Over the weekend, the family returned to visit the he Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, a place I’ve visited dozens of times over the course of my life, and enjoyed by previous generations of my family as well. This was a unique visit for three reasons:
It was the first ever visit for my daughter Kay
It was the first time we visited on two consecutive days
It was the first time we visited as members!
The membership was a gift of my mother, who having moved to a new home in walking distance of the zoo is ready to visit the zoo again and again with her children and grandchildren.
I’m not someone you will often find at a college football game, but I got free tickets from work (full disclosure: my employer has a football team) and my son enjoys going to sporting events of any kind. So on September 26, Peter & I made our way to Harvard Stadium to see the Crimson take on Brown. A few years back, we saw Harvard run up the score in a torrential downpour against Holy Cross. For this game, the weather was crisp and clear, a perfect autumn night, but Harvard still ran up the score.
I may not be a big fan of football, but I love historic sporting venues and seeing a game in Harvard Stadium is a treat (when it’s not raining). It was also nice to be there when a lot of other fans were present for the atmosphere, including a large number of students who we first saw having a rowdy tailgate in the parking area. Unfortunately, with the score 37-0 at halftime, most of the other spectators departed, making it feel very lonely in the cavernous stadium. After the game, kids were invited on the field and Peter got autographs from a couple of Harvard players which was pretty cool.
Maybe I’ll do this again in another three years.
Refs in the zone.
Peter tries to identify the players.
Harvard defense prevents Brown from scoring.
The band’s half time show was full of painfully bad jokes.
No Brown players will be going in here.
Soldiers Field panorama
The Harvard dance squad does a quick show between quarters.
On a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in Boston, my family and I visited the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway to experience the monumental work of art As If It Were Already Hereby Janet Echelman. At first it felt underwhelming, pretty, but smaller than expected. But as I walked under and around the sculpture I couldn’t help but notice how it interacts with sun and sky, buildings and trees, always changing even with a small change of perspective. So I took a ton of pictures. You can see them below, but definitely check it out in person.
I made another first time in a long time visit to a Boston institution with a day out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unlike the Museum of Fine Arts, there is only one work of art at the Gardner Museum, a collaboration of Mrs. Gardner and thousands of painters, sculptors, designers, architects, and gardeners. This was my first visit since the opening of the new Renzo Piano wing, which is impressive, but seems mostly a utilitarian annex to the historic museum. It was also the first time I’ve been to the museum since photography is allowed, although only of the courtyard on the main level. Plenty of scofflaws took photos from the upper levels too, but were only stopped by the guards when using flash. I followed Mrs. Gardner’s preference of immersing myself in the art and beauty.
Lemon tree in the greenhouse
Two paths diverge in the Monk’s Garden
Here, photographs are encouraged
The central courtyard
Odysseus peers into the courtyard
Steel supported glass roof, a modern innovation for the classic museum
On our last day in New York, we visited the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo. This was a second visit for Peter, a couple of dozen visits for me, and countless more for my mother. In short, the zoo is a place we all love. Highlights include seeing baboons and ibex on hillside, sunning lions and giraffes, baby gorillas galore, and the flitter-flutter of the butterfly garden.
A highlight of any visit to New York is to stroll across the famed suspension bridge to Brooklyn. I did this for the first time as a child over 30 years ago when the bridge was mobbed with people heading to an Irish festival in Brooklyn. I’ve been back a half-dozen times since and generally it’s been serene. But on this occasion, the first time for my son, it was as crowded as my first time even though there seemed to be no special event.
Spring descended on Jamaica Plain this past weekend with the annual Wake Up the Earth Festival presented by Spontaneous Celebrations. This was the 35th annual festival, an event that grew out of the “highway revolt” of the 1960s & 70s when local activists opposed the construction of highway infrastructure in Jamaica Plain & Roxbury, leading to the creation of the Southwest Corridor as a system of train lines, bike paths, and parks that we enjoy today. Ironically, some people who want to create new prioritized highway infrastructure for cars marched in this year’s parade which I guess shows that this festival takes all kinds. The festival itself was home to many tents of activists of many causes, food, games, and musical performances. My family and I sang a few songs with the intergenerational chorus SingPositive, JP in preparation for our concert on May 19th. We also danced to Maaak Pelletier’s jam band the Mystical Misfits as they played Grateful Dead classics. Finally, the potato sack slide down the hillside was great fun for everyone.
My son and I journeyed to the Ecotarium for Free Fun Fridays. The Ecotarium is a science museum surrounded by outdoor compound including nature trails, animal exhibits, a playground, and even a train ride. We had a great time with the only downside being that my parochial Bostonian view found the drive to Worcester a bit too long.