Located just a stone’s throw from the another famous attraction in Plymouth, the Pilgrim Mother Statue and Fountain is perhaps one of the lesser known attractions in the town. However, it has a an interesting back story and rich history.
The statue, which was a gift from the Daughters of the American Revolution to celebrate the1921 Tercentenary Anniversary of Plymouth, was meant a tribute the the women of the Mayflower who suffered a harsh first winter in Pawtuxet. Of the 18 women who boarded the Mayflower, only 5 survived the first winter, The serious look on this statue’s face is evidence of these harsh times.
Across the street from Plymouth Harbor, the statue keeps a watchful eye.
Sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein, a German born American sculptor, was commissioned to sculpt the Pilgrim Mother statue in 1920. Jennewein used granite from Deer Island for the base and bowl of the foundation. The statue is made from Knoxville, Tennessee, marble.
The Daughters’ 34th Continental Congress have described the statue as being of a “mature woman” who is “strong yet modest” and “sweet, gentle and kind.” The fact the women and men of the Mayflower made it through these difficult conditions is proof of these qualities.
There are a lot more ladies these days in Salem, MA. Well, at least 26 more.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the artful Lady Of Salem the 26 ladies, shaped in the design of figureheads are displayed throughout the downtown area, They celebrate the “Golden Age Of Sail.”
So what is a figurehead and what do they symbolize? Figureheads are used to identify the ship in a non-literate society. They are carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. Figureheads were often thought to ward off evil spirits and give the crew good fortune. Since they are located at the front of the ship, they were considered the “eyes of the ship” and they were said to guide the captain and crew into safe harbor. Unlike the figureheads you will find on ships, these Ladies are 33’ tall and made out of light weight polyurethane foam molded form
Most of the Ladies can be found on light posts and on storefronts on Essex St. Only 3 of the 26 figureheads are located off Essex St
I am posting the Ladies in the order they are listed on the website listed above with the name of the artist and a little info about each one and information about what the figurehead may represent
Depending on where you are coming from, it may not be the best or easiest way for you to access them. There is no real order to view. View them at your leisure and convenience! One figurehead is located in the Old Salem Town Hall (better known for being one of the filming locations of Hocus Pocus).
At the bottom of the post I have included a map and list of the where the figureheads are located.
1 “DIY Shipbuilding Lady” – Keri May Killam
231 Essex St/Washington St (near Rockafellas)
As you will see in some of the other figureheads, some of the figureheads have themes and names, often based on the sponsor or artist of the figurehead. Since The Home Depot sponsored this figurehead you may noticed hardware related items on the board of the figurehead. The figurehead is also a nod to the “do it yourself” craftsmanship involved in building these vessels the figureheads were attached to. In colonial and post-colonial times, the East Coast had an abundant supply of Eastern Red-cedar, White Pine and a variety of Spruce and Oak trees which were used to build the vessels of Salem and the surrounding areas.
2 “West India Trade Lady” – YMCA Girls Today
228 Essex St
This figurehead is a symbol of the trade which existed in Salem in the Revolutionary and post Revolutionary times. Salem, at the time, was considered a hub for trade. In fact, arguably the first known millionaire in the United States was a merchant named Elias Hasket Derby, a merchant who made much of his money through trade. Ships would travel from Salem to the West Indies (Caribbean Islands), Barbados, and Jamaica with a cargo of dried codfish, haddock, mackerel, lumber, bay berry candles, and occasionally cows. They traded with the islanders for molasses, sugar, cotton, rum and slaves who were bought to work as field hands and domestics.
On a sad note, at least 18 Salem vessels were known to have transported slaves from Africa to America and the Caribbean
3 “Mermaid Lady” – Jeanne Pare Muse
230 Essex St
Evident by the various jewels, grass and the tail shape on the board, this figurehead has both the shape of a mermaid and the jewels you would find at the sponsor of the figurehead (Treasures Over Time). Mermaids were said to snare sailors with their beautiful appearance and even more beautiful voices. They were said to serenade sailors, eventually dragging them down to the bottom of the ocean
4 “Day Of The Dead Lady” Cynthia Mikula Smiszek
213 Essex St (near Wicked Good Books)
A tribute to the Day Of The Dead holiday, this figurehead displays not only the face painting that is associated with the day, it also has related symbols on the board. It is also a stark reminder of the risks of life at sea. In 1738 alone, over 400 people from Salem had died at sea because of disease, drowning, cannibalism and other dangers of life at sea.
