From Sand to Sand

I spent most of the Summer hard at work on a new project that I will be sharing in the near future, but I also took a few hours off to get some fresh air and exercise from time to time. That often involved making a quick trip to the beach that is closest to my house, and that just happens to be Revere Beach — it’s a well known place for a number of reasons.

Here are some links where you can find out about the illustrious beach.
How Revere Beach Became America’s First Public Beach (Edgar B. Herwick III, WGBH)
Boston’s Revere Beach: The Complete Guide (Kathryn Cirrone, Trip Savvy)

It’s fairly deserted much of the time — there’s often just myself and a handful of other “beach people” walking or soaking up some sun.

Here’s one of my 360° pictures that shows how it usually looks there.

However, things got a lot busier the second half of July because the annual Revere Beach International Sand Sculpting Festival ran from July 26th to July 28th, and the setup and sand delivery began the week before.

Here’s a news video about the festival from CBS Boston’s WBZ 4 .

It’s fun to visit the festivities, and it’s impossible to refrain from taking snapshots when things like this happen on home turf. Here’s a slide show of some photos that I took at this year’s festival.

The sculptures where gorgeous this year, and here is just a sample of the pictures that I took of my personal favorites. Click on the gallery to see a slide show of them.

As usual, the “Center Sculpture” received a lot of attention. This year’s theme was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Landing, and here’s a time-lapse from RevereTV that shows the sculpture being built.

As great as it is to watch the festival unfold, I must confess that it also strikes me as bittersweet.  It’s the height of Summer when preparations start in mid-July, but then the sculptures stay on display for weeks and slowly melt away until they are finally plowed over in mid-August.

To me, the sculptures serve as a metaphor for the short, sweet existence of Summer. When they are being built and displayed, it is in its full glory. Then the crowds leave, the sculptures deteriorate, and by the time they are gone, Summer is almost gone too. Schools are starting, Halloween decorations are in the stores, and the only thing anyone talks about is Fall.

This year I decided to instantiate this perspective in time-lapses of my favorite sculptures.

Here’s a slide show of my photos of the Center Sculpture’s full life cycle.

Here are my time-lapses of some of my other favorite sculptures.

Now, if you’re like me, you think of sand sculptures as relatives of sandcastles even though, ironically enough, there were no “real” sandcastles this year — the closest thing was the sculpture of Notre Dame.

It’s hard not to be a tad disappointed there were none, so that’s why I felt a bit of joy when I was walking further down the beach and saw a gentleman building an honest-to-goodness sandcastle.

It turns out that he was doing it to promote a cute little product called Create A Castle. Here’s a video about their kit, and there a number of others on their YouTube Channel.

I also had an unexpected encounter with some interesting creatures that you don’t usually see hanging out at Revere Beach. Click on the gallery to see closeups.

Here’s the thing, though. Summer doesn’t “officially” come to its end until the Autumnal Equinox on Monday, September 23. It may be on the wane, but there are still weeks left to get out and enjoy some good old traditional warm weather fun like cookouts and walks on the beach.

I sure plan to do that, and I encourage you to do the same :-)

Happy Summer, Still!

Find out more about Mary’s beaches