Summer is ending with lots of good cheer for us: we adopted two kittens this weekend! Siblings Max (boy, black and white) and Ellie (girl, all black) are 3-month-old bundles of cuteness. Max is an explorer, always ready to play and interact with whoever is close at hand. Ellie is a love bug, playful like her brother but happiest in our laps purring at top volume. We adopted them through a local rescue organization. They are so tiny yet they fill our hearts with joy.
Before we adopted the kittens we took a week's vacation on the east coast, visiting Boston and New Jersey for vacation and to see family. I have not been to Boston since I was a kid but my husband did post-doctorate work at Harvard. John had a conference to attend so I spent my time exploring the museums and neighborhoods. We would meet up for lobster rolls and sightseeing after lectures. Except for the humidity, we loved Boston and hope to visit again next fall. Below are a few highlights from our trip.
My favorite museum was the Institute of Contemporary Art with its gorgeous architecture and thought provoking yet humorous artworks. Ceramic artist Arlene Shechet pushes the boundaries of ceramics with her shapes and materials, provoking the viewer to look closer to really see what she's produced. The blue and white vases and urns pictured above look like Chinese porcelains but are actually paper clay overlaid with blueprints of Buddhist shrines. Her work with the Meissen factory in Germany was a gorgeous example of uniting two very different artistic points of view. The "Clothesline" piece by Charles LeDray is a humorous line of doll clothing tied together that goes from floor to ceiling, provoking the question "what were the dolls doing that day?". The ICA also has a wonderful gift shop full of great books, toys, magazines, jewelry, and small art objects.
The North End of Boston is an Italian neighborhood full of restaurants, shops and history. You will hear Italian spoken here at every turn, especially at Modern Pastry, a wonderful bakery full of tasty delights. Try their raspberry coronets and "lobster tail" pastries filled with cream, they're wonderful! Paul Revere's midnight ride is honored here with his statue. The Old North Church is a beautiful bit of history to see, with private pews for the famous families that helped start the American Revolution. Going in the other direction on Hanover Street you'll come to the city's oldest bar and restaurant on a quaint side street.
The Museum of Fine Arts was another highlight of Boston, with beautiful artworks by master artists from all eras. You could spend days here but I chose to spend my morning seeing Impressionist and Egyptian art, Nubian jewelry (from 1250 BC, amazing!), Meissen and English porcelains, and contemporary art. Do have lunch at the museum if you go, they have several tasty cafes and two gift/book shops.
Beyond Boston's fabulous architecture, history and art, it was wonderful to be in a coastal town with plenty of fresh seafood!
A big thank you to Abby Glassenberg for the great sightseeing tips! Maybe next time we can meet IRL if you are in town :)