5. “West India Trade Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
215 Essex St
Believe it or not, at one time after the the Revolutionary War, there were almost 50 wharves. While many of the cargo of these vessels included rum, cotton, sugar and fish, some ships also brought slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. In the 1800s, Salem’s population of 10,000 included 200 African descendants.
6 “Philanthropic Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
216 Essex St
This figurehead is a tribute to Captain John Bertram who was one of Salem’s wealthiest residents and philanthropist. In addition to being involved in the sea trade, he also managed several railroads and made his riches in the California Gold Rush. He helped fund Salem Hospital (1873), the home for Aged Men, the home for Aged Women and the Children’s Friend Society. Some of these organizations are still active today.
7 “Salem Museum Lady” – Mary Ellen Smiley
Inside the Old Town Hall vestibule (32 Derby Square)
Salem is known for its museums and landmarks. So it comes to no surprise there would be a figurehead bearing that name. The Town Hall where this figurehead is located may be best known for being one of the filming locations for the first Hocus Pocus movie. It was designed by the famous architect Charles Bulfinch. It is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem, MA, dating back to 1816 or 1817.
Although I could not gain entry to photograph this figurehead, I was able to copy and paste this photo I took of it in 2018
8 “Lady of Means” – Karen La Mesa/Tina Armstrong
210 Essex St
This figurehead has a connection to the sponsor Salem Five. But the coins which are evident along the board are also a reminder of the substantial trade Salem made with other countries and the origin of the sponsor of this figurehead
. As a result of the large sums of money generated from the overseas trade, particularly China, the Federalist Party decided to create banks in order to protect their investments. The original banks were named Salem Bank and Old Essex Bank. Eventually, the Nickel Bank (now named Salem Five) was established in 1855.
9 “Lady Hospitality” – Judith Pabich
209 Essex St
The Salem Inn, the sponsor of this figurehead, was established in 1834. This figurehead is a tribute to the Inn and the hospitality of the area.
10 “Sea Shell Lady” – Mary Ellen Halliwell
195 Essex St (taken down for maintenance)
Sailors were said to send “Sailor’s Valentines” to loved ones. The shells that were used to adorn the octagonal hinged wooden boxes can be seen on the board of this figurehead. In realty, historians now believe these boxes were made by women on the West Indian Island of Barbados and purchased by men while they were in port. Caribbean shells imported from Indonesia were used to make these elaborate heart shaped designs and patterns.
This figurehead exhibits the importance of trade between China and Asia. In 1784 Elias Hasket Derby sent his ship “Grand Turk” to Canton, China with a cargo of tobacco, fish oil, sugar and earthenware. In return, the “Grand Turk” brought back furniture, silk, nankeen cloth and porcelain.
12 Quaker Lady” – Kenneth Glover
190 Essex St
In addition to settling in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Quakers also settled in Salem, MA. The Quakers, who were also known as “The Society of Friends”, controlled shipping and trade on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1770s. There is also a connection to the witch hysteria which would plague Salem years later. One story claims that in 1656, two Quakers were found on a ship landing in Salem. After the town fathers inspected them for “Witch Marks” and none were found they were swiftly deported.
13 “I Am No Witch” – Kenneth Glover
137 Essex St (Armory Park)
This figurehead is a tribute to Lady Bridget Bishop by Kenneth Glover. After being missing for some time, it is now located in front of the Salem Armory Visitor Center on Essex Street. Bridget Bishop was a tavern keeper who was executed in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials. The name of the figurehead is taken from a direct quote from Bridget Bishop refuting the charges of witchcraft against her.
14 ”Ladies of Good Fortune” – Lady Shalimar
188 Essex St
15 182 Essex St
Located near some of the psychics and palmists, these figureheads are a reminder of the superstitions and predictors of the risks at sea. Sailors avoided sailing on Fridays, they boarded with their right foot and having women on board was considered “bad luck.” This lady in these different different dresses appears to be a “reader” or someone who could predict some of these risks.
16 “Sailor Lady: Life at Sea” – Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club, John Devine
181 Essex St
A sailors job was never done. Traveling along the seas was risky hard work. From raising masts to defending from other sailors or pirates, there were many tasks and risks on the job. The Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club is sure to have experienced some of these tasks and risks, minus the pirates.
