Las Bicicletas

You’ve seen them around town. But- what are they? I’ve started giving them nicknames, myself.

Stand Up Bike

Stand Up Bike

Robo Bike

Robo Bike

Praying Mantis Bike

Praying Mantis Bike

I looked it up (thanks WYDaily!) and found out that they are part of a traveling art exhibit. May was bike month in Williamsburg, and this coming October the UCI Road World Bike Championships will be held in Richmond (there will be related bike events in Williamsburg, too).

The sculptures were created by a Mexican artist, Gilberto Aceves Navarro. Basically, he thinks bicycles are a crucial element to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels- and he also loves the feeling of being on a bike- the freedom, the wind in your hair, the possibilities of where you’ll go. So he made paintings of figures riding bikes to convey that feeling, and then they were enlarged, cut out of metal, and made into sculptures. It’s all explained in this video:

TEASER HD from Las Bicicletas on Vimeo.

Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the video if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing:

I conceived the bicycles this way: as a way to relate families and their environment. People work in somewhat inhumane, enclosed spaces, so my interest was to give them a more humane connection to the environment. How do I represent this in a formal artistic proposal? By finding ways to make bicycles that look like bicycles, but are not exact portraits, yet convey the idea of a bike. They are vehicles of happiness, vehicles of health. Their shape gives me peace, because it’s smooth and without bumps. . . . Being as old as I am now, I can’t ride my bike 14 hours a day anymore, but I can do what I am doing, thinking how can the bicycles help us have a better existence.

Las Bicicletas

For more details about the project and where it goes when it leaves Williamsburg in October, check out the website: Las Bicicletas.

Little Biciletas

Do you have some favorite bicycle memories? Mine is here (at the bottom). Do you have any suggestions for nicknames for any bikes? Post them on the Facebook page!

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Thunderbirds are Go! at Colonial Williamsburg

No, not those Thunderbirds– I’m talking about the Native American kind. Step aside, Etsy and fake tribal patterns from Forever 21- let the original masters show you how it’s done.

Imagine living in a pueblo during the Great Depression. Your family has earned money for generations making and selling jewelry to both fellow native people and tourists alike. But now . . . there’s no money for the precious stones and metals. What do you do?

Thunderbird 1

The jewelry makers of the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico responded to this shortage by doing what artists do naturally- taking inspiration from the world around them. Instead of precious stones, they used plastic from LP records, car batteries, and anything else that had the desired color and could be manipulated into jewelry.

Thunderbird2

This weekend, “Thunderbirds: Jewelry of the Santo Domingo Pueblo” is opening at the Folk Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. You’ll be able to see how the artists kept their traditions alive and provided for their families by creatively transforming the resources at hand.

Bonus! Saturday there’s a lecture by the curators themselves, Roddy and Sally Moore. If you want to learn the story behind this jewelry, it’s a must-see. You’ll need either your Good Neighbor Pass ($10 for the whole year) or a Museum Admission ticket ($13).

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Thunderbird3

One Town, One Weekend- 24 shows

Phew. You guys, I just finished finding every single instance of live music coming up this weekend- and I’m exhausted. Did you know that there are a total of 24 live music shows this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday?? Go Williamsburg! (And that’s not even counting the other events going on- free cupcakes at the Farmer’s Market, painting outside, a 17th century fashion show, and a BMX jam, among others)

All of these are available on the calendar. But because I like you, I’ll go ahead and list all of them right here for you.

Black White Blues featuring Girls Night Out is playing at Bourbon Street Friday at 9!

Black White Blues featuring Girls Night Out is playing at Bourbon Street Friday at 9!

Friday, June 26
6:00pm- Friday Night Jazz at The Trellis
7:00pm- Jazz Standards at Triangle Restaurant
7:00pm- Sammy Lee at Berret’s
8:00pm- Timeline Jazz Quartet @ the Lodge
8:00pm- Jonny Waters @ Daddyo’s
8:00pm- Louis Vangieri @ Aromas
8:00pm- Mike Lucci Band at Cogan’s
8:00pm- Snackbar Jones @ Oceans & Ale
9:00pm- Black White Blues at Daddyo’s Bourbon St
9:00pm- Kevin Bleakley @ Center Street Grille

Music teacher by day, jazz guitarist by night- Tony Mata is playing at the new Triangle Restaurant Saturday

