Fall Fashion

In the East End neighborhoods of Pittsburgh, fashion flies high with a fine blend of classy meets hip, sophisticated meets chic. Designer Cailey Breneman shares her votes for the Fall 2009 season with the help of model Grace K. Miller. Shot in Friendship, the neutral residential neighborhood smushed between Shadyside, Bloomfield, Lawrenceville, Garfield, and East Liberty, these photos unearth quiet spots lingering on Friendship's rustic avenues with the warm palate of autumn's foliage.


Kayak Three Rivers

The three rivers of Pittsburgh unite the city into an urban and natural mecca, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy city life and outdoor adventure simultaneously.

Venture Outdoors, a non-profit founded in 2001, organizes outdoor recreational activities to spur community interest in the city's natural opportunities. Activities include hiking, biking, and kayaking, in addition to many other types of outdoor excitement.

A project of Venture Outdoors, Kayak Pittsburgh began in 2005 with a downtown station near the Pirates' PNC Park. It has since expanded to include stations at North Park and at Lake Elizabeth in West Park on the North Side.

This video spotlights Kayak Pittsburgh downtown, with photographs and conversation with Liam Cooney, Project Manager at Venture Outdoors.

Kayak Pittsburgh from kristine on Vimeo.


Penguins Stanley Cup Victory Parade

An estimated 375,000 fans jammed the streets and parking garages of Downtown Pittsburgh on Monday, June 15, 2009, to celebrate the Penguins' third Stanley Cup Championship and their first since 1992.

The celebration began for some in the wee pre-dawn morning, as fans arrived hours before the noon start time.

The parade traveled the same victory route as the Steelers' Superbowl Parade, beginning on Grant Street and turning down Boulevard of the Allies toward Stanwix Street. Downtown was booming Monday. I was not even aggressive enough to push through the throng of thousands to view the stage presentation at the end of the parade route.

View the slideshow for my perspective on the parade on the Boulevard between Smithfield and Wood Streets. (For more of my photos, go to my Flickr page.)

For more fan photos of the parade, check out the Pensblog Stanley Cup Victory Parade Photos group pool.


2009 Boston Marathon

Over 26,000 runners, aged 18 to over 80 years old, ran the 26.2 miles from Hopkinton, MA to downtown Boston's Copley Square on Monday, April 20, 2009 for the 113th Boston Marathon. The course is speckled with hotspots from the starting line, Heartbreak Hill, Kenmore Square, all the way to the finish line, but I cherished the most arduous and perhaps most fascinating leg of the race - the last mile. People walk, stumble, jog, sprint, laugh, get sick... it's a messy but miraculous affair, the last mile of the Boston Marathon.

Kenmore Square was packed with spectators lining Commonwealth Avenue. I photographed and talked to fans and runners as thousands of marathoners turned the corner and pushed through the last mile to the finish line on Boylston Street.

A few of my photos were picked up by NowPublic and included in its coverage of the 2009 Boston Marathon. Look for kristine.c.sherred on the right-hand side of the page under "Crowd Power." NowPublic is a "crowd powered media" group that gives every citizen a voice, covering local, national, and international news and events.

For all of my Boston Marathon photos, visit my Flickr page.


Following the Path to Englightenment

Amidst the religious turmoil that has engulfed the classic and contemporary worlds stands a peaceful philosophy, a way of life inherent to human nature. Though the history of Buddhism strings together intricate stories of Buddhist monks to the Buddha himself, its story can, in fact, be relatively simple. At the Shambhala Meditation Center of Boston, community members share their practice with visitors and prospective Buddhist followers.

I have been working with the Boston Center for over a month, photographing and recording meditation sessions and the Center itself. My relationship with Shambhala extends past merely documenting the impetus for and mission of meditation: I have received meditation instruction myself and have joined the under-30 and community sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday nights... it really opens up your mind.

The Shambhala Boston website offers detailed information on upcoming events, guest instructors, and meditation groups.

Meditating in a Modern World from kristine on Vimeo.


Hair On Broadway at Boston University

From 1964-1968, James Rado and Gerome Ragni scripted "The Age of Aquarius", promoting its inherent ideals of peace, love, and happiness with long-haired hippie protagonists. The resulting show, Hair (aka The Tribal Rock Musical) was recently revived for Broadway in early 2009, showing in New York City, but Boston University's musical theater group, On Broadway, put up their own rendition of the 1960s rock-based show.

Selling out their Friday and Saturday night performances, the cast and crew of Hair rehearsed for almost three months in preparation for opening night on Friday, March 27. Susanna Bolle and I snuck backstage to catch some footage of the chaos that is performance day, including conversations with the director/choreographer, musical director, and one of the male leads.

Behind the Scenes at BU On Broadway's Hair from Susanna Bolle on Vimeo.