17 “Merchant Lady MaryKate” – MaryKate Ross
181 Essex St (Witch Tees storefront window)
This figurehead, appropriately placed inside a storefront, is a tribute to the merchants of Salem, specifically John Cabot and Elias Hasket Derby, who are attributed with launching Salem’s “Golden Age Of Sail” with their vessel “The Buccaneer” in 1783. Cabot and Hasket sailed to several Baltic ports and are said to be the first ship to trade with the Russian empire in St Petersburg. Through this risky trade that others were afraid to make, they made huge profit margins
18 “Lady Wendlyn” – The Torch Club
181 Essex St
This figurehead is meant to show the diversity of both the diversity of the people of the area as well as the diversity of the ancestors of the area. Despite our differences, we are all “Irish, Dominican, Panamanian, Haitian, English and Danish” according to the Torch Club
19 “Deep Blue Mystery Girl” – Bates Elementary School, 5th Grade Art Class
176 Essex St
The Deep Blue Mystery Girl, was made by the Bates Elementary School 5th grade class. I’m sure with a little help from their teacher. The figurehead is an homage to the seas and more accurately the sea monsters that were once thought to inhabit the waters the sailors sailed in. Bass and other fish became a major source of food and trade for these sailors. Not only did sailors see whales, a variety of fish and maybe even a few monsters. Of course some of the monsters they saw were often times just sharks, octopus and other sea critters. Some of them at least.
20 “Lady Liberty” – Nicko Papadimitrion
Witch City Mall entrance (186-3 Essex St)
Fittingly, the figurehead for “Lady Liberty” depicts the Statue Of Liberty with an I love Pizza shirt. If you look closely at the board of the figurehead you may see a popular landmark of NY as well as a plane flying an advertisement for the pizzeria. If you look closely at the building, you may also see a famous movie character near the building. New York was, and still is, an important hub for trade and tourism. And I’m sure many of the ships from the 18th and 19th century had figureheads on them.
21 “Grog Shoppe Lady” – Sheila Farren Billings
Village Tavern (168 Essex St)
Located above the entrance to the Village Tavern the Grog Shoppe Lady figurehead is a reference to the Grog, an alcoholic beverage originally made from water and rum. I know what you’re thinking. “Yum!” Taverns, as you can imagine, were a staple of most ports where Grog was served. The draft taps along the board of the figurehead is a fitting representation of the Village Tavern, the sponsor of the figurehead. And, no, I don’t think they serve Grog.
22 “Banking and Commerce Lady” – Amberlyn Narvie
168 Essex St (near fountain)
The “Banking and Commerce Lady” is representative of the Pierce & Waite Mercantile firm. Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Peirce were the owners of the original Friendship vessel, a replica of which you can usually find docked at Derby Wharf. The coins placed upon the board are no doubt a tribute to the riches both men made as well as to the Beverly Cooperative Bank, the sponsor of the figurehead.
23 “Naumkeag Woman” – Dori Phillips
168 Essex St
Before it was known as Salem, it was known as “Naumkeag” (“still water dividing the bay” or “the fishing grounds”). Naumkeag also refers to an independent tribe in the Massachusetts confederacy of tribes. There are also some herbs or spices scattered along the board of the figurehead, certainly a tip of the hat to the sponsor of the figurehead (Scratch Kitchen).
This figurehead is a throwback to when figureheads from the early 1800s and earlier were often carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. As you may notice, these figureheads, sometimes weighing over several tons, were heavy and would slow down the ships. So ship builders and their crews would opt for smaller, lighter figureheads.
25 East India Peacock Lady – Jeanne Pare Muse
In front of Peabody Essex Museum (161 Essex St)
If you look closely at this figurehead you may notice peacock feathers on the board and jewels on the lady.
Captains of ship boats in the early 1800s were expected to donate curious items they found during their trading expeditions. Some of these “curiosities” were shrunken heads, nose flutes, jewels and exotic shells. While I do see some exotic items on the lady, I think she left her shrunken heads at home.
Peacocks often roamed the country side of India, one of our trade partners at the time. In fact, they were so common and majestic they became the nation’s official bird. The peacock is associated with the Hindu God, Lakshmi, symbolizing patience. kindness, compassion and good luck
26 “Scarlet Letter Lady of Salem” – Jeanne Pare Muse
155 Derby St
One of Salem’s most famous residents was a writer you may have heard of. But, Nathaniel Hawthorne was not only a prolific writer. He was also a surveyor of revenue at the Custom House in Salem. This particular figurehead is a tribute to one of his greatest works.
