Tuesday 22 July 2014

Bucket List Update: a Playground & Buskers!

This weekend, I was able to start checking things off my summer bucket list.  Writing a bucket list and posting it in the kitchen was the best thing I could have done for myself this summer.  You see, as a scatterbrain, I have a hard time focusing.  You'd think when I get unscheduled time that I would have lots of ideas for what to do, but no. I go completely blank when it really matters. So this weekend, when I was thinking, "What should we do today?" I just looked at the wall. 

Little C and I started with a trip to the playground. We went to the little one down the street. It's not the first time we've been here, but the first time since making our bucket list. It's a shame, because the park is not what it used to be. Maybe nostalgia is clouding my memory, but I remember this park being awesome when I was a kid.  It was probably an old rickety wooden structure back then, so it is probably safer now.  Now, there are swings (two for babies). teeter-totters,  and a faded plastic play structure, complete with cigarette burns on the slide and broken glass mixed into the sand.  Probably like many playgrounds. The perk to this park is that it is a two minute walk up the street.  There is another park across the street, associated with a school, but I figured that it wouldn't have baby swings.  We'll have to check it out.
Luckily, C doesn't walk, so he's not in the sand and the baby swings are pretty safe.  Even better, he doesn't notice any of the bad parts.  He just knows that he gets to swing higher and higher and higher while swinging his feet, letting the wind blow through his hair, and laughing hysterically.  Life is good.

I love seeing animal foot prints, but didn't expect to see them on the playground! Obviously, a deer decided that he or she wanted to have a little playtime at the park.

Later that evening, we decided to hit up the Buskers festival uptown.  Buskers on the Boardwalk happens every year.  (This is it's 24th year!) I'm embarrassed to say that I've never seen them.  I've seen performances in other cities, while travelling, but never at home. This is especially strange, because I LOVE street performers.  I love walking uptown and hearing people play music on street corners, at the farmer's market, or outside the bank.  You really never know what to expect - from cellos to kazoos.  I love it all.  That's why I don't understand why I've never gone to see Buskers on the Boardwalk over the years.  Well, this weekend, the wait was finally over!

Since it was the evening, we only had a couple of hours, but there was still a lot going on.  We started by watching Alakazam, also known as "The Human Knot," although he wasn't doing the human knot performance when we saw him.  His act seemed pretty simple, but amazing at the same time. He climbed up a pole that was supported with ropes held by volunteers.  While at the top, he entertained the crowd with a lot of humour and a little knife juggling.    
The think I find really interesting about watching Buskers is the before and after.  They set everything up and take everything down on their own.  When Alakazam was done, he packed everything up in this little suitcase.

The next group to perform was Inferno, a juggling circus-y act that used fire. I could tell that the kids in the crowd were really excited.  It was fire. You don't get to play with fire like this (at least not without getting in trouble!) Again, I was fascinated with the set up.  They would take the parts they would be juggling, dip them in some sort of fuel, then swing them round and round. I'm not sure why, but I think it may have been to draw the excess fuel off.  It seemed to be a very precise procedure. 
It was a good show, but I think it would have been better if it had been had been a little later. The flames would have been a lot more impressive had it been darker. The kids were impressed regardless of the time of day though... it was FIRE!
When that show was over, we had to head for home.  A certain little boy was getting tired. I think the best part of the Buskers festival is all the little acts that are scattered around.  Even on our way back to the parking lot, there was a lot to see.
The Human Pinata

An Artist painting the scene
Miss. Mary, who magically floats
A wind up "doll" -
some kids asked how old she was, and she proceeded to
count, and count, and count, and count...

I'm always amazed by chalk art. 3D without the glasses!

Bucket List Progress:
1.  The Zoo
2.  Kings Landing
3.  Eat at Ossie's Lunch
4.  Make Pickles
5.  Playgrounds (I'm working on it!)
6.  Uptown Self-Guided Public Art Tour
7.  Farmer's Markets (Boyce, Kingston, Queen Square, St. Andrew's)
8.  Visit St. Andrew's
9.  Buskers Festival

Up next: Ossie's Lunch & St. Andrews

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