Tag Archives: dog

Loop (Boston, MA)

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Date Of Visit: January 28, 2019

Location: 60 Seaport Blvd, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: 7:00am-10:00pm.
Dates of exhibit January 11th – February 17th

Parking:

  • Parking can be found at the heated One Seaport Garage, located at 75 Sleep Street, Boston, MA 02210

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: The Loop

Summary: A light display that also features short “films” on a loop.  This exhibit is no longer on display.

The upside to the cold, dark winter nights are the exhibits, particularly illuminated exhibits, that are scattered throughout the city.  Lights and fun, interactive exhibits seem to bring a little more cheer to what may seem like long, cold, never ending winters.  This is the concept of the Bright Lights For Winter Nights season long festivities.

As a new-ish photographer, I like to share my experiences and observations with other photogs.  In this vein, I wanted to share my night time photography experiences.

One obstacle I have learned to overcome or at least improve in is night time photography. I have noted through my experiences that night time photographs is much more pretty than any daytime photographs, except for the golden hour of course.

I used to hate night time photography.  Sunset and post sunset light used to mean it was time to pack up and go home.  Through experience, lessons from books and videos and classes, I have learned to not only appreciate night time photography, I actually prefer it.  In fact, in a recent discussion about photography I have described daytime photography, particularly mid day photography, as being like taking half a photo.  Displays, buildings and even nature all take on a different look when they are lit up at night.  It’s almost like photographing a completely different image.  I love it, even if it means having to lug around my tripod. I still struggle with it at times.  More often than not my struggles actually stem from the tripod itself.  At times, the tripod breaks, I forgot to tighten a screw on the tripod or some other issue arises.  Perhaps you can relate to my struggles.  But, unless it’s a very low light situation or very late at night, I rarely have to use the tripod.  In fact, because of all of the lighting fixtures at the Loop, I didn’t have to use the tripod to photograph The Loop.  The biggest tip I can give about low light photography is to not be afraid to boost the ISO (I always thought this was a no-no until recently).  You can always “fix” it in post production with your noise reduction tool if you use Lightroom.

Now, back to the display, one of the first exhibits of the Bright Lights Winter Nights display was The Loop.  Comprised of six illuminated, moving cylinders which play music and animations, the Loop is an interactive exhibit that allows you to watch film strip like shows.  While sitting in the loop exhibits, the person sitting can pull a handlebar which moves the images and creates an animated story.  Music and flickering lights complement the images.

The timed lights on the loops change in color and brightness of the loops.  The loops are very pretty, particularly during the dusk and the low light times of day.  In fact, if you only saw the lights you may mistake them as simply pretty lights.  The decorative lights on the trees and hang on the strings in the background help to accentuate the beauty of the illuminated loops.

The images inside of the loop are said to be based on fairy tales.  When used correctly, the images play out a story that look seamless.

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Dogs are welcome to view the exhibits.  Jack, a 12 year old Wheaton Terrier, and his mom stopped by to check out the Loop.

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Below are two videos the Loop display.  The first video is a walk through of the exhibit.  The second video is a video of the images that show as you pull the handlebar on the loop.  It’ was very cold, naturally it is Boston during winter, so there weren’t many people there to film the loop as I used.  So, I managed this on my own.  Using one hand to hold the camera and one hand to use the handlebar was no easy task.  But, I tried my best.  I hope you enjoy.

 

 

 


Scarecrow In The Park (Cushman Park, Bernardston, MA)

Dates Of Event: October 19 – 21, 2018 (I attended Oct. 20)

Location: Cushman Park, 19 South St, Bernardston, MA

Cost: Free

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Scarecrows, parade, vendors

Website: Scarecrow In The Park (Facebook Page)

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Boo!

Now that I have your attention, Salem isn’t the only part of New England that celebrates the Halloween and Fall season.

Last weekend, the Bernardston Kiwanis sponsored the annual Scarecrow In The Park event to raise funds for the scholarship fund.

Among the three day event, the festival included an exhibition of classic cars, a tractor parade and a wood carving demonstration. But, the main attraction for most of the visitors are the scarecrows.

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The scarecrows were made by individual artists or a group of artists. The scarecrow below, which is a tribute to Dr Suess (Theodor Seuss Geisel), a native of nearby Springfield, MA, and thing number 1 and 2 from one of his stories, was created by a local elementary school.