These figureheads are going to be up until the middle of October. And, don’t forget to vote for your favorite figurehead at their Facebook page
Dogs also like the figureheads. I found this cute dog with some very big ears during my visit to the figureheads.
I would like to thank the Lady Of Salem Maritime Exhibition organizers for all their help, especially by providing photos of a few figureheads I could not find on my own and providing me with answers and info regarding this exhibit.
Location: The Episcopal Church of Atonement, 36 Court St, Westfield, MA
Summary: Artists from Westfield and the surrounding area showing off and selling their art. The Westfield Fair conducts various events throughout the year to bring attention to various artists and their causes throughout western MA
For the past 3 years, the Westfield ArtWorks organization has been showing off some of the work of the talented artists from the area. The event in May was no different. The Episcopal Church of Atonement was bustling with the work of a diverse group of artists. The first art display I noticed caught my attention because of the cause it supports.
Steve Jones, a veteran, uses his experience and his knowledge from his studies as an art therapist to help other veterans express themselves and provide a positive outlet through the Warrior’s Art Room organization. Sometimes veterans have a hard time expressing how they feel and often don’t have people in their lives who can related to them on such a personal level. The Warrior’s Art Room works to give them an opportunity to relate to other veterans. Steve is standing next to his wife in the first photo. One of the volunteers at his organization is painting in the second photo (from left to right)
You can find out more about Steve and his organization here.
One of the more unique authors I met at the fair was Westfield, MA, author Rhonda Boulette
Rhonda writes children stories that children in Haiti can read. Her book “Wolfgang Lost His Whistle” as a gift to the children of Haiti who do not have access to books. The book is bilingual and she donated 50% of the book sales to the children of Haiti.
Jeff Bellefleur displayed his bear chainsaw carvings (he’s the one on the right).
There was also a space in the basement of the church for artists to show off and sell their work. As I was looking over the art from all of the artists, I found this talented artist who was painting from a photo on her phone.
There was also entertainment at the event. The Berkshire Mountain Boys provided a bluegrass feel to the event.
This shoot was not too hard to photograph. I used AV (Aperture value, or aperture priority) except when I was photographing the band because of their movement (I used a setting of 500 or 1/500th of a second for my shutter speed which was enough to avoid any blur). I also noticed I had my ISO up a bit (around 400 or 500 in some photos). I have an awful habit of forgetting to reset it back to 100 after I increase it. So that is some food for thought. Every time you take a new photo, always check your settings as the lighting and the movement of your subject can warrant a change in all of your settings. I’ve actually been using manual almost exclusively because it makes me more disciplines about always checking all of my settings. Oh and the photos tend to look better too!
Dates and Hours of Exhibit: June, 2017 – October, 31, 2017, The Mount is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm through October 31st, except on early closing days (please see below). The Mount is open from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm most weekends in November through February. Please call 413-551-5100 to confirm hours.
Cost: $18 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and older), $13 for students, children and teens (18 and under) get in free, $10 for military personnel (cost includes a tour of the Edith Wharton house and if you return within 10 days you can get in free again with your receipt)
Parking: There is ample parking available at The Mount.
Handicapped Accessible: Yes. The trail is dirt bit wide and even for the most part.
Dog Friendly: No, except for service dogs possibly
As if the Mount wasn’t beautiful enough, there are 30 amazing sculptures to compliment its beauty.
There are 30 sculptures along the trail. But, when I went to visit in early June, not all of the sculptures were up. I did the best I could to photograph as many as I could find. But, I didn’t have a map or any other guide at the time to find them. So, it was something like a “scavenger hunt” when I did visit the sculptures. It looks like I found 22 of the 30 sculptures. The art has a modern feel to it. All thirty sculptures should be up now for your viewing pleasures.
The numbers next to the descriptions correspond to the descriptions in the map of the trail where the sculptures are located. The link to the trail map is attached above in the website link.
1. The first sculpture is called Stall by Nancy Winship Milliken. Nancy describes her sculpture as the following:
“This site-specific memorial honors the activities and architecture of a New England past. The horsehair gestures towards the building at The Mount which was at one time Wharton’s stable.”
2. The second sculpture is called Day’s End by James Kitchen. James says his sculpture this way:
“Does our fast-paced, distraction filled world allow time to think, read and reflect, enjoy art in all its forms? Exhausted, we let media affirm our feelings rather than inform us.”
3. The third sculpture is by Harold Grinspoon. According to Grinspoon, his art is:
“Giving new meaning to objects that have aged out of their original purpose, I invoke nostalgia for the familiar and an appreciation of new forms of beauty.”