Music teacher by day, jazz guitarist by night- Tony Mata is playing at the new Triangle Restaurant Saturday

Saturday, June 27
2:00pm- Hector at Saturday Afternoon Wine Tunes at Saude Creek
6:00pm- Tony Mata Trio at Triangle Restaurant
7:00pm- Smith-Wade Band @ The Lodge
8:00pm- London @ Cogan’s
8:00pm- Aaron Enright @ Aromas
8:00pm- Billy Joe Trio @ Daddyo’s
8:00pm- Sun Dried Vibes @ Oceans & Ale
8:30pm- Chris & Joe
9:00pm- Pat Russell Band @ Daddyo’s Bourbon St ($5 cover)

The Hark plays most Sunday nights at The Trellis

The Hark plays most Sunday nights at The Trellis

Sunday, June 28
11:00am- Jazz Brunch at The Trellis
1:00pm- Acoustic Lunch, With Guitarist Louis Vangieri @ Barnes & Noble
2:00pm- A Taste of Love at Sunday Afternoon Music & Wine at Saude Creek
6:00pm- The Hark at The Trellis
8:45pm- Into the Woods movie on Prince George Street (ok, not live music, but it is a musical!)

As always, a complete listing of fun and cheap things to do in Williamsburg (and more details about these shows) is available- you guessed it- on the calendar. Plus, you can easily add the events to your own calendar and invite friends! Which of these bands do you plan on checking out this weekend? Leave a comment!

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June 19-21: What to do in the ‘Burg

This is just a small portion of all the events that are available! There’s the market, movies, and the art fair on Saturday . . . check out the calendar for more options. Below are some musical happenings I just had  to point out!

Friday June 19:
Wine Night at Saude Creek Vineyards

ST Lite at Saude Creek

The lead singer from ST Lite shows us how it’s done.

Although Saude Creek has these most Friday nights in the summer, this one is special because there will be a group from Young Emerging Professionals of Williamsburg there. You don’t have to be a member to attend, but you do have the opportunity to meet a group of fun people. Or, you can stick to your own possy and just do your own thing! I went last year and it was a blast- good music, good company, beautiful setting, cornhole, wine, food- a veritable Eden. They let you bring your own picnic- it was a really great bargain! And the setting is just gorgeous. Friday the featured musical performer is ST Lite (they describe themselves as “acoustic with a KICK”) and there will be crepes there!
(PS- if you can’t get there Friday night, they also have the same thing happening on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 2-5pm)

Saturday June 20:
Amy Kucharik at Aromas

How do you feel about quirky ukelele music? Amy Kucharik is pretty much a master at this particular genre, and she’s playing for tips at Aromas Saturday at 8pm. The video above showcases her band, but I’m not sure how much of the band will be with her Saturday (I’d be willing to bet it will just be her- if you know for sure, let me know!). If you like Molasses Creek– a regular at First Night– you’ll like Amy- the sound is 1920s bluesy and ragtimish. Aromas is always a fun, relaxed atmosphere on the weekends, and her music sounds like it will be fun and carefree to listen to.

Sunday June 21
Tony Bob Merritt at Alewerks

After (or while) you catch up with dad, enjoy a Sunday afternoon at Alewerks with live music 2-5 pm by Tony Bob Merritt (“one-man acoustic stylings”). The scene at Alewerks is really fun- super chill, but also really busy. Everyone is really friendly, and the beer is EXCELLENT.

Alewerks beerBeyond what you’ve had in bottles and at bars around town, they usually have some small-batch brews they only serve in the tasting room. One word of advice, though- eat before you go, or come not very hungry. Their menu is really limited (at least for now)- don’t plan on having a meal there. Ooh, and apparently they just opened what they’re calling the “Biergarten”- if you go, let us all know how it is!


Have a great time this weekend everyone, and be safe! Don’t forget to check out the calendar for more things to do in Williamsburg!

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Daddyo’s Bourbon Street doesn’t win “Blue Ribbon”

Blue Ribbon 5

Blue Ribbon has a classic rock sound that sometimes swings more Tom Petty, sometimes more trance-y jam band. They play a mix of mostly original songs with some covers. Their originals are pretty much split between the two sounds: the first upbeat folk-rock style seems to be written by guitarist Chris Ambrosino, and the second dreamy style with jazz chords seems to come from the mind of Jim Gordon, lead guitarist. (At least, going by the lead singer on the songs.)

