Friday, September 28, 2012

Photography Friday: Fenway's Grandstand to Gallery

Let's wrap up the week with some Boston inspired photos.  People always tell me that Fenway Park is one of the major ballparks to see in the US.  To be honest, that information is probably a bit lost on me as I don't know all that much about baseball or their parks but I'm trying to learn more given the sport's deep historical roots here.  Our first outing to a baseball game was a major success earlier this year, and our second will be this weekend, although granted, it's not so much for baseball as it is for an Opera in the Outfield screening - but that seems like a perfect place for me to start.  More on that later...

I've actually never been inside Fenway but I've driven by it lots of times - it seems to always be on the way to or from a meeting somehow, so I've always seen it from the outside.  The Boston Museum of Fine Art is hosting an exhibit at the park itself, who's write up showed me a little bit more of the inside.  To celebrate the park's 100 years (and how cool is that, we might have newfangled stadiums now but aren't the historic ones kind of special themselves? makes me want to eat cracker jacks), they hosted a photography contest of park pictures submitted and voted upon by the fans.  Kind of a nice way to get into the spirit of the game, right?
Photo Credits: 1/ Candace Imming, 2/Barbara Ross, 3/Bart Blumberg, 4/Laura Brody, 5/ Rosemary Sampson - all photos via Boston Museum of Fine Art

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Boston by iphone...

It's kind of amazing that Boston can be just a day trip.  It's been a while since I've been - the last time I was there I had a conference, and so I seemed to spend much of the time either taking notes or wistfully looking out over the water from the conference center.  On one late afternoon we wrapped up early, and I was able to hear then Senator Obama give a speech on the Boston Commons lawn way back before he was even the nominee.  This time around, this was strictly an in and out trip, earliest shuttle in, three back to back meetings, a quick stop for cannoli in the North end after lunch, and then back home.  I even made it back before diplo-tot's bedtime - next time though, we're definitely going for a weekend.  Boston, it's been too long!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boston Uncommons...

Last week, work took me for a quick day trip to Boston, and driving around seeing some of the gorgeous Boston brownstones and townhouses.  I've always wondered what they look like inside.  I'm always told that Boston can sometimes be a bit old-school, but if this townhouse that Frank Roop did is any indication, then I would say that Boston mixes old and new perfectly, and just a tad eclectic in all the right places.

This house actually was profiled way back in Elle Decor in 2007 I believe, but it just as timeless now - I don't remember the original story but I do remember the picture of top of the living room.  That's actually paper cut into squares and wall papered. Mr. Roop mentions that most people walk in and think it's stone, I had been thinking that it was cowhide (how cool would that be?), but what a great way to bring in texture but using a way that's totally Boston uncommon.

All photographs by Eric Roth for Elle Decor.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Material Girl....

Some days you get when a friend has to travel on short notice for work and leaves you wtih her Madonna tickets.  Some days, you get when it turns out a separate friend is at the show...and two of his friends didn't show up to claim their seats on ON THE FLOOR of that same Madonna concert? And those are the days that you find yourself about 50 feet from Madonna herself, wearing lots of necklaces and eyeliner on a Sunday night after a few rounds of cocktails with your husband for an impromptu date, staying up way past your bedtime while dancing in heels until the wee hours just like you did in college.  It's been awhile since we've done something like that and I'm pleased to say we could keep up, though we certainly paid the price the next morning.

What is there to say? The show was amazing.  Punctuality wasn't its strong suit running at over 2 and a half hours late.  And honestly, late night shows don't bother me, but telling people one thing and doing another does.  But anyway - costumes, sets, changes, energy, especially when you're in the thick of it are incredible.  There is a rather violent portion in the beginning I wasn't crazy about, but her oldies are still her best goodies and it really is incredible what she and her dancers can do.  I mean, they're professional athletes and the movement is just incredible.  I dare you to not be moved when a whole gospel choir materializes out of nowwhere for the chorus of Like a Prayer moving a stadium of 20,000 people to song.  As the good friend who gave us the second set of seats pointed out, "This isn't a concert, it's a SPECTACLE".  A spectacle worth least once!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Read a book, Take a look...