4. 3. “Fallen Sky” by Coral Penelope Lambert is the next sculpture. Coral explains her art this way:
“My work explores forces of nature and seeks to address the darker issues related to Earth’s resources such as mining and contamination where traces of the process remain.”
5. Stack C by Lydia Musco is a combination of nature and architecture:
“Architecture and elements of nature, such the work of gravity, influence this work. The form is built in one additive action, line by line, like layers of stories within memories.”
6. James N Burnes’ sculpture Nine Piece Ring is the next sculpture. Burnes described his art this way:
“I create forms from nature that express our intimate relationship with Mother Earth. I am drawn to the tension between the natural and organic, man and nature, time and decay.”
7. Biomorphic by Michael Thomas is the next sculpture. According to Michael, Biomorphic is:
“An undulating, sensual, and playful organic form, often encountered on the periphery of the natural world, realized here in steel. Biomorphic is the fluid movement of mass, coupled together with the visceral experience of color and texture.”
8. Distant by Philip Marshall is, according to Marshall:
“The nude model at a figure drawing held his pose for hours, eyes fixed on a distant point, maintaining his mental distance under prolonged scrutiny; he and the chair becoming one.”
9. Off The Rails by Lucy Hodgson:
“Our country: how we got here and is there a way forward? This is a comment on the decline of infrastructure—among many other things.”
10. Sheep by Madeleine Lord is:
“A pile of galvanized scrap metal sheering implied the subject: Steel Wool. I work the skeletal to the surface and the surface to the skeletal. Pulse arrives after I finish.”
11. Joseph Carpineto’s Walkabout
“This sculpture is inspired by a memory of the coarse undershirts my mother made for me from flour sacks. The rough feel of the rope is reminiscent of those undershirts.”
12. Bench I by Peter Barrett:
“Please, have a seat! I’ve wanted to incorporate some stone into my work since visiting a friend’s marble quarry, and here you have my first attempt.”
13. Anabasis by Chris Plaisted:
“I like to work with steel for its strength and powerful emotion. The subject is the human spirit. I was inspired by the sea and the concept of an upward journey.”
14. Yellow Peril by Setsuko Winchester:
“In 2015 & 2016, these 120 handpinched tea bowls traveled to ten U.S. concentration camps where 120,000 persons (mostly U.S. citizens) were imprisoned during WWII. Their crime was to be Japanese.”
15. Reflective Change by Martina Angela Muller:
“The undulating lines of music and the sculptural force of the wind informed these shapes. Both are continuous game changers that generate inner and outer movement leading to reflective change.
16. Avoidance Attractor by Matt Crane:
“Avoidance Attractor in its first iteration explores structure and materiality with a shift in scale and orientation. An empty piece of signage that invites projection, while remaining stoic and silent.”
17. Netting For Water by Ann Jon:
“My work is an adventure, exploring new forms and media, hoping the viewer’s eye, mind, and heart will experience the sculpture visually, creating their own narrative or message.”
18. Fenestral by William Carlson:
“This sculpture is intended to pull the audience into the small portals of light as the sun rises and sets. The piece acts like a clock while controlling the viewer’s perception of the landscape.”
19. Blue Pulse by Murray Dewart:
“I want my sculptures to convey both the momentum of ritual pilgrimage and the stasis of meditative mandalas. They gesture in their various ways as resolute guardian forms, protective and consoling.”
20. Gnomon 1 by Christopher Curtis:
“Much of my work seeks context for humankind’s place in the natural world. Gnomon 1, made with stone, stainless steel, and gold leaf, is a good example of this investigation.”
21. Waterstone by Dove Bradshaw:
“Waterstone is a time-sculpture: For a slow action of water boring a hole, limestone was used; for fast boring, salt boulders and granulated salt mounds. Outdoors in winter, vodka replaced water.”
22. Poet’s Cry by Colleen O’Donnell:
“Weepings of unsound. A poet’s cry of light. Reflecting back into herself.”
23. Bittern by Robin Tost:
“The Bittern is a marsh bird who, when alarmed, stretches up its neck so that the striations on its breast give it perfect camouflage in the reeds.”
24. Twelve Cuboid Stack, I by David Teeple:
“My work centers on water as a subject, a material, and an idea. In this sculpture, I am interested in how the reflections and refractions create a new perceptual experience.”
