The Only Advertisement You Will Ever See On This Site!

Jackson's Computer Services

Let The Wife Take Care Of Your Computer Needs







May 17, 2007


A weblog about the politics and affairs of the old and glorious City of Albany, New York, USA. Articles written and disseminated from Albany's beautiful and historic South End by Daniel Van Riper. If you wish to make a response, have anything to add or would like to make an empty threat, please contact me.

NEW! Albanyweblog now has RSS! Click on the link at the bottom of this article to add this site to your RSS feed.

May 17, 2007

The Tulip Queen And Joan Jett

Some pretty good photos of the Tulip Festival, 2007

Absolutely gorgeous weather, sunshine, not too hot or cold or too windy. I think that there were about four billion people at this year’s Tulip Festival in Washington Park on Mother’s Day weekend. The old joke about how rain always falls on the Tulip Festival simply did not apply this year.

Moses Statue

I spent all day Saturday in the park and took some photos worth sharing. My little camera can’t do panoramas too well, as with this attempt to catch the crowds around Moses. And of course I didn’t bother to snap any photos of tulips, which were, for once, about as close to perfect as they can get. The boys and girls at the Hearst Times Union weren’t able to do their standard “The tulips are looking bad this year” article. Instead they barely mentioned the festival, but hordes of people came anyway.

We checked out the Tulip Queen parade and competition. Mayor Jerry Jennings rode in a horse drawn carriage with the outgoing 2006 Tulip Queen, Amanda Benincasa waving graciously. When His Majesty, however, noticed who was snapping his picture, he made a sour face and looked away.

Mayor Jennings and 2006 Tulip Queen

The royal couple was preceded by the police pipers. You can see them in the back, I wish I’d taken a photo of the horses. They were unbelievably pretty.

Police Pipers

There were five competitors for the title of 2007 Queen, each got to ride in their own little convertible.

Five Tulip Queen Competitors

There seemed to be an awful lot of mean looking cops standing around the pageant. When I ran out in the roadway to snap the above picture they all looked like they wanted to tackle me and ship me off to Gitmo. I mean, what’s that all about? Tulip terrorism?

Here’s the five finalists at the moment the winner was chosen, Amisha Gomes, on the left.

The other four are hissing through clenched teeth, “Choke on that bouquet, b---ch.” I marveled at how they kept their toothy smiles steady right through to the end of the ceremony. They must have been strictly instructed to do that. It looked like it hurt.

Amisha Gomes, crowned Tulip Queen 2007

What a lovely couple. Before all this pageantry, The Wife and I had to set up the Save the Pine Bush display over in the Activist Ghetto. This is where all the social action groups and churches lurch out at the festival goers and try to get them to take pieces of paper explaining exactly what is wrong with the world and what THEY can do about it.

Activist Ghetto

Usually the Activist Ghetto is the least crowded area of the festival. I really don’t understand why that is. It’s the most amusing and interactive part of the Festival, a place where almost everybody is dying to strike up a conversation with you. I like to move from table to table early in the day when everybody is fresh and full of enthusiasm for their causes.

Save the Pine Bush display

Here’s the Save the Pine Bush display with the three panels connected with hinges I made in our basement 15 or so years ago. We are proud of our funky chic. Note the three weird sisters fussing with “No Dump In The Pine Bush” t-shirts and hoodies in the back to the left. The two pictures above were taken before the Festival officially opened. By mid afternoon the Activist ghetto was as crowded as the Food Alleys.

ACLU - Melanie Trimble

Up a ways from us, Melanie Trimble was setting up the New York Civil Liberties (NYCLU) table. During a discussion wherein she and I both got infuriated at what the politicians are doing to our Bill of Rights, she shook a tent leg and showed us what she would do to anybody who tried to take away our civil liberties.

Later, Melanie made up a petition and passed it around the Activist Ghetto. She called for an end to the City of Albany’s recent stringent rules that only allow accredited 501c3s to set up in the Activist Ghetto, and for marginalizing all the worthy organizations off to the edge of the Festival. Unfortunately, the first person to sign was The Wife, so I can imagine The Mayor’s grimace when he sees THAT petition.

Always in a better location is the Art Ghetto, where various artists compete for prizes and sell their work. The quality ranges from fine to schlock.

For the first time in a year or so I saw photographer Bradford Smith, who looked a bit older but otherwise okay. It seems he’d been traveling to Florida, California and Oklahoma. Mr. Smith is a retired studio and fashion photographer, with a vast archive of negatives going back to the 1940s. He takes some new photos, but most of his wares are recently developed from those old negatives.

He always hides his artistic nudes because he thinks that they are not appropriate for display in public. "I don’t want to upset the little kids or their parents,” he always tells me. But I think his stuff is fine art.

Whenever he sees me coming he calls out, “I’ve got some new ones for you,” meaning his hidden stash of nudes. Indeed, he had one I hadn’t seen before, which I promptly purchased. I present it here, I hope that viewing such salacious material on my website doesn’t turn some innocent youngster into a crack addict.

Bradford Smith Artistict Nude

But the real high point of the day was the performance by Joan Jett on the main stage. I did not believe that she would be that good. What a voice on her, and what a tight, competent no-nonsense rock and roll band, just the kind of rock music I like. She could play anything and it sounded great, including the theme song from the Mary Tyler Moore show. She made that drippy insipid tune sound like a power anthem.

The crowd was far and away the largest I’ve ever seen for a performer at the Tulip Festival. The audience was all ages, including little kids on their parent's shoulders happily presenting the two horned devil hand symbol at Ms. Jett. That, of course, is the universal heavy metal salute. I wormed my way forward in the crowd until I got some good pictures during the last number.

Joan Jett

The woman is closing in on 50 years of age. I believe she’s been wearing the same tight leather outfit since she was in The Runaways back in the 1970s.

At one point she rasped at the audience, “It’s the Tulip Festival... but where’s the tulips?”

Hundreds of arms, including mine, shot up into the air and pointed to the left, back toward the Moses statue.

“Oh yeah?” she said. “Over there? Huh.” then she launched into her next number. I wonder if she took the time later on to smell the tulips.


Click on this link to add albanyweblog to your RSS feed!

Coming Soon! Interactive comments! Really! No kidding!!

Prior Post * * * Next Post

This site maintained by Lynne Jackson of Jackson's Computer Services.