Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Saint Anthony Religious Festival, Part 2, North End Neighborhood, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The 97th Annual Italian Religious Street Festival in honor of Saint Anthony Di Padua Da Montefalcione, was observed recently in the vibrant neighborhood of Boston's North End. I was here for the opening evening (at this link) and returned again for the final day of the celebration.

The statue of Saint Anthony is carried through the crowded streets while residents shower it and the crowd with confetti and attach money to the statue.

Since it was a beautiful weekend summer day, the narrow streets were hoppin' with outside visitors in addition to the local residents.

My favorite pasta man was readying his offerings for the hungry crowd.

It was sometimes difficult to move along the narrow streets there were so many people.

Confetti often rained down from balconies as the statue of Saint Anthony passed beneath or nearby.

If you were standing in the right place (or wrong place), a blizzard of confetti fell on you. I was still finding confetti in my clothes the next day.

A love of faith, and culture, and community was palpable as I wondered among the celebrating residents of this closely knit Italian American neighborhood in Boston's North End. Their joy and happiness was contagious. Many would pose with and/or kiss the statue of Saint Anthony.

I love the picture within the picture on the cellphone.

The eight men who carried the statue were assisted by others who cleared the crowd to allow the statue to maneuver.

I don't know who the men were carrying the statue but, I expect it was quite an honor to be chosen to do so.

The white streamers attached to the statue were held by others as the procession wound its way through the neighborhood. I was especially impressed at the foresight and planning by this woman. She has a pin cushion attached to her wrist to pin dollar bills to the streamer as she receives random gifts from parade watchers.

And music filled the air and echoed through the narrow streets. This Italian -American band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, played uplifting Italian marches as the procession wound through the crowd.

Cannoli Girl was just getting set up as I passed by. She didn't have her treats out for sale yet but,........

........ a couple booths down the street, there were always more great cannolis ready to be filled and eaten!

One of the advantages of a multi-cultural city like Boston is the rich fabric of life that together we all weave bringing our respective traditions to the mix. It is worth remembering that America is a land of inclusion more than exclusion - a land where we can appreciate our differences and our similarities.

I heard so much spoken Italian today that I felt like I was visiting in Lucca, Italy, one of my favorite places on the planet (my blog posts from there at this link).

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I was in Boston recently to visit and experience the Saint Anthony's Religious Festival in the North End (first of two blog posts at this link), and while walking back to my car, I encountered this family making a portrait.

It reminded me that on this spot, until a few years ago, the noisy, frenetic Interstate 93 multi-lane. multi-level highway passed through this downtown area of Boston creating a physical and mental separation between parts of town - not to mention the incredible noise of cars, buses, and trucks scurrying through at high speeds. Now, miles of urban parkland, the Rose Kennedy Greenway, has replaced that highway providing residents and tourists alike with a wonderful open space. The space includes walking paths, art installations, fountains, green grass, live music, pretty much anything one could want in an urban setting, with all the wonders of a world-class city, Boston, beckoning all around it.

But I've gotten ahead of the story.......

In late afternoon when I arrived, the families were still enjoying playing in the fountains.

As a parent, I learned if a child is crabby, put 'em in water. Seems to still work whether they are crabby or not. Kids just love playing in fountains.

Yep, a fountain is a wondrous thing.

On the nearby grassy area, an outstanding band of young people were playing some jazzy/rockin' tunes filling the outdoors with beautiful music.

This woman was a masterful sax player!

And right behind them, the Haymarket Square outdoor market continues brisk business for locals and tourists alike. There has been a market here for centuries - in the heat and humidity of summer and the biting cold in winter - nowadays, it's open on Fridays and Saturdays all year except Christmas and New Year's Days.

For you out-of-country readers, here's a price comparison for some of our fresh vegetables when purchased in an outdoor market setting.

Later, after dark and my time spent joyfully in the North End, I stopped at the carousel to experiment with purposeful motion blur. For a baseline, the carousel was stopped and I made this image at 1/15 second shutter speed with the camera supported on a chair back.

This image was made at 1/5 second shutter speed also propped on a chair back with the carousel turning. I find it interesting to note that the reddish colored doors at the center of the carousel hub are still in focus while the other parts in motion, increasingly distant from the center hub show noticeable blurring.

For the final effort, I used a 1/10 second shutter speed but, handheld the camera and tried to pan at the same speed that the carousel was rotating. It was a good effort but, not so good in execution. The top center is in focus at least. I'll try again next time. Frankly, I was worn out and wanted to get home by this point in time.

This archway is in Christopher Columbus park, immediately adjacent to the Greenway.

When I got back home in Plymouth after the one hour drive, my step counter confirmed what my feet felt - 18,000+ steps for the day in 85-90 degree heat - tired. That's not a complaint about the heat - in January, I'll remember the warmth of this day longingly.........

What a world class city, Boston, I never tire of its wonders!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Saint Anthony Religious Festival, Part 1, North End Neighborhood, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The 97th Annual Italian Religious Street Festival in honor of Saint Anthony Di Padua Da Montefalcione, was observed recently in the vibrant neighborhood of Boston's North End. 

The North End is the city's oldest residential community. People have lived here continuously since the 1630's. Today, it is known for its Italian American population, the many fine Italian restaurants, and the Old North Church from which the midnight ride of Paul Revere was triggered back in 1775 during the American Revolution.

Saint Anthony is the patron saint of the poor and finder of lost articles or people.

I wandered into the narrow back streets of the North End neighborhood on the opening evening to find the celebration. The festival takes place away from the main touristy Hanover Street.

Musical instruments ready for later entertainment on the stage.

Other bands waving both American and Italian flags march along the narrow streets, crowded with pedestrians and food booths.

Authentic homemade pasta anyone?

This pasta purveyor was encouraging buyers to stop by and have a bite using his powerful booming voice to shout at passersby.

The narrow streets only accommodate four band members abreast.

The statue of Saint Anthony makes its appearance to begin the parade.

Confetti cannons unleash a blizzard of green, red, and white confetti.

The statue is hoisted onto the shoulders of eight men who carry it through the streets to the pleasure of the adoring and happy crowd.

As daylight fades the visitors keep pouring in to the narrow streets.

Lights get brighter and the sky gets darker.

The blue hour. The size of the crowd made movement slow and difficult along the narrow streets.

The heat was too much for some - time for a nap.

And the band played on.......

....and on.

After a lap through the neighborhood, the statue is carried to this outdoor chapel where it will stay over the festival weekend except when paraded through the streets.

After all that pasta it was time for dessert - CANNOLIS!!!!! Shells at the ready, the ricotta filling added to order, were flying off the vendor's racks. There were cannolis for sale at many of the booths along the crowded streets.

It was a great evening with happy and friendly people, food, music, and celebration!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

A Passing Storm, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

I was downtown in Plymouth recently during the passing of a thunderstorm.  The sky, wind, and light made for dramatic conditions which I decided to render in black and white and a texture overlay.

A jet contrail peeks through a thin spot in the clouds above.

Looking out at Plymouth Harbor from beneath the portico that shelters the "Plymouth Rock."

An old anchor chain rusting on the dock. Even in black and white, "America's Hometown" is a winner.