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Hello and welcome back to the 2018 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival’s 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project! This year, our wonderful interns Fay, Julie, and Lori are #TeamEatYerVeggies – exploring Worcester to bring back the best of  the best for you to enjoy.

For Rabbit Heart’s 35th out of the 100 Delightfuls, the crew went up to the iconic Bancroft Tower in Salisbury Park on Bancroft Tower Road in Worcester, MA. The “crew” consisted of the Rabbit Heart interns of summer 2018, Julie Wyman, Lori Shanley, and Fay Bcharah, and also expert reader of plaques, Aisha Naseem.

As you drive through the windy and hilly road up to Bancroft Tower, you sense almost an eerie vibe, but the 56-foot high natural stone and granite tower surrounded by grass and trees uplifts the mood, and makes you want to jump out your car and check the monument out.

The castle-like building was constructed in 1900 in memory of George Bancroft, who was a native Worcester politician and historian. It was built by his friend and admirer Stephen Salisbury III.

This monument has become a sightseeing area for the people of Worcester. It has a great view of the city landscape, including the clock tower of city hall. This view is particularly beautiful in the fall and winter, when the trees have lost their leaves, leaving a clearer view of the landscape. With its greenery and unique tower, this monument is also a space high-schoolers use to take pictures for their proms.

Though you cannot go inside the tower, there have been openings in the past by a team of organized Worcester volunteers called Park Spirit. The last tour was back in October 2016; they opened it to the public for five days, and it has not opened since.

If you are ever looking for something to do that includes scenic views, historical sights, and no money at all, head to Bancroft Tower! For mroe information, about Bancroft Tower, check out this rad writeup from Roadside America

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Hello and welcome back to the 2018 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival’s 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project! This year, our wonderful interns Fay, Julie, and Lori are #TeamEatYerVeggies – exploring Worcester to bring back the best of  the best for you to enjoy. This week they headed over to The Queen’s Cups (56 Water Street) for treats of the cupcake variety.

This was my first time visiting The Queens Cup since their new Worcester bakery opened. I once visited their location in Millbury, but upon arriving to their new joint I immediately noticed a revitalization of their brand. What was once a tiny mom n’ pop shop has since metamorphosized into a trendy establishment with a contemporary feel consisting of lots of natural lighting, an open floor plan, and all sorts of modern decor. The mason jars and picture frames of customers on the wall still gave it a bit of charm and character, and it was cool to see from the entrance a little window that peeks into their kitchen/bakery. Their signature cupcakes are still as massive and mouthwatering as I remember them  being upon my first visit, and the employees were just as warm and welcoming. While many things are new and different, the Queens Cup has never lost sight of their vision of specialty sweets with a smile. They are continuing a legacy of bringing delicious sweets for all two and four legged friends in central massachusetts, and it’s certainly a treat to have this gem right here in the heart of this city.
xox,
Julie

 

Hello all, and welcome to the 2018 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival’s first edition of our 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project! This year, our wonderful interns Fay, Julie, and Lori are teaming up to explore Worcester and will be bringing back the best of  the best for you to enjoy.This week Fay and Julie headed over to Asian Supermarket (50 Mill Street, right off Park Ave) to grab ingredients for taro smoothies and to tour the aisles.

You might never think to go into the Asian Supermarket if no one would have told you how great it is. Like many interesting areas in Worcester,  Asian Supermarket is a hidden gem in the busy streets of Park Ave and Mill St. Not only did our fantastic interns not know about this ethnic supermarket, they did not know how big it is! Right when you walk in you will be shocked that you haven’t seen this or heard about it before – there are aisles and aisles of colorful produce, from fruits, to veggies, to beautiful greens that are so familiar from favorite Asian restaurants. And if you’re ever looking for pomegranates in the middle of the summer when they’re off-season, or for strawberries for under $2, this is the place to come! Our team also found delicious snacks and drinks, and of course, a whole aisle of just RAMEN! Food has such an influence on culture, and going to Asian Supermarket gave #TeamEatYerVeggies a little peek into the diversity of Asian culture just by observing the aisles of food at AS.

