Hi I'm Wayne. Welcome to my blog.
I am a true New Englander through and through. I love everything about New England. I especially love discovering new places in New England and sharing my experiences with everyone. I tend to focus on the more unique and lesser known places and things in New England on my blog.
Oh yeah, and I love dogs. I always try to include at least one dog in each of my blog posts.
I discovered my love of photography a couple of years ago. I know, I got a late start. Now, I photograph anything that seems out of the ordinary, interesting, beautiful and/or unique. And I have noticed how every person, place or thing I photograph has a story behind it or him or her. I don't just photograph things or people or animals. I try to get their background, history or as much information as possible to give the subject more context and meaning. It's interesting how one simple photograph can evoke so much.
I am currently using a Nikon D3200 "beginner's camera." Even though there are better cameras on the market, and I will upgrade some time, I love how it functions (usually) and it has served me well.
The great thing about my blog is you don't have to be from New England, or even like New England to like my blog (although I've never met anyone who doesn't). All you have to like is to see and read about new or interesting places and things.
Hopefully, you'll join me on my many adventures in New England!
El corazón de Holyoke está vivo con murales. The heart of Holyoke is alive with murals.
Sponsored by the Nueva Esperanza, Inc in cooperation with Beyond Walls, the new murals in Holyoke, MA, named “El Corazon are meant to both give a voice to the artists in the neighborhood as well as give a glimpse into the culture of the community.
While most of the murals are clustered together on or near Main St, Clemente St and Hamilton St you will have to either walk quite a ways or drive to a few of the far flung destinations on High St. I wanted to take in the environment and experience the area. So I parked on Main St and walked to all of the murals. They were pretty easy to find.
All of the murals posted below are on the website attached above. I am including the murals in the order I visited them.
Collaborative Mural by Repoe 9 + Teck 3%
341 Main St
“Iguana Boina” (Iguana Beret) by Rafique
363 Main St
“Ojitos Lindos” (Cute Little Eyes) by Bikismo
387 Main St
“Yagrumo” by Vero Rivera
398 Main St
Transition of the Ancestors by Frankie Borrero
401 Main St
“La Danza” by David Zayas
57 Hamilton St
“Father And Baby Moose” by Bordalo II
44 Clemente St
If you look closely, you may notice the mixed media used to make this mural
“Seguimos Tostando” by Golden305, Bikismo + 305Ange
453 High St
“Tun Cutum PÁ” by Don Rimx
147 High St
I also found some other art in my travels around Holyoke
Summary: 29 Painted scallop shaped works of art are located throughout the city of Plymouth, MA
Plymouth is well known for their scallops. But, not the ones you’re thinking of.
No, these 4 foot tall fiberglass scallops are not edible. The scallops in Plymouth aren’t that big!
These appetizing works of art can be found throughout the city of Plymouth, MA. But, the majority of them are located on Water St or in the nearby side streets of Water St
You may notice 1620 written prominently on some of the scallops. This represents both the year Plymouth was settled as a colony and, of course, the 400 year anniversary of the settling which the city celebrated 2 years ago.
The scallops are not numbered and there is no suggested order to view them. So, I will post the photos in the order they are listed on the map in the attached website (they are listed in alphabetical order and not by location). However, I would not look for them in that order. In fact, I did not. I began my search with the scallop at the Gallop The Scallop scallop located at the Plimoth Grist Mill which is last on the list. You will also have to drive to get to some of these scallops.
Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA (1 hour and 10 mins southeast of Concord, NH and 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)
Parking: Metered street parking is available. There are also several parking garages in the area. Visitors can also access the mural by taking the redline or commuter rail to the South Station train stop.
Summary: A new mural, “Breathe Life Together”, adorns a building at the Dewey Square section of the Rose Kennedy Greenway
Boom boxes and track suits have made a come back. At least they have at the mural at Dewey Square on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
The mural, made with acrylic and aerosolized paints, the mural is meant to “honor and ask you to join the conversation about the past, present, and future of our communities in Boston, reminding us what we can do together” according to artist Rob “Problak” Gibbs.
