The 2016 Franklin Park Coalition Kite and Bike Festival

Finally, pictures from the 2016 Franklin Park Coalition Kite and Bike Fest

[Sorry about taking so long to get these up. Things have been really crazy for me.]

A girl and her kiteOn Saturday, 14 May, the Franklin Park Coalition, the Boston Parks & Recreation Department, and Discover Roxbury put on the 2016 edition of their Kite & Bike Festival. I took some pictures last year and while I wasn’t able to start the day with them this year there was no way I wasn’t going to get some pictures this year.

This year’s fest was a little different from last year’s, due in part to changes at the top of both the FPC and Discover Roxbury in the months leading up to this year’s fest. There weren’t the number of food trucks we had last year and the FPC/Discover Roxbury table was on the opposite side of the Playstead from the last two years, but there was a DJ and TEMPO International Rhythm Section, a local Caribbean band to play for those who came out.

Music from Tempo International

We did have a nice crowd despite the parks  department running a Bubble Festival on the Commons. The one metric that I can use to easily figure the crown size is how the kite seller did, and while last year he had sold out of kites long by the 4 pm official end of the fest, but there was a line of people buying kites at closing time this year with a nice selection for everyone to choose from. I don’t know if they brought more this year or not though so my metric may not be as reliable as I’m thinking it is.

FPC BKF 20160514_160911_HDR End of the day but still selling kites

One thing I was able to do was to shoot a little video to post on Instagram of the fun and it gave a glimpse of the fun at about 1:30 in the afternoon. I wanted to post the video from Instagram but it wouldn’t display so I put it up on YouTube so I could post it here.

The only food truck we had this year was the ice cream truck, and with temperatures in the mid 70’s you know they were probably busier than a team of one-armed paper hangers.

FPC BKF 20160514_160810_HDR Ice Cream truck

The Boston Public Library had their Bibliocycle there again, and the Franklin Park Tennis Association was there, and they were even putting on demos. Boston Bikes and Bikes Not Bombs were there, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation had not only information but also free seedling trees for all who wanted one. I would have gotten one but I have nowhere to plant it outside and I don’t even have enough sunny windowsill to even put some small pots of spices or flowers on.

There was one really fun bike at the Fest, a highly modified ride turned into the Horse Chopper. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my phone to work to note his name or the name he’s given to his valiant steed.

Of course, there was more than just kites, bikes, trees and tennis. As always there were families hanging out in the shade having picnics and just hanging out enjoying a beautiful day.

Picnics at the 2016 FPC Kite and Bike Festival

It was a fun day, and if you missed it you missed out. Pencil in next year’s Fest now. If I remember correctly it’s always the Saturday following Mom’s Day, which would make it Saturday, 20 May 2017.

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I hope these have been worth the wait.

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TestPics: 2015 Franklin Park Coalition Kite and Bike Fest

The Playstead is getting fullThe Saturday following Mother’s Day every year the Franklin Park Coalition, Boston Parks & Recreation and Boston Bikes host a Kite and Bike Festival and this year they were joined by Discovery Roxbury as hosts for this year’s fest on the Playstead in Franklin Park. It was the second year on the Playstead after moving to the Shattuck Picnic Grounds on the Resting Place while the Playstead field got refurbished.

Full Disclosure: I filled my phone’s storage room taking these pictures. As I was trying to remove pictures I knew I wasn’t going to use I accidentally deleted all the images by mistake. I was able to retrieve copies of my pictures, but they were smaller than the original images and lost the notes I had included in the filenames. For some of the images I also lost some of the very bottom of a few pictures and had to crop it off. All of the images are the usual size I post here, but this time the source images I started with weren’t the full size images I prefer to work with. I decided I’d rather post the pictures with an explanation than not post the pictures at all.
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TestPics: Schoolmaster Hill Terrace

Franklin Park: Schoolmaster Hill 24 - The plaque dedicating the structure to schoolmaster Ralph Waldo Emerson (taken 20150419)When I got to my local branch of the Boston Public Library last Thursday I found out the IT folks were updating all of the laptops available for loan. I go to the library every day and the first thing I do each day is to get one of their laptops to work on. When the techs were done updating the laptops I found I could no longer mount my external hard drive, which is something I had been surprised to be able to do in the first place. My external drive was formatted for my old Linux laptop and needs special drivers to be mounted on Windows computers like the library has available for patrons to use. Not being able to install the drivers essentially destroyed my daily workflow because I can no longer access any of the files I used every day to get things done online. I’m still trying to figure out how much I can and can’t do, but if it weren’t for the WiFi-only Android phone a friend is letting me use I wouldn’t even be able to take new pictures, let alone post them.

