Saturday, June 27, 2015

Lazy (wonderful) Day

 With binoculars, peach tea and a new book I sat on the front porch for a couple of hours today.  Rumors (i.e. the weathercasters) said it was going to rain, but it hasn't yet.
Instead I got to rock quietly, meditate and watch the wildlife in the garden.  A squirrel planted himself in the bird feeder for a while and several chipmunks skirted the island of foliage (they can't climb the feeder pole).


By the time I had finished my book, I'd seen cardinals, tits(!), gold finches, chicadees, house sparrows, hummingbirds, a wood pecker and something tawny that I haven't yet identified. A papa cardinal spent considerable time feeding two fledglings on the ground in the grass.
 
The book I read was Not My Father's Son by Alan Cummings.  Quite powerful.  Recommended.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Beautiful Art in the Sky

Wednesday DH and I went into Boston to see the aerial art by Janet Echelman on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Everyone in the area told us we HAVE to go back at night because the veils are apparently imbedded with LED lights that make them glow in the dark.  But against the cerulean blue sky on a sunny day, they were still amazing. I took lots of pictures!
Thank you, Boston, for your support of public art and beauty!                  

But first, like bumpkins in from the sticks, we had to make a few wrong turns.  At least we had aimed for the South end of the Greenway (the art installation is between a fire station and the Hotel Intercontinental), but due to left turn lanes and the like, we detoured toward the Marina area... which is where the Jail and Federal Courthouse are, and wouldn't you know it was the day of the Tsarnaev sentencing.  Police everywhere.  Streets blocked off. And more TV trucks in one place than I've ever seen.  Turns out that the Courthouse wasn't really visible from where we drove.  There is a lot of interesting architecture though.  I want to go back and explore when it doesn't seem like the whole universe is there!




Above is a distant view of the Massachusetts  Convention Center.  Haven't been THERE yet either.  At right is a gracefully proportioned office building identified only as : Shilepsky Hartley Robb Casey Michon LLP.  The law firm apparently specializes in employment and labor law.  I guess they're pretty hot stuff to have that whole building!




I caught a quick shot of the lobster weather vane at James Hook & Co:  a rough hewn fish-shack.  Again, must go back when there's more time and less traffic.



I got a glimpse of the veils from the car while we were looking for a parking lot.


We found a lot beneath the Tishman Speyer building. Imagine my delight when I saw the art installations in the Tishman Speyer lobby! My online research says that one of the Speyers (Jerry) is a well known and adventurous art collector and board member of arts organizations in New York City. I wish I could tell you who did the giant strands of "tinsel."  They were apparently comissioned to compliment the Janet Echelman veils outside.


































The building had several concierge/guides who helped us find the East doors; it was easy to get turned around in the parking garage and marbled halls of the lobby level.  To a man, they hated the enormous painting in the image to the right.  Allegedly, the "son of the owner" had it sent up from a building in New York City--- AND it depicts members of the Green Bay Packers.    I didn't see the football players myself!  I tried to console the concierge though.  He said it was the ugliest art he'd EVER seen...  I told him I'd seen worse.







And then we got outside and walked several blocks of the Greenway looking at the veils from lots of different angles.









Would your city's property owners agree to allow anchoring hardware on their buildings for ART?  Bravo to the Boston movers and shakers who got behind this project.




And would your city dedicate lots of square feet of "prime" property for an in-town arboretum?  Actually all of this greenway is directly over the tunnels through town (The Big Dig).  So perhaps there are architectural barriers to big buildings over this area.  The added beauty, though, is priceless.






24 varieties of bulbs!!!




And three styles of seating, not including the grass. There were plenty of happy office workers finding time for nature on their breaks.


I got distracted by some of the architectural photo opportunities...





 I wondered what it was like to have your office go in and out of shadows every afternoon.

And what fun to be able to peek through an opening in the cityscape and see puffy clouds behind other clouds mirrored in the windows


The stone eagle that sits atop the clock  of South Station is eight feet wide and weighs over eight tons. (Aren't Google and Wikipedia terrific?!)


At right is the facade of the Fire Department.  We heard at least six fire trucks while we were walking.

They didn't get anywhere very fast. 




More public art!  Shinque Smith's  unique vision/painting on the South wall of South Station's venting system. 40 gallons (!)of paint were used in the scaled up mural.




My husband did his best Spencer imitation (from the Robert B Parker mystery novels).



The old buildings have an amazing variety of high quality decorative features.  Do I sound old when I say the don't build 'em like they used to?

They are predicting rain through the weekend... but on the next nice day, I want to ride the trolly all around town.








The Boston office of the Federal Reserve  was  built in the early 70's. It has garden/park space at ground level with enough vertical clearance for ocean breezes to come through.  It apparently also has special construction features for sound proofing and weather protection.  (Not sure I'd want to be at the top of that tower in a Nor'Easter!) (Third tallest building in the city.)
 








I don't know what it would look like if I tried to paint what I saw.  Here's a fast photoshop effort.




And a contrail not parallel to ANY of the angles on the buildings.




On one of our first visits to Boston, we visited the Lannan Ship Model Gallery.  They are one of those "NO PHOTOS" kind of places on the inside.  But I did note what was in their windows.  I couldn't read the pricetags, but my husband was inspired to say that perhaps he should start building models to supplement our retirement income.





It was a beautiful day! (With or without HDR)