I heard the Mexican hat dance song at least twice while I was there.

 The choreographer!

Our appetizer:

 Shrimp and Bean Tostada:

Chile Relleno and Bean Tostada:

 Una mas por favor!

Not only did this guy have the best mustache of the evening, but as a bonus he was also sporting a Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Team hat:

Frying up fish well past sunset!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Soulard Pet Parade

Soulard celebrates the Mardi Gras season over the course of many weeks.  Today marked one of its bigger events: the Beggin' Pet Parade.
I took the suggestion of a friend to check it out for my blog (I don't have any pets so I've never been) and it is no doubt a dog-lover's dream.  Despite the colder temps, the streets were packed with animals...I've never seen so many dogs wearing beads.

Check out my blog next week for photos from the Bud Light Grand Parade which takes over the streets of Soulard on March far the highlight of the Mardi Gras season in St. Louis

Sam Dotson, Chief of Police of the Metropolitan Police Department

I managed to get a few close-ups without getting my lens licked: 

Probably the craziest setup I saw today...two dogs "pedaling" a bicycle built for two:

A fellow photographer:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Bogart's Smokehouse

St. Louis has a few great BBQ restaurants, but for me Bogart's Smokehouse in Soulard is the best bang for the buck.  Sarah had never been so we took the opportunity to enjoy lunch there today.

During the summer, the line is frequently out the door starting around 11:00 and by 11:30 it can be wrapped around the side of the building.  Want to avoid the rush?  They actually open at 10:30 so you can either get there early or take your chances after the lunch rush...just know that they either close at 4:00 or whenever they sell out.

 I highly recommend the ribs, but really I've enjoyed everything I've tried on the menu so far.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge

Plenty of people braved the cold weather on Saturday to experience the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge that spans the Mississippi River.

It is a gorgeous structure and I chose to only use black and white photos for this post because I think they make the bridge appear more pronounced against the overcast winter sky.

Another cool thing about a day like today is that you get to stop and enjoy the views from the bridge that would otherwise be limited to only the amount of time it takes you to drive across it.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Birds on the River

For this week's post, I attempted to photograph "birds in flight" using a 500mm telephoto lens.  Having never used a lens this long before, I can tell you that it is no simple task, especially when you're on the river with 10-20 mph winds.

The day's photoshoot centered around "Eagle Days" at the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge.  While the weather was great, the number of Bald Eagles within my camera's range was less than expected.  

Here's my best Bald Eagle photo:

Despite the Bald Eagle shortage, there were plenty of Ring-Billed Gulls to go around.  These birds are fun to watch.  They would hover right above the rapids created by the chain of rocks in the Mississippi River, waiting for the right opportunity to dive down and pluck a fish out of the water.

I can't say I love this photo (doesn't help that the trainer's eyes are closed), but I do like that you can see the detail of the Eagle's head and talons.
While my first "Eagle Scouting" trip didn't yield the photo results I had hoped for, I'll definitely be going back again!