25. Yellow Dakota + River by Stuart Farmery:
“Through abstract forms I reference a passage of time combining art historical sources, such as stone circles and constructivist concepts, with my awareness of current political, environmental, and communal issues
26. Hedge by Gary Orlinsky:
“Inspired by the two rows of linden trees that link the Mount’s gardens, Hedge creates a provocative dialogue between the organic movement of the saplings and the geometry of the boxes
27. Gilavar by William Brayton:
“This abstract sculpture developed in response to a range of sources, including indigenous wind patterns, Polynesian stick charts, wooden boat building methods, storm tracking data, and chance-based fabrication systems.”
28. Gene by Eric Stein:
“Representing cause and effect, the cast concrete units of molecular design are stacked, colliding randomly. They present an undetermined beginning and illustrate the natural selection of options of creativity, form, and life
29. Tree With Spheres Jacque Metheny
“My sculpture juxtaposes geodesic spheres with the yet more complex structure of a tree. Geometric systems are the foundation of all material form. In nature we understand this as beauty.”
30. Caterpillar Bridge II by Roe Osborn:
“My sculpture combines construction materials in contextual mathematical formulas. This piece joins sections of drainage pipe in a dimensional sequence that captures and defines space in an engaging, yet playful manner.
It’s that timee of the year again. You know that time in between the “fun” part of winter and the coming spring. The holidays have passed, the seemingly never-ending chill is still fast upon us, snow has stopped looking “pretty” and everyone is just eager to be able to go outside without layering so much that they look like the Michelin man. So, to bring a little cheer to the frustrated masses, many cities and towns have organized “winterfests” or “winter carnivals” to get everyone out of their ruts and bring some cheer to the frozen masses.
Winterfests are not some new fangled celebrations. In fact, this was Greenfield’s 95th winterfest. I guess people got the doldrums back then, too.
The three day event (the first Friday, Saturday and Sunday in February) is a family friendly extravaganza. Besides what I photographed dueing my visit Sunday, there are a bonfire, fireworks and a “family fun fest” event for kids to play and do a variety of events with other children and their parents.
The first thing I noticed, and I was looking for specifically, was the winter carnival hockey game between the Greenfield Sheriff’s Department and the Franklin County Firefighters. The shortened rink and lack of goalies (they used boxes with holes in them to try to score goals), allowed for more action and more scoring chances.
There wasn’t much checking and not one fight (perhaps a first in a game between firefighters and police). But, it was still entertaining. I didn’t get a final score. But, the Sheriff’s department (in the green jerseys) had a comfortable lead when I left to check out more of the winterfest.
In between breaks, some kids came out and practiced. Future players for sure.
Most of the events during my visit took place at Beacon Field. In some of the photos, you may notice the Poet’s Seat Tower which I posted about in May of last year.
The first thing I noticed was the sleigh rides being provided.
Some children took advantage of the hill at the park to do some sledding.
Some of the children brought their home made sleds to the park for a contest. The sleds were judged but they didn’t take them on the hill perhaps due to the lack of a good snow covering.
The big event for most of us, though, was the K9 Keg Pull. Dogs from a variety of breeds, sozes, shapes and physical prowess participated. The size of the (empty) kegs and cans the dogs pulled were commensurate to their size. There was a small registration fee ($25 I think) and all of the proceeds went to a animal shelter.
There were over 60 participants and they all did great. The parents or guardians would usually run with their dog ot urge them on from the finish line. Sometimees it seemed like the parents were having more fun with it than the dogs!
Bodie and Clarence (left to right) were twoo of the bigger competitors.
Not all of the dogs there were participating in the keg pulls
Sadie is a 2 year old Lab mix.
Duncan is a 14 week old mini-poodle.
There were also ice sculptures scattered around the town. Of course, most of them had been damaged or destroyed by revelers. I was able to photograph a couple of them.
Location: Next to Dunkin’ Donuts, 330 Congress St, Boston, MA
Hours: Accessible everyday, 24 hours a day
Dog Friendly: Yes
Handicapped Accessible: Yes
Highlights: Art display of Lego tiles in a brick wall
You never know what you’ll see while you walk along our city streets. Statues, dog, lego walls. Yes, you read that correctly. A Lego Wall! But, this is not the first work of art to appear on a brick wall on Congress St.
Well, the display doesn’t look like a Lego display but more like a wooden cut out. The “Lego Wall” name is actually a holdover from an earlier display on Congress St.
