Jon Crispin's Notebook

Victory Players / Whippy Dip / Fenway

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I had fun last week photographing a new musical ensemble that is sponsored by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts.  The Victory Players are (from left to right) Han Chen, Giovanni Perez, Elly Toyoda, Robert Rocheteau, Eric Schultz, YuMi Bae, and Conductor Tian Ng.

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The top photograph was made at the Victory Theatre in Holyoke, which is about to be restored to its former glory, but currently has an abandoned feel to it.  The photo with the piano was shot on the Mount Holyoke College campus and in spite of looking totally staged, was really quite spontaneous.  Robert Rocheteau was taking selfies and it just sort of fell together for me.

Victory Ensemble.  Robert Rocheteau

I also did individual shots of each of the musicians.  There is something about this photograph of Robert Rocheteau that really grabs me.  He has fabulous hair.

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On Friday night I went to a performance of the ensemble in Holyoke and stopped on the way home at Cindy’s in Granby for an ice cream.  I made it just before closing.  My friend Alex always referred to every summer roadside stand as a “Whippy Dip”, and this one is a classic.

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To end the week, my friend Lisa and I went to a Red Sox / White Sox game on Saturday.  She had gotten amazing seats for us and the weather was perfect for a 4:05 start.  I took this from our seats just after a J.D. Martinez home run, and I think he was still rounding the bases as I fired the shutter.  The (Red) Sox won 4-2.

Baseball in May

Posted in Baseball, baseball stadiums, Jon Crispin, Sport, sports, stadiums, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 23/05/2018

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It was a lovely day for a ball game.  The Nats had a 4:05 start and looked good until the 6th.  They ended up losing 3-1 to the Padres.  The weather was perfect and Peter and I were in our usual section 401, row M seats.

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I think the Nats were running the special “Pigeons in the Park” promotion.

An Interesting Day or Two

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Yesterday I took the train from Stratford upon Avon to Marylebone London.  It was raining.

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I made it with plenty of time to spare to make the 5.30 kickoff for the Fulham v Derby County match (ended in a 1-1 draw, but still fun).

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After the match I walked back to my hotel past my favorite row of houses.  Most of them have these amazing stained glass doors.  Mind blowingly beautiful.

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This morning I had a bit of a plan that started in Bishop’s Park.

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I wanted to walk past the Cottage again.  Last night, I entered the ground through door 36.  Quite narrow.

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I really like these graphic tiles set into the pavements along the Thames Walk.  Especially the smell lines coming out of the poo.

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Next stop was The Dove in Hammersmith for a pint of ESB.  Nice

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I started inside in the tiny bar and then moved to the deck out back.

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Just before I got to my ultimate destination (next photo), I got a text from Cris at home telling me to call immediately.  This is why; a giant fookin’ tree had fallen on my Element, and had knocked over my Vespa.  I think the Element might just be toast, but the Vespa could be ok.  Kind of put a damper on things.

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Many years ago John Wilson surprised me at the end of a very long walk along the Thames with this view.

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Here is a closer look at the Naked Ladies of Twickenham.

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And another.

I made it back to the Dove for more beer and a Sunday roast.  Tomorrow I have some meetings with folks interested in the suitcase project.  V exciting.

Nats v Bucs

Posted in Architecture, Baseball, baseball stadiums, Jon Crispin, Sport, sports, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 28/09/2017

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A perfect late September evening for baseball.  Nats won in the bottom of the 9th on a walk-off single by Alejandro De Aza.  Thanks to Peter’s work friend Kristina for the tickets.  It was funny when we saw where we were sitting as we were in virtually the same seats for a pre-season game in 2015.  Here is a link to a post I did then.  This is a better photograph.  Thanks Kristina, and to all the folks at DHS who have been so kind, generous, and wonderful to Peter.

D.C.

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It is always a treat to be in D.C.  The weather was perfect for baseball yesterday.  Peter and I copped a couple of $5.00 seats (section 401, row M, seats 1 and 2).  As far away from home plate as you can get, but for us, the best view in the house.

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I have posted a Sulgrave Manor photo before, but I am always drawn to this particular  entry.  I really like this part of Connecticut Avenue.  It was a lovely evening for a walk.  So much is in bloom and the temperature is perfect.

Wishing all you Massachusetts residents a relaxing Patriots’ Day tomorrow.  And to everyone, a happy and productive week.

Opening Day

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I will often go to Fenway without a ticket in the hope that something will pop up (no pun intended).  When I got to the park I was amazed to see the line for the “day of game” tickets was quite short so I queued up and snagged a cheap (for the Sox) ticket out in the right field  grandstand.