Some favorites our team found include matcha green tea flavored Kit Kats, and fresh lychees – these little fruits are sweet, refreshing, with a flavor somewhere between rose petals and grapes, and perfect for summer! Along the way, Fay and Julie also picked up taro, coconut milk, and tapioca pearls (boba!) for making some delicious homemade smoothies. The recipe is below if you want to try it out too <6

Taro Smoothie – makes 2 small, or one large
1 c ice
~⅓ c coconut milk (add more for a thinner smoothie)
generous dash of coconut extract
2 tbs sugar
¼-⅓ c cubed and cooked taro (add more for a thicker smoothie)
handful of boba cooked according to package instructions (optional)

  1. Start by peeling the taro and then cutting it into cubes. Add to boiling water and cook for about ten minutes, until soft but not falling apart, then rinse under cool water to bring to room temp.
  2. Cook boba according to directions and cool
  3. Combine ice, coconut milk, cooled taro, sugar, and a generous dash of coconut extract in a blender.
  4. Pulse ingredients until smooth.
  5. Pour the smoothie into glasses, add boba, and enjoy!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* grabbed the reins & brought us the good stuff. Over the summer they visited with Pastor Judy Hanlon at Hadwen Park Congregational Church** (6 Clover St.) to find out about the LGBT Asylum Support Task Force.
xoxox,
Apple

 

 

Last summer, Rabbit Heart was scheduled to screen its film festival at a venue near Kelley Square. After an unexpected incident prevented the venue from hosting the event, Pastor Judy Hanlon at Hadwen Park Congregational Church stepped in and offered her church’s space for Rabbit Heart’s screening. Rabbit Heart was extremely grateful for Pastor Judy’s kindness, as well as the selflessness and virtue of the congregation. In this edition of 100 Delightful Things, we want to highlight the accomplishments and success of the Hadwen Park Congregational Church.

Hadwen Park Congregational Church  is located at 6 Clover Street in the southwestern corner of Worcester. The beautiful church is set on a small hill and casts a welcoming atmosphere to visitors and passerbys. The community is nonjudgmental and friendly, and always puts a smile on the faces of those who visit. One visit will instantly feel like you belong in the community.

Some of the most significant work that Hadwen Park Congregational Church does is in terms of their LGBTQ+ Asylum Support Task Force. Pastor Judy identifies herself as a follower of Jesus, rather than a Christian, because her progressive views don’t always coincide with the beliefs of the Christian community. Pastor Judy’s work with the Task Force helps those who are shunned from their country due to their sexuality find a safe community and a place of refuge while they transition into their lives in the United States. It is illegal in 80 countries to be gay, and many people who are part of the LGBTQ+ community flee from their countries to find freedom and acceptance. However, because of their sexuality, they are typically not welcome into communities of their cultural backgrounds and are also not permitted to work within the first few months of entering the U.S. The Asylum Task Force encourages these people to join its space in order to find a safe community and express their faith.

Pastor Judy opens her church to anyone in need, regardless of race, sexuality, gender, or disability. The church’s work with the Task Force attracts people from all over the world and creates this accepting and diverse community that is rooted in Worcester. There are tons of people from all over the United States who journey to Worcester in order to join the congregation – it is the best church in terms of accepting and caring for asylum seekers in the country. The church schedules all sorts of events to promote the task force and raise money to care for its asylum seekers.

Pastor Judy is one of the most loving and kind humans I have ever met, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to meet with her and be introduced to some of the asylum seekers who are a part of the Task Force community.