A native of Roxbury, MA (Boston, MA), Gibbs uses graffiti to chronicle and immortalize the culture and history of the “Golden Age of hip hop.” Rob considers graffiti to be a form of hieroglyphs as well as a way to document and pay homage to underserved, underheard communities in the city.
Literally and figuratively rising from the grass, the young girl in the mural is a reminder of the past and our future.
The mural is located across from the South Station MBTA train stop on the red line. It is expected to remain there until the spring of 2023 when a new mural will be painted.
Parking: street parking and garage parking is available near the exhibit
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Summary: The Blue Trees, an outdoor art exhibit, is adding some color to the streets of Salem, MA
If you have been seeing blue trees in the Salem (MA) area, don’t buy new glasses or make an appointment to see your eye doctor. You’re not seeing things. The trees in Salem have turned blue. At least some of them have.
The Blue Trees exhibit is the brainchild of Konstantin Dimopoulos, a conceptual and social artist originally from Port Said, Egypt. The Blue Trees are meant to draw attention to the deforestation happening around the globe. The environmentally safe watercolor used on the trees is temporary and is harmless to the trees, surrounding environment, people, waterways and wildlife. It will be washed away with the rain and other weather conditions. There are currently 27 places to see these blue trees including Houston, Sacramento, Vancouver, Singapore, Germany, Australia and, of course, Salem.
The trees were painted in time for Earth Day of this year and I was fortunate enough to see one of the painters at work.
The trees, which are part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, can be found by the museum on Essex St.
Summary: Runners from all over the region competed in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Dash or the 3.33 mile Creepy Clown race.
It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.
Devils, clowns and other scary characters came together in Salem MA last weekend to compete in the Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown race.
The race started with the Creepy Clown 3.33 mile race. The Devil’s Dash race started shortly after the clowns race began. The Devil’s Dash was a hellish 6.66 miles. Although it wasn’t required, participants were, of course, encouraged to wear a costume. And many of the runners got into the spirit of the event!
I’m still confounded how people can smile while they’re running. That, to me, is the truly creepy part of the race.
People of all ages could participate in the race. But, the little runners are always the most fun to photograph
It’s also fun to see families or groups of people running together. I was lucky to see some
The race wasn’t just for people. Pets could also participate in the race. Or, they could root on their favorite runners.
Although the race was a rimed event with standings, all of the participants were winners in my book. In fact, all of the participants walked (or ran) away with a medal for their efforts.
Date Of Event: October 2, 2021 (held annually the first weekend of October)
Location: Salem, MA (about 45 mins northeast of Boston, MA and 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)
Summary: An assortment of zombies, mad scientists and other costumed revelers roamed the streets of Salem, MA in the annual Salem Zombie Walk
The annual Salem Zombie Walk in Salem, MA, has quickly become one of the most popular events in October.
There were young zombies, which are both the creepiest and cutest for me to see!
Zombie families (one of my favorites)
A zombie dog
and whatever this lady is holding
Although the event is called the “zombie walk”, there weren’t just zombies at the event. There were werewolves and mad doctors among other spooky characters
The zombies began their walk at Salem Commons in Washington Square. They continued throughout the heart of downtown Salem, shrieking, gyrating and moaning the entire way.
It’s always nice to see familiar, friendly faces at these events. Throughout the years, I have attended and posted blogs about the past few zombie walks and I often see familiar faces there. This zombie is a regular at the yearly events and he always has a monster with him. I hope to see him and all the other zombies next year!
Summary: Coppal House Farm hosted their 7th annual Sunrise In The Sunflowers Festival
Summer, sunrises and sunflower. Who could possibly ask for more?
On August 1, he Coppal House Farm turned their farm into a sunflower paradise.
I arrived at Coppal House Farm bright and early for the “Sunrise In The Sunflowers” event which is particularly popular with photographers of all skill levels. I was surprised to see such a healthy crowd at 5:30 am. As the name of the event would suggest, the sunflowers really do pop with the rays of sun beaming on them. Initially, I was shocked to see the sunflowers were not facing the view of the sunrise. But, then it made complete sense as the sunbeams really hit the flowers and brought out their beauty. This time of day (the golden hour) is the optimal and, in my opinion, only time to photograph these flowers (except for possibly sunset).
