Tag Archives: graffiti

Legal Graffiti Wall (Beverly, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 14, 2018

Location: McPherson St., Beverly MA (entrance is located on West Federal St) (about 30 minutes northeast of Boston. MA)

Hours: open daily sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: legal graffiti wall in Beverly, MA

Fun Facts:

  • this “permission wall” is one of the few legal graffiti walls in MA
  • the wall has been accessible to artists since 1995
  • the wall has 500 feet of space for graffiti

Website: Legal Graffiti Wall Facebook Page

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Tucked behind an industrial building in Beverly, MA, is a haven for graffiti artists of all skill levels and artistic styles.

The 500 foot wall behind the Clemenzi Industrial building has some very creative art from a variety of artists.

Stylized lettering designs are one of the more popular works on the wall.

Of course, there is a tribute to the home sports team.

As well as the artists renditions of popular television characters.

There were two graffiti artists at the wall when I arrived.

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If you do go, don’t do what I did and cross the railroad tracks on McPherson (for obvious reasons). But, you can see some nice views of the art from the parking lot. Police and rail workers are said to patrol the area to ensure no one crosses the tracks . The main entrance is on West Federal St at the intersection just before or after the graffiti wall depending upon which direction you are coming from. There is also an entrance on West Dayne St.

One of the great things about the graffiti wall is that you can continually go back and see different works of art. The wall is cleaned and the graffiti is erased on a regular basis to make room for new works. I am sure I will be making more visits out there to view the new graffiti. Maybe I’ll bring a few spray paint cans with me!

Below is a video of a walk through of the graffiti wall.


Beyond Walls (Lynn, MA)

Date Of Visit: July 29, 2017

Location: Lynn, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is street parking and some parking lots available throughout the city

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Beyond Walls

Map of Mural Locations: Beyond Malls Mural Map

Tips:

  • A good landmark to enter into your GPS is The No Matter What Club (33 Spring St, Lynn). You can find parking in one of the lots near there or try to find street parking (I parked short term in the lot at 173 Oxford St)
  • If you take public transportation, the Lynn stop on the commuter rail (aka Central Square-Lynn) on the Newburyport/Rockport line is located in the heart of the city where the murals are easy to find
  • Most of the murals are on Munroe, Exchange, Oxford, Spring and Central streets

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In an effort to revitalize their city and bring people to their city, Lynn decided to add some color to the city.

The Beyond Walls Festivals took place between July 13-23.  During this week and a half time frame, artists came from all over the world to post their art throughout Lynn.

There were 15 murals total  I found all of the murals except one that is located at the state house (#15 on the map) and I saw a few extra surprises along the way.

What struck me most about these murals is the vivid colors and how the creativity of their projects.  There’s something about being outside in the open doing something you love.  I would love to be able to do this.  If only I could paint.  I’ll stick to photography I guess.

The murals below are listed in the order that they correspond to on the map which I have attached the link to above for your convenience if you decide to look for them yourself.  (https://www.beyond-walls.org/)

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This mural was hard to photograph without gaining special access to the building roof, this mural was painted by the team of Nicole Salgar and Chuck Berrett (NS/CB).  Nicole (from Florida) and Chuck (based in New York), have been working as a mural painting team for many years.    This mural can be found at 33 Central St.

 

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This mural, at 27-31 Spring St, was painted by Marka27, a native of Juarez, Mexico.  He draws much of his inspiration from his Mexican heritage.

 

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Some of the murals proved harder to see and access than others.  This mural by Chris Coulon (aka Tallboy) and Brian Denahy, both of the North Shore area, was not accessible from the street.  It is located at 31 Spring St.

 

 

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David Zayas from Puerto Rico painted this mural at 33 Spring St.  He tends to show his work through portraits of women, children and animals.

 

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Team Rekloos, three artists from Boston, painted this mural on the back of the building at 69 Exchange St.

 

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This mural was painted by Angurria from the Dominican Republic.  It can be found at 516 Washington St.  I like the simplicity of this one.  It’s simple, yet it is makes you wonder: who is this mural based on?  Who is the person that inspired this mural?  What is her name and what makes her so special (besides her natural beauty)?

