Boston July 2012

Earlier this month we took a week and a half to go to Boston and then up the coast of Maine. We got to visit dear friends in both areas and we got to unwind while checking out New England.

In Boston, we did our normal walkathon tour of the city, winding our way up the Harborwalk , heading into the North End, wrapping around to Beacon Hill, Back Bay over to the South End and back by Tufts and into Downtown. We went jogging through Boston Common and shopping over on Newbury Street. While we never miss Faneuil Hall or Mike’s Pastry Shop over on Hanover Street, this time we also made the effort to branch out and we were glad we did. We enjoyed our meals down on newly-trendy Tremont Street and in Chinatown and we tried out the food trucks on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.

On our fifth day we headed up the coast of Maine toward Portland and stayed the rest of the week with friends in Yarmouth. We slowed our pace way down – we hiked a little and checked out a nearby beach, one evening we took a water taxi to one of the islands for dinner. We took a drive up to Christmas Cove, and spent a little time shopping in Freeport. We drank wine and gorged ourselves on lobster … actually having lobster for breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Most of the time we simply sat out on the veranda and enjoyed letting ourselves do nothing.

I couldn’t help myself – I tried, but I just couldn’t. We managed to skip the art galleries altogether (I looked longingly into a few windows), but still wound up visiting three art museums in Boston: The Museum of Fine Arts, The Isabella Gardner and the Institute of Contemporary Art.  We were impressed with the new architecture at each of the museums and we enjoyed the exhibits – two of my favorites:

Josiah McElheny’s exhibit at the ICA, Some Pictures of the Infinite, takes a conceptual look at time and space continuums.   McElheny is the kind of artist that makes me wish I was smarter – each display challenged me  to try to grasp a concept of infinity that, by definition, is unattainable.  His blown-glass works break down barriers between craft and art – the mirrored spirals of suspended orbs combine scientific theories of the cosmos with iconic mid-century modernism.

At the MFA, the highlight was Alex Katz Prints – the show includes 125 pieces on display that together emphasize Katz’s artistic clarity of voice over the past 60 years.  He creates arresting images using as few elements and details as possible. He reduces form and color to produce images of graphic quality that are immediately recognizable and the subjects – his beloved Ada, his family & friends and the Maine landscape retell his story of a life well-lived.

Orange Hat by Alex Katz

Endlessly Repeating detail by Josiah McElheny

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