By: Rose Divecha

When we came to the North End last year, we really had no clue as to all the city had to offer. So often we would venture out of our home and stumble upon a festival or dance performance, car show or concert. We’d stop and watch and marvel at how happy we were to have chosen this vibrant community. We never thought to check a website, newspaper or community billboard for a list of upcoming events, instead preferring the element of surprise, unhindered by any expectations.

Last summer, it wasn’t just the events we stumbled upon but the people we met and the unexpected memorable moments they brought. Topping last year’s list is an opera singer at the Racalmuto Festa, the Mulberry Street Porching Band and a guy walking a snake. (picture around his neck, not on a leash) The opera singer brought me to tears, the Porching Band brought the police and the guy with the snake brought a shake of my head.

Much of that newness is gone for me this year of course and perhaps some of the spontaneity. Like an end-of-school essay I’m forced to prepare against my will, a list is forming in my head, “What I’d like to do on My Summer Vacation.” The list isn’t long or complicated. The thing with Hamilton I’ve discovered is it doesn’t have to be. I was reminded of this again one evening while out walking at Bayfront Park and spotted a young couple walking a partially shaved cat (yes on a leash) resembling a tiny lion. Warm weather ArtCrawls, outdoor concerts at Pier 8, renting bicycles, Cruise Nights at Pier 4, or simply taking a waterfront stroll, all have the potential to make a lasting impression.

Yeah, some of the newness has worn off for me this year but I realize while I can compile a list, I can’t stop the unexpected. This is Hamilton after all.