Okay, the title is a play on the non-profit Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (who do a lot of great work) but it's because this thread contains pics from the Cuyahoga
Valley National Park (CVNP), the annual Solstice party at the Cleveland Museum of Art
, and another jewel in the culture
crown - the Cleveland Orchestra's free concert on Public Square. All of these images were taken over the course of two weekends - so if you're in the Cleveland area and you're bored
, it's your own d@mn fault. This has been a great summer - going by waaay too fast.
First, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park segment - a hike from Peninsula to Blue Hen Falls:
View of the Cuyahoga Valley from the turnpike:
Yep, there's even lake effect in the summer - see those rows of fluffy clouds? I think I prefer those over lake effect snow
A busy day in Peninsula, here's the southbound Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad (CVSR), making a stop:
Let's not get ahead of ourselves, we need fuel for our hike, so we stop at the Winking Lizard:
Looky at the choo-choo! CVSR train heading northbound:
We've had warmer than normal temps so things like tiger lilies are in full bloom:
Hey, it's the Cuyahoga!
Why is it called the Towpath? Waaay back in the day, they needed to get goods from the Ohio River to the Great Lakes, so they dug out canals and along those canals - horses or mules would *tow* canal boats from a *path* that was created alongside the canals. Along the way, they needed to build locks like this to accomodate for elevation changes:
Alright, off we go on the Towpath:
Part of the Towpath is boardwalked over the ground to protect marshy wetlands:
Red winged blackbird:
This would be a Green Heron (I thought it was a baby Great Blue Heron, but one of the staff at the visitor center (see below) set me straight):
Pylons of the turnpike in the distance:
From a distance, my partner and I thought "some jack@ss threw their beer can in the river?" - thanks to a zoom lens for setting us straight!
Underneath the turnpike:
Up at the Boston Store visitor center, there's a few historic buildings including an early gas station (now an art gallery I believe); the main building contains informational displays (and helpful staffers who know their birds!)
Alright, we've refreshed at the visitor center - off to the Buckeye Trail to see Blue Hen Falls:
While our dry conditions don't make for dramatic waterfalls, I think I prefer Blue Hen Falls to other falls in the CVNP
See those interesting rock formations? They're the same reason that makes it difficult to build tall buildings in our area:
Even though we weren't the only people there, Blue Hen Falls felt more cozy and private:
Ah well, time to head home - did I mention that the trail from the Boston visitor center to the falls includes these steps? Yeah - 88 of them, not too bad to go down; but coming back up... yeesh, I *hope* I burned off one of those beers from the Winking Lizard!!
Back on the Towpath proper - lots of people out today
Back under the turnpike bridge:
This guy picked out a great perch:
A little more flora and fauna; although at this point I was disappointed - we almost always see a Great Blue Heron
And then sure enough, my keen-eyed partner pointed out:
Best shot I could get of this magnificent creature (this one was the largest I've seen) through all the greenery along the Towpath:
Bonus pic - another Green Heron:
On our way out, we pass 'Lonesome Lock' (so named for it's relatively isolated location)
Onto the turnpike to head home:
And about 20 miles due north from the turnpike bridge, it's home
So next up is the Art
part of the thread - the Cleveland Museum of Art's annual Solstice party; note - it wasn't held on the actual day of the Solstice, but oh well. The event has a 'staggered' admission aka the more you pay, the earlier you get in and the more perks you get. The "our family's name is on a wing of the building" crowd starts first and then the admission price is less and less, which means the crowd gets larger and younger and it really brings out a diverse group in the 5,000ish attendees.
Of course - if we're passing downtown en route to an event, I snap a shot of the skyline:
The museum from Euclid Avenue:
Once at the museum, I spot a work by Red Grooms that I think is really underappreciated. It's a sculpture of a Manhattan street scene; it's on a wall in the temporary lobby, but few people do anything but glance at it. If you kneel and take it in at what would be "street level", I think it really conveys the 'feel' of day-to-day NYC "chaos" (if that makes sense). This isn't a flattering photo but for those of you who see this - try it sometime
The new atrium, one of the key components of the museum's expansion:
There's always a ginormous floral arrangement at this event:
Out to the front steps and Olmsted-designed lagoon area, where most of the action happens. It's a little slow now, but trust me, it'll pick up.
The Thinker - for those who don't know, for some bizarre reason - anarchists set off explosives on this poor guy back in the 1970s. (Why?!?)
David Franklin, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art:
A new twist this year was the addition of food trucks - great in concept; execution though... bad idea clustering them in one spot.
That said, the empanadas from the Fired Up food truck were too die for.
Getting a little busier:
Like I said, the crowd keeps filtering in all evening:
Ducking inside to cool off for a second:
Another great part of the Solstice party are the bands that - chances are, you haven't heard of them but they're really good:
Oh, and with a crowd of 5,000+, there's great people-watching:
And like I said; where else in Cleveland can you sling back a Great Lakes Brewing beer, gnosh on empanadas and then surround yourself with a fantastic collection of Fabergé pieces?
And back to more people-watching
I don't know who these lovely ladies are, but I bet they have great stories to tell:
It was hotter than blazes, and they had forecasted storms but we lucked out:
Of course, part of the fun with the people-watching is checking out the accessories!
Apparently, someone slipped/tripped and had a nasty fall - sounded like they were eventually okay, but you hate to see that (note the expressions on most peoples' faces in this pic):
Night begins to fall:
And at this point (and a few too many Great Lakes Commodore Perry IPAs), we were off dancing and finally closing the place down at around 2am.
Finally, we're at the Culture
point - the Cleveland Orchestra's free performance on Public Square. According to news reports, about 40,000 people showed up to enjoy the show.
I'm biased, but I don't think there's a more kickass (not perfect - perfect is Severance Hall) backdrop for a concert by one of the world's best
A few shots of the crowd and surroundings before the orchestra starts up:
Zoomed over to the Federal Building at Lakeside and East 9th - it's going to be 'encased' in a glass skin - the lighter squares in the 'joints' are part of the framing that will hold it together:
Members of the Orchestra warming up:
Ah, time to start - of course they open with the National Anthem - conductor Jahjah Ling led the crowd:
We were fortunate that a generous friend let us sit in the close-in section, but for those who weren't, there were jumbotrons set up:
A special (and *amazing*) guest performer was soprano Janice Chandler-Eteme:
Okay, I *may* have taken a few shots that weren't of the Orchestra
Oh, did I mention they went to town with the Terminal Tower's lighting?
Had to snap a pic of the Higbee Building, now home to the Horseshoe Casino - regardless of your opinion of gambling, they really did a great job on the lighting:
The evening concluded with a brief fireworks show in front of 200 Public Square:
Hope you enjoyed - now get out and enjoy the rest of summer!