It's reading rainbow..reading rainbow...actually it wasn't reading rainbow but it was the DC Book Festival this weekend.  For years, I have always driven by, seeing it on the Smithsonian lawn while on my way to something else and never really stopped by, even though I knew there were all sorts of books and authors there.  Somehow though, when you're a visitor in your own home, and also once you have a child, you check things out that you've so often glossed over.  So this year we finally made it.

Becuase we came with the diplo-tot in tow, we hung mostly to the children's tents and pavilions, though there were programs for all ages.  Some characters are beloved that you'll recognize from your own storybook days: Clifford the Red Dog, Curious George...but then there are also clearly new players on the scene: Lunchlady, Dora...and my favorite, Hip Hop Harry who spouts out kid-friendly PSA's about sharing and drinking water and washing your hands while the DJ drops old school beats (I think mainly for the benefit of the parents) from Missy Elliot, Run DMC and a bunch of other things you'll be convinced you haven't heard since college.

And getting out on to the mall (national mall that is) actually became a great opportunity to try a few new other things. While walking to the festival, we caught some of the parade and yummy grilled corn from "Fiesta DC" for Hispanic Heritage Month.  In addition to paraders and musicians, they had all the classic street food, including fresh granitas and the little popsicle ice cream carys with little bells that I haven't seen since we lived in inner city Chicago when I was a little girl. 

We capped everything off with a lunch at the sculpture park pavilion, soaking up those last rays of sunshine before the cool fall night air set in...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Photography Friday: The underwater world of Andreas Franke...

So to close out a bit of a European themed week, let's turn to a European photographer, shall we? Specifically an Austrian one (what can I say? I'm biased sometimes!).  I love being around water, but specifically being in the underwater world as well as a scuba diver. To me, there is nothing more calming, and there is no greater quiet than the underwater world.  Apparently, I'm not the only one to think so.

Andreas Franke took pictures while diving on the Vandenburg ship, a former military ship now sunk off Key West as an artificial reef, and recreated scenes that would have taken place during the time the ship was in service.  The result is a set of "dreamworlds, where you can get lost or you can identify with".  I think it describes it perfectly - it's at once escapist and totally recognizable.  But perhaps what really sets this exhibit apart from any other? You actually have to go underwater to see it - the photos are mounted to the ship itself so that you are fully immersed, getting not only a wreck dive but also an art dive.

All photographs by Andreas Franke.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A bit of Swiss Perfection...

While on our great european road trip, we spent a good part of the drive on the return going through Switzerland, which I haven't visited in the longest time. Granted this was more of a drive by than an actual visit, but there is something that really changes once you cross over to Switzerland.  Somehow everything looks a bit more manicured, a bit more precise and a bit more perfect.

I think the Swiss know it.  They know it and own it.  And they played it up in their recent tourism campaign with this absolutely excellent set of videos about the work that goes into that kind of perfection.  Obviously they're being a bit tongue in cheek here, while still conveying that they take this kind of detail seriously and that they know that others come to Switzerland specifically to see it.  I found the concept so cleverly executed - and the videos still manage to convey that sense of Swiss beauty that hits you when you see those mountains.  It makes you want to pack up your lederhosen and pop a Ricola for the next flight to the Swiss alps stat.

Photo and video by My Switzerland

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Great European iphone...

I think with yesterday's post we've set ourselves up nicely for a bit of a European week here on the blog - there are still bits and pieces from our July trip that I was hoping to share.  Most of those bits and pieces we picked up because of the fact that we took a road trip from Austria all the way down to the coast of the South of France.  Its' a long drive to be sure, but with a diplo-tot in tow, I'm not sure that flying is all that much easier by the time you get to the airport, get on the plane, take the flight, get off the plane, get a rental car and drive to where we needed to go.  A car gave us a lot of freedom to take in the sights and take in the stops when tantrums called, and you can really get some gorgeous views of the mountains and other areas that you'd never see otherwise.  It's been awhile since we've done some big European drives so it was nice to have that on the road again feeling.  And it made us appreciate the beach all that much more when we finally got there! Here are a few highlights from our trip...

Like roadtrips? Here are a few Lessons for Clara that I jotted down...