Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Boston in the fall: Part 2

"Well I've never licked a spark plug
And I've never sniffed a stink bug
And I've never painted daisies on a big red rubber ball
And I've never bathed in yogurt
And I don't look good in leggings
And I've never been to Boston in the fall"
- "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" from the childrens' series Veggie Tales

Statue of John Harvard on the campus that bears his name. 
Apparently it's lucky to rub his left shoe.
On our second day in Boston, Stefanie and I took a short ride to Cambridge to see the campus of Harvard University. I had been to Harvard once before but never had much of a chance to look around. I've got to admit - the atmosphere on the campus lives up to Harvard's grand reputation. Most buildings were red brick and surrounded by deciduous trees. Some of the larger ones had columns and inscriptions along the top edge. Stefanie and I both wanted to find the Science Center (naturally) but laughed when we got there - it was modern white stone, and to quote the German expression, "so hässlig wie die Nacht" ("as ugly as the night"). Of course the ugliest building on campus belongs to the scientists!

One of my favorite works in the Institute of
Contemporary Art, from the Index Series by
Xaviera Simmons.

We finished the weekend with a visit to the Institute of Contemporary Art along the waterfront in Boston. It's very rare for me to get in and out of a big city without stopping at whatever modern art museum there is, because I am positively enthralled by 20th- and 21st-century creations. My favorites are painters Wassily Kadinsky and Piet Mondrian (especially his later works), sculptor Constantin Brancusi, and composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass. My favorite work in the Institute was a series of composite photographs of bodies covered by the kinds of things you accumulate when you travel. The faces were covered, which I interpret as a reminder that our identity is the sum of our experiences.

It was a great weekend in Boston! I am glad for the chance to spend time with a friend and experience new places.

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