Category Archives: photos

911 Memorial Park (Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 3, 2018

Location: Union Avenue & North Elm Street

Parking: There are several parking lots (free of charge) in the area and some street parking nearby as well.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: 20′ high obelisk memorial to the victims of 9/11 who were natives of Westfield, MA

IMG_9746-2

They weren’t just bond traders, planning managers and vp’s.  They were sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and friends.  They were so much more than just a title or their professional achievements.

The 911 memorial at 911 Memorial Park is a somber reminder of the three people from Westfield, MA, and all of the people who were lost that day.

The park is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  The .05 acre park in Westfield, MA, serves to remind Westfield residents and anyone who visits the sacrifice and loss suffered on September 11, 2001. It was dedicated on September 11, 2011, ten years after the attacks.

The memorial is located on an island in the middle of a busy section of the city.  If you do visit, please take notice of this.  There are working traffic lights near the memorial.  Lights are installed in the ground to illuminate the area during the evening, or on overcast days.

The three people who died on that day had so much going for them and had achieved so much in such little time.  But, they were known for more than just their professional achievements.

Tara K Creamer (Shea) had graduated from UMASS Amherst and had a successful career as a planning manager at TJ Maxx.  But, she was more known for her radiant smile.

A bond trader and former draft pick of the Boston Celtics, Daniel Trant was known more for being a family man who loved playing sports with his children.

Brian Joseph Murphy worked as an electronic bond trader.  But, it was being a doting father and husband that he was most proud of.  One of the last things he did with “his girls” was apple picking.

As I took the photos for this memorial, I couldn’t help but think of just how bright blue and clear the skies were.  Much like they were on that day 17 years ago.

IMG_9739

The inscription on the bronze plaque states:

9-11 MEMORIAM
TO INNOCENCE LOST

TARA KATHLEEN CREAMER
FLIGHT 11
NOV. 30, 1970 – SEPT. 11, 2001

BRIAN JOSEPH MURPHY
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MARCH 21, 1960 – SEPT. 11, 2001

DANIEL PATRICK TRANT
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MAY 15, 1961 – SEPT. 11, 2001

I couldn’t find any information concerning the sculptor(s) or what material the memorial is made of.  In a way, this is refreshing.  The emphasis should be on the people and the memories their loved ones have of them.  As it should be on this day.

 


Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park (Boston, MA)

 

Dates Of Visits: August 19, 2018 and September 4, 2018

Location: 105 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Size/Trail Difficulty: 4.5 acres/easy

Parking: There is street parking and several parking garages in the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Highlights: statue of Christopher Columbus, memorial, scenic, fountain, trellis, family friendly

IMG_1653

Although he is not from the area, Christopher Columbus can be considered an adopted son of the North End, a once, and still somewhat, largely Italian neighborhood (although Columbus may have been more likely Spanish they will still claim him).

Dedicated in 1974, Christopher Columbus Park is a family friendly park with open spaces for tanning, reading or just sitting and enjoying a very summer-like day as was the case during my two visits. There are also wonderful views at the park.

The park offers beautiful views of the harbor.  Harbor boats can be seen coming and going on their scheduled trips.

The views from the waterfront are very pretty.

A statue of the explorer who the park was named after is located along the trellis.

The 6x3x2 (12 feet tall in total if you include the base) monument is made out of white Carrara marble, the same marble that is mined in Carrara, Italy.  It is the very same marble from which Michelangelo sculpted the statues “Pieta,” “Moses,” and “David.” There appears to be ropes and a piling with a float on it by his legs.  He is clutching a book or manuscript and a dagger is attached to his belt. The statue was designed by Andrew J. Mazzola and it was fabricated by Norwood Monumental Works in 1979.

A fountain dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and next to the Rose Kennedy Garden, is a peaceful place to sit and watch the water.

IMG_1869

Or, you can use it to cool down like Teagan a 6 month old Golden Retriever.

IMG_1704

Lilly, an 8 year old Golden Retriever, didn’t like the fountain as much as Teagan but she still liked the park. I love how  Golden retrievers always seem to look like they are smiling.  Probably because they are.

IMG_1665

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Garden, dedicated to the matriarch of the Kennedy family, has a wide variety of flowers.

