Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

On Sunday, J and I took the T to Revere Beach, where we caught the final day of this year’s National Sand Sculpting Festival. This is the third year we’ve gone to Revere Beach to see the sand sculptures, and every year we marvel at the level of detail master artisans can achieve in a seemingly shapeless medium.

Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

In the aftermath of this year’s Boston Marathon bombings, it was no surprise that the theme of this year’s festival was “Boston Strong.” The festival’s central sculpture—a towering wall featuring the names of the festival’s corporate sponsors—was flanked with American flags and featured images of runners, a tribute to law enforcement (including slain MIT officer Sean Collier), and a nod to the Good Samaritans, first responders, doctors, and nurses who helped victims.

Boston Strong

Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

Collier Strong

Revere Beach Sand Sculpting Festival

The phrase “Boston Strong” represents the way an entire community came together in the aftermath of tragedy, stranger helping stranger, and I suppose sand sculptures are a good metaphor for this kind of community bonding. Individual grains of sand are neither strong nor special; they’re just gritty. En mass, however, grains of sand can either wear down stone or build towering structures. Given the nitty-gritty particulars of fate, what kind of structures might we build, together?

Click here for more photos from this year’s National Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach. Enjoy!

Enjoying the view

It’s become something of an annual tradition. About once a year, J and I take the T to Revere Beach, where we have lunch then walk, people-watching and taking pictures while gulls and low-flying airplanes soar overhead. We’ve gone to Revere Beach in the off-season, and we’ve gone at the height of summer. This year, we timed our visit to coincide with the annual Sand Sculpting Festival, so there was plenty to look at.

Towering

I’m not much of a beach person: although J and I live about 10 miles from the Atlantic Ocean, I can count on one hand (with fingers to spare) the number of times I’ve gone swimming there. But even if you’re not much of a swimmer or sun-bather, occasionally it’s fun to be near the shore, to watch the tides and hear the crying gulls. This weekend was hot and sunny, but with low humidity, so it was lovely to sit in a shady, open-air pavilion eating seafood–clams for J, scallops for me–within sight of the chairs, umbrellas, and volleyball nets other beach-goers had set up.

Beach bathers

I like beaches because they are probably the only place it’s socially acceptable to read, take a nap, or pretty much do nothing in public. (Perhaps that’s why you’ll occasionally find Buddhas there.) J and I love to walk, and beaches are perfect for that pastime, as you can stroll without worry of getting lost: walking for walking’s sake. Nobody asks you where you’re going or what you’re doing on a beach; you’re just free to soak in the sights, smells, and sounds while the waters of the world ebb and surge at your feet.

This is my belated contribution to last week’s Photo Friday theme, Seashore. Click here for more photos from our outing, including images from this year’s National Sand Sculpting Festival. Enjoy!