Search Lobsterland

Monday, July 30, 2012

Independence Day

I didn't have my kids this year for the Fourth, so I figured on an epic ride and then some hopefully epic fireworks photography.

 We wandered out through the East Bottoms and into the industrial area along Manchester. Along the way, hydrating aggressively, we accumulated the wherewithal to make margaritas during the fireworks.

Corinna was convinced the place I wanted to shoot from was the Chouteau Bridge, and I wasn't 100% sold on this but it was worth a shot.

They had a bunch of roads blocked off for Riverfest, the fireworks I wanted to shoot, of course. But there are closed roads and then there are closed roads, and when you're on a bicycle you can often just greet the cop at the road block in a friendly way and cruise on through.

This is probably because even cops mistake bicycles for pedestrians instead of vehicles, but why fight it?

Stopped at a house near Knuckleheads in the East Bottoms which has, in its yard, about three episodes of Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations material.

Once we were up Manchester a ways, the heat started to get to us, especially Corinna. She wanted to go get in a fountain and I thought the quickest way to make that happen was to backtrack, and I was probably right.

The way we went ended up taking us up Van Brunt a ways, and while we did get to a fountain and cool off, we also got buzzed by a few cars. I think what it is, Van Brunt is so highway-esque people drive about 55 even though I think it's fastest posted limits are 40 or 45; then on top of that you've got the rarity of bicycles in the lane on this road and the prevalence of drunk driving on a holiday.

Then we stopped at a grocery store to get some grub. No bike rack, so we locked our bikes in the airlock by the shopping carts. Nobody could ride off on them that way, and they'd be a hassle to carry out locked to each other with the cable going through the wheels and all.

When we came out and I didn't see our bikes where we left them, I had a stomach-lurch. Store employees had moved the bikes, locked together, to make way for a set of shopping carts.

The bikes were fine, but I was livid. With the cable running through spokes and around derailleurs and all that, it would be easy to fuck a bike up doing that. And we weren't int he store more than twenty minutes.

I was going back in to fill water bottles and a kid who worked at the store laughed and said, "We had to move your bikes, but it's okay."

I told him it was not okay. He didn't know what he was doing, and why don't I go out and move his car for him?

Shithead kid, has no idea what it would cost to fix the shit he could have broken on our bikes or how difficult it would be for us to get back home if they were disabled by his shenanigans.

And it's the store's fault for not even having a bike rack. This is how you treat a customer?

So anyway, we ended up on the Chouteau Bridge on schedule with glasses, citrus juicer, Nikon, tripod, limes, triple sec, tequila, salt and another photographer camped out a few feet away ready to capture the same. We tried to share a margarita with him but he begged off. Later, I realized he looked young enough, he might not even have been of legal age.

Or maybe he was just on the clock. I think the lad is trying to make a living off it, and power to him. As my friend Julie, who's made her living with a camera the past 25 years or so puts it, there are a lot of clowns in that clown car.

And I'd sure be one of them if I could figure out a way.

Downtown was truly beautiful from the bridge, but the first fireworks we saw, which we took to be the show at Riverfest, were so low and small, it wasn't worth shooting.

Then the Worlds of Fun fireworks (we think) started up behind us and we turned around and tried to shoot those a bit. Then the Riverfest fireworks actually started.

I don't know if a filter would have helped, but I wasn't thrilled with the shots I got. Downtown was beautiful, the fireworks were beautiful, but trying to get them both proved almost impossible.

No comments: