Sunday, December 15, 2013

Snow won't stop these Santa Sprinters

Santa Sprinters outside of the Pour House on Boylston St.
I never know what I'm going to see along Boylston Street. Yesterday as the snow was beginning to fall, I saw this trio of Santa Sprinters hovering together outside the Pour House restaurant in the frigid air. They happily smiled for me. They were about to do some santa sprinting to stay "warm" while spreading holiday cheer. I asked if they had a website that I could link to, but the Santa sprinters aren't on social media, just on freezing asphalt.

Monday, November 4, 2013

My "tangled" brain never felt so good!

Last night's Zentangle, complete with Celtic Square Knot
In the last few days, I've become infected with a new obsession: Zentangling. Started by the artists Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas, the art of the Zentangle is a meditative way to take your intuitive act of doodling to new heights. Zentangle patterns and textures augment your own visual vocabulary, inspiring and moving your creations into the realm of Art. People talk about the "zone" when describing athletes in the midst of their highest performance. In the world of Zentangling, getting in the zone is about unfettered (no erasers! no mistakes!) doodling that moves the creator into the realm of a calming trance—stimulated and relaxed at the same time.

If you visit my blog from a year ago, you'll see how I had gone on a mandala binge creating lots of black and white images and then filling them in with the help of Illustrator's Live Trace and Live Paint.

Here are my very first Zentangles. Also, when watching so many videos over the weekend to feed my new addiction, I stumbled upon the entertaining YouTube videos of David Nicholls who unlocked the mystery of Celtic knots. I've mixed some of that flavor (in the Zentangle above) in with the Zentangle patterns and took off.
My first Zentangle Mandala
My first Zentangle with a Celtic Knot as the starting point.

My very first Zentangle on Wednesday, October 30

Now I'm seeing potential Zentangle patterns everywhere. This was a pattern on Amy's jersey.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Scenes from the World Series Parade

 So much happiness all through the streets of Boston today as the Red Sox nation—players and fans— celebrated their recent victory. Even I, an ignorant sports fan, had watched the final game! I don't know the names of all the players, which beard belongs to whom. Here are some shots from this morning's parade that conveniently passed right by my front door on Boylston Street. I think I got some shots of actual players or maybe people who looked like them. In any case, the joy and gratitude and admiration were palpable. Boston Strong!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Play me, I'm yours . . .

Just outside the Berklee Book Store

If you can't perform inside Symphony, you can do it today, just outside it . . .

Thanks to the program you can sit yourself down and plunk away.
The red piano below is just outside Symphony hall and free for your enjoyment. On my walk in Boston's Fenway area yesterday I passed by three of these uprights, each one uniquely hand decorated.

If you visit the official website: you'll see a map of the city with the location of the rest of the 75 pianos that go live this Friday and await your touch.

An excerpt from the site: "Touring internationally since 2008, Play Me, I’m Yours is an arts project by artist Luke JerramLuke Jerram.*  When the project goes live in Boston on September 27, over 1000 street pianos will have been installed in 37 cities across the globe, bearing the simple invitation to Play Me, I’m Yours! The project has already reached more than four million people worldwide.
As a thank you to millions of loyal patrons and to celebrate its 75th anniversary season, Celebrity Series of Boston is presenting Play Me, I’m Yours ‘the Street Pianos Boston Festival’ from September 27 – October 14, 2013. Located in public spaces in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville and Brookline, 75 pianos are available for anyone to play and enjoy."

Check out the link to Luke Jerram, the British artist who birthed the project and you can read stories of the effect these pianos have had around the world. And there's a video of Luke telling the story of his moment of inspiration.
Deep in the heart of Fenway's Victory Gardens

Just outside of Symphony Hall on Huntington Avenue. Just play it and you can say you've performed at Symphony.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Toilets of the World . . .

List price $5,800 for this Aged Bronze Water Closet by Jemal Wright Bath Design
Ever since taking a dump in a hole in Mumbai, where I had to sweep up any miss-aimed matter with a primitive broom that looked like the kind witches fly, I have had a fantasy of writing a book called, "Toilets of the World." My visit to a famous shrine in Kyoto back in the year 2000 brought me to a Japanese toilet that had so many lights and buttons and electronic components that I was unable to figure out how to flush it. Years ago in Verona, Italy, I visited a subterranean ladies room with walls and partitions plastered with pictures of Italian and American movie starts. Just last year in a train station in Palermo, Italy, I almost soiled myself because I couldn't figure out how to shove a euro note into a kiosk so the a door would open and let me into a western style toilet complete with a toilet seat. Travel blindness aside, I had to blink twice when I saw this fixture for sale for anyone wanting a super fragilisticexpialadocius custom bathroom in which to void vegan or carnivore waste. And you can see it's a low flow flush. How environmentally correct!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Laying off of sugar . . . help!

