Category Archives: New England

El Corazón/The Heart of Holyoke (Holyoke, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 13, 2022

Location: Holyoke, MA

Hours: The murals are accessible everyday

Cost: Free

Parking: Street parking is available throughout the city (mostly on Main St, High St, Clemente St and Hamilton St)

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Summary: 10 murals and a variety of other art displays are located throughout the Holyoke area

Website: https://www.exploreholyoke.com/guide/beyond-walls-tour-holyoke-2022/

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


Breathe Life Together (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 16, 2022

Location: Dewey Square, Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA (1 hour and 10 mins southeast of Concord, NH and 1 hour northeast of Providence, RI)

Cost: Free

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.

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

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

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.


The Blue Trees (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 23, 2022

Location: Salem, MA

Cost: Free

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.


2021 Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown Race (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 23, 2021

Location: Fort Ave, Salem, MA

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.


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.


Sunrise In The Sunflowers (Coppal House Farm, Lee, NH)

Date Of Event: August 6, 2021 (the annual event is usually held the first Sunday in August)

Location: Coppal House Farm, 118 N. River Rd (rt 155) Lee, NH (about 45 mins southeast of Concord, NH, or one and a half hours northeast of Boston, MA)

Cost: The prices vary depending on when you go and your age. Prices can be found at the link below

https://www.nhsunflower.com/sunflower-festival-info

Parking There was lawn parking for about a couple hundred cars

Universally Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: No this was not a dog friendly event

Website: https://www.nhcornmaze.com/

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.


21st Annual Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting Classic (Hampton Beach, Hampton, NH)

Dates Of Event: June 17 -19, 2021

Location: Hampton Beach, 115 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH

Hours: The beach is accessible daily from dawn until dusk

Cost: Free

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

Website: https://hamptonbeach.org/event-listing/21st-annual-hampton-beach-sand-sculpting-classic/

Highlights: sand sculptures

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!


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!