But, the pretty flowers are not only located in the garden.  There are beautiful flowers throughout the park.

The other main attraction, beside the statue of Columbus, is the trellis.  Ivy and white lights are attached to the trellis.  During the holiday season, blue lights are attached to it.

During my visit, there was a scavenger hunt by the Dragon Of Bostonshire.  This lady was giving a speech with hints for all of the participants.

There’s lots of entertainment at the park.  This musician played a heartbreaking instrumental of Vincent by Don McLean.

IMG_1786

Another more famous musician was playing at the park during my visit.  I could write a blog post just about him.  The most interesting thing about Keytar is his identity.  Or the mystery behind his identity. Keytar Bear is a local celebrity.  But, little else is known about him.  Keytar plays at a variety of different locations in the Boston area, unannounced.  You could see him at a train station (I’ve seen him at South Station) or any other venue in the Boston area, particularly during the warmer seasons.  In fact, it’s so normal to see him people really aren’t fazed by his presence.  No one knows what he (I am pretty sure I read the musician is a male in an article) looks like or his name.  But, everyone knows him when they see him.

IMG_1903

If music isn’t your thing, there are other ways to entertain yourself like a game of hop scotch.

Or, you could climb a tree.

IMG_1884

There is also a memorial dedicated to the 9 marines from Massachusetts who were killed in the Beirut bombing (220 U.S. Marines, 241 US Service personnel and 305 people in total were killed that day by the bombers).  It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it is there.  It is next to the children’s playground and close to the Average Joe’s restaurant.  The memorial is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.  In fact, I made a second trip to find it after I missed it the first time.

It always strikes me when I read the names and ages of just how young these soldiers are when they die.  They had so much more to live for.

The nine Marines from Massachusetts names are inscribed on the memorial.  They are:

  • LCP Bradley J. Campus – Lynn, 1962-1983
  • LCP Michael J. Delvin – Westwood, 1962-1983
  • SGT MAJ Frederick B. Douglass – Cataumet, 1936-1983
  • CPT Sean R. Gallagher – North Andover, 1952-1983
  • SGT Edward J. Gargano – Quincy, 1962-1983
  • CPT Richard J. Gordon – Somerville, 1961-1983
  • CPT Michael S. Haskell – Westborough, 1950-1983
  • SGT Steven B. LaRiviere – Chicopee, 1961-1983
  • LCP Thomas S. Perron – Whitinsville, 1964-1983

Below is a video of Keytar Bear playing his keytar with a background track.  His music is very chill.


Rose Kennedy Greenway Part III (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area. There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

Related Posts:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part I

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part II

IMG_1628

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is not just known for its beautiful art and flowers. The Greenway also has a lot to entertain all of the people who visit.

With its water play areas, swings and carousel, in addition to all of the other attractions along the way, it is possible to spend an entire day on the Greenway.

One of the biggest perks of the Greenwayis the free Wi-Fi. I tried it and it does work!

The biggest attraction of the Greenway is the Greenway Carousel. It is open during the spring summer and fall and part of the winter, specifically during the holiday season.

The Greenway Carousel is a handicapped accessible ride that children and parents, aunts, uncles and friends can ride together. All of the characters on the carousel are based on animals that are idengenous to the area.

I especially like the attention to detail in the art work on the carousel

Anther fun attraction for kids and adults are the water play areas. There are two water splash parks on the Greenway. One of the fountains is on Milk St . The other one is located at the Hanover and Cross St in the North End.

There are also small patches of grass for people and dogs to play on. They also show film at on of the larger grassy fields. Or, if movies aren’t your thing, you can just play some corn hole with friends.

IMG_9286-2

If you need a little rest or if you want to spend some time chatting with one of your loved ones, the swings in the North End section of the Greenway are a great place to sit and enjoy some good conversation and fun.

IMG_1254

The Greenway has lots of animal activity, particularly at night. I spotted this rabbit during one of my nightly visits to the Greenway.

IMG_88371

And I saw these cuties during one of my daytime visits to the

IMG_1341

Harley is an 8 year old part Shepherd and Spaniel mixed breed.

IMG_1500-2

Max, a 2 year old Pit/Lab mix, loved the water play areas also.

Thank you for joining me on my visits to the truly special place!