After noticing a hole in a section of the wall on Congress St, a artist took notice and decided to do something about it. Nate Swain, a former landscape architect, stealthily filled in the gap in the wall at 342 Congress St one Sunday night with a rather unusual material, Legos.
Weeks, months passed by while people stared, pointed, giggled and maybe weven shook their heads a few times at the work of art by an anonymous artist. Until recently.
Nate Swain finally publicly came forward as the artist who created the first Lego Wall. Imagine the joy he got as he walked past the display as other passersby scratched their heads or had a chuckle. There’s nothing like being in on an inside joke.
Unfortunately, the parking lot which stood next to the Lego Wall has been closed to make way for “affordable luxury housing.” Oxymoron aside, it also meant the Lego Wall had to go.
For some time, the brick walls of Congress St laid bare without a Lego Wall or any other work of art to admire or photograph for that magtter. However, in December of 2016 a different artist decided to put her own work of art on display on Congress St.
Boston artist and writer Daisy Razor (not her real name), decided to put her own brand of art on the walls of Congress St (next to the Dunkin’ Donuts at 330 Congress St to be exact).
The art is still there as of post. But, with our weather elements and other “forces of nature” (the original Lego Wall had been vandalized at least on one occasion) it’s unclear how long it will stay there.
Fun fact: this trend of fixing up walls with Legos is not limited to the United States. German artist Jan Vormann has also used Legos to dress up some architecture he has come across in his travels.
Who would ever think there would be so much history and background to Lego art?
Dates Of Event: January 12 – 16, 2017 (photos taken January 12)
Location: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St, Boston, MA
Cost: Adult (13 and older): $15, child (6-12): $6, children under 6 get in free
Thursday, January 12, 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Friday, January 13, 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Saturday, January 14, 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Sunday, January 15, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Monday, January 16, 10:00 am- 6:00 pm
*Box Office closes 1 hour prior to the end of the Show each day.
Parking: There is ample parking at the Exhibition Center ($17 to self-park, $30 for valet parking) .
*you can also take the red line on the MBTA. The Convention Center is about a mile walk from South Station, or you can take the Silver Line to the World Trade Center stop. The Convention Center is a short walk from the World Trade Center stop*
Handicapped Accessible: According to the website for the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, the building is handicapped accessible and there is “ample” handicapped parking. There is also a golf cart that transports visitors from the entrance to the escalators.
As a prelude to my post, I would like to acknowledge this as my 200th post. I wanted to thank everyone who has viewed, shared, liked and/or commented on my blog. I genuinely appreciate your support. Here’s to many more posts!
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Are you in the market for a new car? Do you have an extra couple hundred thousand to throw around? Then, I’ve got the place for you.
The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is hosting the New England International Auto Showthis weekend. But, if you haven’t hit your number yet there is still sure to be a car for you.
There are cars of all makes and models for the taking. All the major car companies showcased their vehicles.
While there were many mid priced vehicles, there was a special section for exotic and special vehicles, thankfully. I tend to find most “mid priced” vehicles to look all the same (it’s the reason why I walk up to at least 2 other vehicles before I find mine in a parking lot but I digress). The vehicles below do have this issue.
This Porsche 911 Targa 4S can be yours for the rock bottom price of $151.
And that wasn’t even the most expensive car on the show room. Some of these Ashton Martins were priced at over $300,000. They’re still waiting for my check to clear.
Of course, I had to stop by and check out the Mustangs!
There were a few other classic cars at the show as well.
Randy is a bomb sniffing dog. This 2 year old Labrador did a great job keeping everyone safe.
Thanksgiving in Western Massachusetts. What could be more emblematic of New England? As it turned out, I’m not the only onr who feels this way.
As I approached the back entrance to Robinson State Park, every parking spot was taken (some spaces were parked 2 cars deep). I did find a spot just in front of the main entrance )the gates were closed on this holiday, however). Who knew a park would be so busy on a holiday? At least that is how I used too think. Now, it makes complete sense.
In the past, I never understood why people would spend Thanksgiving Day, or part of their Thanksgiving, at a park or some other outdoor attraction. People should be home with their family, watching football or the parade and stuffing their faces, the younger me would say to myself. But, now I get it. What better place to spend the early mornings of Thanksgiving? What better way and what better place to be thankful, especially at one of my favorite paarks. In fact, I like it there so much I have posted about Robinson Park in the past. But, I took a few different trails that I had never hiked on before this time. At 1,025 acres, Robinson State is so big it could take days to thoroughly walk or even bike all of the trails. So, I figured I would work up an appetite for my Thanksgiving dinner with a jaunt there.
