Category Archives: Massachusetts

2021 Salem Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

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

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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!


2021 Westfield Fair (Westfield, MA)

Dates Of Event: August 20-22, 2021

Location: Westfield Fairgrounds, 137 Russellville Road, Westfield, MA

Cost:

General Admission: $8.00
Seniors: $6.00
Children under 12 FREE with a paid adult admission

$2 per car for parking

Parking: There is ample parking available on the fairgrounds

Pet Friendly: No except for service pets

Universally Accessible: Yes

Website: http://www.thewestfieldfair.com/

Summary: A fun filled family friendly event in Westfield, MA

It may seem like summer is winding down. But don’t tell that to the visitors at the Westfield Fair.

Thousands of people from the Northeast flocked to the 93rd Westfield Fair last weekend which featured a variety of fun events and activities for the entire family.

One of the more popular events at the fair is the Junior Dairy show where a group of young ranchers got to show off their cattle handling skills.

Some cattle needed more encouragement to comply.

I was impressed at how the kids managed to handle such large animals with relative ease.

Another one of the more popular attractions at the fair is the animal petting barn. For one dollar, visitors can feed the seeminlgy always hungry goats, pony and other animals.

Although the truck pull and demolition derby are popular events, the kids also get to show off their driving skills at the Kids Power Wheel Race.

There were also a variety of events and activities for children including face painting

And a beauty pageant

There was also a play area, motorized ride on toys and fun activities for the little ones.

It was good to see people having fun in such a fun, wholesome event, especially since the event had been canceled last year. But, it didn’t go off without a hitch, unfortunately.

Usually, the fair runs from Friday through Sunday. But, the festivities for Sunday were cancelled due to Hurricane Henri.


Summer Still Life With Lobster And Fern (Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: May 23, 2021

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Atlantic St, Boston, MA

Hours: The mural is accessible all day but the official park hours on the Greenway are 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some metered parking spots (metered parking is free on Sundays in the city) and several parking garages in the area

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: https://www.rosekennedygreenway.org/danielgordon

Highlights: Mural created by Daniel Gordon

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.


Daffodils At Tower Hill (Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 25, 2021

Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (about an hour northwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour north of Providence, RI)

Hours: Open Daily, 10am–5pm (Tower Hill is closed on Thanksgiving, December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1)

Cost: (all tickets must be purchased online at their website for a specific timed entry but visitors can stay as late as they wish)

Members: FREE (must reserve ticket)
Adults: $16
Seniors (65+): $11
Youth (6-18): $6
Children 5 and under: Free (must reserve ticket)

Dogs $7 (dogs are not allowed in the Yarnstorm grounds but there are trails they are allowed on)

Parking: there are about 100 plus free parking spots

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes (dogs are not at Yarnstorm, but dogs are only allowed on the trails outside of the garden)

Summary: 40 artists knitted a variety of designs in the garden areas of Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Website: https://www.towerhillbg.org/

Every year, daffodils become the centerpiece of the gardens at the Tower Hill Botanic Garden as well as the rest of New England,. And this year was no different. According to their website, the peak time of the daffodils is the 3rs week of April until the first week of May. So, I chose the last week of April to visit.

Unfortunately, it was raining during my visit. The rain did let up a bit during my visit. But it did rain during my entire visit. And the rain did make for some pretty photo opportunities with the droplets on the flowers.

Ironically, it wasn’t the daffodils that stood out the most. It was the tulips that really caught my eye.

The decor of the gardens at Tower Hill Help to accentuate the beauty of the flowers.

Unfortunately, I could not stay long due to the rain and the difficulty taking photos while I tried to keep my camera dry. But I did my best to capture the beauty there as best I could. But daffodils will be there again next year and so will i!