When I walked out the door Sunday morning, 19 April, I wasn’t planning on taking any new pictures, partly because I don’t have a memory card for the phone so I’m usually short on space for new pictures. As I was heading to the clubhouse for Franklin Park’s William J. Devine Golf Course to use the free WiFi to check my email, I took the turn off Circuit Drive/Jewish War Veterans Drive to go to Schoolmaster Hill, only planning to see how things looked now that all the snow has melted.

When I finally left the Schoolmaster Hill Terrace to go to the clubhouse there were 26 new pictures on my phone. As I started writing this post I realized I had missed taking some pictures so I went back yesterday and took five more pictures.

Just a note before the jump: Most people refer to the area as simply “Schoolmaster Hill,” but I found out the original name is “Schoolmaster Hill Terrace” so that’s the name I’m going to use most of the time. I’ve also found there are other names for the Forest Hills Corner and the hill where the Wilderness Scenic Overlook so I’ll be going back in the next week to update the posts to show the proper names of the sites.

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TestPics: Forest Hills Corner

Location of the Forest Hills Corner trail where these pictures were taken.  Screenshot taken in the MyTrails Android app.If you walk into Franklin Park via the Williams Street entrance you’re in my favorite part of the park. You’re in the Wilderness, Frederick Law Olmsted’s replication of a typical New England woodland (despite the blacktop on the path) with a forest to explore on your left and a stream on your right, with two benches for you to sit on to take a pause if you’ve been walking a while or even just to sit on and enjoy the area. Of course, you also have the Ellicott Arch as the path cuts under Jewish War Veterans Drive, but right after the benches you will find a path cut off to the right. Christine Poff of the Franklin Park Coalition tells me the historic maps call it Juniper Hill, but she calls it Forest Hills Corner so that’s what I call it.

These pictures were taken on 4 April 2015, shortly before a combination of a warm stretch and some rain got rid of just about all the rest of the snow that Mom Nature dropped on Boston during our record setting winter.

(The screenshot on the right was taken in the free version of MyTrails, the Android app that I use to track my walks through Franklin Park, as well as to note where I take some of my pictures. The placemark on the right of Jewish War Veterans Drive is where I take pictures of the white oak in Ellicottdale, and the one above it is the Wilderness Overlook where I took the first TestPics. .)

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Courtesy the Franklin Park Coalition http://www.franklinparkcoalition.org/

Which parts of Franklin Park would you like me to post next?

Today I finally posted a collection of images from a scenic overlook in Franklin Park’s Wilderness (not the Overlook Ruins off the Playstead) and I was going to ask a question at the bottom of the post but I decided to split it off into its own post.

In addition to the pictures from the scenic overlook I’m hoping to get posted tomorrow, I also have a series of pictures of Scarboro Hill that my recent photo of the painted tree (posted on both Instagram (more detail) and on Twitter (more detail)), some pictures of Scarboro Pond (not nearly a complete set yet), and I want to take some pictures at Schoolmaster Hill and the Playstead, but where would you like me to get pictures of next? Continue reading

Franklin Park Wilderness Overlook (taken on 4 Jan 2015)

TestPics: Wilderness Overlook near Schoolmaster Hill

I’ve taken a lot of pictures in Franklin Park lately, and they serve as test pictures of the kind of pictures I’d shoot if I make a second try at a Kickstarter campaign to create a Franklin Park photo book. It turns out doing that brings some problems.

One problem I have now is that I now have a lot of pictures taken without a good way to post them online easily. The first day I went through Franklin Park I took over a hundred pictures, and Sunday I took another 80+ pictures. I could post them to Instagram but even posting them without filters will take a lot of time. There’s also the fact that some pictures don’t lend themselves to being cropped to a square without cutting something from them picture. I’ve posted pictures like that to Twitter, but again that’s a time-intensive process. Continue reading