Breaking Habits

_C1_5148.JPGFayetteville’s Dickson Street SpringFest kicked off on a chilly Saturday morning with a 5k-run and pancakes, but what really brought out the crowds was the dog parade. Around a hundred owners trailed four-legged parade participants ranging in size from Great-Dane-level behemoths to a literal handful – lots of “awwwwww”s from the crowd for this little guy named Toad. You can’t beat puppies.

_C1_5054.JPGThings were a bit livelier after that. Local bands featuring a ukulele, a mandolin, a clarinet and several guitars filled the block with alternately high-tempo and saucy folk music. Hundreds of people milled between a beer garden and booths selling crafts and kettle corn and clothing. Dogs and kids scampered around their parents’ feet.

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_C1_5099.JPGBut one booth was quiet. The banner above it declared the Breaking Habits Crew brings true hip-hop culture to northwest Arkansas. Half a dozen guys did some sporadic breakdancing (or just “breaking,” in the official lingo) on a roll-out dance mat, enough activity to draw a crowd every now and then, but they put their real performance on hold during a string of back luck.

At first, they seemed hesitant to sonically compete with the folk music a couple hundred feet away. Then the car battery they brought wasn’t powering their speakers for some reason. Then another band started. Then the new gasoline generator a member left to buy wouldn’t work no matter where its many switches were set. Then there were the bed races. The rest of the festival wasn’t stopping. One of the guys joked God just wasn’t in the mood for them.

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_C1_5839.JPGAfter four hours or so, a break finally came: an old boombox connected to a phone. Work with what you have. The guys made up for the wait with gusto, launching into flips and twists and quick, segmented moves that traveled through their bodies one joint at a time. The display was definitely worth the wait.

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_C1_5445.JPGThanks for looking,

Dan

Block Party

_C1_0813Well, we’ve reached my 100th post on this site since I refocused it in August 2013. This site has come a long way since then, I think. Thanks for sticking around.

This round of photos is from Sunday’s Block Street Block Party, an annual bash between Fayetteville’s downtown square and bar row on Dickson Street. They say 15,000 people in all crowd into three blocks of food, music, art and beer gardens.

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_C1_0886My dad will like this: About five minutes after I got there, I was astounded to see these two dogs.

_C1_0765You might remember I posted a story last summer about my dog Shady after she died. We got her from the Humane Society and never knew for sure what breed or mix she was. These two boys, other than being slightly smaller, are identical to her. I couldn’t believe it.

The owner said they’re English Cocker Spaniels, though I’m slightly skeptical, given how different those spaniels can look. It was enough to see and pet them a little while; for a second, it was like Shady was in front of me again.

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_C1_0759Here’s to another hundred! Thanks for looking.

Dan