To find out more information on the Task Force and Hadwen Park Congregational Church, visit www.hadwenparkchurch.org and www.lgbtasylum.org/ or call 508-853-8853
~Alli

 

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!
**Yup – these folks totally saved our bacon last year ❤

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* grabbed the reins & brought us the good stuff. Over the summer they popped in for some delicious business over at Hacienda Don Juan.
xoxox,
Apple

 

Hacienda Don Juan (875 B Main St.) is a family owned and operated Salvadorian and Mexican restaurant located in Main South. As Clark students it’s one of our go-to’s, which makes it unbelievable that Alli had never been there. Although we both ended up getting pupusas, nothing on the menu disappoints. The burrito supreme is out of this world and the nachos which they make with homemade chips are the best I’ve ever had. In total the restaurant has about 10 tables that are pretty much always full with hungry customers. Have no fear, if you do’t have the time to wait they DELIVER. Can you believe it? a dream come true. We sincerely hope you all check it out if you’ve never been there because as Alli can now attest, it will be a wonderful experience.
~Sarah

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* grabbed the reins & brought us the good stuff. Over the summer they went to the Canal District Farmers Market  =)
xoxox,
Apple

The Canal District Farmers Market is a year round weekly event that draws in vendors and visitors from all over the area. It is located at the beautiful Crompton Place, which houses a few of Worcester’s most beloved franchises: Birch Tree Bread Co., Crompton Collective, and Seed to Stem. The Farmers Market gives visitors the opportunity to purchase locally made, wholesome goods, and allows Crompton Place to receive an abundance of visitors on Saturday mornings. Buying organic, freshly squeezed juice from a vendor, then heading upstairs to Birch Tree to enjoy some toast is, indeed, the perfect morning.

This farmers market gives vendors from the Massachusetts area the opportunity to sell their goods, establish connections with visitors, and initiate relationships with dozens of other farmers and vendors throughout the state. The environment is extremely friendly, I enthusiastically carried conversations with a few of the vendors and a curious customer, and smiled at those passing by. My friends and I, all Clark University students, were thrilled to strike up a conversation with one of the vendors who happened to be a Clark Alum! As she reminisced about her Clark days, we were happy to hear more information about her college past, as well as the background of her daughter’s company (which she works for).

The Farmers Market features products ranging from organic fruits and vegetables, handmade jewelry, local honey, fresh flowers, yummy baked goods, and refreshing coffee. I was in awe of the array of goods at such a small market! I loved walking around with my friends, making memories, while also experiencing one of the many delightful things that Worcester has to offer.

To visit the Canal District Farmers Market, head to 138 Green Street in Worcester MA. It is open every Saturday from 9 AM- 12 PM. See you there!

~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

Welcome back to the 100 Delightful Things in Worcester Project, 2017 #RHPFF edition \o/ This year the lovely Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival interns, Sarah Meigs & Alli Jutras* are taking the reins & bringing us the good stuff. This week Alli & Sarah checked out Mekong Market.
xoxox,
Apple

I’m not hugely familiar with International markets. As a kid, there was only one grocery store within a 15 mile radius and it was a local Hannaford. Moving to Worcester has allowed me to visit so many places that aren’t available back home. I’ve definitely branched out in terms of food I eat and places I visit. Thankfully, my college experience has allowed me to expand from my limited small-town ways.

Me Kong Market features food and products from places including Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, and Africa. Upon entry, fresh fruit and vegetables line the wall and there is a huge selection to choose from. Something I was pleasantly surprised with is how inexpensive all of the products are. The next time I am in need of a new box of tea, I will definitely be heading here. They have an extremely large selection and their prices are unbeatable!

One of my favorite parts of the store is the numerous shelves containing tons of ramen. Not only is ramen an affordable college dinner, but it’s delicious too! Sarah was excited to show me her favorite brands and flavors of ramen. I had no idea there were so many different types! For college students who are unfamiliar with this store: it is the perfect place to stock up on your meal essentials.

Me Kong additionally has a fish market in the back, containing an assortment of fish. The smell is strong, but it’s an awesome feature to the market. I’m an avid fish eater, and it’s so nice to know that I can stock up on fish right down the street now.