I didn’t realize there were other types of sunflowers besides the yellow sunflowers that are so prominent.
There were also several props and decor for people to pose near for portrait shoots.
But there weren’t just sunflowers at the house farm.
There were a variety of different flowers at the farm.
There were also a few spooky trees at the event.
If you do visit Coppal House Farm don’t forget to buy a sunflower to take home or view the animals at the farm.
Location: Hampton Beach, 115 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH
Hours: The beach is accessible daily from dawn until dusk
Parking: Hampton Beach offers a variety of parking options. If you’re lucky enough to get a parking spot in the main parking area it is $2 an hour during the summer. There are also additional lots that range from 5 to 20 dollars for the day depending on when you arrive. See link for additional parking info: Parking Info
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes but dogs are not allowed on the beach during the summer
Summary: Ten artists converged upon Hampton Beach to sculpt pieces of work.
Nothing says summer like long days of sunlight, road trips and, of course, sand sculptures. And as proof of this, Hampton Beach has ushered in the season with their 21st annual sand sculpting classic.
Ten sculptors from all the world put their talents to work at the sculpting competition. But, before the contest began the competitors collaborated to build the 100 ton main sponsor site sculpture. The sculpture pays tribute to the New Hampshire Marine Memorial statue which is located at the beach, the lifeguards who help to keep the beach safe and the sea life of the area.
The competition began on Jun 17 and ended on the 19th. Two hundred tons of sand are used for the sculptures and each competitor was given a plot size of 18×18 to complete their work on.
Although I haven’t been able to attend the actual sand sculpting competition the past few years, I do make sure to visit the day after the competition to photograph the sculptures in their pristine state. Even though I arrived at sunrise, there was already a healthy crowd at the beach and it was hard to get some photos with people in the background. But by using some creative angles and with some patience I was able to get most of the photos without any beachgoers in them.
After hours of grueling work, the winners were announced June 19th.
The winning sculpture “Empty” was sculpted by Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Abe said he came up with the idea for this sculpture about a year and a half ago after his separation from his wife.
Second place was awarded to Melineige Beauregard of Montreal, Canada for “Rebirth Of Phoenix.” Melineige won the first place award last year.
Karen Fralich of Toronto Canada snagged third place with he sculpture, “Poker Face.”
And fourth place was awarded to Thomas Koet of Satellite Beach, Florida, for his sculpture, “Multiple Piercings.” Thomas also won the “People’s Choice Award” for his 2020 sculpture.
Chris Guinto of Key West, Florida, won the “Sculptor’s Choice Award” for his “Continuum” sculpture.
I don’t envy the judges who had to decide on the winning sculptures. They were all so well done.
The remaining sculptures are, in no particular order,
“Behind Every Successful Man There is a Strong Woman” by John Gowdy of Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“Pulled” by Carl D. Jara from Lyndhurst, Ohio
“Once Bitten” by Greg Grady of Derry, New Hampshire.
“Laugh” by Dan Belcher of Saint Louis, Missouri.
“Miss You, My Friend” by Justin Gordon of Groveland, Massachusetts. For some reason this one touched a chord with me.
Wally and the Plymouth Rock assurance mascot were also part of the sand sculpture celebration.
There was also a sand sculpture dedicated to retired police officer Jack Donaldson who passed away earlier this year from cancer. Jack worked both as a teacher and as a part time officer for 50 years.
The sand sculptures are lit up at night and they are removed after a week or two. So they may no longer be there. At least not until next year!
As you inch back to a re-opening, a sure sign that normalcy is a new mural on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. And what better way to celebrate a rebirth and promise than flowers, lobster, watermelon and other staples of spring and summer in New England!
The painting by Daniel Gordon, a Boston native who grew up in San Francisco, CA, and now resides in Brooklyn, NY, likes to use manipulation and distortion of imagery. In fact, if you look closely at the mural you may see hidden images among the painted objects.
In fact, everytime I look at this complex work of art I see something else.
The mural, which will be on display until May, 2022 when a new mural is expected to be painted, is located right across from the South Station train station and the Boston Federal Reserve on Atlantic St.