 

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Don Remix, an artist from Miami, painted the mural at 129 Munroe St and 515 Washing St.  Don tries to make a connection between nature, city and being.  In this mural, the bricks represent the city, the wood represents nature and the combination of wood and brick symbolize the human and animal element.

 

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Bruce Orr and Good To Go (both from Lynn) painted the mural below on the back of the building at 129 Munroe St and 515 Washington St (the second mural posted).

Bruce has worked as everything from an art teacher and art therapist to a puppeteer.  He also plays the drums in his spare time.

Good To Go is an all male public arts team based out of Lynn.

 

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Look at that bone structure.  The mural at 114-120 Munroe St was painted by Cedric “Vise” Douglas and Julez Roth.

Cedric, an artist from Boston, is the founder and Creative Director of the Up Truck which is a mobile art lab designed to engage underserved Boston communities through art and creativity.

 

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Georgia Hill, all the way from Australia, painted this mural at 79-87 Munroe St.  Georgia specializes in black and white lettering, as you can see by this mural.

 

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This lovely mural at 65 Munroe St was painted by Cey Adams.  Cey, an artist  from New York City, draws much of his inspiration from pop culture, ’60’s pop art, comic books and social and cultural themes.

 

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Cambridge, MA, native Caleb Neelon painted this mural at 33 Munroe St with help from Lena McCarthy.

Neelon enjoys a diverse range of activities.  In addition to street painting, Neelon, who has authored or collaborated on 2 dozen books, has worked as a curator at museums as well as working on documentaries.

Lena McCarthy is an accomplished visual artist.  She has an exhibit called, “In Search Of Open Spaces” that is currently on display in the atrium of the Joseph Moakley Courthouse (1 Courthouse Way, Boston, MA)

 

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Fonki, an artist from Montreal, painted this mural at 18 Munroe St.  Originally from France, Fonki discovered graffiti at the age of 15.  Since then, he has mastered his craft and has been featured in exhibitions for such famous groups as the Christie’s auction house.  Anyone who can’t relate to this mural, specifically the heart being tossed in the air, has obviously never been in love.

 

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This mural at 173 Oxford St was painted by Temp & Relm, both from Lynn.  The lettering is kind of faint.  But, the artists took an old, outdated, uncomplimentary phrase about Lynn; “Lynn, Lynn…city of sin” and put a new twist on it, “Lynn, Lynn…city of firsts.”

 

The last mural is located at City Hall Square (3 City Hall Square, Lynn, MA).  Unfortunately, I was not able to photograph this last mural.

Some of the murals and art work in Lynn were either not listed on the official website or were not part of the actual Beyond Walls Festival.  But, they are still worthy of being mentioned here.

This mural is one of my favorites.  It has so many parts to it.  For one, the artwork is beautiful.  But, there’s so much more to it.

From the many important historical figures who resided or had some connection to Lynn (such as Frederick Douglass, former Red Sox ball player Harry Agannis and Maria Mitchell, an American astronomer who discovered a comet which later became known as “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”) and the illustrations of the workers who made Lynn such a prosperous city, the mural gives a colorful history of the city.  The quotes from Vincent Ferrini and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (who both also have a connection to Lynn) are a nice touch also.

 

This is another mural or art work that I found in my travels.  The phrase says:  “Love Her Beauty.  Respect Her Body.”

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Today’s featured New England link is to the link to Irish Se7en’s website.

Irish Se7en primarily shoots in the North Shore area north of Boston, specifically Lynn, Marblehead, Nahant and Swampscott.  But, he also photographs areas in and around the Boston area.   He also uses a drone to get photos from a different perspective. His photographs are amazing.

You can like his Facebook page here.

Please stop by and like my Facebook page.

 

 

 


SoWa (Boston, MA)

 

Date of Event: October 30, 3016

Location: 375 Harrison Blvd, Boston, MA

Hours: Every Sunday, May 1 – October 31, 10-4 with special events throughout the year

Cost: Admission is free

Parking: There is limited free parking on Thayer St for up to 90 minutes.  There is also metered on street parking and garages on Albany and Harrison streets and other garages in the area.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: Graffiti artists, vendors, dj, costume contest

Web Site: SoWa Boston

SoWa, South of Washington (Street), is an outdoor entertainment/shopping/food festival held in Boston on every Sunday from May until October (weather permitting).  I made it to the last SoWa of the season on October 30.  There will be another SoWa Winter festival scheduled for the weekend of Dec 2-4 at the Harrison Ave venue.