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part II (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area.  There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

IMG_2082

In my first blog post of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, I posted photos of some of the beautiful flowers and plants on the Greenway.  In this installment, I will include photos of the beautiful artwork on the Greenway.

There are several art exhibits on the Greenway.  I figured I would post them in the order they appear on the Greenway.

The first part of the Greenway in this post is at Chinatown near the Lincoln Street Triangle.

Year Of The Dog by Rosa Puno is a nod to the current year of the dog in the Chinese zodiac calendar.  The exhibit has spinning cube-like blocks made of wood on a steel structure that has Chinese words with their translations and excerpts from people in the neighborhood that Rosa collected from people in the neighborhood.

This part of the Greenway has other attractions such as the human-made waterfall and stream and a sitting area where people can spend time together, play games or just play in the water.  Ahh, to  be young again.

The next work of art is a mural that is painted on a building that sits on Atlantic Ave.  The building this mural is changed annually.  Each year, usually in the spring, a new mural is painted by a different artist.

The 70’x76′ mural on the building at Dewey Square is called Carving Out Fresh Options.  It was painted by Shara Hughes.

I was fortunate enough to see the artist working on her mural while I was walking to work in May.

And, of course, the finished product.  During the summer, people lay out on towels or on chairs on the lawn in front of the Greenway which can make photographing it without obstructions challenging.

mural4

There also are historical markers on the Greenway.  Two remnants of the old raised Central Artery highway that once carried traffic over this area.

One of the beams from the original Central Artery is located the building with the mural above.  It is located on Congress and Purchase Streets which is easy to remember by the axiom “people purchase congress.”  Sad but true.  It is easy to miss as I have probably walked past it hundreds of times but never gave it a second thought until I wrote this post.

IMG_9291-2

A plaque on the beam gives a brief history of the construction of the Central Artery project (built between 1951 and 1959) and fun facts (well they’re facts) such as the number of vehicles which used the highway when it was first built (75,000 vehicles) to the number of vehicles that used it in 1990 when the “Big Dig” began to be planned (200,000 vehicles).

There is another beam from the Central Artery located on Surface Road located on the edge of Faneuil Hall.

IMG_9260

Rumor has it there may be another one on Clinton Street.  But, I couldn’t find it.

Located across from the first steel beam from the Central Artery is Balancing Act by Aakash Nihalani.

The display is broken into two works, Balancing Act I and Balancing Act II.

Balancing Act I represents a tower of six cubes which appear to fall over as the middle one is pulled out of alignment.

IMG_0174

Balancing Act II  shows blocks which are precariously piled up and appear to be ready to collapse.  I think we all can related to this apt description of our everyday lives.

IMG_0155

The works almost seem unreal.  It’s as though they were a mirage or photo shopped into the photo (I swear I didn’t).  Akash just knows how to use colors and  materials.

Way Of The Woods by Daniel Ibanez and Margen-Lab is a tribute to the North American landscapes.  The nine logs are said to transform into contemporary interpretations of these raw natural materials.

The next work of art is an illuminated tunnel-like structure made by Luftwerk called Transition.

It looks a lot more impressive during the evening hours.

Harbor Fog by Ross MIller is an interactive sculpture.  As a person or body comes closer to it it makes noises and generates fog.

The next work of art located on the Greenway is called GLOW.  GLOW is a collection of old neon signs that once illuminated the Massachusetts skies.  The signs are the collection of Lynn and Dave Waller.  Each sign is erected on a concrete block with the name of the city or town it once stood.  The signs are illuminated all day and night, during park hours.  But, as you can see by the photos, they look much prettier during the evening.

IMG_1915

The Siesta Motel on Route 1 North, Saugus, MA, circa 1950 sign looks cool enough during the day, particularly during an overcast day.

But, it looks much nicer during the evening.

IMG_8725

Unfortunately, the lights for the Fontaine’s Restaurant, VFE Parkway, West Roxbury, MA, circa 1952  (I actually ate breakfast there once…after the neon sign was installed wise acres) were not working when I went to visit it during the day and evening.

IMG_1970

 

IMG_1924

European Restaurant, 218 Hanover Street, Boston, 1970.

The remaining signs were all taken during the evening hours to highlight their colorful artwork.