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It is always special to walk into Fenway, especially on opening day.

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The NESN sideline reporter was ready for the cold, but it warmed up nicely.  By the 4th inning I took off my jacket, down vest, and wool sweater.

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I am including this shot for Peter Carroll.  Look closely and you will notice that the “camera” on the tripod for this guy’s live feed is an iPhone!  Amazing.

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The Sox were playing the Pirates, and I am including this shot for my son Peter.  We joke a lot about the 1970s Pirates hats, and this gentleman was totally decked out, including his Willie Stargell jersey.  He wasn’t so happy at the end of the day, as the Sox won 5-3.

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I ended up sitting in the second row of right field box 88, and had a really enjoyable time with the usher in that section, Bobby the Brick.  It was a blast to watch him work the game; keeping people moving, and bantering with the crowd.  He would randomly ask folks what the score was, how many runners were on base, etc, just to make sure we were all paying attention.  He is a totally great guy who grew up in the North End and loves his job.

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I always like to look around between innings.  My seat was just under the retired numbers of famous Red Sox players.  Love that blue sky.

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This was the first time I had taken the Commuter Rail to the park.  There is a new stop just steps from Fenway and it was great.  I love trains.

The Lucky Bar

Posted in Family, football, Jon Crispin, soccer, Sport, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 21/01/2017

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Today is Peter’s birthday.  United were playing Stoke, so while Cris went to the Capitol for the march, he and I went to The Lucky Bar to watch the match.  I took this photo in added time, about a minute before Rooney equalized.  It was a great goal and the bar went wild.  So nice to watch football with him on his birthday.  Cris is on her way back to his flat, then out to dinner tonight.

Happy birthday, Laddie.

Washington Capitals / Metro Closed

Posted in Cities, Sport, sports, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized by joncrispin on 15/03/2016

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Peter and I went to a Caps game tonight.  It was great, and they beat Carolina 2-1 in overtime on a (slightly) contested Ovechkin goal.

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On our way to the arena, a guy sitting near to us on the Metro told us that the entire system would be closed for  24 hours starting at midnight.  We figured he wasn’t kidding when we saw this ⇧.  Should make the morning commute really interesting.

Montreal / WWC

Posted in bonsai, botanical gardens, gps, Montreal, Sport, Travel, woman's football, woman's soccer by joncrispin on 28/06/2015

We were in Montreal for the Germany / France match on Friday.  It was fun being in the city again.

It was a bit odd walking back into the Olympic Stadium.  We had been there while the Expos were still playing, and Peter mentioned that the last time we saw a game there he was sure we would never set foot in the place again (The franchise moved to DC after the 2004 season).  It is a shame that they put a roof on it, as watching outdoor sporting events in a covered venue is a somewhat unnatural.  And the place still smells of garlic fries and burgers.  But it was a great match, with Germany winning on penalties 1-1 (5-4).  We were all rooting for France, but the atmosphere was fantastic, and it was great to see a World Cup match in person.

On Saturday morning we went to the Botanical Garden and hung out with Peggy Ross and her husband Peter.  Great little bonsai collection.

Peter has been following Formula One for a few years now, and we had heard that anyone could drive around on the actual circuit.  It is so cool, as it is divided so that one lane is for automobiles (max 30 kph) and the other is for bicycles, roller blades, other non-motorized conveyances and people who just want to walk.  And it shows up on the GPS.  Turn right in 0.6 miles!

Here’s the Element at the back of the starting grid.

The Regent’s Park / Wembley

Posted in Advertising, Flowers, Jon Crispin, Sport, Travel by joncrispin on 10/10/2014

I met Cris at Heathrow yesterday.  She has an all-day meeting today and in order to keep her awake and adjust to the time change, we did a long walk to The Regent’s Park late in the afternoon.  It is amazing that the roses in Queen Mary’s Garden are still blooming in a major way this late into the year.

Earlier in the day I realized that England were to play San Marino at Wembley in the evening, and I knew that Peter would be disappointed if I didn’t attempt to get a ticket.

I got to my seat near half-time just as Wayne Rooney was taking a penalty to make it 2 – nil.

As San Marino is considered the worst team in FIFA, the crowd was a bit sparse; announced attendance was just over 55,ooo.  The final score was 5 – nil England.

 I have been to lots of League matches, but never an international at Wembley, and I must say that the Brits have crowd control down to a science.  Some of it has to do with the design of the stadium, some with the way that the police control things, but mostly it has to do with the fact that the English do nothing better that queueing.

It was a great evening; I thought of Peter the whole time.  I really wish he was with me.

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