The trees were barren and leaves carpeted the ground. Only a few months ago these brooks were teeming with frogs and other amphibians.
I always love to see that one plant that has survived the elements.
Theere is also a lot of eviddence of what the park used to be like. A beam stands in the Westfield River, a reminder of the railroad bridge that once ran through the area.
This looks like a damn or some other waterflow management system that is now dry save for a brook that dribbles on by below.
I came across this falcon during my hike. I was surprised at how close I got before the bird flew away.
I also came across lots of squirrels. This one was resting ona tree limb enjoying a snack
Robinson Park is a dog friendly paark. I saw and heard lots of cute dogs during my time there. All of the dogs I photographed happened to be rescues. It was very refreshing to see so many rescued dogs there.
Annie, a mixed breed rescue, struck a pose for me.
Jessie, on the left, is a 3 year old Lab mix. Shadow, on the right, is a 13 year old Lab mix as well. They are both rescues.
Daisy, a yellow Lab rescue from Tennessee, had fun playing with her stick.
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
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Not everything in Salem this time of year is scary or gory. It is both unexpected and refreshing to see such a fun and heartwarming spectacle.
It’s great seeing such family friendly, good clean fun (literally), especially when there are ghosts, goblins and an assortment of other macabre characters doing their best to scare the visitors of Salem. Scares are not for everyone. But, everyone loves the bubbles, old and young alike, because as Bob says, “there ain’t love like bubble love.”
Tall Bob was first inspired by watching someone at Moonstone Beach in Cambria, California, about two years ago. The man he saw had made a bubble “as big as a bus”, according to Bobby. Since watching that, he was hooked. He poured over books and researched the art of bubble making. He even made his own bubble wand.
Tall Bob The Bubble Man (aka Bobby Carr) uses a very different type of bubble wand. His wand consists of two wood sticks connected by 4 ropes with one rope intersecting the other 4 ropes and a ball at the bottom of the ropes. This allows him to create some huge bubbles.
And Tall Bob The Bubble Man does not shortchange his audience. He is often out performing 8 or more hours, weather permitting, with the occasional break.
The Bubble Man did have to change his venue from the pedestrian walkway on Essex St to Salem Commons because people had complained the soap and water had made the walkway slippery. But, when I went to visit there he was at his original venue. He has also performed at Artist Row on Derby Square off Essex St and Lappin Park at the end of Essex Street.
The best part is watching the children react to the bubbles and try to touch and burst them.
But, hurry, Halloween of 2016 will be Tall Bob’s last show. Ever. He is moving to California this winter and hanging up his bubble sticks for good. I will be there for his monumental last show. See you there!
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Location: 377 Ocean Ave (it is also listed as Castle Rock Lane), Marblehead, MA
Hours: Open daily, dawn until dusk
Parking: There is lots of of unmetered, 2 hour, off street parking available on Ocean St
Dog Friendly: Yes
Highlights: Views of the Atlantic Ocean, fishing, benches to watch the ocean
Once used as a lookout for arriving and departing fishing fleets as well as pirate and enemy ships, both British and French, Castle Rock is yet another hidden treasure along the North Shore of Massachusetts. Heck, it’s in my own backyard and I had not even heard of it until recently.
Also known as “Great Head”, Castle Rock gets its name for the castle-like looking home next to the lookout area. Now, it serves as a place to sit or stand and look out along the Atlantic Ocean and remember how small we really are in comparison.
It was a rainy, fall-like October morning (oddly enough during October) when I stopped by Castle Rock. It felt like the rain would never end and the water was very active. The entrance to Castle Rock is nestled between two homes, although I’m not sure if anyone resides in the castle-like home to the right of the lookout area.
The views were not diminished because of the inclement weather. I did, however, have to make a few trips to my car to dry off my equipment and try to keep my lens clear.
The 1.20 acre lookout is also known for its off-shore sailing, although there really isn’t a safe place to launch from Castle Rock. But, you get some great views of the boats that did dare to venture out in the choppy waters.
This brave fisherman made his way down the wet, slippery rocks and went fishing for stripers.
The rain didn’t stop the birds.
Castle Rock is another beautiful area in New England with some very pretty views. Below is a video of the area. You can hear the wind and the rain pelting down. It wasn’t a “beach day” by any means but it was still a great place to visit during any type of weather.