Monday, June 29, 2009

Talking Tees . . .

As I signed my yoga students into class yesterday morning, I couldn't resist taking this picture of Ted Carbonaro in his T shirt (above) which made me laugh and then got me thinking about the "Language of Tees." An hour later my son Michael's pictures of his tour with Foreigner came across the cyber transom and what do you know, more Tee Shirts, again. As you can see by the band's fans in Bad Brückenau, Germany, they wanted to speak with their Tee's.

Going back in time, I've got more stories about T-shirts: With the help of an artistic friend John Kushigian (sadly, long deceased) who taught me the art of wax resist/batik, I created the shirt below for my son Aaron who was probably 5 or 6 years old at the time. He's now 38. He never wanted to part with the shirt, so when I asked him to send me a picture of it yesterday, there it was in my email this a.m.

Another less cheerful story about me and T-shirts concerns a love affair gone sour. In removing traces of my departed friend I came upon several black T- shirts he had left behind. Starting from the bottom up, I cut each one round and round (almost like peeling an apple) until I had a huge ball of T-shirt yarn which I then knitted with huge needles into a long scarf. At the time I didn't know if I was knitting him into or out of my life, but it was a way of recycling the thing as I needed to do internally in my head. Ah, the power of metaphor! No pictures of that artifact remain. Sorry.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cyber Spacetravel, or Cyberspace travel—Whichever one it's fantastic!

Howdy there. I don't usually blog twice a day but these pictures came over the transom via cyberspace and I wanted to share them with you. They're gifts from Phil who visited the Duomo in Milan today. Click your mouse over the pictures so you can travel deeper into the images, enjoying the incredible details of this door. Phil is over 6' tall, so that gives you a good idea about the scale of these monsters! I've been to Milan before and yet I can't believe that I never made to the Duomo. Next trip which will probably happen late this fall or next summer before my frequent flyer miles (I've got enough for a round trip to Italy) expire.
This year I booked a trip for April 16, but had to redeposit the miles back into my account when I realized that I wouldn't have enough cash to get me from the airport to the city and all the other places I wanted to visit including Sicily. So I'm saving up the dollars to partner it with the ticket and hopefully I'll find myself back to the big boot before my FFM evaporate in August 2010.

Enjoy these details via the miracle of cyber space.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

landscapes of sea and glass . . .

What a glorious walk I took yesterday! I even used my sun glasses for the first time in many days.

Down Boylston St., across the Boston Common, past the Old Burying Ground along the Freedom Trail (see Freedom Trail Guide above) on Tremont street, down Bromfield St. to meet a friend who also loves to walk around the city, in fact she walks an hour to work from Cambridge to Bromfield Street twice a day in all kinds of weather.

From Bromfield we walked towards the water and ended up beside the Aquarium and took a public transport boatride to the Charlestown Navy yard stop, walked past a park with one sole bagpipe player practicing his art and on to a restaurant that overlooked the ocean.

We took the 7:45 p.m. boat back to the same wharf and I walked all the way back home to where I live right next to Boylston and Mass ave. Today the sun's out once again but I'm heading to a client's house where I am doing a mammoth decluttering project. One of these months we'll be ready to actually make the place beautiful, but for now we're setting up systems so that he can start his life over from "house shame" to a place where his home is his source of comfort, order, and renewal.

Friday, June 26, 2009

As one door closes, another one opens . . .

Italian Doors Galore . . .

Here are two from Milan sent by my friend Phil who's touring through Europe and the Middle East for the next six weeks. The first from an office building and the second from somewhere in the city. The next one comes from somewhere in Umbria, it's Mimi's contribution and her identifying words were: Old door to the ex-jail cell in Florence – now being renovated and transformed into popular housing. Enjoy. The sun is out and I'm heading up Boylston St. for an ambitious walk. I'll have my little digital friend with me all the way.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Never a dry (or dull) moment . . .

The Sun never made it out today and I was surrounded by umbrellas everywhere as I ran out for some errands. Heading back to the corner of Mass Ave and Boylston St., I found cops everwhere, Mass Ave in front of Berklee performance center was blocked off and it wasn't until I met a cameraman from Fox 25 did I learn that there had been a bomb scare at Berklee.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What can I say? Time to study the umbrella

Just made a cup of hot lemonade out of the lemons and as far as all this rain goes, maybe it's time to study the anatomy of the umbrella. Turn all this rain from a challenge to an "opportunity."