IMG_8735

Bay State Auto Spring, 83 Hampden St, Roxbury, MA, circa 1965

IMG_8750

The neon sign for Cycle Center, Natick, MA, 1956 is one of my favorites.  It lights up and changes colors as the rider pedals.

IMG_8742

General Electric Radio, 240 Blue Hill Ave, Roxbury, MA, circa 1925

IMG_8752

Flying Yankee Restaurant, Route 20 and Route 12, Auburn, MA, circa 1953.

IMG_8771

State Line Potato Chips, Route 20, Wilbraham, MA, c. 1950s

There is also a memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide as well as the Armenian immigrants and immigrants of all backgrounds that came to the United States and settled in the Boston area.

The Armenian Heritage Park has a maze for people to walk that leads a fountain at the center of the circular path.  Words like science and commerce have been etched in the paths. A plaque near a bench at the park states the park is dedicated to those suffered to preserve the Armenian heritage.

The Abstract Sculpture honors the victims of the Armenian genocide and victims of all genocides as well as our open shores.

The inscription on the sculpture reads:

“Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have offered hope and refuge for immigrants seeking to begin new lives. The park is a gift to the people of the Commonwealth and the City of Boston from the Armenian-American community of Massachusetts. This sculpture is offered in honor of the one and one half million victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. May it stand in remembrance of all genocides that have followed, and celebrate the diversity of the communities that have re-formed in the safety of these shores.”

There is also a statue dedicated to Tony DeMarco.  Who is Tony DeMarco?  Don’t say that too close to the North End of Boston.

Tony DeMarco is a former World Welterweight Champion who grew up in the North End section of Boston, MA.  Despite winning the Welterweight title, the Sicilian born boxer was best known for his slug fests with Carmen Basilio.  He would lose both fights but fought valiantly in both matches.

Gelato, a 4 month old mixed breed dog, also enjoyed the art work on the Greenway.

IMG_2014

Thank you all for stopping by and reading.  In my upcoming third and final installment of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, I will be focusing on some of the entertainment on the Greenway!

Sometimes it seems like your phone’s camera takes better photos then your camera, especially during the evening when you don’t have your tripod.  Click on the link below to access my Facebook page and view more night time photos and videos from the Greenway.  And give the page a “like” while you’re at it!

New England Nomad on Facebook


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part I (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area.  There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

IMG_1384

Like it or not, the morning and evening temperatures are beginning to plummet and the days are growing shorter.  Since I only have a short window to visit some of the more interesting outdoor venues for this season, I finally made it out to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

Named after the matriarch of the Kennedy family, the Greenway has a wide variety of attractions.  From a carousel to works of to the beautiful gardens and flowers along the trail, the Greenway has something for everyone.

Since there is so much to see and photograph along the Greenway, I decided to break up this blog series into three parts.  The first part, which I will post today, is going to include the gardens and flowers at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Part 2 will include the art on the Greenway and Part 3 will include the entertainment along the Greenway.  And, of course, there will be dogs included in each post as well!

Once upon a time, specially from 1959 when the elevated John F Fitzgerald Kennedy-Central Artery construction ended and 1981 when the “Big Dig” (an underground tunnel project) began, an elevated highway spanned what is now the Greenway.  Fun fact: some of the dirt from the “Big Dig” tunnel project was used to resurface Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor.

The first thing you’ll notice on the Greenway, particularly during the spring and summer, are the bright, beautiful plants and flowers.

The gardens and flowers along the Greenway are all treated organically so people do not have to worry about their children and pets being affected by any pesticides and make the flowers look beautiful.

There are pollinators along the Greenway.  The pollinators, which were installed in 2016, are designed to attract and support pollinator species.  Since pollinating insects are important to all seed propagated plants, the pollinators provide an important role in the growth of the plants.

IMG_0124

The Greenway also has a garden where they grow edible fruits and vegetables such as bluberries.  The blueberries and other fruits and vegetables are a big hit with the birds.

I especially like how the buildings provide such a stark contrast to the beauty of the plants and flowers.

In fact, the buildings are so impressive I couldn’t help but take a few photos of the buildings as well.

Although it is only 1.5 miles long, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is full of surprises and special areas such as “Mothers’ Walk.”

