Monday, July 29, 2013
The Christian Science Reflecting Pool
Boston isn’t exactly known for its public art. Yeah, there’s a statue of every famous colonial resident scattered around, but you have to dig a little deeper for modern and contemporary works.
In Cambridge, there’s an alley way in Central Square with an ever-changing amount of street art. On the Rose Kennedy Greenway, there’s a piece from last summer’s exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art. The Design Museum of Boston launched a public art bench exhibition this summer in Fort Point. But I’m going to highlight the recent Convergence exhibition at the Christian Science Plaza.
Liminal Bloom by Andy Zimmerman
Convergence is the work of the Boston Sculptors Gallery. With the goal of making Boston a center of public art, the group of sculptors launched a public, outdoor installation of works scattered around the Christian Science Plaza which is smack in the middle of the Fenway Cultural District.
Poised by Donna Dodson and Andy Moerlein
Water Forms by Marilu Swett
Some pieces played with their surroundings like the two above. The bird sculpture is on a small spot of grass created by a ramp leading to an underground parking deck. The “squid of a stick” is right next to the large reflecting pool.
Impossible by Andy Moerlein. This was one of my favorites.
Sentinel Stand by Leslie Wilcox
These two pieces are guaranteed to catch your eye. You have boulders wedged into tree branches (over a patch of grass with seating in good weather) and a tree dressed in a mesh jacket. The tree is absolutely perfect because the trimmed branch knobs create a face in profile.
Christian Science Coral by Michelle Lougee
The number of women sculptors represented in this exhibition really surprised me. Sculpture always seems to be dominated by men, especially in public art and monumental pieces. Yet there were at least 9 women participating in Convergence.
I visited on an overcast and *finally* cool day last week. There weren’t too many people out in the drizzle, so I nearly had the installation to myself.
It’s open through October 31, 2013. You can take the E train on the Green Line to the Symphony stop or the 1 bus to Christian Science Plaza. Here’s a map of all the pieces: ConvergenceMap
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Okay, so I’m back on the Saturday Snapshot wagon after being sick and then the site not having its life together last week.
In June, I participated in an Instagram meet-up in Cambridge. We had a one hour photo scavenger hunt followed by a photo walk (that I left early since I was close to a T stop and it was hot). One of the scavenger hunt items was a view of the old Custom House tower from a distance.
I like this shot because you have the super modern Zakim Bridge with its diagonal suspension cables paired with the skyline and Custom House. Boston is full of old and new next to each other.
Monday, July 22, 2013
As it’s become our tradition while traveling, if we want to ease into a city (or ease off the credit card), Indian is our go-to choice. While in Paris, our B&B was just a few blocks from Little India so OF COURSE we made our way over there on our first night in the city.
It’s tucked off a side street near the Gare du Nord. If you don’t succumb to the siren song of curry from the other restaurants nearby, you’ll spot Dishny on the corner of Rue Faubourg-Saint Denis and Rue Cail. It’s a rough around the edges neighborhood (it’s between Gare du Nord, Gare de l’Est, and 2 hospitals), but don’t be put off and miss out on curry-mania.
But you guys, my vegetarian thali platter was only 8 euro! It has five veggies (aloo ghobi and bengan bharta were two that I could easily ID, the other three involved mixed veggies, cabbage, and spinach), a pappadum, rice, pickle, vadai, raita, and a coconut rice pudding (that’s the plastic cup you see). I liked everything except the creamy spinach as I’m just not a fan of cooked spinach. For the non-Indian food people, that’s a cauliflower/potato curry, eggplant curry, 3 miscellaneous veggie curries, a lentil cracker, rice, a spicy pickled lime/mango/veggie mixture, a fried lentil doughnut, yogurt and cucumber sauce, and coconut rice pudding.
The hubs got a dosa thali platter. He had a masala dosa, I believe, and it came with a few veggies curries, sambal, a pappadum, and a vadai. I think it was under 13 euro. A masala dosa is a thin salty crepe stuffed with spiced mash potatoes and butter, and the sambal is a chili-based condiment.
We also got cheese naan (flatbread) and a meat and potato fried roll. The Naan was really the only fail. Rather than being stuffed with paneer (Indian fresh cheese), it was stuffed with some gooey white cheese that reminded me of cheap mozzarella sticks. The rolls were 3 euro, and the naan was also 3 euros of starch and sadness.
