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Amherst Block Party! September 18, 2012

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death, music, Politics and Society.
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The First Annual Amherst Block Party happened this past week, and I went down river to get a few shots of the action.

Now, I’m a Hilltown Boy, and don’t spend much time down in the civilized world, but I’ve lately been been tuned in to the activities which draw people to our Western Mass towns. Country fairs and communal events offer a window into life here in the hinterlands, and spreading the word means supporting local businesses, so I’m more than happy to put considerable time into it.

Amherst and Northampton are our local foci for college life, with Northampton being substantially tonier and more expensive (think: Smith College,) and Amherst voicing the Vox Populi of the state-run UMass at Amherst.

Being a product of a brown-collar upbringing and a UMass education, I have a soft spot for the latter.

At any rate, this First Annual Block Party was fun, despite the bumps and potholes intrinsic to any “firsts.”

I arrived in the evening as things were just ramping up, and toured the place. There were vendors:


…and people with puppies:

as well as street performers. Stilt-walkers:

There were wagon rides with big-ass horses:

..delightful statues:

…and spectacularly capable yo-yo experts:

I spent way  too much time watching this magician spin time and space into a fabulous fable. Thanks, Guy.

Somewhere along the way, the light left the land, and the electric artifice took over.

Now, since this was a First Annual Event, I’ll forgive them if they used billion-watt construction lighting. It was painfully harsh, as witness this soft fuzzy poodle rendered in an acid wash:

Every shot became problematic as the night went on, with a slight change of angle essential to tease out each shot in this low-probability situation.

Still, there I was, so I pressed on.

Jugglers played the sidewalk:

…and roped bystanders into risking their noses for a photo op:

This guy’s girlfriend giggled delightedly, though I wasn’t entirely sure who she was rooting for…

Bands occupied a tent on the common down by Triangle Street, including Rusty Belle, with a great singer:

…and guitarist, her husband if I’m understanding things:

They tour regularly in the Greater East, and I highly recommend you go if they come to your town.

Meanwhile, The Pub grilled sliders over a roadside fire:

…as kids defied gravity at the Bungee-Bounce:

…and Medusa painted wash-off tattoos on injudicious children:

The night (or at least my part of it) ended with Lux Deluxe performing down at the band tent:

The audience was totally rapt:

…and for good reason: this quintet totally got me off, with a high energy set of rockin’ originals, tight instrumentation and the class act vocals of Ned King, talented far beyond what his earthly tenure might suggest:

Watch for these folks, and keep Ned’s name in mind. You’ll doubtless be hearing more from him/them.

All in all, this was a great night out, and it’s bound to get even better as it repeats itself into the future.

Go Amherst!

The Swimmin’ Hole. July 14, 2010

Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
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…At the confluence of the North River and the Deerfield, last Sunday.  It was hot, but not too, and there were lots of people cooling off:

Well, there were dozens, and around here that’s a lot.

Ursi, my younger Grrrl, was visiting from Boston.  We lounged in the sun and shade, drank a little wine, ate like piggies, and both took pictures:

It was lovely and relaxing and a much-needed time for reconnection.

Round Two, I Win. October 8, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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No white sauce leaves here alive.

A Seafood Quesadilla (shrimp, scallops, and pollock in the fabled cream of Sum Yung Gai)


with chard wheels, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized onions and a cup o’ joe.

I never burn the same thing twice.

In a row.

More Burnt Offerings October 2, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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…And hey, since the taste of those raw doggers wants to linger, I drove that beast back tonight with Grilled Prosciutto-wrapped Mango with Marinated Veggies, served over Basmati Rice:


Just tryin’ to stay ahead of the curve, you know…

After Six Consecutive Meals Of Cold Hot-Dogs October 2, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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I’m home again, and being the gluttonous little piggy that I am, I headed straight to the grill for my very first Flat-iron Steak


on a bed of Antipasto Salad.

Jee-zhus that was tasty!

Tonight’s (burnt) Offerings. September 23, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Tonight marks the Autumnal Equinox in these parts.

Cool name.

So I’m offering up some scallops, ’cause scallops are cool. Or at least the scallops think they’re cool. And I agree. I’m a Scallop Ally.

First I’ll reduce some significant amount of white wine ’till it’s sweet enough to brown, then I’ll caramelize some fennel and add some tomatoes and fresh oregano

Then I’ll turn up the heat ’till it’s cracklin’ and toss in the scallops

Goodnight, Little Scallops!

And I’ll eat them up on a bed of lemon linguini

With a plastic fork. Because food is serious stuff.

‘S OK, I’ve had it for years

It Tastes Better When You Grow It Yourself :) August 16, 2007

Posted by littlebangtheory in Dinner with TCR.
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Just had the Best Damned Dinner, maybe 80% of it from my garden: A sauté of eggplant, summer squash, garlic, red onion (with the greens on,) garlic, rainbow chard, hot peppers and garlic, with a can of black beans (this is the first year I’ve grown canned black beans, actually) seasoned with a bit of tamari, grated cheese (from my own grated cow) and garlic.

All this with a side of fresh tomatoes, red onion, balsamic vinegar and fresh mozzarella, which I didn’t make, though I hear it’s a snap! (Comin’ atcha, Miz Lu! Maybe this Sat, I’ll bring the ‘maters, which are coming out my, um, ears!)

The average bite of that dinner traveled all of a hundred feet!

On another totally meaningless and irrelevant food note, I just bought some organic (and local!) Kim Chee so I can practice my Grilled Tofu Sandwhich à la The Lady Killegrew Café, a place you’re not likely ever to visit, but I’ll be back!