I had an awesome time visiting Me Kong Market. It’s evident that this is a successful business that employs kind and hardworking people. I also loved how spacious the parking lot is, and how convenient the location is. Also, check out the graffiti decorated building next door! A cool sight to see when leaving the store.
~Alli

*#TeamSalli FTW! Thank you Clark LEEP Program!

doll20parts_zpsoei23o2mSo… Looking at this project from the front and kind of far away, without anything in hand and just the paper dollies stop-motion trailer from last year under my belt, it looked like simply A Good Time. A little closer up, sitting on the orange rug in the office, surrounded by ripped open bags of secondhand Barbi, Bratz, and a variety of other unidentified dolls* from the thrift store, it still looked like fun, albeit somewhat complicated fun – there was a problem to solve, and I generally like a problem to solve, especially when it involves clay, dictionary pages, ink, and glue. And over the course of a few weeks, with the generous application of all of those (delicious) supplies** our models emerged at last, rabbit-headed and incredibly tippy,*** but creepily darling in their own right.

completed20dollies_zps3lciwz4g

And then I had no idea what to do about it. Because that’s kind of how I work, right? I write novels without outlines,† I push things into motion sometimes (ok, often) with only a general plan, and I have been known to go on a spending spree at the craft store just because I want to touch all the things to find out how they feel. A friend once asked me what I thought my defining drive/emotion was, and for me it came down to Curiosity. This is to say, my inner critic is strong, but she also often gets squashed down by my inner six-year-old, who just wants to know How Things Work.

Ok, so I had a clue: I knew that Picasa would crunch pictures for me once they were amassed. I knew that we would need something stable to hold the camera while we took a brazillionty†† pictures for Picasa to crunch. I knew that lighting was going to be A Thing. And I knew that keeping track of two figurines, specifically, which leg of which figurine was going in which direction during micro-movements, was going to be a little tricky.††† I also knew that we were going to need to build a set that not only looked nice, but accommodated some really top-heavy movie stars.‡ And so, armed with an idea, we dug in to make a trailer.

Here’s how it went, bullet-point style:

– We opted for the iPad to take the pictures, because it does a better job than my phone. Also, I do not own any high-end camera equipment.

– We moved two six-foot tables into our space – one for the set, and one parallel to it for a workspace & camera. There was about a foot and a half between the two. We masking-taped the floor around the feet to mark the tables in case any of us bumped them, so we could move them back if need be. Also we duct taped a couple of the feet down and prayed it wouldn’t pick up the finish upon removal. (We got lucky there \o/)

– Books books books. And tiny birds. And dominoes. And the tiny model trees I had always wanted to buy but had no reason to buy, and a birdhouse, and some bitty paper apples. Dictionary paper, a watch key, and a bunch of fat produce rubberbands, cut into strips, to keep the slidy stuff in place – we built a set. A really cool set \o/
PRO TIP: Take reference shots. Things will move as you move all the, well, moving parts. It’s really good to know where they were before they moved. Also, if you have cats where you work, reference shots are invaluable. (SPOILER: we have 3 cats. We also employed a barricade overnight because Gunther likes the way Barbi hands feel against his fancy fancy teeth. Project board worked really well. G’bless the science fair, y’all.)

test20set_zpsmjpa3xwd


barricade_zpscjkbcmvq

– We set up lamps. We broke a lamp. We agreed we needed more lighting. We bought two cheap clip lamps (cheap clip lamps are The Best! Just, you know, make sure you have something to clip them to.) and a pack of 100-watt bulbs from HoDo. We moved in a couple power strips. We adjusted and adjusted and adjusted, and sighed and decided to humor one particular set of shadows in favor of dulling a big shiny reflection on the pretty green wall. In retrospect, we probably could have benefited from a string of LED Christmas tree lights taped strategically behind the set.

