Revere Beach (and: This is why we can’t have nice things.)

Yen wanted to go to the Revere Beach Sand Sculpture Festival this weekend, but I was too afraid of the crowds. But when someone at work told me the sculptures are still in place, we decided to go check it out while there would be – in theory – less of a crowd.

Here’s what you see when you walk onto the beach:

You can’t really tell the scale from this picture, so try these two:

The fish was hands-down our favorite, but we enjoyed all of them (of course – who can scoff at something that a person sculpted out of sand?). There seemed to be different categories of sculpture, including what must have been the Lovecraft category.

Here’s the same one again from the back:

This one was much more impressive in person than in the photo. It’s virtually flat on the face but looks like a deep sculpture with angles and faces.

Here I am looking through a hole in one of them.

This is the other side – the eye I was just smiling through.

And another with very different front and back.

A sort of main sculpture that contained all of the sponsoring logos, as well as a tribute to Fenway.

Then we moved on to what seemed like the People category.

This was the winning piece. I agree that it’s very complex, but it doesn’t beat the fish inside the fish.

I liked this insect that seemed to be flipped on its back after giving up a fight.

I declared this one Too Cheesy. I mean honestly – you’re in a sand sculpture contest. Why are you making a Hallmark Card?

This one made up for it – definitely intricate and creepy.

And the requisite photo of me, smiling away.

This was my first trip to Revere Beach. I am a spoiled, privileged white lady with a car, so when I go to the beach, I go to Crane or Plum Island. So I was pretty shocked (1) that there is a T-accessible beach, (2) to find a beach so crowded on a Tuesday night, (3) how much trash people had left behind where they’d brought their children to play and know they’ll bring them to play tomorrow. We came across a diaper that had been wrapped up and then just set on the sand. There were bottles everywhere (Yen picked a few up because it requires zero effort to toss them in the back of the car and recycle them). Bags of chips. Cups from ice cream people had bought across the street. Bottle caps, plastic bags – I could go on and on.

This is what I simply cannot understand about this country. Driving around the scary, urban bits of Lima or San Jose CR, one thing we noticed was how surprisingly clean the streets were. Which should not be a surprise at all – that’s your home. You live there. You should care about whether there is trash lying around. But invariably this is what seems to mark out the poor urban areas of US cities. Where is pride? Where is a desire to make your own space habitable? Where is your concern for your children’s safety? Don’t you worry that they’ll step on a bottle while playing on the beach? I just don’t understand.