Old Scituate Light (Scituate, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 10, 2021

Location: 100 Lighthouse Rd, Scituate, MA (about 40 mins southwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour northwest of Providence, RI)

Parking: There is a small parking area for about half a dozen cars and an overflow lot across the street

Hours: Open daily dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

Universally Accessible: Yes, the lighthouse is universally accessible but the jetty may not be universally accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: http://scituatehistoricalsociety.org/light/

Summary: Built in 1810, Old Scituate Light is the 11th lighthouse lit in Massachusetts. The lighthouse is on the registry of historic landmarks in Massachusetts and is reportedly open for tours during certain periods of time during the year (see link above for more info). A rock jetty and rocky beachhead is a popular spot for sunrise watchers and tourists. The lighthouse has a rich history dating back to the early 1800s.

New England has no shortage of lighthouses and breath taking views of seascapes. In fact, due to the plethora of beautiful destinations along the water, some destinations seem to get overlooked. Old Lighthouse in Scituate, MA, is one of these overlooked destinations.

Built in 1810 for $4,000, Old Scituate Light played an important, but little known, role in the War Of 1812. After observing two British barges approaching the Scituate harbor, Abigail and Rebecca Bates, the daughters of the original keeper of the lighthouse (Simeon Bates) hid among a cluster of cedar trees which were once prominent in the area and played their fife and drum in an attempt to ward off the would be attackers. The two girls created such a loud din the barges were said to have retreated fearing an army was preparing for their attack. Their efforts are said to have saved Scituate from being sacked as there was, in reality, no standing army ready for a British attack. The girls went on to become known as the “American Army of Two.”

The 25 foot lighthouse (70 feet above sea level) has a natural/emplaced foundation. The light is a replicated lantern and the keeper does stay in the attached home. A bell, perhaps more for decor than function, stands outside the housekeeper’s residence. The lighthouse keeper is a teacher at nearby Marshfield High School.

There is also a memorial dedicated to the grounding of the Etrusco and the rescue efforts from that accident. On March 16, 1956, the ship came aground at Cedar Point during the St. Patrick’s Day Blizzard (it is New England after all). After the grounding of the freighter, five Scituate residents (all members of Scituate’s Civil Defense Communications Team) sprang into action and, despite blizzard conditions, kept in communication with the Coast Guard, providing key details and information to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard would eventually rescue all 30 men from the grounded ship.

The surrounding grounds of the lighthouse provide for great photo opportunities.

The highlight of the lighthouse and the surrounding area is the beautiful views it offers which are especially spectacular during sunrise and sunset

As I was about to pack up and head to my next destination, I noticed this group of painted rocks with hopeful messages. Many of them seemed to have a special personal meaning. But, I think we call can derive some inspiration from their messages.

And, of course, my favorite message


Heroes Are Everywhere (Westfield, MA)

Location: corners of Taylor and Hedges Ave, Westfield, MA

Summary: Massachusetts based artists Shannon Chiba and Sarah Kinne honors the heroes of the Coronavirus pandemic with a mural in Westfield, MA that incorporates many of the places and things the area is known for.

Heroes come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. The “Heroes Are Everywhere” in Westfield, MA, pays tribute to the different heroes in our midst. And, especially if you’re from the area, you may notice many little tributes to the city.

The mural, which is painted on both sides of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Tunnel, includes paintings of doctors,

Laborers

And everyone else lending a helping hand to others during these difficult times regardless of their age or size.

If you look closely, you may see such fixtures of western MA such as a black bear, the Whip City Whip Museum (the prominent brick building in the painting), the Great River bridges, the Westfield River and other staples of life in western MA such as blooming flowers and a birdhouse. The roof of the tunnel shows 4 F-15 jets buzzing by which is a common sight for anyone living near the Westfield based Barnes Air National Guard Base.

The tunnel where the mural is painted, which was painted in 2020 by Massachusetts based artists Shannon Chiba and Sarah Kinne, is part of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail which is a popular spot for cyclists, hikers and joggers.

Hopefully, as time passes on, there will not be a need for murals like this.


Pink Flamingos (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 27, 2021

Location: Boston Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open to the public 24 hours a day until March 30

Summary: nearly 2,000 pink flamingos have been set up at the Boston Seaport Common until March 30

Flamingos have invaded Boston.

