Baltimore – May 2018 – Kinetics Race

Baltimore hosts the largest Kinetics Festival/Race on the east coast. For the 20th consecutive year human powered works of art have taken over the streets of the city.

 

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While not quite as large as the one in Humboldt County, California, the Baltimore race still featured a number of well done sculptures, as well as coordinated racers.

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Even the spectators were interesting.

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Many dressing for the occasion.

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While the teams got ready for the 15 mile race around the streets, into the bay and through a mud pit.

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Eventually they were off and made their way up Federal Hill.

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Which provided a nice backdrop of the skyline.

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The machines had all sorts of designs, some better than others (although this one used their arms and hands, not their legs, which proved troublesome).

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Eventually they made their way into downtown.

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With a highlight being Patterson Park and the mud pit. The crowds were 5 deep on both sides.

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And the mud was deep.

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But with 48″ alien wheels the mud was no problem.

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Which made for happy aliens.

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Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio – April 2018 – A Second Visit to Kayak Races

With the success of the photos from the 2017 Cuyahoga Falls Kayak races we decided to make a return visit. The action didn’t disappoint.

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It seems as though many more flipped this year.

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Or got spun around and went down some backwards.

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Some however went over the rapids spectacularly.

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A strange sight is the effort to go from the rocks to the water with a maneuver known as a Seal Move.

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The close up’s were even more impressive. It was a cold, wet day but well worth it.

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Columbus – March 2018 – Women’s Final Four Bounces into Town

College sports is a big deal, both socially and financially, and every city longs to host the finals of the basketball season. This year the NCAA Women’s Final Four was held in Columbus, and as with all major sporting events now they have a festival to accompany the games.

One of the highlights for this weekend was an event called ‘Bounce’, which gives thousands of kids a free basketball and T Shirt and allows them to dribble along the street next to Nationwide Arena up to the Convention Center where there was a number of activities for them (as well as adults).

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To coordinate such an event takes lots of volunteers, who all seemed to be having as much fun as the kids.

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But eventually they were set loose – the sound of basketballs dribbling reverberating off the buildings.

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The little ones even maintained their focus.

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Soon the street was filled with the kids and their parents.

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Once they reached the convention center there were unique skills tests waiting for them.

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A highly energetic host lead a game of ‘basketball musical chairs’, requiring them to dribble around the circle in the middle of the court – when the music stopped they had to run down, make a basket and head back. Easily the host was the most amusing part of the day.

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I am not certain the city makes the money back they invest in the games, but it does draw some attention to the city, for a few days at least.

 

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Cleveland – March 2018 – A Revisit to the Piston Powered Show

Since we have ran out of things to do in Ohio, we are now revisiting some of the better events, including the Piston Powered Show in Cleveland.

Held at the million square foot IX Center, this event features ‘anything with a piston’ including cars, boats, planes, motorcycles, snowmobiles and others.

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A custom bike

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Surf’s up on Lake Erie!

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A chopped Beetle.

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As noted, the place is huge – with the airplane being dwarfed by the indoor ferris wheel.

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Some artists were customizing on the spot.

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Lanterns on an antique fire truck.

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The Cleveland Corvette Club.

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Customized 1950s Ford pickup truck.

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Clearly a winner.

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Hey Scoobie…

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Columbus – March 2018 – Dior in Ohio

Ohio State University has a large collection in their ‘Costumes and Textiles’ Museum. For a few months this year they have had a feature called ‘Dior in Ohio’

The collection features dresses and accessories from the 1950s through the 1980s.

Displayed in two rooms, the primary room featured many from the 1950s including a Gray Wool and Silk Two Piece Dress from 1950. This dress, as with many others, was on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland

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Also on display were shoes and hats.

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A collection of the 1950s dresses.

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A collection of ‘Post Dior Evening Wear’.  Some in the collection had been worn by Hollywood stars including Lauren Bacall.

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An example from the 1970s

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The 1950s suits. While small, this display shows the classic elegance that fashion had in the 1950s, while showing the bold changes than came in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Cleveland – March 2018 – Playhouse Square Theaters

The Playhouse Square Theater District on Euclid Avenue in downtown Cleveland is known as the 2nd largest by number of seats in the United States, behind Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The 4 major theaters once could seat nearly 10,000 people, although that number has diminished a bit with remodeling.

On the first Saturday of each month a small army of volunteers offer free behind the scenes tours. Lead by our amazing tour guide Lil, we were fortunate in that we chose a day that they were between shows in the theaters, so we were able to go on the stages and in the dressing rooms for all the theaters.

First up is the largest, the State Theater.  Opened, along with all the other theaters, in a 19 month period between 1921-1922, the State originally seated 3,400.

Built in an Italian Renaissance style for vaudeville shows and movies, it has what was the worlds longest lobby at 320′ as it was built at the back of the lot so the theater next door, the Ohio Theater, could also have frontage on Euclid Avenue.

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As the tour took us backstage you got a feel for how massive the stage and the rigging are to support the theater. This theater’s rigging have been modernized, we would later get a sense for how much compared to the non-updated ones.

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Next door is the Palace Theater (recently renamed Connor Palace to honor a major donor). This theater was built in the French Renaissance style, and features beautiful entry doors.

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The main lobby is known as the Great Hall. Amazingly in the early 1970s all the theaters we close to being torn down to make parking lots, but fortunately the local arts community was persistent and saved all of them. It  has taken the community many years and millions of dollars but all have been restored, and in some cases reconfigured for smaller theaters.

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Front the balcony of the Palace we were treated to a performance from one of the resident organists.

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Later we were able to visit up close for a demonstration of the amazing capabilities of the organ, as well as some behind the scenes history of the recovery and restoration of the organ.

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The entryway to the Ohio Theater features an amazing ceiling. (all of the ceilings are stunning, this is the best).

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From the stage the lighting, seating and ceiling make an impressive photo.

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Backstage gets a view of the un-restored rigging (the massive collection of ropes on the right), as well as all of the lighting riggings.

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Another amazing ceiling and light, the entrance to the Allen Theater.

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The columns of the Allen Theater entrance have intricate carvings.

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The Allen has been downsized and modernized, although the original balconies and boxes are hidden behind the fabrics on the sides in case they want to return it to it’s original state. The second half of this theater has been transformed into a ‘Theater in the Round’ format.

Playhouse Square is one of the best features of Cleveland, and the Saturday morning tours are amazing (and free).

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