On the evening of December 31 I have taken the photo stroll to the downtown of State College to see ice statues under heavy, cold rain – want to see how it was – read ahead!

1. State College, PA – It is evening of December 31, I have decided tonight to go see ice statues in the downtown, but it is cold downpour outside – still, I am in “gotta do it” mode. I sit down in my car, turn the lights on, and lo and behold – it is over month old pile of the frozen snow from mid-November storm – I can almost feel the sarcasm.

2. Approaching the downtown – it is barely alive, but parking on the street does not seem to be a possibility – oh well, I opt for going to the campus parking lot

3. Having no problem finding a good spot to park on campus, I head to the downtown through murky pathways of engineering wing of Penn State campus

4. Few minutes later, I am almost there – seasonal Christmas tree landmark is almost upon me

5. Across the street I can see the destination of my journey – Allen Street, supposedly filled with ice statues to discover

6. The cars on the left are starting to move – too bad portable jet pack is not an option yet – oh well – let’s get soaked….

7. Across the street, to the right from where I am standing, my gaze falls upon probably one of the most visited restaurant in the town – Allen Street Grill

8. So much rain, I check my left – the bus does not seem to plan on leaving anytime soon, and I can’t clearly see behind the bus potentially approaching vehicles – gotta wait, gotta get soaked more.

9. The wait is finally over, and I cross College Ave onto Allen Street. I turn around to get a better glance onto Christmas tree – It is so unified, yet I wish for some different colors on it – not sure why there are not any – I have heard from someone it is likely to be by choice, to respect the fact that in the older times Christmas trees were decorated with solely candles….

10. Oh Yes – it is time to check out some ice statues – the man in the shorts passing me says something along “Eh, I sure picked the right cloth for tonight” – Good for him, I wish I could say the same, but I can’t – the rain is so cold…

11. The Wishing Well – judging by amount of money getting placed in it, one might wonder if there will be any statues at all next year here….

12. Good artistic choice – this Stegosaurus sure does fit theme of Animal Kingdom store!

13. Oh, so many possibilities here: someone ran out of ice and went postal, someone’s wishes are tough to achieve, someone is bend on yelling about his favorite team at that bar behind the angry beast – hey, and it is rain resistant!

14. As I was looking at it, I could not understand the reason behind this exposition, but later looking at the photo, I thought that if it were a currency, it would nicely correlate with the bank behind it.

15. If you believe the title, it is supposed to be “Gnome House”, but I just did not see it that way – maybe someone decided to have some of that cold beer from the shop behind, and then sure, if they had enough, “Gnome House” it became…

16. Ice throne was pretty popular, so it took me a while to get a clear shot of it

17. Icy sun under red neon sign – how interesting….

18. That’s probably is the main exposition – what can I say, they got the piggy right

19. Another unorthodox approach to ice statues art, and rain resistant again. Let’s take a closer look.

20. Baby… World … and Love – how prophetically true it can be…

21. That’s some mysterious “papers” right there – I wonder if there is video to text translate app that could handle it – it is probably there somewhere but not mainstream yet.

22. Going away from the street, I went to Sidney Friedman Parklet area to see some additional ice sculptures. Oh yes, “Russian slide”, not sure much slide one could have gotten of it, but I almost sled down into the muddy mess myself trying to take picture of it

23. Almost nobody here – mud, melting ice statues, and cold rain.

24. Suddenly, I came upon this… so surreal – small park with ice statues with the tent in the center covering burning barrels and a man who seem trying to make sure that the flame won’t go out – it felt almost as some sort of ritual was occurring in that small park, and maybe it was…

25. Miniature statues were slowly melting in the mood of growing melancholy – there was not enough love that night, not enough….

26. Popcorn sellers were sad too, and while I chatted with them for a bit, I have failed to ask any meaningful questions

27. As I walked away from the park, I spotted some sort of exposition in State College Borough building and on I went. A very odd choice for a new year celebration I thought to myself as I have entered the building. It could be very so that I am overly biased and subjective, but it felt so out of place – the woman at the stand attentively kept looking into my camera, but was quiet. I thought for a moment that I needed to inquire about odd banner, but I only could produce “I am just a man with the camera” – that I was…

28. To the right of the entrance, there was another exposition probably related to the phoenix one

29. As I was about to walk out, I spotted this – for the moment, I have imagined meeting a person wearing these lights in the dark night of nearby Rothrock State Forest – that would be very memorable experience…

30. As I walked out of the building and started to make my way back to the car, I came upon a wish wheel of sorts – a bit more optimistic than everything around, but still not enough love for my cup

31. As I passed library building, there was another, not related to the new year exposition, – this one brought upon me different thoughts – from “eye of Sauron goes space travel” to “human race unending desire to ever-see”

32. Just another new year banner

33. Allen and surrounding streets were not exactly empty, but there was no New Year celebratory mood in the air, at least not for me

34. Passing by Christmas tree, I quickly glanced at it for one more time trying to imagine of what it would be like if it had more ornaments and colorful lights…

35. As I walk by Zagster bike rental, I notice that not all the bikes are there – it is good to know that someone is brave to ride in the night like this

36. That’s it – I am starting to drive back – waiting for the green light at an intersection, I am wondering what if all of the rain here would become snow – how wonderful it would be. At the same time, recalling how I can’t stand the sunny weather and prefer mostly cloudy days, I realize that maybe there is someone who just loves cold downpour in the last day of the year – there gotta be.

37. That’s it. I am tired and ready to go to sleep. It was rather sad photo walk, yet truly, it was unique in its own sense – that night I would go to bed at 11:00 p.m., and I won’t regret it later, a bit.

2 thoughts on “Rain, Ice, Art

  1. Nice pictures! Why did the story have to be sad though? The weather wasn’t pleasing, yet the downtown lights looked quite charming.

    Btw, with google translate app you can point camera on the text and translate it on the fly (probably you’ll have to download the necessary dictionary beforehand)

    1. This, particular, photo story is heavily subjective – it is based on how my felt about the downtown at the given time, and I felt lonely and cold – there were not a single excited person or group there – some people came and go, but they had no emotions toward those statues, nothing – that’s why there is a sadness in my story. The rain also was very heavy one – I was well equipped, but if you did not had rain poncho and pants, you’d be soaked in no time, and air temp was like 37 Fahrenheit – two strong factors contributed to my feel of sadness that night.

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