Sunday, December 25, 2016

Stormy Weather

Approaching Bryce Canyon nearly four years back we encountered a blowing snowstorm with temps in the twenties. Today’s entry befits the gusting winds and 7 inches of fresh snow that greeted us when we awoke to this (Sunday) morning. Yes, I write these posts on Sunday and they publish at 3am every Monday morning.

I hope you had a warm and wonderful Christmas.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Deconstructionist German Expressionist Architecture for short

Ray and Maria Stata Center which houses the MIT Computer Sciences and Artificial Intelligence Center was designed by Frank Gehry and opened to much fanfare in 2004. Referred to as Deconstructionist in style its roots are traced to the German Expressionist architecture of the 1920s. Because it sits at 32 Vassar Street in Cambridge, Massachusetts it is commonly called Building 32.

The building directly above is unidentified which is to say, I don’t remember its name nor can I find an image of it online. If you do happen to know its moniker give me shout.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Sky Lines Boston Edition

The Prudential Building

In the Boston area for a buddy’s 70th I gave myself one afternoon, night and morning to walk the very walkable city and add to my growing Sky Lines series. Come to think of it, the great American cities, Manhattan, San Francisco and Boston are walking cities. That's partly because they're relatively small geographically and people actually live "downtown."

I parked at my beloved MFA (Museum of Fine Art) thinking that I’d do my stroll, stash my camera and partake of its wonders. Well, that didn’t happen because by the time I got back to the garage it was nearing check-in time and it was more important to me to take a long run along the Charles River than ponder art. Running on the Esplanade among the hundreds of other runners remains one of my favorite routes, indeed things, in the known universe. I'm given to rituals, touchstones of joy.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Dennis Dodge House

The Dennis Dodge House at 10 County Street, Ipswich, Massachusetts

Greater Boston is the place we lived the longest, 1973-76, 1980-2002. That’s 25 years in the Boston area. Add a couple of years in southern Connecticut and two more in northern New Hampshire and we flirted with 30 years in New England. That lengthy period infused us with great love for Yankee values and the rich history of the place. The first house that we owned was The Dennis-Dodge House on County Road in Ipswich, Massachusetts, locals say “Mass.” Built in 1740 the then brown gambrel saltbox sat on the corner a block from the Ipswich River. 

We frolicked at Crane Beach, one of the country’s finest, from which we could see Plum Island and Newburyport in the distance. A handful of miles east in Essex we ate steamers, lobster and fried Little Neck Clams at Woodman’s. The legendary clam shack claims to have invented the fried clam. Ipswich is where we started skiing. Nearly every winter weekend we’d drive to Gunstock above Lake Winnipesauke in southern New Hampshire. We’d ski all day before heading home by way of The Grog in Newburyport for a bowl of chowder. Yet again food looms large. Why are you not surprised?

Our son was baptized by rector Edward French of Ascension Memorial Church just down the street. He’d been John Updike’s Harvard roommate. French’s wife was a fiery redhead and the Ballantine beer heiress. The reverend drove a white 1963 Mercedes 280 SE convertible. To this day my favorite car. Ever.

The Jacobean stairway with oversized King George boards to the left. The wide boards were quite illegal as they were to be used exclusively for his majesty's ships of war.

I drove at least 30 miles in each direction to my office in Burlington and never once regretted the time or distance. It was pure joy to arrive at our clapboard classic with its seven working fireplaces which included a walk-in hearth replete with a beehive oven. The best Thanksgivings and Christmases ever were celebrated in the Dennis-Dodge House. There’s Christmas and there’s a New England Christmas. Makes me misty to remember.

Since I have no photographs of my own to illustrate this look back I’ve have had to rely on small files from the public domain.