Slow Art Day San Francisco

Slow Art Day San Francisco

80s kid Ferris Bueller once said: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." These words are particularly salient in our world today, because USA life is 100mph. In a major international city like San Francisco, it can be particularly difficult to get a moment to yourself, the streets can be jammed with noisy and your head is cluttered with all of life's worries. That is why it is important to take a step back, relax and enjoy the finer things in life.

One co-operative organisation that understands the importance of dislocating yourself every once in a while from the trappings of modern life are the organisers of Slow Art Days, SFMOMA. This is a creative grass roots group that is heavily involved in the modern art scene in San Fran, and they are setting art lovers a challenge.

They want you to join Open Space stalwarts like Tess Thackara, Emily Wilson, and Duane Deterville for an art experience like no other: A slow-look session in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. This sounds peculiar, but the organisers want people to really engage with 5 unique pieces of artwork, so they ask you to look at a single piece of art continuously for 10 mins each. Then afterwards you will be able to discuss your thoughts and enjoy the refreshments they have allocated for guests.

Modern Art is too easy to scoff at and many detractors say that it is pointless or useless. But that is what is brilliant about modern art, it challenges the status quo, makes you think about things differently and disgruntles the unimaginative. Slow Art Day is an international movement that embraces long contemplation of art. Enjoying art slowly is a joy in itself, and this helps to promote deep thought and also allows you to engage with art from multiple angles. For more information about the event you can follow this link:

Boston Pops Firework Special

Boston Pops Firework Special

The 4th of July Independence Day celebrations in the USA are synonymous with huge firework shows. But the city of Boston stand out from other destinations because they are the originators of this proud tradition and in many ways the City of Champions remain the trend setters for spectacular rocket displays. Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is next on July 4, 2019 from 8PM.

Way back in 1973 David Mulgar proposed a novel way of rejuvenating the Esplanade concert which was struggling to capture the people's imaginations. After a discussion with the head of the Boston Pops Orchestra Arthur Fielder, his brainwave was to combine music with a new spectacle. This included playing Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" and adding some very loud surprises.

The next year's festivities went off with a huge bang with the addition of howitzer cannons, rockets and the ringing of church bells. This signalled the birth of the modern day firework display as Fielder wanted to create a spectacle that sounded like the gates of hell had broken loose over the Charles River.

4 decades later the Boston Pops firework extravaganza is going stronger than ever and is widely regarded as the only place to see fireworks on the 4th of July. Hundreds of thousands of people make the journey from all over America and from further afield to stand on the banks of the river and celebrate the birth of the nation. But this number is dwarfed by the number of people who tune in on TV. Over seven million watch the 1-hour broadcast on CBS every year.

The Boston Pops has a rich and varied history having branched off from the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1885. Although most of their musicians are affiliated with the BSO, they approach their music with a more contemporary style with particular emphasis on light classical and popular music.

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival

Many people often describe movie stars or recording artists as heroes. But this is an erroneous description; the real heroes in the USA are the emergency response teams like the fire and ambulance service who save people's lives every day. Do these people get the recognition they deserve for their heroism? That is debatable.

One state has a special festival to honour these good Samaritans who dedicate their lives to keeping people safe in American waters is Michigan, with The Grand Haven Coast Guard festival. This event goes back a long way, as far back as 1924 when it started as modest picnic for Coast Guard personnel and their families. The local Coast Guard station was on the water and they started to hold boat races for all the service men in the local area for some light entertainment. The word obviously got out and it started to grow. Yet it was not until August 1971 as the festival expanded more did it become accredited as an official day of celebration and got its name.

To mark the fact that Grand Haven has such a high esteem for the Coast Guard service Congress give it the title of "Coast Guard City, USA" which was signed by President Clinton in 1998. The carnival comprises of two rousing parades and finishes with a magnificent firework show which explodes across the sky and is reputed to be one of the most impressive in the country.

Anyone who participates in the Coast Guard Festival gets some special privileges such as an exclusive tour of the Coast Guard cutter. There is also a brilliant midway carnival, as well as a range of boat tours, jet-ski demonstrations, carnival games and live music. And just when you think organisers cannot provide any more entertainment they saved their trump card in the Street Dance. Music comes from Soul'd Out and is extremely popular with both young and old people.

The festival unofficially began in 1924 as a Coast Guard personnel only picnic when the local Coast Guard station held rowing competitions for those service members stationed in Grand Haven. Today the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival has become a premier event with attendance of over 350,000 people including the nations highest ranking Coast Guard dignitaries from Washington, D.C. It's happening this year between July 27th - August 5th 2018.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Red Rocks Amphitheatre

If you think of Red Rocks Park as just a beautiful place to see a concert, think again! Around you are 738 total acres of deer, dinosaurs, pines and prairie, geological wonders and spectacular vistas. At 6,450 feet above sea level, Red Rocks Park is a unique transitional zone where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains. The diverse environment allows visitors to see plants, birds and animals of both regions.  Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a geological phenomenon – the only naturally-occurring, acoustically perfect amphitheatre in the world. From Sting and The Beatles, to opera stars and U2, every artist aspires to play on this magical, spiritual and emotional stage.

Red Rocks offers a variety of recreation options from guided tours, hiking, biking, shopping, dining and a summer concert series. Whatever your pleasure, enjoy discovering Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre.

Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air amphitheater that is not duplicated anywhere in the world. With Mother Nature as the architect, the design of the Amphitheatre consists of two, three hundred-foot monoliths (Ship Rock and Creation Rock) that provide acoustic perfection for any performance. The dramatic sandstone monoliths serve as a history book of animal and plant life in the area for the past 250 million years. As spectators gaze at the towering red sandstone rocks, they view the ancient tales of prehistoric times.

The area of Red Rocks, originally known as the Garden of Angels, has attracted the attention of musical performers since before the turn of the century. The majestic setting of the amphitheater, along with the panoramic view of Denver, makes for a breathtaking scene.

In the early 1900's, John Brisben Walker had a vision of artists performing on a stage nestled into the perfectly acoustic surroundings of Red Rocks. Walker produced a number of concerts between 1906 and 1910 on a temporary platform; and from his dream, the history of Red Rocks as an entertainment venue began.

George Cranmer, Manager of Denver Parks, convinced the City of Denver to purchase the area of Red Rocks from Walker for the price of $54,133. Cranmer convinced the Mayor of Denver, Ben Stapleton, to build on the foundation laid by Walker. By enlisting the help of the federally sponsored Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and the Work Projects Administration (WPA), labor and materials were provided for the venture.

Denver architect Burnham Hoyt designed the amphitheater with an emphasis on preserving the natural beauty of the area. The plans were completed in 1936, and the amphitheater was dedicated on June 15, 1941, though the actual construction spanned over 12 years. In 1947, the first annual Easter Sunrise Service took place. Since then, Red Rocks Amphitheatre has attracted the best performers to its stage.

Red Rocks Park and the CCC camp received National Historic Landmark status in 2015, and received the honorary award on June 15, 2016 -- the amphitheater's 75th anniversary. The award is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The designation recognizes sites that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States.