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Another artist with ties to the area, Eric Carle, had a scarecrow dedicated to him. Holding one of his picture books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Carle is shown sitting on the ground with other symbols from his book. Although he is not from New England (he is a native of Syracuse, NY and has also lived in Florida among other places), he lived in Northampton, MA, for some time and there is a museum dedicated to him in Amherst, MA.

 

No, this isn’t your ex or your in-law.

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The scarecrows ran the gamut from the scary (and that could refer to the witch or the objects in the background in the photo above – I find them both to be very frightening)…

..to the humorous like this funny pirate.

 

But, most of the scarecrows were made for fun and they were all family friendly.

 

In addition to the scarecrows, there was a Halloween-themed graveyard display with phrases many of us from New England and anywhere else can relate to.

 

There were lots of vendors at the festival as well. A news article stated they were hoping to attract 60 vendors to the festival. It seemed like there were many more though.

This vendor make their own wares. The gentleman pictured below carves shapes and figures out of wood he finds. He does not plan the shapes ahead of time. He tole me he goes with the shape and feel that it gives him.

 

Another more popular vendor was the witch hat shop.

 

This cute wood carving shop was also a popular shop.

 

Speaking of wood carvings, wood carving exhibits and demonstrations were provided by Laker’s Acres from Orange, MA.

 

Some of the visitors came in costume. These visitors are actually parade marchers who participated in the tractor parade.

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If you did not wear a costume to the event, there were face painters there to help you get made up for the event.

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The make up artists did a great job on all of the people they worked on.

 

A parade of tractors (new and older models) drove down South St with parade marchers in tow.

 

A mad scramble ensued as some of the drivers threw candy to the onlookers. Note to festival planners: try throwing some Starburst next year.

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Across the street from the park, the fire department had some huge pumpkins that seemed to fit into the fall theme of the festival.

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The festival is a dog friendly event and we saw lots of cute dogs.

Pumblechook (named after Mr. Pumblechook from Great Expectations) is a 19 week old Boston Terrier. He is sporting a stylish skull and cross bones sweater.

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Nami is a 3 year old, Redbone Coon Hound and black Lab mix.

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Harley is a 3 year old Puggle.

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The video below shows some of the tractor parade.


Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Boston, MA)

 

 

Dates Of Visits: August 18 & 19, 2018

Location: Faneuil Hall, Congress St, Boston, MA

Hours:

Mon – Thurs:
10 am – 9 pm
10 am – 7 pm (Winter)
Fri – Sat:
10 am – 9 pm
Sun:
11 am – 7 pm
Noon – 6 pm (Winter)

Cost: Free

Parking:

There are several parking garages in the area and some street parking.  There are also several routes to take on the MBTA to get there.  Parking, transportation and driving directions can be found here.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: shopping, family friendly activities, dining, statues, historical

Website: Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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Fall has descended upon New England.  Big time.  It seemed like it was just last week that I was sweating in 80 degree weather.  Probably because it was.  Yes fall seems to come with a thud.  But, it also means sweater weather and foliage.  So, it’s a fair trade off as far as I’m concerned.

In an attempt to play catch up before the very busy fall season, I am trying to post as many photo shoots from the summer as I transition into fall.

This particular photo shoot was from Faneuil Hall, the most visited marketplace in Boston.  It is a mix of art, history, entertainment, commerce and more.

Faneuil Hall has a long and storied history.  Since 1743, Faneuil Hall has served as a market and meeting place.  One of the more famous stops on Boston’s Freedom Trail, it has been called the “Cradle Of Liberty.”

Faneuil Hall has two major buildings at the sight.  The first one, Faneuil Hall Marketplace mostly sells wares from a variety of top name shops.

Located behind Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market serves up a variety of foods.  From Thai to tacos, Quincy Market has pretty much any type of food you can imagine.  I prefer Quincy Market naturally.

Fanueil Hall Marketplace has a variety of statues on their premises.  One of the first statues you may see depending on which way you travel to the marketplace is the statue of former mayor Kevin Hagan White.

One of the lesser known, or at least less talked about mayors of Boston, Kevin White served as mayor during a pivotal time in Boston’s history.  The 51st mayor of Boston, Kevin White may be one of the least talked about mayors (particularly in a positive sense), yet he has a very interesting story and he governed Boston during a very tumultuous time.  Elected at the age of 38, Mayor White would hold office from 1968 until 1984 (so much for term limits).  During his time as mayor, White would govern during the racially divisive era of school busing.  Tensions about his handling of busing and race relations in the city during this time so much that his critics derisively called him, “Kevin Black.”  Race relations have always been a blemish on our past and Mayor White had his difficulties in this realm. But, he also governed during  a time of immense growth and development for the city. The fact that White isn’t well known positively or negatively shows he was a steady hand during a difficult time.

