Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Safari #40: Honk Fest

Activism has a sound and a rhythm all its own.  Instead of words, others choose music.

'Honkers,' members of acoustic, mobile street bands, use their instruments and their collective spirit to rally the masses and bring people back to the streets.  This fusion of creativity, openness, participation, and community building takes place every year in Somerville at the Honk Festival.

Upon exiting the Davis Square T station, music could be heard and felt from every direction.  Collective singing and drums brought us to Davis Square Plaza where AfroBrazil, a 12-piece percussion ensemble, gave a thrilling, participatory performance.  With hands in the air and whistles blowing, AfroBrazil made it impossible for the crowd to remain still.

Next, we headed to Statue Park for EE -Environmental Encroachment and What Cheer? Brigade.  The rhythms, improvisation, and diversity of performers and instruments all working together to create amazing sounds left my ears wishing for more.

Safari travelers - there are no spectators Honk.  Release yourself and let the experience be all your own.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Safari #39: The Paramount Theatre

When was the last time you saw something so inspiring that it made your creative spirit glow?

Laurie Anderson's performance, Delusional, was unlike any other performance I've ever seen.  For those of you not in the know (and I wasn't until the show), Anderson is considered to be one of the greatest American performance artists.  Her performance was an extrasensory, multimedia experience full of amazing music and visualizations. She is multitalented (musician, artist, poet) and uses multimedia to tell you a story.  Delusional posed multiple questions, and some of the answers I've found are still resonating with me tonight.  Because of her, I'm embracing my peripheral vision.

Anderson's performance was held at Paramount Theatre - another first for me.  The Paramount was opened in 1932, named for the Paramount Pictures films it showed.  The theatre closed in 1976, but after much effort to revitalize the Downtown Crossing area, it reopened in 2010 with funding  from Emerson College.  The rehabilitated art deco interior made my jaw drop.  It was a pleasure to sit quietly a few moments before the show started to simply stare at the ceiling.

Many thanks to @EvolvingCritic for the special invite!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Safari #38: How Do You Like These Apples?

With the freedom to use public transportation and access to walkable, open spaces, the thought of getting behind the wheel has simply become foreign.  I'm realizing however that there are many beautiful places in Massachusetts, and by staying only in the greater Boston area, my safaris are missing out.

My recent articles on apple picking and fall foliage have inspired me to get out of the house.  This past Sunday, I jumped in the car and headed to Lookout Farm in South Natick.  Founded in 1650, the farm  is believed to be the oldest working farm in the country.  The farm includes a store, children's play area, concession stand, and a pick your own orchard that includes apples, pears, peaches, and pumpkins.  It was idyllic, picturesque, and a great way to spend a warm Fall day.

Best of all - the apples.  I picked Jonagold and Golden Delicious.  They are large, crisp, and simply perfect.  Which orchards have you been to recently?  Tell me about your trip in the comments below.

  • Find a Farm Near You.  There are a number of pick your own farms in Massachusetts.  Visit the pick your own website to locate a farm near you.
  • Choose Your Shoes Carefully.  The orchard was damp and muddy in some areas.  Boots or comfortable shoes are the best for making your way around.
  • Cost.  Prices per pound vary, and some farms also charge admission. Despite the cost, go for the experience.  I was reminded of my childhood in Ohio on the family farm.