All posts by Mark Haymond

The World of Bestor Plaza, the free-form heart of Chautauqua

The World of Bestor Plaza, the free-form heart of Chautauqua

A young boy blows bubbles on Bestor Plaza. One makes it past the squealing children and over the trees. Viewed from above, the bubble is a small world, encapsulating the plaza below in a psychedelic snowglobe.

The inhabitants of the bubble are free to do what makes them happy. Whistling balloon rockets and hovering frisbees make the airspace look like a futuristic highway, complete with flying saucers and soaring airships. [w/ SLIDESHOW]

Little brown bats almost gone, not forgotten

Little brown bats almost gone, not forgotten

A single bat dips and weaves over Chautauqua Lake.

It is a remarkable sight. The creature makes such tight turns that it seems ungoverned by inertia. It flies low over the water, leaving a thin wake behind it as it picks bugs out of the air, making tiny corrections in its flight path based on where its echolocation indicates there’s an insect. It may eat half of its body weight tonight.

Prairie on the lake: Keillor, Newman and Co. bring popular ‘Companion’ radio program live to Amp stage

Prairie on the lake: Keillor, Newman and Co. bring popular ‘Companion’ radio program live to Amp stage

Most jobs are acquired by an application process. Fred Newman got his job by crawling into the lap of his future boss and pretending to be a little girl.

Newman does the sound effects for Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” The radio show’s actors and musicians are bringing their Radio Romance Tour 2013 to Chautauqua Institution at 8:15 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater. The performance will be mostly unscripted, inspired by the radio program but without the time constraints of the medium. It is like watching and listening to the show being made.