A bronze statue was dedicated to Mayor White on November 1, 2006.  The statue, sculpted by Pablo Eduardo, shows Kevin White walking down the street.

The over-sized statue of White is meant to suggest he was a “larger than life” mayor.  He does have some pretty big shoes to fill.

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There are quotes from Mayor White’s inaugurations inscribed on the grounds.

 

There are other statues at Faneuil Hall.  In front of Faneuil Hall, at the entrance to the marketplace is a statue of politician and activist Samuel Adams.

 

The bronze statue was sculpted by Miss Ann Whitney in 1876 (although it was erected initially in 1880).

There are several inscriptions on each of the four panels that read as follows: ‘Samuel Adams 1722-1803 – A Patriot – He organized the Revolution, and signed the Declaration of Independence. Governor – A True Leader of the People. Erected A. D. 1880, from a fund bequeathed to the city of Boston by Jonathan Phillips. A statesman, incorruptible and fearless.’

The pedestal for the bronze statue is ten feet high. The statue sits upon a polished Quincy granite base and cap and a lower nine-feet square base of unpolished Quincy Granite.

Another person who is memorialized with a statue is James Michael Curley.

In stark contrast to Mayor White, Mayor Michael Curley was not overlooked nor was he without his share of notoriety.  Curley was re-elected while under indictment for mail fraud which he would eventually be convicted of in 1947 (he would later receive a full pardon for this and an earlier conviction in 1904 by President Truman).  He even technically remained mayor while in prison (his position was served by City Clerk John B Hynes while he was locked up).

Despite all of his escapades, Curley was a beloved mayor and was often thought of as a warrior for the working class.

Technically, these statues are across the street from Faneuil Hall Marketplace and not technically on the grounds of the marketplace.

This statue is sure to be less controversial.  At least in New England.

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Clutching a cigar (from his tradition of lighting a cigar when he thought his team had the game won before the final buzzer) and a book in another hand, Red Auerbach sits proudly on the walkway in Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  A plaque espouses his accomplishments.

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Two other Boston sports figures are memorialized at Faneuil Hall.  Bronze sneakers of “Legend” Larry Bird, Hall of Fame Forward and 3 time NBA MVP for the Boston Celtics, and Bill Rodgers, a 4 time Boston Marathon winner (including 3 in a row from 1978-1980) and former American record holder for running the Boston Marathon (2:09:27 or a 4:56 average mile – not too shabby).

There are also a variety of family friendly activities at Faneuil Hall.  Over the years, Fanueil Hall has transformed itself from just a shopping center and tourist hub to a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can have fun.

Each weekend during the summer they have special family friendly events such as puppet shows.

There are chess tables set up for people to test their skills.  There is even a Chess Blitz Tournament for more skilled players to compete against other worthy opponents.  I’m definitely not on that level.

Of course, the biggest attractions at Faneuil Hall are the stores and historical tours.  Scores of stores line the cobblestone walkways.  When it gets busier in the day, especially during the summer and holidays, the narrow walkways can get crowded.

 

With the pretty flowers and tall buildings, the best part of Faneuil Hall may be the views.

Part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market is home to dozens of restaurants and food takeout establishments.  There are no shops in that building.  They only serve up food and beverages.  There are also areas to eat your food and people watch.  Signs from old businesses from that area.

There is also a piano.  But, this is no ordinary piano.  It is a piano from the Play Me I’m Yours piano playing program from 2016.  As an aside, I sometimes cringe when I look at my older posts.  I didn’t use photoshop and I posted way too may photos of the very same thing (even more than I post in my current blog posts).  But, I’ve also noticed I wrote more than I do now and I am trying to add more commentary, especially as a way to include facts and context to the photos.

During my visit there was an exhibit of old colonial style clothing and rifles.  There are a lot of these types of exhibits, particularly during the summer and patriotic holidays.

Fanueil Hall is chock full of history.  One could post a series of blog posts aboutthe history of the buildings and the area and still not do it justice.  One nugget I am aware of is about a grasshopper.  Specifically, this grasshopper.

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There are many stories about this grasshopper weathervane.  One tour guide mentioned it played a role in identifying patriots rather than loyalists.

