Saturday, January 29, 2011

Newington's Annual Waterfall Festival (1)

Welcome to the official end of the summer of 2010 on Shooting Suburbia! The next series of posts for the months of January & February will cover Newington's Annual Waterfall Festival. Whereas the previous series covered the true start of the local summer season with the Extravaganza, the Waterfall Festival (so named for the Mill Pond Waterfall) officially closes out the local summer season. So, come join me on a walk through downtown Newington as I explore the local artist and food scene.

This is the first thing that you actually see as you enter Newington from Wethersfield and other points north. And let me tell you, it wasn't easy to get this particular shot. But as they say, prior planning prevents poor performance (yes, I actually planned this entire series of posts that you'll be seeing). I started out on my journey to the center by not taking my usual route (which you can see right behind the sign), but by walking up Mountain Road, which runs next to Cedar Mountain. It was a fantastic Indian summer day, just cool enough to be able to wear regular jeans and not sweat. Because I didn't take my normal route, I had to cross five lanes of traffic in order to get this shot.

I've taken this shot quite a few times over the years (it is the front of the senior citizen apartment building), but this one shows the bright colorful shrubbery and plant life, and the fully greened out trees as well.
Now when I was walking towards the center from the mountain, repeat, the mountain, I heard a band playing from the festival, which was a good mile away. This sound stage is actually borrowed from the Wethersfield Historical Society and it's set up near the upper end of Market Square near Main street. They had a pretty decent mix of original music and cover songs. I think this was a jazz/rock type of combo, which was filmed for our local public access channel, which sad to say, I do not get.

Now, since it was near lunch time, you know I had to get me some good eats, and my lunch time eats for the day was from Goldburgers (if you're wondering about my profile shot, that was taken at the 2009 Waterfall festival, also during lunch at Goldburgers). Lunch was a Diet Coke, two pork and potato empanadas and a regular order of fresh cut french fries. The building in the background is Dunkin' Donuts, and yes that is my hat and my glasses sitting on the wall. For any of you local readers who might be interested, Goldburgers can be found on Facebook. Their avatar on Facebook is a burger, waffle fries and homemade pickles, and they do have a menu posted on their page as well.

And now, what the Waterfall Festival is really all about: the artwork. The main attraction of the Waterfall Festival, and in fact, what about 90% of the rest of the photos are all about, are the very large (I believe they were at least 11' by 11' squares) chalk/oil pastel drawings that are created on the street. Yes, I said street. Newington closes off Market Square and creates a large section for any and all local artists to create their masterpieces. This one that you see, was created in a specially designed area for the younger set. There weren't too many of them, but I decided to get a few shots of them just the same.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fun, Diversión, Family, Familia (5)

And finally, part five. It's still mid-summer and I still have one more picture of me to scare all of you with. Without further ado, here is the final part of our series "Fun, Diversión, Family, Familia"

Mr. Sunshine and the California Raisin, singing a song and feeling glad all over. That sparkly light? Is only just the flash from the camera.

Back in early May 2010, I wrote about walking around town one Saturday wearing a duck on my head. Here is the world famous duck that eventually earned me the sobriquet, "Duckie" from the manager at my local Dunkin' Donuts. I look a little more alert this time, don't I?


My backyard late one afternoon. Judging by the shadows I would have to say it was late afternoon drifting into the early evening. The main reason why I took this photo, besides the fact that my backyard was properly landscaped (no, not by me, but by a local neighbor who does that kind of thing), was that I wanted to show you what a dying decaying tree looks like, especially one that is sandwiched between two healthy ones. Not to worry though, as it came down in mid December when the house got new siding put on (got a few pictures of that as well).

The front of my house. My car is off to the left, and the tree from last Friday's post on Cedar's Mountain is front and center. You can really see from this shot how truly decayed and dying that center tree from the previous pic is.

A shot of Cedar Mountain, in all of its summertime glory.

Tune in next week, when I "officially" close out the summer of 2010 here on Shooting Suburbia by showing you Newington's annual Waterfall Festival.

Man, how sad is that? Right now we're hip deep in a classic New England winter and I'm showing pics from the summer. At this rate, I'll be showing my winter 2010/11 pics in the late spring/early summer of 2011.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Fun, Diversión, Family, Familia (4)

Part four contains a very special treat. No, not because there's pictures of the Famalia, but because there is a picture of yours truly. Yes, indeedie doodie, for those of you who really wondered what I looked like, here's a rare opportunity to see just exactly what the hell do I look like. I say rare, because quite frankly folks, I really detest having pictures taken of myself, so I can honestly tell you that besides this post and the next, the next time you see my ugly mug will be a summertime shot that will be posted sometime in the next month or two, and that will be it. Enjoy while it lasts, because you'll never get this opportunity again. So, with that said, on with the show.

