Tag Archives: Massachusetts

2018 Zombie Walk (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 6, 2018 (usually held annually the first Saturday of October)

Location: Salem Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA

Highlights: costumed marchers and dogs, march through downtown Salem

IMG_9266

Zombies were all over Salem last weekend!  And I don’t mean the people with their eyes glued to their cellphone screens.

Zombies, young and old, came to the Commons to spook the public.

Jason brought a guest to the walk. But he or she wasn’t moving much.

IMG_9275-3

There were also some zombie dogs at the event.

Jason was there to say hi to the victims, I mean visitors.

IMG_9277-2

The Zombie Walk is a family friendly event.  After all, the family that stalks together stays together.

But, fear not, there were also zombie fighters at the walk.  They look a little outnumbered if you ask me.  That’s the thing.  Most of the participants prefer to dress as zombies or other creepy characters.

Salem being Salem there were many other people dressed up for the Halloween season.

Maybe this doctor and queen can help save us from the zombies!

IMG_9157-2

Or maybe these foxes can help save us!

IMG_9125 - Copy

Or maybe this is a job for this Wonder Dog!

IMG_9318-2

The talented Leann from Making Faces By LeeAnn was there to help everyone look their spookiest.

IMG_9181

After a quick game of kickball, the zombies took the streets of Salem (the route went up New Liberty St to Essex St, down Artists Row, to the wharf and back to the Common if you’re familiar with the area).

I haven’t heard of any incidents but keep your eyes open if you do go to Salem.  They could be anywhere!

Below are some videos from the zombie walk.


Haunted Happenings Grand Parade 2018 (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: October 4, 2018 (held annually the first Wed of October)

Location: Downtown Salem (Congress St, Derby St, Essex St)

Highlights: marching bands, costumed marchers, floats, exhibits

IMG_8897

It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.  Ghosts, goblins and traffic have begun inundating the streets and walkways of Salem for the Halloween season.

The Salem Chamber of Commerce kicked off the Halloween season with their 23rd annual Haunted Happenings Grand Parade.

Decorated vehicles and costumed marchers lined the streets of downtown Salem.

The Salem Marines JROTC and Irish American Association of Police Officers and other men and women also marched.  Some of them even gave candy to the spectators.

The theme of this year’s parade was Hocus Pocus, the film starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of the film which features several Salem landmarks in the film such as the Old Town House which I have photographed in the past.

IMG_3899

Or, from the more prominent side in the film, the front side of the building.  The building doesn’t usually have words written in chalk on it usually.  There are poems in chalk written on this building in this particular photo because I took the photo during a poetry festival in which visitors could either write their own poems or other famous poem in chalk on the building or on the street.

img_4564

Keeping with this theme, there were lots of people dressed up as the Sanderson sisters.  It is a very common costume theme in Salem each year, likely because of the connection to the filming sights from Salem in the movie.  In the second photo, Mary Sanderson couldn’t make it to Salem, so they had a stand in for her.

Even the spectators were dressed up for the event.

Not to be outdone by the humans, there were also dogs dressed up at the parade.

IMG_9024

This king is Buster, a 7 year old Yorkie.

IMG_8975

Ginger is an 11 month old butterfly, I mean Goldendoodle.  Or is she a Goldenfly or butterdoodle?

IMG_8927

I saw Roy, a 7 year old German Shepherd, while I was walking to the parade.  He is posing in front of a cool classic car in front of the Peabody Essex Museum.

I’m not sure why this sweet ride was parked there since Essex St is usually closed to vehicles during the Halloween festivities.  But, a good bet is that the mistress of the dark, Elvira, drove to the museum in that car as she was the special guest at the museum that day.  If only I could be in two places at once.

IMG_8921

Due to the low light environment (the parade began shortly after 6 p.m. EST) and the various characters to show, it was a little easier to video parts of the parade.  Unfortunately, YouTube failed to upload the last part of the parade that I had videotaped.  Below are the three videos I took from the parade.

 


Look Park (Florence, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 15, 2018

Location: 298 Main St, Florence (Northampton), MA

Hours: 7 a.m. until dusk

Cost:

January 1-March 31
No charge on weekdays; $5 on weekends

April 1-Columbus Day Weekend
$7 on weekdays; $9 on weekends, holidays

After Columbus Day Weekend-December 31
$3 on weekdays; $5 on weekends

Seasonal passes and bracelets can also be purchased

There are additional modest fees for riding the steam train, renting pavilions and playing mini golf.

Parking: There are several parking areas for about a couple hundred cars.

Park Size/Difficulty: 150 acres/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Look Memorial Park

Highlights:

tennis courts, waterfall, family friendly, train, athletic fields, pond, bridges, wildlife, trees, water spray park, flowers, zoo, playgrounds,mini golf course, garden house

IMG_0772-2

If you’re looking for a fun time look no further than Look Park in Florence (a village in Northampton), MA.