Another story holds that that Shem Drowne, a wealthy merchant who had been discouraged by his many failures in colonial New England, was inspired by a grasshopper.  Contemplating his losses and failures, Drowne laid down in a field where he saw a boy chasing a grasshopper.  He and the boy became friends and when he later met the boy’s parents they adopted him thus enabling him to live a more prosperous life.  The grasshopper was meant to commemorate a turning point in his life.  The truth may be much less interesting and exciting.

According to this article, the grasshopper simply was a sign of commerce.  Since Faneuil Hall Marketplace was on the shore (the area has changed a but over the years) and it was visible to ships coming ashore it gave a clear signal they were open for business.  I think this is most likely the true story behind the grasshopper.

Dogs are also welcome at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

This cutie had her eyelashes done for her trip to the marketplace.  You might be able to see her lashes better in the second photo.

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Below is a video of a quick walk-through of Quincy Market.  The foods smell as good as they look!

There are also lots of entertainers and shows at Faneuil Hall during the warmer seasons.  The Flying Hawaiian Show is one of these shows.  She is amazingly talented and such a great entertainer!


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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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European Restaurant, 218 Hanover Street, Boston, 1970.

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

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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


Vietnam Veterans Memorial Clock (Marina Bay, Quincy, MA)

Date Of Visit: June 17, 2018

Location: 308 Victory Rd, Marina Bay, Quincy, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is street parking and a big parking lot located across the street

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Vietnam Veterans Memorial Clock TowerIMG_1794

Once the site of a military training base, Marina Bay in Quincy, MA, is the perfect place for a military tribute.

The clock tower, which was dedicated in 1987, stands 85 feet tall.  The base of the tower, which is dedicated to the men of Quincy who died as a result of the war in Vietnam, is 16 feet by 16 feet.  The tower is built of brick and granite and has a gold leaf cupola.  And, yes, the clock still keeps good time.

 

 

 

During the course of the year, the city and other organizations hold special events during important military related holidays such as Veterans Day or other noteworthy days.

Forty eight men from Quincy died either during the Vietnam War or later due to injuries they sustained from the war.  The most recent name to be added was Capt. Alan Brudno.  Capt. Brudno died in 2004 after suffering from PTSD which he was afflicted with after being held as a POW for 2,675 days.

A quote from President Kennedy and the names of all of the men from Quincy who passed away during or after the war are etched on the tower.

 

 

 

Small shops and restaurants dot the boardwalk along the bay.  The views from the boardwalk located behind the tower offers pretty views of Boston and the surrounding area.

 

Besides the obvious sentimental value of the monument at Marina Bay, this was also sentimental for me for a very different reason.

I have spent many days and nights at Marina Bay (and not just to partake in the nightlife the area offers).  I used to work in the building directly across the street from the monument.

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The Marina Bay area has changed a lot since the days I spent working there.  But, that’s a topic for another blog post.

There is a surprising amount of wildlife and animal habitat in the area.  Seals are often found in the bay during the winter and I vaguely remember avoiding a turkey and deer (before they began developing he area) on my way to work in the past.

I did see this little critter during my photo shoot.

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I also saw Sassy, a 12 year old mixed breed dog, during my visit.

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Five Days Of Foliage Day #4 – Goddard Memorial State Park (Warwick, RI)

Date Of Visit: November 1, 2017

Location: 1095 Ives Road, Warwick, RI

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free (but there are fees to use fields, gazebos and other facilities)

Parking: There are several parking areas

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some areas of the park are handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Goddard Memorial State Park

Highlights: 490 acre park with a 9 hole golf course, playing fields, beach, performance center and equestrian show area with bridle trails.  The foliage isn’t bad either.

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To borrow a term coined by my northern Vermont neighbors, “stick season” is fast approaching.  Stick season is the fall and winter transition that occurs after the leaves have fallen but also before snow has settled on the trees.  This season is not just common to Vermont though.

Indicative of “stick season, I noticed many of the trees at Goddard Memorial State Park had already lost most of their leaves.  Yet, there were still some decent foliage opportunities along the shore of the beach and park.  The densely wooded Goddard has 62 deciduous (trees that have leaves that change) and 19 evergreen species (a species of tree that does not change color throughout the year).  So, there were a variety of trees to find foliage on.

Considered one of the best parks in Rhode Island, Goddard Memorial State Park’s 490 acres of land along Greenwich Cove and Greenwich Bay in Warwick, RI.

Goddard Memorial State Park has an equestrian show area and 18 miles of bridle paths for horse riders to enjoy.  While I was there I did happen upon a few riders.