Over 1,900 flamingos (some of them a little tipsy) have been planted at the Boston Seaport as a way to brighten up the area and make people smile. This fly by night installation, which is the work of Massachusetts-based developer WS Development, won’t last long though. The birds are expected to stay at their location at the Seaport Common through Tuesday, March 30. Then, they are migrating to the Street Chestnut Hill (MA) and Market Street Lynfield (MA) from April 1-12.

Contrary to popular opinion, these flamingos are not new to the area. In fact, these flamingos have a long history in MA. Don Featherstone designed the first flamingos for Leominster based Union Products in 1957.

They won’t be here for long! So make sure to flock to the Seaport before they fly away!


Yarnstorm (Tower Hill Botanic Hill, Boylston, MA)

Date Of Visit: March 20,2021

Location: Tower Hill Botanic Garden, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA (about an hour northwest of Boston, MA or 1 hour north of Providence, RI)

Dates Of Exhibit: January 16-March 31, 2021

Hours: Open Daily, 10am–5pm (Tower Hill is closed on Thanksgiving, December 24, December 25, December 31, and January 1)

Cost: (all tickets must be purchased online at their website for a specific timed entry but visitors can stay as late as they wish)

Members: FREE (must reserve ticket)
Adults: $16
Seniors (65+): $11
Youth (6-18): $6
Children 5 and under: Free (must reserve ticket)

Dogs $7 (dogs are not allowed in the Yarnstorm grounds but there are trails they are allowed on)

Parking: there are about 100 plus free parking spots

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes (dogs are not at Yarnstorm, but dogs are only allowed on the trails outside of the garden)

Summary: 40 artists knitted a variety of designs in the garden areas of Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Website: https://www.towerhillbg.org/

New England is known for its stormy weather. But, there was a very different kind of storm at Tower Hill gardens. Yarnstorming, often referred to as “graffiti knitting” or “yarn bombing” is an art form that uses knitted and crocheted yarn as art instead of paint or water colors.

More than 25 works of art and over 2,000 pom poms were draped upon benches, trees, statues and poles around the garden.

I was able to use my 35 mm lens for these photos and I really like the way the colors popped and the crispness of the shots from the lens. It’s technically not a prime lens since it is an 18-35 mm (1.8). But it’s much easier to lug around than a telephoto.

Some of these artistic displays have signs next to the displays. These signs had bar codes you could scan with your cellphone to get more information about the display and the artist who made the display.

Spring was in the air and in the yarn at Tower Hill Botanic Garden’s Yarnstorm event.

Forty artists contributed to the artistic Yarnstorm exhibit at Tower Hill. The designs ranged from the colorful

to the creative

There were also some famous people along the trails.

This display, made in honor of the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, included her answer to “when will there be enough women on the Supreme Court?”

Some of my favorite exhibits were along the stairwell near the edge of the gardens.

But it’s hard to choose just one from the colorful garden.

The knitted art isn’t just on the trails outside of the botanic garden. Castor and Pullox were also dressed up for the event.

Just a friendly reminder that if you do go don’t forget to wear your hat and gloves. Because you never know what the weather will be like in New England!


Les Rang (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: January 10, 2020

Location: Seaport Common, 85 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

Website: Les Rang

Summary: An illuminated art installation on Boston’s Seaport District lit up the otherwise bleak winter sky.

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Decorative lights during the winter are no big deal, particularly during the holiday season.  But one decorative light display stood out.  The light display, named “Entres Les Rangs” consisted of hundreds of sticks with reflectors that lit up intermittently.

Entre les rangs, which translates to “between the rows” in English, first debuted in Montreal.  It was such a hit, the display was taken over the border all the way to Boston.  It has also been displayed in Georgetown, MA and London, England.

Different sequences of blue, pink and purple lights lit up the installation.  The reflectors were actually being lit up by bigger lights that you may see in some of the photos which changed the colors of the reflectors.