Although it has so much to offer from athletic fields to tennis courts to a train that carries visitors throughout the park, Look Park is one of the more overlooked parks in western MA.  OK, I’ll stop with the word play now.

One of the first things that will catch your eye is the water fountain at Look Park. The fountain which is located along the entrance to the park, has multicolored tiles in the background and Frank Newhall Look Memorial Park inscribed on the concrete wall.

IMG_0773-2

Frank Newhall Look, the person who the park is named after, was the chief executive of the Prophylactic Brush Company, Florence, from 1877 to 1911.  His wife, Fannie Burr Look, provided the land, money to develop the land and a trust fund for future upkeep and maintenance.  No tax payers money is used for the upkeep of the park.  Entry fees, donations and proceeds from their concession concessions enabl the Board of Trustees to keep the park open and ensure tax payer money is not used to keep the park running.

One of the treasures of the park are the trees and flowers.  Many of these trees like those shown below have tags or signs on or near them stating the name of the tree and some facts about them.

IMG_0466

This tree which seems to have two trees (stems) growing out of the same trunk (known as codominant stems), is a Paper Birch White Birch tree.  The sign on the tree states that native Americans used the birch from this type of tree which can grow to as much as 70 feet, to make their lightweight birchbark canoes.

In fact, there are beautiful plants and trees throughout the park.

Tall trees abound in the park.  To get some perspective of just how tall these trees are, take a look at this man walking by this tree.

IMG_0420

This tree was dedicated to Grace and Iris.

But, Look Park has much more than flowers and trees.  There is also a pond and a stream that runs through the park

Mill River runs parallel to the park.

There is also a variety of wildlife at the park.  Who knew geese knew how to read signs!

In addition to the animals you may see roaming the park, there are also animals in the Christenson Zoo.  Christenson Zoo is more of a sanctuary than a zoo.  All of the raptors in the zoo have been rescued and would not be able to survive in the wild due to their injuries.

One of my favorite parts of the park are the bridges.  The covered bridges.

Birdhouses that look like actual houses are located in the park.

Another one of the cool features at the park is the steamer train that takes passengers in a loop around the park.

IMG_0621

If you don’t like train rides, you can go on this train slide.

IMG_0688

Or, give the pedal boats a try.

IMG_0581-2

Pavilions can also be rented for large parties.

IMG_0542

One of the other family friendly attractions at the park, the water spray park, was not working during my visit possibly because it was late in the summer season.

There are historic reminders at the park.  A sign along one of the trails shows how high the waters crested to during the hurricane of 1938.  It’s hard to imagine the water being so high!

IMG_0631

Dogs are welcome at Look Park.  The level trails and open spaces at Look Park are sure to make any dog happy.  I met two of these happy dogs during my visit.

Beau is a 4 and a half year old Pyranese.

IMG_0482

Clyde is a 3 year old hound mix.

IMG_0607

Please stop by Facebook page to view videos, posts and photos I do not include in my blog and give my page a like!  Thank you.


Vintage Lawn Party (Salem, MA)

Date Of Event: September 9, 2018

Location: Salem Common, Washington Square, Salem, MA

Highlights: people (and dogs) dressed in vintage clothing, dance floor, lawn games

IMG_0354-2

Flappers, parasols and the Charleston may seem like things of a bygone era.  But, they were all the rage earlier this month at Salem Common (Salem, MA).

The first and hopefully annual free Vintage Lawn Party had family friendly events and entertainment from an earlier day.

People came dressed in their best vintage clothing and vendors sold their wares, mostly from the olden days.

I thought these two visitors had a cool steampunk look.

IMG_0336-2

Leeann of Making Faces With Leann, looked smashing in her vintage attire.  If you’re in need of a face for your Halloween haunts stop by her page.

IMG_0322-2

In keeping with the theme of the party, I thought it was only appropriate to process some of these photos in black and white.

 

There was a dance floor for people to test their skills and learn a how to swing dance with some help from the instructors at Northshore Swing Dance.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a conga line began.

If dancing or shopping for vintage items, there were vintage lawn games such as croquet, badminton and hand bag toss.

Dogs were also welcome to the vintage party.  The two visitors were dressed in their Sunday bests.

IMG_0363-2

From left to right are Bjorn, a 4 and a half year old Aussie Lab mix (or Aussiedor). Ellie is a 14 and a half year old Westie.

While I was strolling around Salem before the party began I met two dogs and their parents.

IMG_9990-4

This fluffy cutie is Cinco, a 4 month old Eurasier.

IMG_0260-2

Russell is an 8 month old Treeing Tennessee.  I love his coat.  He reminded me of my mom’s dog.  So, of course I had to take his photo!

IMG_0328

Maisy is an 8 year old half Shih-Tzu and half Pug.  Look at that cute smile!

Below is a video of some of the dance instructors teaching the guests some vintage dance moves at the lawn party.

 

 


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

IMG_0962

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.

IMG_0019

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.

IMG_0991

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.

IMG_0997

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.

IMG_1096

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.

IMG_9945

 

IMG_9956

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!


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.