Upper Falls Greenway Stroll


Done with a day at work, and two hours to kill before my fantasy football draft, it was perfect weather for a walk. I grabbed my camera and headed for the Upper Falls Greenway, located in Newton, where there is an outdoor art exhibit along the path.


Now, I’m not really an art person, but as long as I don’t have to pay for it, and it involves a little stroll outdoors, why not?  So, off I was..


The first thing I noticed was a lot of vines had been cut that had been taking over the trees and foliage. It was not part of the art exhibit, but as it turns out, they were probably more cool and artistic to my eye than the art, I mean, check this out, looks like a huge wooden snake! Mother Nature’s art.


I continued down the path, and in breaks in the trees, you could spot the nearby broadcasting towers. Not art, but kind of cool, anyway.



The greenway, being a rail trail project, you could still see signs of the old railroad track that had been converted to a path.


And every so often along, as rail trails always do, benches with plaques on them honoring the donors to the project. This one had no plaque…I guess it was paid for by tax money? That’s OK, Newton people can afford it.


Along one side of the trail, there were a bunch of cedar trees that had been planted. They are kind of small and scraggly now,


..but when they are grown, they will definitely be a benefit, obscuring some of the other sights that detract from the scenery along the way.


The Upper Falls Greenway is definitely not one of the more beautiful rail trails, but it is still in it’s infancy, and it’s still a great improvement over abandoned train tracks.

Not long into my walk, I entered the art exhibit. If you know me, you will know that my reactions to the various displays were less than thrilling, but I don’t really have an eye for art, or care for any artwork that is obscure or abstract. I’m the sort of guy that walks by art displays and thinks “That’s why artists are starving.”

At any rate, the first display was “Chandelier Chime”.



Guess it kind of speaks for itself, right? At least I could appreciate the craftiness of creating something from a bunch of stuff that was scavenged. Kind of bushcrafty, really. So I could appreciate it. Off to a pretty good start.

Next up along the path, “Graft”. I’m not sure what it was supposed to represent, I assumed it was something about the practice of grafting fruit tree branches or something…



..but looking up close, those dark spots were, I think, grapes? Never saw a “grape tree” before. Is this artist aware that grapes grow on trees, or rather, onto trees, but are not trees? I’m sure I’m missing something here, but maybe the artist is missing something…I dunno. You figure it out.


On to Cincinnati! That’s a football reference, for those heathens who don’t love football. Got that? OK, moving on…

Next on the hit list, “Pinball Universe”.


My camera couldn’t rally capture it with the light, but it is more or less a bunch of paper mache planets glued to some netting….the sort of thing that reminds me of those times when I was a kid in school and had been procrastinating on a project for a diorama that was coming due the next day, so you had to make something up at the last minute and pretend you put a lot of thought into it. Hey, I warned you…art is not my thing.


OK, and the hits keep coming, next up, “Reflective Moments”. I dunno. Kind of cool, I guess, but I started getting the feeling that some of these art projects had a budget of $10. At least I could grok the sentiment of it. I would have just made a giant smart phone and stuck it in the woods. Maybe with the screen on it saying “Hey, are you aware that there is a real world around you right now?”



Next up, “Solid Illusion”. This one I find pretty cool. Simple, effective, not too far out and abstract, just interesting. Who you gonna believe, me, or your lying eyes? I did note that the most effective 3D illusion is coming from the leaves that grow through the structure, giving it the illusion of depth.



After passing by one of the crossroads, where there are side paths going to commercial outlets


..there is a residence along the path where the backyard, in my eyes, sort of says something at least as powerful and relevant as the artwork displayed.


Really, in a way, it is “living art”, isn’t it? Not pretty, but very real, and makes a very real statement in a way that artwork never can and never will, in my mind.

On we go! Next was kind of a freaky one, and I’m not even going to try to type it out. This display gave me the heebee jeebee’s. It’s like something out of a horror film.





Yeah. OK. Let’s keep moving.

Next, the sign was pretty well obscured by weeds, but it is “Love Poem”. Not my idea of a love poem, but whatever.



Do you get it? I hope one of us does.

We are moving on…..to “Persephone’s grove”. Check it out. 3 displays of…something, I guess.





Maybe that one had a $20 budget?

Moving on. I needed to take a mental break from all this enlightenment, so I took a few moments to admire something I understand, that just is what it is.



So far, that and the wood snakes was my favorite artwork, nature’s art. Guess I’m just a cro-magnon simpleton.

Back to the Path of Enlightenment. “Seen/Not Seen”. Someone nailed a bunch of reflectors onto some trees. Maybe they should have nailed them to themselves. What did the trees do to deserve this abuse?



Yup. Not impressed. I guess I’m just a caveman or something.

Next, something I get, something I actually liked. Bocce! On my return, there were people actually playing, but I did not capture it.



Next to the Bocce court was some other tree art that I don’t understand…I’ll just let you admire it.









Got all that? Did you take the time to absorb it, contemplate, take it all in and elevate your psyche?  Good.

Next up, something I liked, it had flowers, and pictures of people, with little blurbs dedicated to those people. Memorials and dedications. This, I understand appreciate.




And that more or less brought me to the end of the exhibit and the end of my walk.



The walk ended at one of my happy places, where I get coffee every morning and am greeted by Henry and Kim, the owners, and the regulars who gather before work every morning. All good folks, and good coffee. Unfortunately, at this time of day, it is closed, so no coffee for Punty.


Thus concludes my path of enlightenment walk, and it was just in time for me to begin contemplating something that really would being me joy, and happiness, and enlightenment…my fantasy football draft!

Thanks for taking this walk with me. Enjoy life, get out.










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