I was hoping to photograph the display while it was snowing or just after a snow storm.  But, uncharacteristically for winter in Boston, there wasn’t much snow in Boston while the display was installed, especially on the days I was available to photograph the installation.  This is just one of the things that can go wrong when you’re trying to get that “perfect photo.”  But it’s not always possible to control the weather.  In fact, it’s pretty darn hard to do this.  Another time I went to photograph the display one of the sets of lights wasn’t working.  I (and I imagine a small army of visitors) emailed the DCR who was in charge of the upkeep of the display and a few days later it was up and running. Such is the life of a WordPress photographer.

It is unclear if this or any other display will be in the area next winter.  But, if they are I will be sure to photograph it.  Hopefully it will snow this time!

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Tree Sculptures (Look Memorial Park, Florence, Northampton, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 3, 2020

Location: Frank Newhall Memorial Look Park, 300 North Main Street, Florence (Northampton), MA (half an hour northwest of Springfield, MA, and 2 hours west of Boston, MA)

Hours:

Cost:

Passenger Vehicle
$10

Buss, Van and Concert Parking
$15

Bracelets and Season Passes are also available.  Click on the link below for more pricing info

Admission Prices

Hours:

Monday-Friday

9am-4pm

Open weekends as well as some holidays such as Labor Day & Columbus Day
9am-5pm

There is a vehicle entry fee.  However, cyclists and walkers can access the park for free.  Also, those with a military ID or handicap placard can enter the park at no cost.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary:  4 tree sculptures sculpted by Harold Grinspoon have been donated to Look Park in Florence, MA, a village in Northampton.  Grinspoon and his team of artists, who operate out of nearby Agawam, MA, carved the sculptures.

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Look Park has always been known for the trees that tower above the visitors who come to cycle, jog or play at the 150 acre park,  But, there are a few unique trees there this summer.

If you want to avoid walking far at the park, the trees, which the park politely asks you not climb (wish I had known this beforehand), can all be found within a half mile distance and three of them (Entwined, Windows and The Beauty Of Nature) are clustered near each other.  The only sculpture which is located only a little farther away from the first three is “Chroma Quartet.”  Or, you can walk the entire loop (about a mile) and see them all while taking in the beauty of Look Park.

Four carved trees, carved and donated by Longmeadow resident and philanthropist Harold Grinspoon, are meant to bring some additional beauty to the park which is an especially welcome addition to the park during these times.  They will be on display at the park for two years.

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The first sculpture titled “The Beauty Of Nature”, which was sculpted in 2014, was made out of a cherry tree that stood behind Grinspoon’s home in Longmeadow, MA.  The tree was already dead but remained standing.  Grinspoon thought it was too pretty to cut down.  So, he repurposed it as a work of art.

The title of the work of art reflects Grinspoon’s belief in the ever changing possibility of nature reinventing itself.  The tree, which is part of his private SculptureNow collection, has also been displayed at The Mount in Lenox, MA.

This sculpture can be seen as you enter the park is located just past the main entrance.

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The second sculpture, “Windows”, can be found a short distance from “The Beauty Of Nature.”

Created in 2017 as part of Grinspoon’s natural series, “Windows” is composed of one reclaimed branch of a live oak tree.  The one long branch was quartered, separated and rearranged.  Grinspoon derived the name from the shapes and views you can see by walking around the sculpture and looking through the different frames of the sculpture.

“Chroma Quartet”, which was reclaimed from a live oak tree, can be found along the way to the children’s play area and, fittingly, the music venue.  It is named for its lively painted design and structural quality the artist felt evoked music.  The sculpture is meant to look as though it is vibrating with the pulses of background sounds.

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“Entwined”, which was sculpted in 2017 from a reclaimed live oak branch, can be found by the tennis courts and main parking lot by the main entrance.

The branch that was made into “Entwined” was cut in half lengthwise.  The twisted form of the sculpture created the overlapping design.

This sculpture was previously exhibited on the front lawn of the Agawam Corporate Center in Agawam, MA, for two years in a natural finish before Grinspoon decided to paint it before it was installed at Look Park.

Look Park also has a wildlife sanctuary, fields to play in as well as a train that may be in operation soon!  So, pack up the kids or dog and take a trip to Look Park and take in these beautiful sculptures!