Also, I've been noticing that the images to the right of the blog are fixed while the ones in the body of the blog allow you to look deeper into the details of them. So if you like any of my images, be sure to click on them so that you can really go deeper into the details. That's why I'm posting this farmhouse door made of chestnut wood again today so that you can look at it more closely. Mimi owns an additional apartment that is part of a complex that was once a Medieval castle and she rents it out. Here's a link if you want to take a look at her apartment. She's also got some great recipes on the site, too.

I'll be posting some more images from Umbria over the next couple of days. It looks as though the sun is trying to say hello. I'd better go out and grab it while I can. More soon. Ciao for now.

Gray, rainy, but still the colors keep coming . . .

If the light hadn't been so overcast, the colors on the wheels of this bicycle wouldn't have caught my attention the way they did. The yellow and green just jumped out at me and I had to take a picture of it.

This is the inside view of the home behind the chestnut farmhouse door that appears today on the "door of the day" column to the right. It's a house in Umbria Italy where my friend Mimi lives several months of the year when she's not in NYC.

The aesthetics of decay is clearly expressing itself in "A new map of the World," which is what the image of this curbstone with its no parking paint peeling off in the delightful shape of new continents. I'll put that in the right hand column of the blog, too, so it will stay there for a few days longer.

This morning's walk was the mistiest so far. Actually used my umbrella part of the time.
I've decided I want to have several categories of images in the right column of the blog post along side the left column were there will be pictures that relate mostly to the walk. With several friends and family wandering through Europe this summer, I'm going to have a vicarious journey through the images they send me for my blog. The right hand panel of the blog will include:
1. A door a day
2. Today's pattern
3. The aesthetics of decay
(beauty in the crumbling grips of reality)
4. Architectural detail
5. Found Object
If you're reading this on Facebook, the abovementioned categories will only be visible if you actually visit the blog:
Today was another rainy one, but still I found the deeply saturated colors popping out at me.
Crossing the Mass Ave. bridge the whole city slept in shades of gray except for the gold leaf on the state house dome.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Christmas in June?

This morning's walk was a wet one.

One thing about overcast skies, though, the colors you see are so saturated.

The "SMOOT" is a system of measurement someone devised while crossing the Massachusetts Avenue Bridge. Wikepedia says,

The smoot is a nonstandard unit of length created as part of an MIT fraternity prank. It is named after Oliver R. Smoot, a fraternity pledge to Lambda Chi Alpha, who in October 1958 lay on the Harvard Bridge (between Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts), and was used by his fraternity brothers to measure the length of the bridge."

Wow that was an amazing way to suddenly learn how to have the text linked. This opens up a world of possibilities. But getting back to today's wanderings, you'll see a rust-covered rail which I'd lable "the aesthetics of decay." You'll also see an artificial x-mas tree peeking out of a giant trash bag, hence my title for today's entry: Christmas in June?

First day of summer . . . NOT!

More rain, more mist, more humidity, but then everything is so much more lush when it's all over.
Here are a few images from this week's walking that never made it into the earlier posts. I call the monument "permanent sculpture" and the newspaper "temporary three-dimensional form."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Over 200 varieties of roses in a hidden city garden

Today was a day full of beauty starting out at the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum, just a few steps from the MFA. If you've never been there, it's a must. This outrageous aesthete, years ahead of her time in dress, behaviour, and artistic vision, partnered with Bernard Berenson who found her myriad treasures, especially in Italy. This is the closest structure we have to an authentic Venetian palace, supposedly brought stone by stone from the land of the big boot. Cameras—flash or no flash—are verbotten, but today's member only outing— at the museum before it was opened to the public—I was able to learn that human saliva with its acidity and enzymes is often the best liquid to remove what the guide called "Gardner Grime," which had settled into the gold leaf surface on a wedding Cassone. After a delicious lunch of apricot and grape chicken salad, I wandered home via the Back Bay Fens—what was originally wetlands—became part of the Emerald Necklace Gardens designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted in the 1880s. Landscape architect Arthur Shurcliff redesigned a small section of it into the Kelleher Rose Gardens which now, thanks to the efforts of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, contain over 200 varieties of roses.