Before I entered the venue, I saw lots of graffiti on the exterior of the area and on some nearby buildings.

SoWa was held in an empty lot off Harrison Blvd, a busy side street in Boston.  You could see views of the skyline from the parking lot.

For a small area, they had a lot to do there from pumpkin decorating, a costume contest and a dj with dancing.  Bon Me, Sante and Chik Chak had food trucks there, providing a variety of food choices.

As a side note, it is really so much more than a shopping festival.  I really had  alot more fun than I had expected.  The people are very friendly and the entertainment, as you will see, was very, well,…entertaining.

People,as well as dogs, came dressed up on costume to SoWa.

The great thing about SoWa and other local shopping and entertainment festivals is that you get to promoted and support local artisans.  I found a few interesting shops there.

Another thing that really stood out to me was how it is such a family friendly atmosphere.  I didn’t hear one person swear or do or say anything unruly.  In fact, many of the artists had their children stop by and spend time with them as they worked on their piece.

Also, the camaraderie they have for each other was noticeable.  It didn’t seem like they were competing against each other, even though they took a great deal of pride in their work.  Artists shared spray cans, complimented each other and jokes with each other.

The artists worked on blank canvases and started with their own sketches from pictures or diagrams they had on sheets of paper.  I am not sure but I think they added their own flavor to some of the artwork.

The tools of the trade.

 

As they kept working, you could see the art coming together.  They worked fast.  Most started at 11 and were done by 4.  I appreciated how they kept adding tone and contrast too the art in an effort to perfect their piece.  They weren’t satisfied until every piece was just so.  In fact, I had to leave a little after 4, after being there for several hours.  So, some of the pieces may not have been completely finished by the time I left.

As they kept working, you could see their art come together.  it’s very cool how they seem to work so casually and yet, at the same time, so deliberately.

The completed versions of their art works contrasted sharply from the begining of their art or the way it looked half way through.

SoWa is a pet friendly event.  Since this particular event took place the day before Halloween there were quite a few dogs in costume at the event.

I actually met a few cute dogs before the event started.

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Eloise is a 2 year old YorkieTerrier rescue dog with an Instagram account!  You can follow her on her travels at @eloisethedog (https://www.instagram.com/eloisethedog/).

Penny is  French bulldog.  I had to stand next to her mommy so she would look at me!

At the actual event, I met a variety of dogs.

Fitz, a Yorkie, looked very patriotic in his red, white and blue outfit.

Otis, a 9 month old and 90 pound bullmastiff/bulldog mix, was helping his mom sell collars.  You can check out his mom’s store at Wiggle Collars.

Lyla is a 7.5 month shark, I mean mixed breed.  I like how everyone stood around her as I photographed her as though it was a real photo shoot.

Twain, dressed as a pumpkin, is a 4 year old terrier mix.

Gus, dressed as Tootsie Roll, is a one and half year old Lagotto Romagnolo.  There, say that three times fast.  Lagotto Romagnolos are better known as Italian Waterdogs.

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Sissy (the dog on the left) and Lilly (on the right) are 10 month old Yorkies.

Zoey, a 7 month old chihuahua, wore her spider outfit to the festival.  Her pet parents, Kyle and Jessica, were working at Intrinsic Journeys when I saw her.

Birdie, a golden retriever, was one hot dog!

Rogue, a 1 year old Shih Tzu mix, wore a very creative costume.

And there was this wonder dog whose name and breed I did not get.

Below are two videos.  The first video is of the artists working on their art.  The second video is a video of the works of art in their final or near their final stages.

 

Please connect with me on Facebook to view photos, videos and other content not included in this blog.  Here is a sneak peak at something that I posted from my Facebook page:

Creepy or cool? You be the judge.

Periodically, the Fort Point area in Boston by the Congress St Bridge will host different floating art works. Last year, there were (floating) sheep in the water. Now, there are orange people in the water.