Along the The Mothers’ Walk are engraved bricks with the names of loved ones.  For a measley $500 donation people could have names inscribed on bricks along the walk.

IMG_1958

Along the wall there is an inscription that reads, “To all who have cared, encouraged, inspired, laughed and loved, this Mothers’ Walk is dedicated to you and to those who have supported this beautiful Greenway.

There is also a park along the Greenway called The Carolyn Lynch Garden.  The garden was dedicated in Summer 2018 to Carolyn Hoff Lynch, an avid gardener and a leading philanthropist, who passed away in 2015.  The garden is bursting with colors in the spring and summer and has some scenic views.

Along Carolyn Lynch Park and other parts of the Greenway you will find historic events summarized on a timeline about the area.  The dates and events vary depending on where the timeline along the fences appear.  For instance in the part of the Greenway located in the North End, there are dates of events that took place in that area and quotes from people in the area.

The Greenway is a wonderful place to take your leashed pet.  Below are a few of the dogs I saw on the Greenway.

Tommy is a 6 year old Boxer, Labrador, Retriever, Beagle mix rescue dog.  Tommy is a social media star.  You can find him at bostondogtommy on Instagram.

IMG_2068

Jack is a 12 year old Pomeranian.

IMG_0110-2

Stayed Tuned for Part II coming soon!


Pond Meadow Park (Braintree, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 4 & 5, 2018

Locations: 470 Liberty Street Braintree MA, 390 Summer Street, Weymouth, MA

Hours: Open daily year round from sunrise to sunset.   The entrance gates are open 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (or sunset) during the summer, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (or sunset) during the winter

Cost: Free

Parking: There are two parking areas.  The main parking area at the address listed for the park is in Braintree.  There is another parking area in Weymouth as well.

From Weymouth, vehicle parking is available in the parking lot off Summer Street.  From Braintree, vehicle parking is available in the upper lots near the park office, and the lower lots near the start of the bike path.

There are about 5 or 6 parking spots in front of the gate in the Braintree entrance.  So you can park and enter the park before the gate is opened at that entrance.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 320 acres/easy difficulty

Highlights: wildlife, pond, easy trails, biking paths, benches, tents, benches, snow shoeing,cross country skiing,boating (non motorized), fishing

Website: Pond Meadow Park

Pond Meadow Park Trail Map

IMG_9293

Since 1976, Pond Meadow Park has been a source for fun, adventure and beauty for generations in the Braintree and Weymouth (MA) area.

Initially built as a flood control project for the Weymouth Landing area, Pond Meadow officially opened as a park in May of 1976.  While the park has changed over the years, especially from its initial design as a flood prevention.  But the dam is still there.  In fact, you can actually walk along the dam.

IMG_9270There is beauty all around at Pond Meadow Park.

IMG_9424

IMG_9172

Benches with phrases on plaques attached to them for loved ones who have passed are located along the trails.  They are located in peaceful areas at the park.

While I was hiking the trails and taking my photographs, I met this nice lady who had an interesting story about this park.

Dawn has been coming to this park ever since she was a kid.  Her mom loved the park as well.  She still comes to the park regularly for a hike and to look at a bench.  It turns out the bench I was photographing and the plaque on it was dedicated to her mom.

She was kind enough to sit on the bench dedicated to her mother with her friend (possibly her significant other but I’m not one to assume) and her dog Toby, a 10 year old rescue Beagle.  “Always In Our Hearts” and Dawn’s mother’s name are inscribed on the plaque on the bench.  What a wonderful way to remember someone.

IMG_9365

Along the trail near the entrance is a rock dedicated to Joseph D’Ambrosio, an avid cyclist and engineer who was instrumental in the development of the bike and walking trails at the park.  So, next time you are cycling along the trails at Pond Meadow, don’t forget to thank Joseph!

IMG_9164

There is an abundance of wildlife at Pond Meadow.  During my visit I saw a swan,

DSC_0927

a rabbit

DSC_0036-2

A snake.  This is the “non deadly” North Atlantic Water Snake but it also bears a striking similarity to the venomous Water Moccasin.  They are both common to the New England area, although the North Atlantic Water Snake is more common.  And they do look similar.  So do be careful and don’t go trying to sneak up on them and photograph them.  Oops.

