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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sculpture Racing in East Cambridge

After discovering Sculpture Racing at last year’s Cambridge Riverfest I was mega, big-big psyched. I was SO gonna enter this year. In fact, I had the idea all set.

I’d make mondo clouds and attach them to either side of my trusty trike, masking me, the driver. Jen would be connected like a water skier to a boat but on roller skates. She'd be in a get up made to appear as though she was an angel flying above the clouds (with flapping wings of course). This’d work great and would be pretty damn simple and inexpensive to build too!

And then I lost track of time and missed the deadline. *sigh*
Our old Spring St. digs
I was still really looking forward to seeing this year’s event which was in a new location – down along East Cambridge waterfront and the Lechmere Canal. Our old stomping grounds!  It’s strange walking around the old neighborhood now that the Kendall Square BioTech Boom has transformed it.

When we lived here, a mere 12 years ago, there was just one tall building – the prison down the street from us. Now the place is all soaring steel and glass. All the empty lots, most anyway, have been filled with glossy upscale apartment and office towers.

It’s beautifully impressive until I remember that all this great progress was why we were forced outta the area. Mind you, if we hadn’t been priced out, we’d have never lucked into Valhalla. Yup, that’s a silver, rainbow infested, lining right there.

Back at the Sculpture Race though. It was a bit disappointing. There were fewer participants and only a few new elaborate sculptures. There were interesting ones like the Larry Poons Machine, the Old Crabby Crone Mobile and the Elephant/Cthulhu Mashup (my names for them) but nothing new that was wildly beautiful and GEE-HOW'D-THEY-DO-THAT!

Though I was def keen on the Larry Poons Machine, I thought it would've been a lot more fun if the apparatus had been tricked out. You know, with silver and gold paint, sparklies dangling off the sides, wings or some other flash costumes on the pilots maybe? Love the concept but the presentation was a snoozer.

The Old Crabby Crone Mobile was beautifully colorful but, if they made the legs moveable – appear to be running when the sculpture was racing – it would've been way more exciting.

The Elephant/Cthulhu? In addition to being painted in, mostly, browns, greys and creams (will look great next to the sofa zzzzzzzzzzzzz) it was completely static. Bring in some kinetic elements. This is a race of sculptures, yes, but they don't have to be rigidly immobile atop their wheels. Make those suckers live!

The most successful of the sculptures, to my mind, were repeats from last year – the flock of flying birds bike, the man piloting the giant baby carriage and the wave machine.

Still, this is a tremendous, mind sparking, fun affair and, swear ta Bast, we are totally gonna enter next year!

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