I had never been to Goddard before.  I only learned about the park the day before after a quick search for the best parks in Rhode Island.  And the reviewers didn’t miss their mark.  The best part of the park may be the variety of activities and Goddard Park also has a 9 hole golf course, 11 playing fields, a canoe launch, a beach that allows swimming and a performance center.  With its pretty waterscapes, extensive hiking trails and picnic areas, Goddard is definitely a great place to take the family.

Read more view more photos about my trip to Goddard Memorial State Park here…

 


Five Days Of Foliage Day #1 – Dorrs Pond (Livingston Park, Manchester, NH)

Date of Visit: October 22, 2017

Location: Dorrs Pond, Livingston Park, 244 Hooksett Rd, Manchester, NH

Cost: Free

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Dog Friendly: Yes

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Original Post: Dorrs Pond (Manchester, NH)

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Over the past few weeks, I have been visiting some of the more colorful parts of the New England area.

I am going to post one short blog post with a photo from each place I have visited with a link to my Facebook page where you can find the additional photos from my visits.  Please consider following me on Facebook!

I have dubbed this series, “Five Days Of Foliage.”   I am also posting a link to the original post in the top part of the blog post.

I will post the “best” photo from my visit  and post the additional photos from my visits on Facebook.  I didn’t spend as much time as I usually do when I photograph a destination because I had already posted about most of them already.  I just wanted to capture the highlights of the foliage season.

One of my favorite places to visit is Dorrs Pond at Livingston Park in Manchester, New Hampshire.  It’s a relative easy walk or run with a mainly smooth, level one mile loop and, as an added bonus, it’s just over an hour’s drive for me.  There is usually lots of activity in the pond, especially during the spring and summer, and the trees provide for pretty colors as you can see above.

One of the things I liked best about the foliage at Dorrs Pond was the various colors.  The green from the pine and other trees whose leaves do not change blended beautifully with the red, brown, yellow and orange of the trees in full foliage.  I managed to make it to Dorrs Pond at peak or near peak foliage conditions.  I hope you enjoy.

Read more here…


It’s Alive! Part I (Salem, MA)

 

Date Of Visit: October 8, 2017

Location: Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St, Salem, MA

Hours: Tuesday – Sunday, 10:00 – 5:00.  Closed Monday

Cost:

Adults $20, seniors (65 and over) $18, students (with ID) $12, Youth (16 and under) and Salem, Mass. residents (with ID) admitted free*. (*Does not apply to youth in student/tour groups.) For late nights, $12 after 5 pm.

*events and some exhibits may be have a separate fee*

Parking: there are several parking garages in Salem ($20 to park the entire day this time of the year),  The best one to park at for this exhibit is the Museum Place Mall parking garage on Church St as it is directly across from the Essex St entrance of the mall.  You may also find limited street parking if you’re lucky for .75 an hour, 4 hour max.

Dog Friendly: No

Website: Peabody Essex Museum

Highlights: collection of movie posters and memorabilia from vintage sci-fi and horror films, videos and music of Kirk Hammett and Metallica

Tips:

  • The entrance is on Essex St (not Charter St)
  • You can view the impressive Yin Yu display at the museum for an extra $6 a person charge.  It is worth the extra fee (and you will see why soon)
  • This exhibit is running until Nov. 26, 2017

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Metallica in a museum.  Something doesn’t sound right.  But, don’t be so quick to judge.  They actually go together like big hair and a hot guitar solo.  But, don’t wait too long to see it.  This exhibit is only being shown until Nov. 26.

Kirk Hammett and the Peabody Essex Museum, located in the heart of Salem, have teamed up to showcase his movie poster collection.  Now, before you scoff at this exhibition, you must realize just how vast his collection (there are hundreds and I photographed them all).  But his collection goes far beyond just movie posters.  His collection includes movie props, life size figures and oh well I don’t want to give it all away just now.  Suffice it to say, I want a room like this in my next home!

One of the truly interesting aspects of the exhibit is the stories behind the memorabilia.  There are movie posters which were either thrown out, papered over or left behind by theater owners or production companies with little or no concept they may be sought after items so many years later.  There are cheaply made movie props which are very valuable now.  And there are the games and action figures most of our moms threw out when we outgrew them but are very valuable either sentimentally or monetarily.  If only I held on to those Luke Skywalker figures.  I even cut the hand off one so it would be more “life like” (spoiler alert).