Created by Ann Hirsch and Jeremy Angier (known as A+J Art + Design), “S.O.S.” (“Save Our Swimmers”) is a statement on the immigration and refugee crisis. The 22 orange “people” are said to be refugees clinging on for dear life.

Most seem creeped out by it, except the cormorant who found a nice place to rest.

(photos taken 10-12-16)

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Scott Tower (Holyoke, MA)

Date Visited: July 30, 2016

Location: 8 Scott Tower Rd, Holyoke, MA, behind the Community Field Park at 51 Community Field Park, Holyoke, MA

Hours: Open everyday, no hours listed but it can be dangerous at night

Cost: Free

Parking: Roughly a couple of dozen parking spots are available at Community Field

Dog Friendly: Yes

Time To Allot For Visit: Between half and hour and an hour

Highlights: the tower, pretty views of West Springfield and the surrounding area, wildlife, plant life, easy mile hike

Lowlights: Graffiti all over the tower (all. over), a lot of broken bottles and other litter on the premises, some stairs to the top of the tower have holes in them or are missing, tower not accessible by car

Fun For One: Yes

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The walk to the tower is an easy mile walk with a few moderate inclines.  An easy way to locate the trail to Scott Tower is to look for the overpass.  Walk directly under the overpass and stay on the asphalt trail.  There are a lot of side trails and trees, plants, graffiti and remnants of what looks like used to be a waterfall or wall.  Now, the party days are way behind the Nomad but zig zags and 4:20?  Well, I guess things don’t change that much after all.  You crazy Holyoke kids.

Below is a side by side comparison of what the tower reportedly looked like in its heyday (July 16, 1972), a photo of what it looked like in May 31, 2004 and what it looks like now (July 30, 2016).  Yes, it’s pretty cringe worthy.

As a footnote, the tower was originally built in 1942.  Also, there used to be a fence around the tower which you can see at the bottom of the second photo taken in 2004.  The fence seemed to work as there is very little if any graffiti on the tower in the second photo.  Of course, the fence was torn down (presumably by visitors) and the graffiti and vandalism escalated.

There was also a lot of rustling in the brush from squirrels, chipmunks and other types of wildlife.  The vulture on the pole we saw on the way to the tower seemed like a bad harbinger.

Once the main attraction of Craft Hill at Anniversary Hill Park, Scott Tower is now a shell of what it once was.  Graffiti and litter cover the tower and it appears to be in disrepair.  In fact, you can see some remnants of what look like what used to be tables or shelters.  Even with all of the graffiti and litter, the tower is still impressive.

Not all of the graffiti was just messy chicken scratch.  Whenever I go to a landmark in MA, especially Western MA, there is bound to be some artistic renderings.  There wasn’t anything too artsy there but these images did catch my eye.

 

Scott Tower has two areas for observation.  There is an observation deck on the second floor and there is an enclosed area at the top of the tower.  The tower offers views of nearby Mount Tom and the Holyoke area.  The views are pretty sweet.  Just be careful if you  do go to the top.  Some of the stairs are missing or have holes in them.

It’s pretty far down from the second floor of the tower.

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The tricky thing about accessing Scott Tower is you have to park at Community Field Park (use the entrance off Cherry St).  The entrance is behind the park.  There is usually a gate up that you can easily navigate around.  You will have to pass under an overpass on your way to the tower.  It is about a mile walk to the tower.  You will see many side trails on your way to the tower but stay on the main trail for the easiest, most direct route.

While I was at Community Field Park before we began the walk to Scott Tower, we saw this beautiful dog.  Remy is a 4 year old Black and Tan Coonhound

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Below are some videos of a walking tour of the tower.  I really had to watch my step in the first video.  So, it’s mostly a video of the stairs and me wheezing.

I had to stop the second video so I could take some photos of the openings in the tower and the walls.

Just as an aside, I am regularly updating my categories at the top and bottom of my posts.  The “fun for one” category at the top simply means it can be fun to do by yourself.  Being a single person, I often take this into account before I decide to photograph or visit places.  I went with my mom this time so it was a lot of fun but it was something you could do by yourself or, better yet, with a dog!