After that, I wandered down the narrow pathways of the Fenway Victory Gardens between the little private plots offered to Boston residents who want to commune with Natured in the center of the city. Today I heard that a walk in nature has as much anti-depressant power as a pill when treating mid level depression and anxieties. I always come away from these walks renewed and motivated to call the Fenway Garden Society to find out one more time where I am on the waiting list to get my own little plot of land. Moving from photography to messing in the dirt to make things grow is an adventure I've yet to experience.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Oops. Operator error! my goof up.

I had originally included these images in the previous post, but I guess I exceeded my allowance and they were stripped out (not really the case, you see, I deleted them inadvertantly when trying to arrange the type) so here they are as an addendum. The stained glass window is a little-known authentic Tiffany in a church in West Roxbury, and the globe style ceiling lamp hangs in the entryway of the Chirstian Science Monitor building where the incredible Mapparium exists. If you haven't been there yet, you must take that walk inside the globe with the boundaries of the countries of the world back in 1936. More cogitations and visuals in a day or two. Oh, yes, the pedicab, a relatively recent phenomenon in Boston, they jingle and jangle in front of my window as they transport the wave of Red Sox Nation as it washes past my condo twice a night during the home games. I've learned to plan my day around the expansion and contraction of Fenway Park so that I can avoid the gridlock that sets in just about the time the pedicabs start peddling by. Enough. Got to get back to some billable design work!
ciao for now,

Angels among us

The images I'm collecting far exceed the number of entries I'm able to create, but at least that gives me lots of ideas in reserve for those rainy or snowy or sweltering days when going outside is just too daunting and my walk gets replaced by thirty minutes of jumping to music on my mini-trampoline, also known as a rebounder.

The other day I passed a condo building that sits on the corner of Mass Ave and Beacon streets. It used to be a church. Someone with a sense of the divine installed a larger than life-sized angel on one of the parapets (not sure that's the right term). I've walked by that building countless times but only saw the splendid angel for the first time this week.

I'm also including some more doorways and some patterns, too. We had a couple of glorious days that made walking so easy and fun, but the rest of the week is darkening, for sure. At least it's still spring! And life begins anew each spring. Hope springs eternal. And all the rest.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Does your resolve dissolve?

September and January are the two times in the year when most people resolve to make changes in their lives, but the day-to-day "must do's" can take over and exhaust you. So how do you keep going when you just don't want to any longer? You think about the long term goal and find a way in the short term to energize yourself. One thing that works for me is to get my body moving first and then my mind will often follow....and then some inspiration will strike and sometimes not.

Getting the body moving for me can mean walking, yoga, dancing, moving around my tiny apartment to the rhythm of Groove Salad which is on on streaming radio. The first step to reaching for that long term goal is to tell the truth. Yes, my resolve is dissolving. Absolutely.

So take a step. Move the body. Fire up those confused and lazy synapses. Today I'm about to head out for a walk. I'll grab the camera, too. I'm not in the mood, especially not in the mood to be writing this entry. . .since I don't have any fresh pictures to show. But I'll put something in, something you haven't seen yet. And then I'll put my shoes on and get myself out the door, hopefully before it starts to rain again. By the way, if you're following this on facebook, you're missing some of the images so go to to see the whole entry.

If you're feeling unmotivated today, put on your coat (yes, I know, we need them today! in June!) and at least walk around the block. Ah, the hibiscus plant/tree a perfect symbol for staying in the day, living one day at a time. Its blossom is the equivalent of a 24-hour clock, which is exactly how long it stays in bloom and then it dies. But there are usually new blossom clocks going off, one after the other so that there's new energy showing up day after day.
Enjoy today's blossom of 24 hours. . . and then let's be grateful that another one will follow this one, we hope. Amen. Awomen!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Variations on red

Howdy, there. Out again walking around Boston to keep my spirits from crashing into the gray funk predicted for the next few days. It's so hard to keep up with everything electronic...facebook, linkedin, twitter, yada yada yada, not to mention the acts of daily living and all that entails, especially at the beginning of the month when everything is due. Ouch! Anyway, I was out walking again and thought I'd show you some variations of color in the red family. Enjoy!