For better or worse, depending on your point of view, you’ll be hard pressed to find a movie poster from anytime after two very successful movies from the late 1970’s.  I thought it was great being a fan of older horror movies.  Plus, I also found out about some movies I wasn’t aware of that I can check out now.  I think this will be the case for most visitors at this exhibit which is a great thing when you think about it.

There’s also the music and some of his guitar collection.  A video of Kirk explaining hs collection and samples of his music playing on a loop while you admire his sci-fi and horror movie memorabilia give the exhibit just the right feel.  The music complements the memorabilia perfectly.  Hearing Kirk’s riffs on For Whom The Bell Tolls…as you view the assortment of zombies, vampires and other other worldly beings is the pure bliss.  One thing I noticed was how they seemed to re-use the same actors for horror films, even if it was for different movie monsters.  Talk about being typecast.  Poor Boris Karloff!

Metallica and movie posters equal a very happy Nomad indeed.

A couple of things.  Firstly, I wanted to post this on Friday the 13th for obvious reasons.  But, as I am typing this, it does not look like I will make that deadline.  And, secondly, due to the vast amount of posters and memorabilia, I am going to have to break this post into two or possibly three parts.

The movie posters are hung with care by category. such as “the undead”

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and darker fiction (this move scared the hell out of me!)

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You would have to try very hard to not notice the advertisements for the exhibit.  Of course, I couldn’t resist asking one of the staff there, “So, do you have an ‘It’s Alive!’ exhibit?”  The sarcasm was not lost on her.

 

Upon entering the exhibit, you are greeted with a short clip of Nosferatu

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You are then directed to the rest of the exhibit, where another sign states my three favorite words, yes, “photography is encouraged.”  Were you expecting something else?  OK, “dinner is served” is a close second.

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The exhibit begins with a movie prop called a Zapatron made out of aluminum, iron, bakelite, paper, paint and casein-formaldehyde resin by Kenneth Strickfaden.

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The movie poster collection begins appropriately enough with one of the most recognizable and perhaps even beloved characters, Frankenstein and the various offshoots from that movie franchise.

 

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Frankenstein, 1931.  This three sheet poster was discovered in the boarded over projection booth of a remodeled theater.  It eventually found its way into Kirk’s hands.

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This is another poster for the 1931 Frankenstein.  

 

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Yet another movie poster for the 1931 Frankenstein film.

Although the exhibit was set up well, it’s impossible to not have some reflections and lighting that may hit the posters in an unflattering way and , of course, using a flash under these circumstances would actually make it worse.  I also had to take some photos from a certain angle that minimized glare and reflections from showing.  So, it did make some of the photography challenging and time consuming as I had to check each image on my screen before I moved on to the next poster.  But, I still loved doing this shoot!

In the interest of saving space and time, I am going to try to combine the photos from each genre into groups of photos.  The remaining photos from the Frankenstein group are popular offshoots of the Frankenstein movie franchise like The Bride Of Frankenstein.

 

Clockwise from the top left: The Bride Of Frankenstein (three posters from 1935), Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman (1942), Abbot And Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), Son Of Frankenstein (two posters from 1939) and Frankenstein (1931)

The next group of movie posters were  related to the Mummy movies.  Much like the Frankenstein franchise, mummy movies have been a staple of any horror fan’s collection.

 

Going clockwise from the top left: The Mummy (two posters from 1932), the Swedish release of The Mummy titled Mumien Vaknar (1933), The Ghoul (1933) and The Mummy’s Tomb (1942).

Of course, what would a movie monster memorabilia collection be without Dracula and his various copycats or copy bats?  Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

 

Clockwise from top left: Nosferatu (circa 1931), Dracula (three posters from 1931), Blacula (1972), Mark Of The Vampire (1935) and Dracula’s Daughter (two movie posters from 1936).

Werewolves have always been a mainstay of the horror genre.  This is no different when it comes to movie poster collections.

 

 

Werewolf Of London (both from 1935)

These films are not related but I grouped them together for the sake of saving space and because the posters looked similar.  As a side note, I’ve been described as being like the poster on the right from time to time.  OK, I’ve said too much.

 

London After Midnight (1927) and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (1932)

These two movie posters are from movies that were based on two famous Edgar Allen Poe books.

 

From left to right: The Raven (1935) and The Black Cat (two movie posters from 1934)

Aliens and outer space are another common theme in this exhibit.  Me thinks Kirk likes his sci-fi.

