So the other week the kids and I decided to go to the Albany Bulb (which I call “Art Island”). Or rather, I decided while I was driving the napping kids to go to Art Island, and when they all woke up, we were there so I just said, “hey kids! We are at Art Island! Wanna get out?”
And they said…”is the POPE CATHOLIC?!”
Or something like that. It might have been a few grunts and some enthusiastic mumbles but I know that’s what they meant.
Off we went on what was once the absolutely funnest place to hang out.
It’s just this sort of island place right by the Albany horse racetracks. It’s next to where you can buy a bale of hay for $7 (which is also pretty cool – and come Halloween or spiral herb garden making, well worth knowing!). I like Art Island because of its wild attitude. Big statues just out there, huge murals and panels all painted up, out in the open. Dangling chimes from trees, stones arranged in interesting patterns. It’s like a natural Burning Man, but without any pretense, drugs, desert, and they don’t burn the statues, so maybe it’s not really like Burning Man after all.
Anyway… it seems like a bunch of homeless people have ‘found” Art Island too. Good for them; bummer for us. I’m not comfortable wandering around a bunch of blue tarp shelters and makeshift dwellings that are clearly lived in.
We didn’t get to go down to the shoreline where all the best art stuff was before. I don’t know if it’s still there actually; it’s just where it was the last time I visited.
You know what I like about going to places like this? I like seeing my kids run around (or bike around) on paths that snake through tall grasses. There is something about that – and the lack of other people, the partially-tamed wildness of it all can speak to me, whisper to me of kids that roam free. No, no, not Children of the Fly or the Corn or whatever; just kids that roam FREE. Unscheduled, uncluttered, simply roaming and romping and enjoying and living.
I feel like I’m doing something right when I see them roaming free.
Albany Bulb Website
Speaking of art:
If you are into creating your own, you might want to know about Blurb. I’m a huge fan of their product and let me tell you, once you’ve actually touched one of their photo books, you will never, ever be able to go back to Shutterfly. It’s not just Creme Brulee to jello; it’s like hand roasted Italian espresso and sock juice at the diner. Here’s the kick: for the same price.*
Anyway, so there are the regular photo books (Blurb 20% Off Fathers Day Books) and there is also SELF PUBLISHING. This is really exciting to me. You can take a book that you already created and purchased, pay around $4 and have it turned into a pdf/e-version – which you can then set the price for and sell. OR you can directly create an e-book.
So there. You have it. From one friend to another, you have to check this out. It’s a good thing.
Guess what?! Blurb en Español
*Shutterfly appears to cost less upfront but it doesn’t, once you tally in all the extras you always have to pay with them: shipping, font, more than 10 pages, whatever…