Looney Tunes Records

Pat McGrath moved to Boston in the late 1970s to study English at Boston University and, perhaps more importantly for him, to explore the variety of record stores around the city. McGrath immediately started working at Looney Tunes Records, then around the corner across from Berklee College of Music, and purchased the store in 1982 for almost nothing.

Since its inception in 1978, Looney Tunes has been buying, selling, trading, and discovering new and used vinyl records, cassettes, eight-tracks, and VHS tapes, and has added loads of CDs and DVDs to its repetoire over the years. The store, near three music conservatories at 1106 Boylston Street, boasts large speakers playing nonstop music outside seven days a week to lure customers.

After meeting owner Pat McGrath and his employees and friends, I quickly fell for the store's eclectic and insane appeal. They have proclaimed their love for music as a sickness, a sickness from which I, too, suffer. For over 30 years, Looney Tunes has been spreading this sickness to all those who wish to engulf themselves in its glory.

Looney Tunes from kristine on Vimeo.


The Duquesne Incline

PITTSBURGH - Built in 1877, the Duquesne Incline has carried both commuters and tourists from the neighborhood hill on Mount Washington to the industrial downtown below for over 130 years. Originally built to offer steel mill workers a quicker alternative than hiking up and down the 400-foot high hill, the Duquesne Incline was one of the city's 15 inclines in the nineteenth century.

A native of Pittsburgh, I have ridden the incline to admire the view of the three rivers and to enjoy the nightlife in Station Square at the foot of the hill. I spent time with a gift shop greeter and a lift operator to create this piece on the history and use of The Duquesne Incline.

Today it stands as a historic monument, one of the city's main tourist attractions, and certainly a faster approach to climbing the 400 feet up Mount Washington. The view of Pittsburgh's "Golden Triangle" at the top has been voted one of America's most beautiful by USA Today Magazine.


The Vagina Monologues at Boston University

V-day: Valentine's Day?

Hallmark holiday.
V-day: Stop the Violence?
The Vagina Monologues.

Eve Ensler wrote The Vagina Monologues as the crutch of her international campaign to stop violence against women. V-day has inspired millions of women around the world to perform and produce Ensler's play, a series of monologues that represent women's stories in a strikingly honest way.

Boston University and its female theatre group, Athena's Players, celebrated the 11th Annual V-day with three performances at the Tsai Performance Center on Commonwealth Avenue on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14, 2009. Each year, the V-day campaign spotlights a particular international community; 2009 spotlights the women of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with proceeds from the show going to the V-day charity for the DRC and to a local women's shelter in Boston.

Last year, for V to the 10, I put on my spunky old-lady face to perform "Flood," an elderly woman's story of her first sexual encounter with a boy: a harmless teenage kiss that proved to be the one and only sexual encounter of her life. After participating in the V-day celebration and the play performance, I opted to instead offer my program design and photographic skills to the production.

For a recapitulation of the girls' Saturday matinee, watch the performance slideshow.


Grammys packed with performances

The one night of the year that (almost) every outstanding musician and/or band gather under one roof occurred last night. The 51st Grammy Awards included the best of the best, especially them British folk.

Coldplay, Adele, Duffy, Kings of Leon, Daft Punk, and Radiohead all took home several awards. And the performances were AWESOME. THe show proved quite enjoyable over that long span of almost four hours.

Adele's voice could have been stronger last night, but Coldplay did not disappoint, and nor, of course, did Radiohead. Taking home Alternative Album of the Year, Radiohead only played one song from their highly acclaimed and extremely revolutionary (in its distribution and concepting) In Rainbows. It was awesome, yes, but when one has seen a mutliple-hour Radiohead show in support of their most recent album, one song leaves an empty feelings of wanting moooooore.

Throw in a couple performances by Al Green, the Four Tops (with the help of Jamie Foxx and Ne-Yo), and Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - and hell, that's a show!

There seemed little time dedicated to awards: about 10 were awarded during the broadcast on CBS. But the producers allowed ample time to showcase the true meaning of music - LIVE PERFORMANCES - and many of the winning artists had the chance to strut their stuff on stage last night before their fellow acclaimed musicians.

Radiohead broke through a mold that people didn't even realized existed when they released In Rainbows, but the categories were tough. Coldplay has matured greatly as a group, and well, what can you say about Robert Plant and Alison Krauss? He's from Led Zeppelin, man. Can't hate. But we all should have given Radiohead a little bit more... if not for their album (which we should), for their willingness and daring to bring the music industry where it needs to be.


à Paris!

From September to December 2008, I lived in Paris with a French family while taking classes and interning at a French theater. Check out the map of Paris that I customized with some of my favorite locales throughout the city, including some personal photos.

Agrandir le plan