 

Clockwise from the top left: Invaders From Mars (1953), The Day The Earth Stood Still (1953), Invasion Of The Saucer Men (1957), Alien (1979), Star Wars (1977), The Angry Red Planet (1960), The War Of The Worlds (1953) and When Worlds Collide (1951)

Creatures, particularly creatures from under the sea, are also prominently displayed at this exhibit.

 

From left to right: Creature From The Black Lagoon” (1954), It Came From Beneath The Sea (1955) , Monster From The Ocean Floor (1954).

There are also some posters of explorers who experience some adversity in different ways.

 

From left to right: Fantastic Voyage (1966) and II 7 Viaggio di Sinbad (The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad) (1959)

Sometimes I wish I could be this guy.

 

From left to right: The Invisible Man (two movie posters from 1933) and The Invisible Ray (1936).

While dogs are not allowed in the museum (with the possible exception of service dogs), I did see Churchill, a 2 year old Great Pyreneese on the way to my car.

Well, I hope I have whet your appetite for more movie posters and maybe a few other types of memorabilia which I will include in part II of this movie poster series.

Thank you for reading and I’ll see you soon…hopefully!

Below is a video of the It’s Alive! movie poster kick off event with a discussion of the collection led by Kirk Hammett.  (video courtesy of Radio Of Horror)

 

 

 


Witch House (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: October 1, 2017

Location: 310 1/2 Essex Street, Salem, MA (about 10 minutes north of Boston, MA)

Hours: Open March 15-November 15, daily 10am-5pm
Call for Winter Hours / Extended Hours in October

Cost:

Guided House Tour
Adult $10.25 Senior $ 8.25 Child (7-14) $ 6.25
Self-guided House Tour
Adult $8.25 Senior$6.25 Child (6-14) $4.25 Children Under 6 are free

Parking: there is street parking (75 cents for a maximum of 4 hours) if you get there early.  Otherwise, there are several parking lots and garages that charge $20 for the entire day of parking.  Generally, I park at the Museum Place Mall at Church St since it is closest to all of the attractions in Salem and within walking distance to the Witch House

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: No, although service dogs may be allowed

Website: The Witch House

Highlights: historical artifacts, knowledgeable staff, actual home of “with hunter” Judge Johnathan Corwin

Tips:

  • The entrance is in the rear of the building (off North St)

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“It’s October”, a passerby yelped to a disgruntled driver as he barely squeezed his sedan into the last available street parking spot.

Yup, it’s that time of the year again in Salem, Mass.

Although Salem has proven itself to be so much more than just an autumn destination, fall is still Salem’s biggest time of the year.

It’s unfortunate much of the draw to Salem is related t the witch hunt of 1692.  However, it does provide a learning opportunity and it also gives us a chance to remember the past in the hopes it won’t happen again.

One of the best places to get a no frills education about the Salem Witch Trials is the Witch House on Essex St., just one mile away from the actual hanging spot of these accused witches.

The last standing building directly related to the Salem Witch Trials, the Witch House has a dark, storied history.

As I walked around the house I couldn’t help but think of the innocent people who had been tortured into confessing and the backdoor deals that were made to avoid being accused or convicted of being a witch.  In this very room, John and Elizabeth’s (his wife) parlor or best room, people’s fates were sealed.  In total, 24 people would either be hung (19 in total), 1 person was pressed to death and 4 people died in prison.

The home was bought in 1675 by Corwin, a local magistrate, and his wife Elizabeth (Gibbs).  Elizabeth was a wealthy widow having been previously married to Robert Gibbs.  They would have 10 children together.  Six of their children would die before the age of 25.  Only 2 children lived long enough to have families of their own.

The other room on the first floor showcases many of the tools and herbs used during that time.  As you can see in some of the photos, each historical artifact has a sign or placard next to it with an explanation or story behind the piece being displayed.

The Witch House has six rooms (if you count the foyer areas on two floors.  While not all of the items in the house are directly from that time, many of  the items in the building closely mimic the items of that era.

These chairs, for instance, are very similar to the chairs and tables used that time.  In fact, the 5 chairs at this table are symbolic of the 5 judges (out of 9) needed to convict someone of being a witch at that time.

On the table are copies of the pages of journals, diaries and court records of the inquisitions and court proceedings.

Judge Johnathan  Corwin, who resided here, was said to have questioned the accused at times using extreme measures such as tying people’s arms behind their backs to a chair similar to this one.  It forced more than one innocent person to confess.

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The windows and furniture featured in the house are very well crafted.