Similar places in New England I have visited:

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Poet’s Tower, Greenfield, MA

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Bancroft Tower, Worcester, MA

Similar places in New England I have not visited (yet):

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Scargo Tower, Dennis (Cape Cod), MA

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Newport Tower, Newport, Rhode Island

 


Poet Seat’s Tower (Greenfield, MA)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location:  Mountain Rd, Greenfield, MA

Parking: There are about half a dozen parking spots next to the tower and they fill up quickly.(and they were all filled at 8 o’clock on a Friday morning).  There is also parking at the gate of the entrance on Mountain Road for about another half a dozen vehicles.  The walk to the tower from the main entrance is about a mile.

Cost: Free

Hours: Open 365 days a year from sunrise to sunset

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Perhaps it’s the unobstructed, sweeping views of the landscapes or maybe it’s the solitude of being in such an isolated tall structure.  Whatever the reason, poets seemed to flock to this observation tower.  It has since been known as the “poets seat tower” because of the long tradition of poets that have been attracted to the location.  Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, a local poet at the time, is credited with bestowing this name on the structure in 1850.  The tower, which was built in 1912, now attracts people of all walks of life, not just poets.   Prior to the construction of the sandstone tower, a wooden observation tower had been built on the edge of the lookout in 1879.  A plaque at the tower acknowledges Tuckerman’s role in the history of the tower.

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Even before you reach the top of the tower, if you dare, there are some impressive views of the Greenfield (MA), Connecticut, Deerfield (MA) and Green River valleys.  The ledge of the road where the tower is bult has a rocky ledge from where you can get some views of the Greenfield area below.  It’s a long way down!

The highest point of Greenfield, the tower is 4 floors (counting the ground floor and top floor).  The views from each floor are pretty stunning.  After all the rain in the area, the greens were very vivid.

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As I stood looking over the land below I couldn’t help but think of how the landscape has changed over the years.  Many years ago people looked over farmlands and valleys.  Now, we look over schools, houses, parks and businesses.  I also thought about all of the people who came here to rid their mind and soul of their worries by taking in the beautiful views.  It really can make you take a step back (and hopefully not forward) when you’re up so high and appreciating the nature around us.

The journey to the top is not difficult.  A trip up one stairwell and one spiral staircase take you to the top.

The arches and architecture of the tower rival the beauty of the views from the top of the tower.

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And what would a historic structure be without graffiti?  As seems to be customary, particularly in Western Mass, there was graffiti on the walls of the sandstone structure.  It did seem fitting that poetry lined the walls of “Poet’s Seat Tower”

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“Jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down”

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The are also benches along the road to the tower which offer views of the area.  There are also hiking trails that branch off from the road to the tower.  The trails look easy to moderate but I could not walk on them because of time constraints.  I did hear a lot of presumably animal activity in the woods.

Below is a video of the view from the top of Poet’s Seat Tower

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Rutland State Park (Rutland, MA)

Date Visited: April 10, 2016

Location: White Hall Rd, Rutland, Massachusetts

Cost: Free since I visited during the off season.  It costs $8 for MA vehicles and $10 for out of state vehicles once the main season begins (around early May)

Parking is limited.  Since it was not the peak of the season, I found a spot without any trouble.  But, there are only 20 or so spots in the main parking areas. There are some additional parking areas off the main trail to the lake.

Boats are not allowed in the water, although fishing is allowed.  Trout and bass are the most common fish in the water.

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I had been interested in visitng Rutland State ever since I heard about the remnants of the state prison camp  and the views of the water.

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There was a strong wind, evident by the ripples in the water.

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The gates at the entrances to some of the trails prevented some vehicles from entering the trails.  This is because during this time of the year it rains a lot and bikes and other vehicles can get stuck on the trails.  So, it was a pretty empty trail when I went.  Which was just fine by me.  Miles of near solitude in nature with a cloudless, cold blue sky on a bright New England morning….yes please!

The main trail I stayed on was easy with some moderate includes.  The only thing you may find annoying is the long stretches of nothing but trees and water on each side of the trail.  This was heaven for me, though.  I was also pleased to see a dirt trail rather than gravel or, gasp, paved road.

