Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Bike Ride

On Saturday we took our bikes out to Concord, Ma., to do a little exploring. There is a beautiful hiking trail/bike path just on the outskirts of town.

On our way through the village of Concord, we passed the Louisa May Alcott house, . I loved Little Women as a young girl & now, Orchard House, as it is called, is one of my favorite places.

As fate would have it, on this lovely Saturday afternoon, there seemed to be a garden party on the front lawn, with all the guests in period costume. What a lovely sight as we passed.

Into the woods we headed. This bike trail was one of the paths taken by the minutemen as they attempted to ambush the British, at the beginning of the American Revolution.

The woods were peacefully beautiful, with the earthy scent of springtime in the air, light filtering through the trees,& birds singing from above.

But in the distance we could here the sound of a fife & drum. We knew that it was along this path that Paul Revere was captured, on the eve of the Revolution.

We soon learned that this was the opening day of all the Parks & Recreation sites & that there were a lot of special events planed for the day. In a clearing we encountered a ragtag army of minutemen.

Further on we came upon an old tavern, that had witnessed the sight of 700 British soldiers as they had marched by in their full regalia, to battle. Now open to the public, this beautifully preserved building in the middle of the woods, was abuzz with people in period dress doing basic chores of the time.

I loved this little lad in his early American costume.

Taking a tour of the old tavern & other historical sights was a fun & unexpected treat before getting back on our bikes & heading back into the forest.

It had proven to be a perfect & very fitting bike ride for Memorial Day Weekend. I hope all of you had a lovely weekend as well!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Day Trip

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to take an excursion to New York City for the day. I took a bus from Boston, which departed at 6 am. The ride was comfortable & with the free wifi that was provided, it a very pleasant journey. We arrived in Manhattan around 10:30 & I was able to get off the bus on 5th Ave., very near the Guggenheim Museum, where I was headed.

I had come to see the Francesca Woodman Exhibition.
March 16–June 13, 2012

This remarkable young woman, born into a family of artists in 1958, began her interest in photography at the early age of 13. By the time, of her tragic death, at age 22 in 1981, she had become a mature & focused artist. The exhibit spans the entirety of her short career, & includes more than 120 vintage photographs, ranging from her earliest student experiments to her late, large-scale blueprint studies of caryatid-like figures for the ambitious Temple project (1980).
The photographs are eerily beautiful. Using herself as a model, Woodman explored in particular the genre of self-portraiture. There is, of course, a sadness to the photos, knowing that this extraordinary talent would be lost to suicide at such a young age.
To learn more about Francesca Woodman, I recommend the documentary film TheWoodman's by C. Scott Willis.

a day in NY continued...

It was a beautiful day & after my visit to the Guggenheim,  I strolled along 5th Ave., beside Central Park headed to the

This section of 5th Ave., running from 82nd to 105th Streets, is known 
as museum mile, because
 it contains one of the densest displays of culture in the world. 
There are ten museums in all at present count.


At the Metropolitan I saw

Febuary 28- June 3 2012.

Gertrude Stein & her brothers Leo & Michael were major patrons of modern art in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century. Together they amassed a vast collection of important of paintings, including works by Matisse, Picasso, Cézanne, Degas, Gauguin, & many others. This exhibit reunites over two hundred of these works, & examines the relationship between the Stein family & the artists of their time.

My Favorite part of this exhibit was seeing the blown up photographs of Gertrude Stein's Paris apartment, with so many of the same paintings on the walls. 

After a long & culturally inspiring day, it was time to board  the bus back to Boston. I was home & in my bed by midnight.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Poem....

... in memory of my dear & beautiful & beloved friend, Cammy, who, even when we were very young, tried to teach me to love nature as she did.

The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Happy May Day

When I was very young we actually made May Baskets with little bouquets of flowers & hung them on our neighbors front door knobs. I can remember sunny days & colorful May Poles. But even then I think these May Day traditions were a novelty, something old fashion to recreate. In Paris they used to sell little bouquets of Lilly of the Valley on the street corners, & it was called Le Fête de Muguet. I am not sure if they still do that or not.

Not much really happens on the first of May anymore, these days. Today in Boston it is a rainy May first, but I was able to go out & pick a few pansies to creat a little May Basket to share with you. I hope you are all enjoying a very 

                           Happy May Day!