In the first room of the first floor there is a sealed off area that shows the inside of the walls.  The architecture of that day may be outdated but it still holds up to this day.

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Up a short, narrow, windy staircase, the second floor has two bedrooms.

In one of the rooms sits a machine for sewing or knitting.

This doll,  also known as a poppet, which was found in the wall of Bridget Bishop’s home, was said to have been a voodoo doll.  The catch is that most people at that time left these types of dolls in their walls as a sign of good luck.  Instead, In Bridget’s case, it was said to have been used to curse others.  Cute little fella, isn’t he?

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Dogs are not allowed in the Witch House (exceptions may be made for service dogs).  But, I met Abita, a 3 year old Lab mix, on my way to the house.  Abita was adopted from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA.  What a cutie.

The video below comes courtesy of samuelaschak. It gives a more detailed historical background of the building and the historical highlights of the Corwin family and Salem.


Ender’s Falls (Granby, CT)

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Date Of Visit: September 9, 2017

Location: Rte 219, Granby, CT (about 25 mins northwest of Hartford, CT, 30 mins southwest of Springfield, MA)

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily, sunrise to sunset

Parking: There is a large parking area for about a couple dozens cars next to the trail

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes

Trail Size/Difficulty: .8 miles round trip, easy

Fitbit Stats: 5,848 steps, 2.41 miles, 668 calories burned

Website: Ender’s Falls

Highlights: waterfalls, scenic, flowers

Tips:

  • When entering the park, go to the left to see the waterfalls
  • Watch for and follow the pink tags on the trees to stay on the easiest, most traveled trail
  • the rocks by the waterfall can be slippery, especially in the morning or after a rainfall
  • the best times to visit is after a rainfall or in early spring when the snow and ice on the stream are melting
  • Fishing and swimming (more on this later) are allowed at the falls

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Part of the 2,000 acre Ender’s Fall State Forest, the waterfalls at Ender’s Falls is one of the most photographed and highly regarded waterfalls in all of Connecticut, if not New England.  Although I enjoyed the falls at Wadsworth Park, I think I would agree.

There are 5 waterfalls at Ender’s Falls.

The hardest part of photographing Ender’s Falls is finding the waterfalls.  Some are pretty easy to find, particularly the first one at the end of the entrance to the park.

However, due to how the sound travels and the lack of ability to view some of the stream from higher ground, it’s hard to determine what may be a gushing waterfall and what is just the sound of water running along the stream.

And, let’s talk about the paths to the stream.  Due to the steep decline of the terrain and the fact it had rained the previous day, it was no joke going down the side of the trail to get to the stream.  So, while the main trail on higher ground is easy with some moderate inclines and a few downed trees, if you choose to travel closer to the stream, it can be difficult.  In fact, I stumbled upon this news story about the dangers of the trails at the park.  But, I’m a trained professional.  So, I was alright.  Follow the pink tags to stay on the trail.

The rocks and trees by the waterfalls have some amusing, interesting and heartfelt graffiti on them.

The graffiti in the first photo (top left) on a rock high above the stream refers to track number 4 on the self titled “Third Eye Blind” cd.  I’ll let you Google that for a sec.  Even the casual Third Eye Blind Fan knows what the song is.  The second and third photos (going clockwise) include a phrase that refers to a TLC song.  You get it.

Ender’s Falls is a truly beautiful place, particularly with summer quietly coming to a close and fall starting to make an entrance.  There truly is nothing more beautiful in New England than the blending of these two seasons.  I love it and I look forward to more colorful photo shoots in the upcoming weekends!

My only gripe is how the trail at Ender’s falls just seems to stop at both ends of the trail.  And, to be fair, it’s not just something that I have noticed at Ender’s Falls.  In fact, it’s fairly common.  Due to the developments in the area and the obvious barriers such as roadways that have been constructed, the trails just seem to end without warning.  I can only imagine they went on for much longer distances in the past.  At least at the end of the trail to the right of the entrance stops at the bridge, giving you some warning ahead of time.  There is a narrrow path in the brush at one end.  But, it didn’t seem to go anywhere.

When you can get down to the stream safely, I do recommend it, though.  The closer view does offer some pretty views.

Ender’s Falls is a great place to take your pooch.  But, it may be too rocky and difficult terrain for some older dogs.

Gemma is a 3 month old Black Labrador.

Below are some videos of the mighty waterfalls:

This is a video posted by YouTuber Just Living  who is clearly braver (or crazier) than I am!