The August James Street North Art Crawl is coming up this Friday evening so I thought I’d finally post my photographs from the July Crawl to get everyone in the mood. I’ve been a few times now, and although there are the regular features, there really is something new to see every time. I just love it.
There are always buskers and live music everywhere at Art Crawl. We found in July there were fewer of them out and about, presumably because it was calling for rain. The Mulberry St Porching Band was really good though, and we stood and listened to them for a bit. I’ve never heard them before, even though they frequently do these front porch gigs right behind the Mulberry Street Cafe. I try to sneak in there every time I’m down there, because I really enjoy their raspberry mochas, and they also have a gallery space that’s a little more accessible than some of the other places, I think.
I never did figure out what the stray pieces of clothing with chalk words and arrows was all about, but I assume it was something interesting. Artists definitely invent creative marketing techniques.
I really loved this bunting, so much so, I photographed it, and not the rest of the booth, which I feel a bit bad about but the sidewalk WAS quite crowded. It always is. That’s the main perk of the September Super Crawl. They stop traffic so there’s more space for walking around. Art crawllers the rest of the year are confined to the sidewalks and narrow shops and galleries, which is fun in one way. In another way, it’s a bit tight and difficult to see everything you want to see. The point of all this is, if you love artists and art and the creative lifestyle, you’ll love this event. Try it out!
It’s Canada Day, and I haven’t even posted the rest of my Mudcat Festival photographs. I’m not doing any Canada Day events today, in part because last year I went to the Falls and it was so busy and so much waiting for a very brief firework display that I needed a year to recover, (kidding, I’m just really lazy today!) Canada Day people typically gather in parks to listen to music and catch up with people, so we can pretend these photos are from today.
I really enjoyed the music in the park on the Thursday night of the Mudcat Festival, and not just because I’m friends with the band. The Stotts put on a really great show; it was lively, catchy, and just good music. James Favron has a great stage presence and the other James and Matt are just super talented. The park was full of younger families and friends of the band, as well as a whole ton of teenagers (friends of the drummer), but people weren’t drunk like at the other younger demographic events. James has a two year old and baby himself, who were out there dancing with James’ wife, and also trying to run onto the stage, so the concert was kid friendly. In fact, the park was full of kids running through, so it wasn’t exclusive in that sense. It was just a really fun night. We had perfect weather, and the Mudcat organizers sold coffee and t-shirts. I ran into more people that I’m friends with now than I did the whole weekend. I realize this is basically just a post full of pictures of people you don’t know, but they’re photos that document the event for me, so please try to enjoy them anyway!
I only made a few cell phone videos of the show, so I won’t post them, because the sound quality isn’t great, but here’s a video so you can here their sound. Also check out these photos by SGWills Photography. And for those of you who don’t know, a mud cat is just a cat fish, and also Dunnville’s mascot and hockey team. It’s a weird creature to have a festival for, but that is Dunnville.
If you’ve ever watched Gilmore Girls, you have a pretty good idea of what small town life is like. Not in the sense that small towns are quaint and idealistic, but in that small towns are full of unusual people and quirky happenings. When you go to a festival, you will run into dozens of people you haven’t seen since high school, other than when you ran into them at the festival the year before. Nothing really makes sense, particularly the parade, which definitely has quite a few tractors, but if you watch it for the kitsch factor or you’re a very small child, you’ll enjoy it. The parade actually runs the Saturday of the Mudcat festival, and although it’s not the first major event, I’ll start there, because I laughed a lot. Honestly, most of the people who turn out put a lot of work into their floats and so forth, and that is too be applauded, but no matter what, it’s Dunnville and I love it, but it’s weird.
Here are a few of the good and bad moments of the parade. I didn’t capture all unfortunately. I was too enthralled, then I was like, “oh no! I’m missing preserving this!”, and started snapping, even though there were people standing in front of me and I’m short.
The Mudcat Festival also has a Midway, Street Dance, Fireworks and Live Music. The fireworks are always really good. The park on the river is jam-packed with people and that’s always fun, although sometimes it’s tricky to get good seating.
