Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wooden Ships

We had read about it in the Gazette, as had many others, apparently.

UMass grad student and local artist Steve Snell had hit upon an artistic concept unlike most: build a wooden boat around an old junk couch, and paddle it down the river. Post-Pop-Art, as it was described in the article. This was something that had to be seen to be believed. (Which I think is what they said MAKES it post-pop.)

He was scheduled to come by the Norrwottuck rail trail bridge about 3 o'clockish. We arrived about 3:30, and there was no sign of the bold artiste yet.

The usual boat traffic came and went underneath us and 3:30 turned to 4 o'clock.

What, did he sink? Some people could be heard murmuring sly jokes to each other, like, "Well, he's an artist, not a navigator. Sooo, I'll see you tomorrow."

But few spectators left.

The event was to be well documented. I saw a couple local blogger types and one local news camera, TV22, amongst us.

Then there was this guy smartly getting the live angle shots.

Finally, with a few squints and some pointing; a soft rise in voices signalled that the dubious had become real.

It was a guy... indeed paddling down river... indeed, on a couch.

Just when you think you've seen it all...

The crowd began to hoot and holler as he glided under the bridge. His Post-Pop-Art vessel seemingly as stable as any.

The artist-turned-sailor looked a little exhausted from his trek, which had begun up in Hatfield several miles away. Still he mustered up enough energy to play up the crowd with some exuberant paddle waving and hoots of his own.

He seemed relieved to have reached the end of the trip and called out to the camera boat following along that he'd take out at nearby Sportsman's Marina.

The couch while evidently seaworthy probably wasn't the sleekest hull on the river that day. But then, I supposed that's one good thing about floating a couch..

...when you get tired; wellll...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

More Flying Things

We swung into the meadows near Northampton late Saturday as the sun was dropping low. We'll swing in here whenever we're in the area at the right time; just because it's a good place to get some good looks at the Holyoke range,

...the late summer grasses in the setting sun,

...and sometimes the rising moon.

And on this particular afternoon, also the many small planes taking off and landing right nearby at Northampton Airport.

We often catch one or two coming or going when we're here.

But the small field was particularly busy at this hour, on this day.

No sooner had one revved up and lifted off,

...when another was coming in.

We counted five or six in the space of a half hour.

The busiest we had ever seen it. Must be the perfect weather bringing out all the pilots and their magnificent flying machines.

A speedier mode of travel...

...can hardly be imagined.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


We headed up to Look Park Friday night for a look at their 4th annual Balloon Festival, commencing with a dusk light-up, timed to music.

It was such an 'uplifting' sight, we made a return visit the next day, for a view of mass lift-off.

Beautiful stuff. And a beautiful day for it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

C.R.U.S.H. On Holyoke

We checked in at Veterans Park in Holyoke for a look at the Block Party being thrown by the members of C.R.U.S.H.

We were heading up for a quick bike ride before Kelly had to work, but stopped in just long enough for bloggerette to 'pluck a duck' from the Providence Ministries for the Needy...

...and for me to find out I'm basically a grenade with the pin pulled.

This was definitely a Holyoke-centric event, geared towards bringing the community together for the benefit of revitalizing a city they're proud to call home.

We did a quick round of the park, checking out the music, games, arts and crafts...

But the underlying theme to this block party was that it was a gathering for public and political issues as well.

The block party looked like a success for the Citizens for the Revitalization and Urban Success of Holyoke. A group of people who have a serious C.R.U.S.H. on Holyoke...