Blue Ribbon 1

Although this particular show was plagued by sound glitches (lots of crackles and pops), there were some really good jams going on toward the ends of the songs. And if the music’s not enough, they have a pretty substantial light, smoke, and (fake) fire show to go along with their music-

As for Daddyo’s Bourbon Street– let’s just say it has a long way to go before it becomes a “hot spot” for nightlife. It looked like the only people there tonight were either guests at the attached hotel or people who go there all the time. The energy just wasn’t there- not like it is at Daddyo’s in Norge, which was pretty hoppin’ the last time I was there. If Daddyo’s wants to make Bourbon Street into more of a scene, they’ll need to really shake it up. And let me go on the record here and say I really want Daddyo’s Bourbon Street to be a cool place! We need more nightlife near downtown.

Have you been to the “new” Daddyo’s at Bourbon Street? What do you think?

Everything You Need to Know about visiting the Hermione in Yorktown

YOU GUYS the “Air-me-own” is finally here!

Hermione

I’m not going to try to tell you what it is or why it’s important- lots of people have done a good job of that already. But I will give you the inside scoop on what there is to do in Yorktown! I went there this afternoon, here’s what I learned:

1) It’s pronouced “air-me-own”. At least according to the lady at the info tent!

2) Parking is a pain- just be patient, allow yourself plenty of time, and ask all the people in bright event staff tshirts for advice on where to park. The good news is, it’s free to park.

3) If you want to actually get ON the boat, please get there early in the morning. You need a (free) ticket to get on. Although they’re free tickets, you must pick them up there, in person. Also, you can only pick up your own tickets- you can’t pick up tickets for other people. The lady I talked to said that people started lining up at 6:30 am this morning– when we arrived at about 1:30 pm today they had already sold out for Saturday. They will start handing tickets out at 8am Sunday and the tours will be from 9am-4pm.

4) Get the bread and cheese from Crown Point Bread Co.! It’s super delicious- a really hearty, nutty bread and sharp Vermont cheddar. They drove down all the way from upstate New York to meet the ship- plus they have BY FAR the best tent, hands-down.

tent

bread

breadncheese

Each package of a hunk of bread and cheese is $5, and it’s TOTALLY worth it!

5) In the field by the Waterfront (where the Yorktown Farmer’s Market usually is), there are blacksmiths at work, there’s an exhibit about the ship, and there are a few reenactors who are happy to answer your questions and who have tons of fun toys to play with.

reenactors

toys

6) Besides the stuff by the waterfront, many of Yorktown’s museums are also open, and some of them are free. One is the York County Historical Museum– the museum is actually in the basement (where it is nice and cool and air-conditioned!) and there are docents and curators there who are really eager to tell you all about the artifacts they have there and what they can tell us about people’s everyday lives back in the day.

This is a cameo of the granddaughter of Admiral de Grasse on display at the Customs House on Main Street- check out her braid headband!

This is a cameo of the granddaughter of Admiral de Grasse on display at the Customs House on Main Street- check out her braid headband!

7) There’s a little art fair on Main Street called the Virginia’s Finest Fair. There’s handmade art, jewelry, furniture, and food- brisket sandwiches, popsicles, crepes, and kettle corn, among other delectables. There’s also a farmstand from Allen’s Farm near Williamsburg.

blue glass

furniture

Here’s the map of where L’Hermione will go next!Hermione route For an excellent detailed history of the story of this ship, Lafayette, and what its voyage meant for the Americans, go to the Journal of the American Revolution’s article, “Lafayette’s Second Voyage to America: Lafayette and L’Hermione.”

Here’s a link to the complete schedule of events for the remainder of today and tomorrow, and a couple of highlights below:

Saturday, June 6:

8:30 pm- Premiere of the one-act play “Lafayette”.

Sunday, June 7:

1:00 p.m. Lecture. Alan Hoffman, President of the American Friends of Lafayette, will present “Lafayette and the Farewell Tour: Odyssey of an American Idol.”  Yorktown Victory Center.  Free and Open to the Public.

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The ship sets sail on Monday, so tomorrow is your last chance to see it! Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below-