I often tell people, "You would have to set yourself on fire to get noticed on Monroe Avenue" so usual is the unusual on Monroe Ave., where everything that is different converges and becomes the norm. On Saturday, June 7th of 2014, at least four separate events were held simultaneously on Monroe Avenue. 1. The Show on Monroe, 2. Spokes & Ink, 3. The Scavenue Hunt , 4. An unidentified scavenger hunt featuring joggers in costumes. This flood of activities rendered the usual freak show a tourist attraction with too much fun and not enough time to take it all in.
The Show On Monroe 2014 by RocPic.Com features 12 videos & 160 photos. Scroll through the videos in the Vimeo widget below, by clicking on the Next button, OR scroll to the bottom of the page to find the busker - musician or performance that you are looking for and click that link.
The photos are hosted on Flickr.Com/RocPic you will see a timer on the right corner of the slideshow title bar running while the photos load. Give the photos a moment to load before you hit the refresh button. You will also find options to pop out the photos as an autoplaying slideshow, or all 160 photos using the slideshow provided by Flickr.
The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink Photo Album 1 of 2
The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink Photos 1 of 2
The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink Photos 2 of 2
The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink Photo Album 2 of 2
The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink 160 Photos in 1 Slideshow
The following narratvie will provide you with a timeline, of the highlights, of my visit, to The Show On Monroe + Spokes & Ink. Items highlighted are well represented in photos and video, in the order narrated.
I began my visit to The Show on Monroe + Spokes & Ink, at what I like to call the "420 McDonald's" as it is located at 420 Monroe Ave., but also because it has been such a friendly location for many years now, you get the feel of a party atmosphere.
Soon I was outdoors standing in the shade of a tree, munching on a Big Mac, while taking in the morning scenery on Monroe Avenue. With minutes to go before the noon start of the day's events, I was quickly rewarded by a steady stream of teams of joggers, dressed in crazy costumes, working with maps and smartphones, as they made their way towards Cobbs Hill.
Fortified with burgers, I headed towards downtown Rochester in search of the day's first performance. My goal was to walk beyond the Bug Jar ( music club ) as it was near the outer limits of the "busking zone". I shot photos of the Bug Jar, and the downtown Rochester skyline as I made my way on Monroe Ave., but I did not see any buskers. I did an about face and headed towards the old Sears building. I stopped at the firehouse located at Monroe Ave. and Alexander St., where they had a costumed fire dog mascot, greeting those wishing to visit with firefighters from the Rochester Fire Department, Engine 1 at 315 Monroe Ave.
Continuing towards Cobbs Hill, I spotted two employees of the Monroe Ave. Jimmy John's, one worker was holding what looked like a tray of samples, while standing under a neon sign that proclaimed "Free Smells", and appeared to be doing just that.
I found my first busker, Dana Castronova with an acoustic guitar, along the iron fence that surrounds Monroe High School . At a nearby table was artist Derek Thesing "Stay Up Stay Low" drawing "your favorite Pokemon". Dana kicked off the day's festivities with Cake's "Love You Madly" followed by Allen Toussaint's "Get Out Of My Life Woman"
As I approached the front of the Monroe Ave. Lilac Laundry I continued to encounter runners wearing costumes, pursuing their scavenger hunt. I paused at the Lilac Laundry, viewing the chalk mural being created on the sidewalk outside the entrance of the laundromat.
Crossing the road, next up musically was Mark E on acoustic guitar performing "Wake Me UP" ( Avicii ), while standing in front of the Rehab Lounge ( bar ), now that's Monroe Ave.
Moving east on Monroe Ave, I met Ricky Rotton with his acoustic guitar, and perhaps a girlfriend, sitting on the sidewalk near the Avenue Pub. Ricky did an original, I believe it's called "Freedom", when he finished I asked for his e-mail and he replied with an UnderTheSkin.TV address, where he works.
I met Kit Fallon playing fiddle and Lincoln H. Cromwell on banjo, outside of the Chase Bank at Monroe and Goodman, performing as the Unholy Alliance self described as "A Celtic & Old Time Folk Duo"
The Busker Brown Band was gathered outside of Lola's Bistro, with Jed Wilson harmonica, Andrew Hammond accordion, Dave Bernis guitar, and Dave Paprocki aka Washboard Dave on the washboard, to name a few, but not all of the characters that joined the band that day.
I found a half dozen people, some familiar faces, drumming on djembes in front of the Aaron's Alley and Hipp E Chic storefront. I stopped inside Aaron's for a minute and chatted with Jen Plunkett and Anna, miss ya Aaron .
Across the road, Great Big Yam Potatoes with Stephen Bland, Margaret Mathews, Dan Palmer, Kathy Vandemortel seemed to have an appropriate stage outside of Texas Blues BBQ 649 Monroe Ave. I have also shot photos and video of Stephen Bland a couple of times now while covering the City Newspaper Best Busker Contest.
I ran into Tom "Pops" Mark for the third time in the last two years, having met before at the 2013, and 2014 City Newspaper Best Busker Contest. Once again he had a bevey of instruments before him, and I once again asked for some sax.
I met "If You Like My Style Kyle" (Donovan) strumming his guitar and singing for the crowds outside of Gasoline Glamour Shoetique
The intersection of Wicox St. and Monroe Ave. , was really the center of action, busier than a three ring circus. I found Jackson Cavalier & The Fevertones putting on an energetic performance on the Wilcox St. side of Genesee Center for the Arts & Education the rest of the street was lined with vendor booths including PAWS of Rochester, Lake Ontario Press, Hart's Local Grocers, and the Rochester Cycling Alliance, to name a few. At the end of Wilcox St. was an area for BMX bikes to perform stunts. On the front side of the Genesee Center for the Arts, I found a woman spinning clay, a couple of ladies vending ice cream from a retro ice cream cart, and very happy crowds.
Living up to the title Spokes & Ink, there were hundreds of bicycles corralled in bike racks, and nearby was a bicycle outfitted as a print shop. The Tired Press printing "What is The Tired Press? The Tired Press is a mobile printmaking studio that focuses on the creation and production of site specific postcards. It is a bicycle outfitted with a small scale relief press, pannier cabinets for supplies..."
Speaking of energy, a few ladies from Tangents Pole Aerobics were performing on a portable pole, outside of Han Noodle Bar & Dogtown Hots. Looks similar to pole dancing, without the nightclub. 20 years of shooting the Rochester, NY skyline, and I never imagined I'd end up with a pole dancer in the foreground, that's Monroe Ave.
Videos - The Show On Monroe 2014 plus Spokes & Ink and a scavenger hunt all in one day!
Photos - The Show On Monroe 2014 plus Spokes & Ink - Pick Autoplay or Manual Slideshow