This was taken on the way home from the Extravaganza. And even though it is later in the afternoon, the outdoor temp is still sitting at a very cool 95 big D* degrees. Oh, and one of the funky offices located in that nifty little building to your left, is the local probate court. Area directly behind the sign is a parking lot and a basketball court. To the right, the cemetery.

This young lady giving me the incredibly dirt look is my lovely almost 10 year old daughter Jenelle.

My wife Joanne.

My slightly flaky son Jeremy, along with mother dearest in the background.

And finally, da-da-da-DA!! Yours truly. This is how I usually look on a Friday afternoon: Tired, poker faced and somewhat unshaven. A bit off centered, but I did manage to get my entire ugly mug in the picture, so I should get some credit for that, eh? And judging by the angle of the photo, I would say that I'm sitting in front of my computer.

*Big D is a both a tired local catch phrase and a New England area catch phrase. First, the local angle: we have a tired and lame radio station called WDRC 102.9FM, Big D 103. DRC stands for the Dick Robinson Company, founders of the Connecticut School of Broadcasting (of which I went to school in 1986). Now, the New England angle.

For those of you who either lived/grew up in the Springfield/West Springfield area in the 70's, there was (and possibly still is) a carpet store called Big D Carpets (someone can correct me if I'm wrong about the store name), and in the commercials (back then we used to get WWLP on our t.v.), they always had some lady say during the commercial, "So big D what's the story?" And she would always end the commercial by saying, "And that's the real story."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fun, Diversión, Family, Familia (3)

Yes, after a well deserved two week hiatus, Shooting Suburbia is back with a fresh outlook, recharged batteries and a highly original yet slightly skewered post for you to partake and become jealous of, because hell, it is winter, it is cold, and damn it, I need something warm to look at.

Yup, we'uns still at the Mill Pond Extravaganza, and its still an outrageously hot and sunny day. This is another shot of the rides and vendor tents, taken while I was standing on third base. Behind me, is our world famous beer garden, which you can't see because, well, it's behind me.

Random street shot. No, not really. Just wanted to show you the beginnings of the local street parking lot for the Extravaganza. As you can see, the street was rapidly filling up with cars on the side. Once that side gets filled, everyone started parking down the side streets, at the local office furniture store, the town hall parking lot across from the library, the parking lot next to the post office, and the parking lot at the senior center. And yes, that is honest to goodness shade that I am standing in to take this picture. The third coolest spot I visited that day, which was shortly followed thereafter by....

....The second coolest spot, and I dare say, the most popular spot at the Extravaganza that day: underneath the water spray that our local fire company had thoughtfully set up. And yes, I did spend some time under there. And yes, I made sure that both my cell phone and my camera were fully protected. And yes, it felt damn good.

It's Joe Camel! Yes, one of the highlights of the Extravaganza was a petting zoo that featured Joe Camel and a menagerie of others. However, since I like Joe Camel (the character, not the cigarette, although an interesting factoid for you is that a prior prototype of Camel cigarettes was called Murad), I decided to take not one, but two pictures of Joe Camel.

Picture two of Joe Camel! Who seems to thinking about spitting in that other photographer's camera! Another interesting factoid is that the local Three Kings Day parade that is held every year in Hartford CT features Joe Camel and two of his brethren, Joe Dromedary and Jane Dromedary.

In case you were wondering what was the first coolest spot I visited that day, it was the town library. Need I say more?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Summertime, And The Living Is Easy

I know I said I was going on hiatus again but the weather and work has put me in a bit of a funk. Connecticut got slammed with the first good snowstorm/blizzard of the season this week, with the final output being somewhere between one to two feet (depending on what part of the state you were), and work, well, an abbreviated work week because of the holiday, while it may sound good, was not. Since we got nothing but fluffy white stuff and temps that start with the number 2 for the week, I thought a little reminder of what we got to look forward to in about four months was in order. Shot was taken looking down the side street. To your left is my main blog's namesake and to your near right is a sliver of my side yard. See ya'll on Jan 8th with part three of "Fun, Diversion, Family & Familia".