Tag Archives: mass

From One Apple-Crazed State to the Other

Jones Creek Farms in the Skagit Valley region of Washington state.

Jones Creek Farms in the Skagit Valley region of Washington state.

Before driving across the country, the states of Massachusetts and Washington seemed to be worlds apart. Brought forth in entirely different times, forged by various people and industries that may have some similar mindsets, but they made very different states.

The culture of west and east coast in the U.S. has historically been polarized, but after having spent a few months in my new home in the Pacific Northwest, I’m finding they might not be so different after all.

One similarity? Apples.

People in Massachusetts love fall, understandably. Fall in New England is one of the best things I’d ever experienced, especially coming from a Southern state where fall just means fewer days to wear flip-flops and sit on the porch. When my partner and I were first throwing around the idea of moving out here, the thought of going without another autumnal wave of fall themed treats, brisk mornings and crunchy leaves seemed unbearable. The Evergreen State of Washington? No brilliantly painted leaves filling the windy afternoon air?

Gourds. It's fall!

Gourds. It’s fall!

But… that’s not all true. Although WA has plenty of trees that remain the same over the seasons, we were pleased to find that there are tons that go through the fall, dropping plenty for me to step on on the walk to work in the morning.

And that horrible gray season? While it’s almost here, we’ve gotten lucky to have crisp sometimes cloudless skies, moody fog, and nice chilly weather. It’s almost like we never left.

And just when it couldn’t get any more perfect…  (you probably guessed it from the title) apples.

Who loves apples more than the people living near a ton of great Central Mass. farms? Those living in Washington. According to the Washington State Apple Commission (yeah, there is one of those — that’s how crazy it gets), Harvest of Washington apples begins in mid-August and generally ends in early November. Each year, Washington harvests over 100 million boxes of apples, each weighing about 40 pounds. That’s a lot.

More apple “core facts” — 10 – 12 billion apples are handpicked in Washington State each year. If you put all of the Washington State apples picked in a year side-by-side, they would circle the earth 29 times (wtf?!). Crazy.

Enjoy some photos of our trip to Washington’s Skagit Valley for some fall fun:

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On the Job: Warren VS Brown

As my time at GoLocalWorcester comes to a close, I’m feeling a little nostalgic about all the events and things I covered — from the intense, most expensive US Senate race in our nation’s history, to watching the area’s fiercest cyclists tackle the steepest hill in the city at the George Street annual competition — covering news and happenings in Central Mass. was a whirlwind.

I wanted to share some of these moments I had, some of which didn’t always get included in the stories I wrote. There’s only so much room for visuals.

For the first installment, I went through my photos from the US Senate race between Scott Brown (R) and Elizabeth Warren (D). The race was an ongoing spectacle filled with nasty accusations, gaffs, and tremendous funding. I followed them to office openings, meet-and-greets at local diners, speeches, and public venues and garnered some national attention for some of the pieces I wrote. It was a really fun experience, and at the end of it, I felt I had learned a great deal about political reporting and campaigns, and gained a lot of self-confidence.

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I’ll be bringing you some more slideshows in the next few days, chronicling other news events in the area and some of the lighters things I’ve covered during my time in Central MA.


Harvard University – MC Escher Style

Harvard University - MC Escher Style

Took this photo a couple years ago when a friend came to visit. We went to Boston, and I tried to include all of those quintessential moments — the Common, the historical sites, and of course walking across the Charles to Harvard.

I left this shot in black and white to emphasize the patterns. Really reminds me of some of Escher’s crazy work.


Slideshow: Beautiful Spring Morning in Boston

Spent the early morning walking around the Back Bay. Thought I was going to do some street portraits (see them here: http://tinyurl.com/ae22ezr), but the springtime sun captured my attention more than I anticipated. Now if we could just get some leaves on the trees….

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The Aftermath – Nemo

Here are some shots of the aftermath of the blizzard that hit New England this past weekend. Before the storm, I couldn’t imagine everything covered in 2+ feet of snow, and after it hit, it looked as strange as I imagined it.

Unlike winters past, there was no snow on the ground before Nemo, and the storm completely changed the landscape, transforming everything into another world.

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Day/Night – My Attempt

So, as I expected, attempting Stephen Wilkes’ tactic of blending the day and night in NYC was severely less interesting when done from my front porch. Oh well. It was a fun try. If you check out his photos, he does a couple things where nicely, one being what he uses as a transitional point. The Flatiron Building makes a perfect object. I found it tough to do this gracefully.

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My first attempt is simply blended left to right, and for the second, I used the horizon as the point of transition, blending front to back. Let me know what you think!

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Amusing Ourselves to Death

Last week, in between worrying about two looming 20-page papers, I was watching the Daily Show because sometimes even cynical me needs a little sugar to help the medicine go down. As much as I love watching Jon Stewart sometimes his level of awareness makes me sad. Yes, he’s doing comedic routines on the news, and he’s a TV persona like so many others, but it seems like he’s sometimes a little put off by reality.

In the episode I watched, he brought attention to the email hacking and attempted debunking that surrounded the topic of global climate change at Climategate in 2009. At the time, it caused a lot of skepticism around the topic and suggested that scientists had been manipulating the data to show climate change; this caused a nearly 20% drop in the acknowledgement of climate change.

While networks had a “field day” during this time, no one bothered to mention that a study intended to disprove climate change, funded by Tea Party oil tycoons, the Koch brothers, actually reaffirmed the science behind it.

What, you may ask, was distracting the broadcast news groups to the point that they missed this gem of information? McDonald’s reintroduced the McRib sandwich. I’ll just give you a minute to let that soak in. Yes, today’s news is more focused on annual fast food specials than something that could very well bring us all to our demise (Although, I guess you could argue that McDonald’s could also bring us all to our demise).

So where does the title of this quaint Editor’s Corner come in? Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business is a book by educator Neil Postman written in 1985. In his book, Postman relies on the fictitious futuristic dystopias given to us by the great Orwell and Huxley. These books, however, are becoming more of a reality. The author leans more towards the world of Huxley’s Brave New World, in which the people medicate themselves into bliss and voluntarily give up their rights. Postman argues that news has become an entertainment source, and another form of distraction.

As scary as it is, we all need a serious wake up call – to global climate change, to what’s important, to what is detrimental to the sustenance of life as we know it. Without an importance placed on serious issues, the masses will just fade into the mindless babble of social networking, commercials, and reality TV. We very well may end up amusing ourselves to death… if the McRib doesn’t kill us first.