I’ve just realized how photo heavy this post is, so I’ll break it into two posts! I’ll save the photos from my favourite event until last. What other small town festivals are good? Are there events that are different? Maybe I should try to hit up a few for comparison.
Springtime makes it difficult to feel negative about earth and humanity, at least for me.
We live in a world where flowers grow on trees and in the cracks of cement sidewalks and somehow I am supposed to believe that our world is somehow flawed? It’s hard to focus on “evil” when all you can see is the triumph of beauty over decay. It is true that humankind is determined to destroy all of this beauty, for gain and wealth and progress, and it’s good to remember that although nature and the earth can flourish without humans, we cannot progress without it.
God, as our creator envisioned a beautiful world for us, and made humans in his own image. It’s silly to believe that He didn’t design us (and our world) for good things. Even though we, in our own strength, our flawed and imperfect, that doesn’t mean we were designed to be evil or mean. We were created to be beautiful and to love and that’s what I see when I spend time in the garden. Dirt, dusty walkways, and fresh blooms growing towards the sunlight.
If I lived in another country, and was visiting Canada, I would want to know about these kinds of places. That’s how I justify thinking of my blog as a travel and adventure blog even though I rarely go further than a few hours from my hometown. I’m preparing myself for when I can take bigger adventures. You’ll be the first to know.
I love exploring this Antique Shop. It has so many random items and fun kitsch. There are legitimately nice antiques too, but I don’t really care about that stuff. The building is divided into stalls, and an assortment of vendors rent the space, so you may see an over priced mason jar in one section that is much more affordable a few units down. Often times the stalls are decorated or styled, so they’re interesting to look at even if you don’t purchase anything. I always check out the vintage cameras.
I didn’t go into the town of St. Jacob’s this time, but I checked out the Farmer’s Market. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and people were EVERYWHERE just enjoying the day, chatting and eating at a leisurely place. There is a great variety of food. There are other vendors too, but I never feel the need to purchase anything from them. They tend to sell more assembly line type products rather than real handicrafts. I can purchase tupperware and cell phone cases anywhere, you know? But check it out for the food, definitely!
I finally got a new bike, and it’s actually a really old bike, and a really ugly colour, but it rides better than the old bike, so all is well. I really wanted to take it for a long run, and Joe had a free day (he and his fiancee are planning a wedding, so that rarely happens!) so we set out around the town. I saw a pile of junk off the side of the road, so naturally I wanted to check it out. (Who doesn’t want to look at old piles of garbage?) The piles of garbage lead to a trail and two really dead and flattened and dismembered opossums but I thought we should still check it out. Joe sent photos to Trina, who is usually the voice of reason in situations and she didn’t seem alarmed, so we set out. It was really pretty and for the next two days, random ticks kept appearing in our lives. One climbed down his suit jacket at Church. The moral of the story is, if you’re going to explore creepy junk piles, be prepared for ticks. The junk piles were cool though. See below.
Joe happily texting Katrina, oblivious to the ticks clinging desperately to his clothing.
I think photographers everywhere are obsessed with abandoned buildings and places that nature has taken back. A few weeks ago my cousin visited and he loves urban exploration probably more than I do, so he came prepared with a list of sites to check out in the Niagara Region.
We started checking out the old canal/lock systems. One of them is right in the middle of a Battle of Beaver dams park and is used as a seating area in front of a bandshell. This part of the old canal is really crumbling, and very beautiful. It’s part of the Bruce trail if you want to check it out.
I don’t actually remember where it was in Niagara, but we walked down a trail and checked out this private estate train station, which now just looks like an old pavilion. It was pretty run down and so were the walls surrounding the property. The old gate is pretty nice though, and so was one of the neighbours who provided us with the history.
(I just took these on my cell phone and didn’t straighten all the horizon lines so my apologizes but you can still see how lovely the area is, even in early spring before anything is really in bloom.)
Lake Ontario from a park in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
We drove all the way down along the Niagara River, and randomly just found this monument as the sun was setting. A few kids were sitting out there with skateboards, and randomly started talking to us about the weather.
These aren’t the usual places you explore in this area, but I really enjoyed myself. Anyone know any other interesting places in Niagara Region?
To bad vacations have to end.