I spent a few hours out with my mom, and we went down to the riverwalk, a fairly sterile but pleasant trail that winds along a part of the river (the Arkansas River, which meets up with the Fountain river just a short distance downstream from downtown Pueblo). The riverwalk is over-managed, so that there are places for musicians to play, but no musicians playing in those spaces except during special events that have admission fees, and there are bronze statues of beavers, night herons, and other wildlife, but no real wildlife. Still, there was one man busking in a nice space under one of the bridges along the walkway, a local musician called Coyote Jack who was playing a wooden flute. I stopped and talked with him a while and took a few photos of him playing. Like many musicians, he relies on being able to earn money for his live performances, so busking (playing music in a public space where people can put tips in your hat or music case) is an important source of grocery money for such musicians.
It is important when cities put in public spaces like that riverwalk that they allow musicians to play their music in those spaces, and those musicians contribute to the city’s ‘local color’. When the only music available is in bars and at special events, it makes the city look like it doesn’t have much artistic talent and local culture available, but when talented people like Coyote Jack get to play their beautiful music in public, not only does he make a few dollars for his dinner, but everyone wins because they can enjoy the rich culture that always lies under the surface in any city. I don’t believe it is possible in any city this size for there to be no talented local musicians worth hearing, but it takes a city willing to actively support the arts before the public knows about the local music their city can offer.
I also took some photos of the flowers along the riverwalk, of course. There was a lot of bright yellow yarrow blooming, and a lot of other flowers. In one garden I also took a few shots of a cool bronze statue of a Native American woman, with beadwork, leather fringe and a quilt-like blanket all done in bronze. I really ought to take more photos, so maybe one of my personal challenges for June will be to take more photos when I am out doing stuff, even if I am not at concerts taking concert photos much anymore.