– We stuck the iPad on a couple books and boxes (and a tiny side table), and strapped that mess together with masking tape.
PRO TIP: I picked up a pack of foam popsicle stick looking things, initially to place between books to keep them from sliding. They were sort of ok for that, but not as good as the rubberbands. What they were REALLY good for, tho’, was as shims – we used them to keep pretty much everything level. And by everything, I mean the camera setup – we slid some under the iPad case, we slid some under the tiny side table, we popped a couple in under a book when the shot looked a little off.

– We applied generous amounts of modeling clay to the feet of our dollies to provide some support. This really worked out really badly. We revised our approach.
PRO TIP: if you want to get something to stay in place, the intuitive leap to modeling clay is great only in theory. Pick up some sticky-tac. You know, the stuff you use to hang up posters without cocking up the semi-gloss on your walls? It is AMAZING in these situations. Truly, I cannot praise the stuff enough for on-set shenanigans – with the sticky-tac we were able to make our models go where we wanted without having to employ balancing tricks; we just sort of, well, stuck stuff to other stuff where we wanted them to be and shot quickly. Hello, I ♥ sticky-tac.

– Team Salli posed the models, ducked out of the frame, and I shot. Pose, duck, shoot, pose, duck, shoot, pose, duck, shoot. Sometimes I posed and ducked and one of them shot. We did that for roughly 250 pictures – Good Times.

– And I let Picasa crunch the pictures: you select your pix from the files, tell it to make a movie, use the time-lapse option around 1/9 (play with it – you may find you like 1/10 or 1/8), and export that business. Afterward I popped it into Windows Movie Maker and added some music and fades, and voila! My friends, we have a trailer =)

For more information about Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, check out www.rabbitheartpoetry.com

Also! If you’re poking around looking for info on making a film with practically no budget, check out the Rabbit Heart Pinterest page, How-To Tuesday for Rabbit Heart, where we’ve collected all kinds of good links for you <6

***

*Some of which were unidentifiable because they were missing a head, or were only a head. The thrift store sells them in plastic bags that seem to have been scooped roughly out of a bin marked Random Doll Parts. Or maybe a dumpster behind a daycare. Anyway, the contents are all mismatched and really ought to be washed down before too much handling. I, natch, spilled them out on the rug and decided to wash my hands really well afterward. Before I vacuumed.

**And paperclips (to hold on the ears). And a multitool (gogo Leatherman!) There’s most of a Skipper doll inside the little bun – some bits needed to be trimmed. Honestly, the most difficult part of the transformation was getting the hair off the dollies so that the air-dry Crayola clay would stick to the doll.
And on that note, I must once again mention (I know you’ve heard me say this before): Behold the humble glue stick. Your materials almost never need to be expensive, they just need to do the job. Stuff we used for this project included wood glue, an $8 glue gun, Elmer’s glue sticks, used toys, a sheet of sticky tack, roughly-used dictionaries, a couple of $6 clip lamps (the bulbs were pricier than the lamps!), and kids’ craft air-dry clay. Stay simple, y’all.

***Some of this is down to the user. I was never a kid who played with dollies. Our interns, Alli & Sarah (whom I have been known to refer to fondly as Team Salli) were able to get them both to stand up with far less stress than I.

boost20test20shot_zpssuxlih17

†Admittedly, the last one took me 10 years to complete. I’m not proud of that, I just can’t seem to stick to an outline. In my own defense, I did write four short stories and a chapbook worth of poems that applied to the same universe in that time.

††FWIW, there are easily a Brazillion Portugese speakers on the Ragnaros realm in World of Warcraft. And I have pugged with a fair number of them.

†††This is where having two interns was particularly great – one dolly per intern really helped!

‡Sidenote: there’s a serious riot grrrl rant in here somewhere about how dolls marketed to boys, action figures, stand up better than dolls marketed to girls. But since I did happen to add a shitton of weight & counter-intuitive-balanced ears to the figures (not to mention, encased Skipper in an super unnatural position inside that small bunny), this is probably neither the time nor place.

todays

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