Every now and then I vow to get off of "the white stuff." Not talking about white powder one sees in crime shows, I'm talking about dairy, sugar, flour, and all combinations of same. Time for my next cholesterol screening is approaching and I always do much better after a few weeks off the white stuff. Something about this picture of a reclining "Hello Kitty!" that I took at the Prudential mall a few days ago keeps haunting me and has compelled me to make a post featuring her in what appears to be a sated position.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Misogyny in the name of Fashion

Just read these words on a recent email introducing a new fashion statement (above), "The Giger collection is inspired by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, particularly his visual effects work on the Alien movies. While Solo’s first line, Specimen, was extremely floral-driven, Giger is “a little more of me,” he says. “It’s darker and edgier.” Solo also looks to Alexander McQueen and other designers during his creative process, and says his exact inspirations are often hard to pin down."

Hard to pin down, alright, because these crippling new skyscraper heels are an invitation to abuse women! Maybe if the designers returned to the origins of these style cramping torture devices, they might be inspired to create something gorgeous and comfortable. Everyone should realize that the first "heels" were worn by men— butchers, centuries ago, as they sloshed through the blood and gore of slaughterhouses—the high heeled klogs keeping the blood off of their trousers!

I have been enraged for years at the limited supply of comfortable, yet stylish alternatives to these "inventions" by men that make women look "sexy," while guaranteeing that they stay the weaker sex. How can you outrun an attacker wearing something from the Giger collection?

On many of my summer jaunts of late, I've observed couples walking: the guy is casually and comfortably dressed, while the woman is bare-legged and hobbling in towering devices—I can't even call them shoes—with skirts so short—well I won't go there. As a yoga teacher, I watch the damage these weapons of female destruction inflict on a whacked-out pelvis.

Stilts might be easier to navigate, but please don't support these Giger torture devices.  It's time for a revolt! Let's see more walking shoes that look good, feel good, and keep men and women on an equal footing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's a super . . . unidentified sitting object.

On a recent stroll through the Prudential Center Mall, I saw this lovely being sitting all by herself, quietly looking out from beneath her wrapping. When I asked if I could photograph her she nodded permission. Pretty soon there was a crowd gathering trying to guess who she was and why she was there, but she did not utter a sound. If you click on her picture, you'll see more detail, especially the paws.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Painting for fun vs. "making art" — what's the difference?

How can it be "making art" when a whole class ends up painting the same picture? But then again, isn't that what I did in the 60s at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy? Then, each student was expected to render his/her interpretation of the live model—we were each painting the same subject but in our own individual way.
At the Paint Bar on Newbury Street, participants are guided step by step to paint the same subject — and they all paint it in the same way. Big difference from my days at the Academia.

But who cares if you're having fun and getting a little tipsy while doing it? And maybe the fun of doing it inspires someone to go on to paint "seriously." For a night out at The Paint Bar, there's no artist angst about what to paint. You sign up on line based on what scene you see on their calendar so you actually know what subject you'll be painting ahead of time! And this month is SOLD OUT!

As a long time struggling and often starving artist, this seems bizarre to me, but to all the participants at The Paint Bar tonight, it didn't matter one brush stroke worth, they were all having fun.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Boston Night Riders . . . buck naked!

They left their convening site at Boston Common Band Stand at 10 p.m. tonight, June 29, and hit the road on their Fourth Annual World Naked Bicycle Ride Boston to raise awareness! It worked. I was walking from the Kendall Sq. movie, just in front of MIT on Mass Ave., when a slew of nude cyclists flew by. I fumbled for my camera to catch some skin before they passed.
One guy was on roller blades with all his glory swaying in the evening summer breeze. Amazing the sights one can see for free around Boston and Cambridge!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Somewhere under the rainbow people shine . . .

As I walked home from a meeting on Peterborough Street past the Victory Gardens heading toward the Prudential, the light shining through the rain told me there had to be a rainbow somewhere. Once I hit Boylston Street, there it was, a double rainbow, too. Everyone stopped to record the phenomenon with their smart phones. Everyone smiling, chatting with strangers at the miracle. Happiness everywhere. What is it about a rainbow that makes us all giddy?
If you look closely you can see the second, fainter rainbow arching across the sky.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Proclaim your rarity to the world . . . Gay Pride, Pirate Cruising, or Animé . . . Boston offers a parade of opportunities for self-expression.

The Boston Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence full of Pride.
In spite of the 7-hour power outage that blackened my neighborhood this morning around 3 a.m., I love living on Boylston Street! Even without checking the papers or websites for Boston events—just walking out my front door— I run smack into surprises.
Last month there was the Annual Animé festival where thousands of people dressed up as popular animation characters.
Yesterday I encountered folks preparing for the Gay Pride parade and the Pirate Cruise and Pub Crawl, two events that always happen on the same day every year. Once again, I wanted to show you some of the characters I tend to meet on a weekend amble along Boylston.
But what all of these "characters" have in common is a burning desire to create an alter ego that in some way enables to them to leave the every-day self behind. So much of our lives we do try to fit in, do the right thing, be responsible, and that is all very worthy, but where are the moments of wild abandon when we can find a way to display our creative fireworks and to burn them brightly? Being part of a community, a movement, a parade, a culture that supports that self-expression is what these festivals and exhibitions of inhibitions released are all about. Nurturing our individuality out there in the real world even if it's only one day a year can open up not only ourselves, but the people who come to witness us as we proclaim our rarity to the world.
Characters from ready to join in the gay pride parade.

On her way to the Pirate Cruise and Pub Crawl