As I continued on the main trail, I began to see signs of ruins of structures frozen in time.  A stairwell and frame of a building, now adorned with graffiti (get used to it as it is a constant theme), stood on the outskirts of the trail.

At around the 2 mile mark of the trail there are remnants of a prison camp.  The camp was constructed in 1903 for housing petty criminals.  It would later be converted into a farm.  The first structure, again riddled with graffiti, was used for solitary confinement.

When you consider just how small and confining the spaces in the building are you can only imagine the distress it caused some of the prisoners.

Something happened when I visited the remnants of the prison camp.  What I had once considered “cool” and interesting, seemed dank and sad.  In fact, it wasn’t until after I left the structure and cave that it really sunk in.  It seems like a grim existence at the least. When you realize people lived in these conditions and suffered, largely for committing petty crimes (such as drunkeness), it makes you think we should be more cognizant of the history of the building and area.  If it wasn’t so tragic it would be more interesting.  Rather than being “cool”, it just made me depressed.

Farther along the trail is an arch that appears to be a root-like cellar.  I am not sure what it was used for but my gut tells me nothing good.

There are also some interesting tunnels and holes in the ground at the old prison site.  I decided to investigate.

Given the architecture of the structures and the history of the area, it is easy to see why the park is considered haunted.  Disembodied voices and apparitions are said to have been witnessed by visitors. There are even claims the area was once used for satanic worship. The area was the subject of the book The Soul Collector, written by Joni Mayhan.

On a brighter note, I saw lots of four legged friends at Rutland State Park.

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(left to right) Grayson, 7, an American Pit Bull Terrier and Gamble, 6, a Pit Bull and Boxer mix.

DSC_0789DSC_0788 Blackie, 4 years old, a part husky.

I also saw some other four legged friends.

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Panda, in front, is a training horse.  Calvin is the horse on the right and the horse in the back left (who is difficult to see) is Jack.

There were also a few kids playing on their motor bikes and ATV’s.

The videos below are some videos from my visit.  Thank you for reading!

Please check out my Facebook page: New England Nomad ‘s Facebook Page

 

 


Cat Alley (Manchester, NH)

Date Visited: February 27, 2016

Cost: Free

Parking: Off street parking and parking lots are available throughout the area

Location: Dean Ave., Manchester, NH

Dean Avenue, also known as the hardest place to find in Manchester, is home to Cat Alley – an alley full of cats.

I must have asked a dozen people for directions to this alley way until one older gentleman chuckled and sent me in the right direction.  A lot of people got it confused with the “Alley Cat” (a popular pizza joint in the area).  Don’t go there as it is not even close to the “Cat Alley.” The hidden alleyway is easy to miss.  It is located between Lala’s Hungarian Pastry (mmmm) at 836 Elm St and Alpha Loft at 844 Elm St.  There is a sign on the shingle of Lala’s indicating Dean Ave.

There are cats everywhere in Cat Alley.

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The name “Cat Alley” precedes the art on the walls.  According to legend, the name was derived from a business man witnessed two stray cats duking it out.  I sure wish he had broken it up.  At any rate, after noticing the alley way, which I might not recommend walking down too late at night, a business man decided to raise funds and hire street artists to give the alley the look it deserves.  Below is a slideshow of all of the art as well as a video of a walk through of the alley.

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Cat Alley isn’t the only place I found graffiti, much to the chagrin of many Manchester residents I am sure.  I found this mural on Manhattan Lane, a side street parallel to Elm St.  This mural is spot on, minus the recycling bins.  From left to right is the “Man In The Mountain” (which, as a child, I used to call the “Old Man In The Mountain”) – a rock formative created by wind, erosion and other weather factors on the side of a mountain and which collapsed on May 3, 2003.The state flower is represented as purple lilac.  The rest of the mural is also emblematic of New Hampshire; a purple finch (which does have a reddish look) and a covered bridge which is a staple of New Hampshire.

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This is another piece of graffiti I found on Manhattan Lane.

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I saw a lot of photo-worthy things during my visit.  I will be posting more from my trip soon.  Don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook here to see photos and videos I don’t post in my blog posts.  Thank you!