Round that out with a half liter of red table wine for 4.50, and that’s a 30 euro dinner in Paris for two. Not too shabby.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I’m not the biggest fan of cantaloupe. In college, it always dominated the fruit cups and fruit salads to the point that I stopped eating fruit for a while.
But a few weeks ago, I had the urge to buy a Tuscan heirloom cantaloupe at Trader Joe’s and wrap slices of prosciutto around hunks of melon for lunch.
Well, I could only eat so much prosciutto, so I had half the melon left. I diced it up and threw it in the freezer to deal with later.
Fast forward to the week of Fourth of July. I had the tine to play in the kitchen, but it was too hot to bake. So I decided to make sorbet. I don’t have an ice cream machine, but I read that frozen cantaloupe has a great texture for sorbet. I also had some mint in the fridge, so BOOM. Minted cantaloupe sorbet.
I found this to be just a tad too sweet to have a big bowl of it, but a single scoop is perfect. Try this if you’re also ice cream machine-less and don’t want to scrape down your sorbet every 30 minutes for eternity.
Minted Cantaloupe Sorbet
Yield: 4-6 small servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours
A great way to use up leftover cantaloupe, and a good "first homemade sorbet" recipe to try. Adapted from About.com Local Foods.
1/2 a cantaloupe, diced (I used a Tuscan heirloom)
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane sugar (or white granulated sugar)
1/2 cup water
handful fresh mint leaves
Puree the cantaloupe in a food processor or blender. I started with frozen cantaloupe, so I thawed it in the microwave and slightly cooked it to make it easier to puree.
Over medium heat, bring the sugar, mint, and water mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, and let it simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
Strain the mint leaves and add the sugar syrup to the puree and blend once more to incorporate. If you have an ice cream machine, follow the manufacturer's directions to freeze the sorbet. If you're like me, add the puree to a shallow glass storage dish or baking pan, cover, and put it in the freezer. Every hour, use a fork to break up the mixture. Repeat three to five times.
Just scoop and serve.
Adapted from About.com Local Foods
Monday, July 15, 2013
A close up of the bottles of colored water lining the windows of the museum.
This month’s ArtSmart theme is sculpture, but I want to talk about it again. I recently went to the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA to catch their traveling Tony Feher exhibit.
That’s a lot of wine…
Tony Feher is a sculptor, but not in the sense that you’re used to. He uses mainly everyday materials such as plastic bottles, marbles, glass, foam, etc. I view his work in the vein of Sol Lewitt, you buy the idea. I think it’s playful and really speaks to upcycling, but the conceptual part can make my eyes roll. You can read about his art on the Decordova’s page and decide for yourself. I’m not a huge fan of conceptual art; I usually prefer the idea over the execution. In Feher’s case, I like that you can replicate the concept with found objects, but I feel like his concept sounds like a computer-generated artist statement.
Tony Feher, Blossom, 2009
extruded polystyrene, 4 x 8 x 2 feet
You might look at his pieces and say “this is art?” or be tempted to touch it (like the guy who poked a floor sculpture with his foot!!!!!!!!!!! GAH!!!!!!!). But have you ever stopped to think how these pieces are installed in a museum?
Dozens upon dozens of plastic two liter bottles, filled with colored water, and lined up along the window frames at the DeCordova. Each row had its own color pattern.
I always feel bad for the preparators, registrars, and exhibition crew when I see a complicated, lots of small pieces work in a museum. Why? Because they often have a photograph sent be the artist of their wishes for the final look, and they’ve got to replicate that photograph exactly. You have to make sure that all the pieces arrived, that you arrange them the right way, and in Feher’s case, that they stay that way despite people wanting to touch them.
While we were there, I saw a few gallery guards and two museum staff members standing around a very complicated sculpture. They had a photo of the piece in one hand and were trying to fix a section to make it match. Imagine having a bowl full of fake flowers and cigarette cartons and having to arrange it perfectly. That’s what they were doing. Though the piece looks effortless, it’s ridiculously planned out.
Tony Feher, Just So, 2002
28 clear glass bottles with white plastic screw caps, distilled water, food coloring, overall: 7 1/4 x 100 inches
These bottles with colored water? I’m sure they have to monitor evaporation to make sure the levels are correct for each bottle.
These broomsticks? They must be affected by the vibration of visitors walking by each day. I really appreciated the multiple signs warning visitors to be very careful of where they stepped and to hold their children’s hands to avoid dismantling a piece.
Want to catch the exhibition? It’s at the DeCordova until September 15th. The final stop is at the Bronx Museum, October 6th, 2013-February 14th, 2014.