 

DSC_0069

A frog

IMG_9430

You don’t see the frog?  How about now?

IMG_9433-2

How about now?

DSC_0057

Don’t get too close to the other side of the pond, buddy.

And, of course some cute chipmunks, or this may very well be the same one in each photo for all I know.

A pretty butterfly

DSC_0053

and, of course, there were also Canadian Geese and ducks at the park.

There were some other cute animals there as well.  The trails at the park are easy with very few inclines for your dog to walk and play on (try the Ranger Trail if you do go).  The dogs below had a wonderful time on the trails.

Lincoln is a one and a half year old Boxer.

IMG_9303

Molly is a 2 year old mixed breed dog.

IMG_9274-2

Oakley (on the left) is a 4 and a half month old Golden Retriever and Cooper (on the right) is a 6 month old Chocolate Labrador.

IMG_9154


International Sand Sculpting Festival (Revere, MA)

 

Dates of Event: July 20-22, 2018 (annually, the third weekend off July)

Location: Revere Beach, 350 Revere Beach Blvd, Revere, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: a section of Revere Blvd is shut down for the event.  I found free street parking on Ocean Ave which runs parallel to Revere Beach Blvd.  parking restrictions are relaxed during the weekend on this street.  There are also parking lots near Wonderland Train station.  More info below:

Wonderland Greyhound Track
1300 North Shore Road, Revere MA 02151
$5 and a short walk to the festival
Suffolk Downs
525 William F McClellan Highway, Boston MA 02128
Free Parking Saturday and Sunday
There will be a shuttle in the parking lot to
Park in the lot and take the T from Suffolk Downs to Wonderland or Revere Beach
Stops.
Handicap Parking: Limited handicap parking is available on Revere Beach Boulevard
on a first come, first serve basis from Eliot Circle to Shirley Ave.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival

Highlights: sand sculptures, family friendly, dog friendly, activities for children, food trucks

IMG_7096

Ravens, frogs and sea gods are considered unusual things to see on a beach.  But they were only a few of the figures sculpted at the International Sand Sculpting Festival last month in Revere.

The theme of the sand sculpting festival was literacy.  This sand sculpture has a variety of fictional literary characters as well as some well known advertising logos in it.

It always seems you can’t ever photograph all of the highlights of an event or place as hard as you tr.  Although I didn’t seem to find it in the sculpture, there was a memorial to Sgt. Michael Chesna, a slain Weymouth (MA) police officer who was killed this summer by a perpetrator who stole his weapon and fired upon him.  Chesna was a veteran of the U.S. Army.  He joined shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks.  He was 42 years old when he was shot and killed.  A gofundme page has been set up for his family.

The sand used for the competition was delivered from a quarry in Hudson, NH.  Each artist was given 15 tons of sand to work with.  They were given 26 hours to sculpt their work.

There were 16 sand sculptures (counting at the festival with competitors from all over the world.

Fifth place and the People’s Choice Award went to Rachel Stubbs of the United Kingdom for “A Nouveau Love.”

IMG_7058

IMG_7172

Breeze In, Breathe Out…” by Fergus Mulvaney  of Ireland snagged fourth place.

IMG_6390

Third place went to Ilya Filimontsev of Russia, for “The Fall Of Icarus.”

IMG_6406

IMG_7003

“Gravity Drops” by Jonathan Bouchard of Canada took second place.

IMG_6372

IMG_6993

And the award for first place went to….

Pavel Mylnikov, of Russia, for “Vanishing Muse”

IMG_7250

 

The remaining entries are as follow:

“Baby Love” by Paul Hoggard of England

IMG_6815

“It’s About Time” by Steve Topazio of  Tiverton, Rhode Island.

IMG_6928

IMG_6941

IMG_6963

“Goddess Rising” by Remy Hoggard, wife or “sand partner” of Paul Hoggard.  Remy said her sculpture was influenced by healing powers and inner beauty.  She also said the influence for this model was Kylie Jenner.

IMG_6917

 

“The Raven And The Frog” by David Mac.  Keeping with the literary theme of the sand sculpture theme, Mac positioned Edgar Allen Poe (the raven on the left) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (the frog on the right).  In an article I found on itemlive, Mac said he chose these two writers to sculpt because they are so diametrically different.  It’s also noteworthy to mention they were both born in Boston, MA.  It may be hard to see, without enlarging the photo, but Emerson, on the right, has a feather or quill in his mouth.

IMG_7015

“The Beat” by Jaku (Kabu) Zimacek of the Czech Republic.  One thing I love about most of these sand sculptures are the little things you may miss at your first view.  You may see two people, or at least their heads, at the top of the sculpture.

IMG_6797

IMG_6799

IMG_7155

“Making Beautiful Music” by Deborah Barrett/Cutulle of  Saugus, Massachusetts.

IMG_6422

“An American Dream” by Helena Bangert of the Netherlands.

IMG_6368

IMG_6901

“Finding Shiva” by Sue McGrew of Montreal.

IMG_7085

IMG_7082

“Teenage” by Melineige Beauregard of Canada.

Unfortunately, I had to leave before this sculpture was built.

 

“Divide And Conquer” by Abe Waterman of Prince Edward Island, Canada.

IMG_6951

IMG_6954

The sand sculptures, which have been demolished long ago, stay up for about a week and they are lit up during the evening for viewing.

The sand sculpture festival is just that: a festival.  It is not just a sand sculpture competition.  There are food trucks, a merry-go-round and other activities such as a treasure hunt, cornhole game, hula hoop and sand sculpting classes for children (and big kids) to participate in or play with.

 

There were also a number of musical acts at the festival.

 

A group of artists from Cirque Du Soleil also performed at the festival.  These two performers did some amazing tricks with a soccer ball.

 

They also posed for some photos in front of the sand sculpture advertising their show.  I like how it looks like she is blowing a kiss to all of you reading this post.

 

And, of course, the beach is as beautiful as the sand sculptures.  For those of you not in the know, Revere Beach, and Revere as a city, gets an undeserved bad rep in some parts of MA.  It’s a beautiful city with highly regarded restaurants, especially Italian restaurants, that I would love to visit if I had the time, and appetite.  It all stems from an unfair, and frankly simmering ethnically biased, stereotype of the people of the area.  But, enough of my soap box.

Just look at the beach to see for yourself.  I really liked how the woman’s pretty aquamarine dress in the bottom photo looked against the water.

 

The web site for the event states that upwards of one million visitors stop by at some point to view the sculptures and I think they all showed up during my visit.  To get a sense of just how popular of an event the sand sculpture festival is look at this photo I took of the crowd at the event.  That is the only real issue I have with the event.  The road is too narrow and the area is really not big enough for the huge crowd and the crowds have only gotten bigger and bigger over the years.  I do worry, for instance, how hard it may be for medical personnel to get to someone if there was a medical emergency of some kind.

IMG_6885

Dogs apparently like sand sculptures as well.  These guys and girls had a great time checking out the sculptures.

Karma is an 11 week old Armenian Gampr mixed breed dog.

IMG_6629

Topper is a 6 year old Jack Russell rescue mix.

IMG_6464

Zorro (on the left) an 8 year old hairless Chinese Crested dog.  Jackie (on the right) is a 14 year old Powder Puff dog.

IMG_6500

Duese is a 2 month old Pit Bull.

IMG_6352

His family was so happy to see that he would be on the internet!

IMG_6358

Obie is a 3 year old Tree Walker Coon hound, Lab and Basset mix.

IMG_6614

This shy cutie is Cocoa, a 2 year old rescue Chihuahua.

IMG_6566

Lyla is a 2 year old mixed breed dog.

IMG_6652

Cookie is a 1 year old Louisiana Coon Hound and Cattle Dog mixed breed dog.

IMG_6092

Dogs weren’t the only animals who made it out to the sand sculpting festival.

Hindu is an adult bearded dragon.

IMG_6590

Loki is an adult Chinese Water Dragon.

IMG_6597

I patted Hindu and I still have all of my fingers.  Actually Loki and he were very docile and cute!

As much fun as the sand sculpting festival is, Revere Beach is a great place to go anytime.  Maybe I’ll see you there on my way to one of their fine restaurants!

Below is a video clip of some of the entertainment at the festival.  Some of the people from Cirque Du Soleil performed on one of the main stages during the event.