Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dinner with a blogger

Now we're going to play Skip-Bo. Lovely.


This afternoon we had a cool tour of Holy Names Academy. If a woman has yet to become President, it is through no fault of schools like this one.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another sunset

She casts a long shadow.

Sunset, with rainbow

We walked out to see the sunset and we found out that the rainbow starts at our house! Didn't realize it was quite that colorful.

In front of the Cathedral

When did this happen??? I guess we were gone longer than I thought!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Concord School of Philosophy

Bronson Alcott built a church/schoolhouse on his property, which he grandly styled the Concord School of Philosophy. It was not unsuccessful for about 8 years.

Sleepy Hollow

Thoreau and all his friends are buried along 'authors' ridge' at Sleepy Hollow cemetery. People brought him tributes of pinecones and evergreen branches.

Last stop

We decided to visit Concord en route to the airport. Emerson and Hawthorne were closed for the season, but Orchard House was open, home of the Alcotts. Emerson helped Bronson find and purchase the property because they were broke all the time. The girls were supposed to develop their talents and the artistic one (May/Amy) was encouraged to draw on the walls. She drew Raphael on the bread board and Moses smashing the ten commandments on the fire screen. She was very talented.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

At St Joseph Cathedral

Right down the street from Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe is the Cathedral of Hartford. It's a monumental 1960 building. The windows are 67 feet high.

American Lit 101

Today we visited Harriet Beecher Stowe's house and Mark Twain's house. They were neighbors in a Hartford enclave of wealthy radicals called Nook Farm. Twain's house is a mansion equipped with all the latest gadgets (gas lamps, etc).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cool bathrooms

At the Smith Museum, even the bathrooms are designed by artists. (!)

Twin camels at MHC

The twin camels were definitely not there when we were there.

An early Easter

In the greenhouse at MHC they were having an amazing bulb show. We couldn't think what it reminded us of... And then we realized: the altar platform at Easter, of course.

A late addition

Our new favorite is a beautiful Rouault.

At the Museum

The Smith College Museum of Art has such a good collection that it went on tour when they were renovating the museum. They have three Picassos, etc, etc, but for some reason this mediocre work of Fuseli was one of our favorites when we were here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

View from our room

We are staying at the Willitts-Hallowell Center at MHC. The view is so Robert Frostian.

Ye great seal of ye college

The Smith College seal looks an awful lot like the Immaculate Conception. But it is supposed to be a symbolic maiden representing wisdom.

At Smith

The beautiful fountain is only turned on during commencement week. So we've seen it going a total of once.

At the Helen Hills Hills Chapel

The Smith chapel is so New England, isn't it? Helen Hills married a Hills but since he wasn't one of her Hills she became Helen Hills Hills. Also very New England.

Alma mater

I wonder why they call it that? I must admit the Smith quad is pretty grand.

Still at the library

It has hardly changed, except that there is now an espresso stand in the courtyard. They certainly didn't have that, back in the day.

At the Library

Where many hours were spent by me.

O Mount Holyoke, we pay thee devotion

We arrived at Mount Holyoke through the snow and an amazing number of potholes. Almost the first person we encountered was an old professor of mine. He not only remembered me, but he remembered what my thesis was about. He also remembered what M's thesis was about. !!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


We thoroughly enjoyed our dessert sampler at the Italian restaurant across the street from our hotel.

Art and science

We had a lovely visit to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, but since photos are not allowed you will have to be content with a photo of Christian Science world headquarters instead.

Innocent bystanders

We were taking a break in front of "Watson and the Shark" and I got out my phone to look up whether we were missing any other great paintings. While I was doing so a man took a picture of us, as if to demonstrate the destruction of culture in our digital age. Let's hope he doesn't work for the Boston Globe.

Still at MFA

They have a Neri di Bicci! We're famous! Or something.

At the MFA

This is Story's "Medea." She looks really, really mad.

At Holy Cross

We went to Mass at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. There were about 175 people scattered among the echoing pews. The music was nice. There were two collections and a special appeal.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beacon Hill

There's Beacon Hill, and then there's Beacon Hill. If I couldn't live in the one, I would not mind living in the other.

Back in Boston

People were skating at Boston Common. Guess it's still winter after all.

Sunset over Salem

The expansive view from the train platform takes in the junkyard and some marshy flats.

Hawthorne visited here (?)

We went on a tour of "Seven Gables." It became clear that it wasn't really real. A wealthy woman bought the house and remodeled it according to the descriptions in the novel. She even added a "secret staircase" which until recently tour guides were telling people had been used to hide escaped slaves.


The knife and fork indicate that this was a wealthy and ambitious household.

At a very old house

We went on a tour of three historic homes, the first built in 1684. The mirror was a later concession to human vanity.

A complete Noah's Ark

This ark has all the animals, from giraffes all the way down to ladybugs.

An installation

One of the galleries was given over to a bizarre art installation/light show/safety hazard.

In Salem

We are in Salem today. We just finished viewing the Peabody Essex Museum in our usual expeditious manner. The ships' logs were pretty neat.

Friday, March 18, 2011


It's easy to improve my photo of some really expensive Bunker Hill residences with the Photoshop app.

Dolls in habits

They will stop at nothing to encourage vocations to the religious life.

At the National Shrine of St Anthony of Padua

We went to Mass after retracing our steps along the Freedom Trail. The shrine is interesting - dates from the mid 50s, I believe. A kindly old Franciscan said the Mass.

Above the Charles

That is the Charles River down there.

An American tar is a soaring soul

Everything is ship shape, as you can see. The young Naval officer doing the tour admitted that the HMS Victory is older, but it's in permanent dry dock, she added scoffingly.

Old Ironsides

The Freedom Trail ends at the USS Constitution, made famous by the War of 1812 and Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Bunker Hill

The battle of Bunker Hill actually took place on Breed's Hill, but the British thought it was Bunker Hill because their map was mislabeled.

Old North

The square is named for Paul Revere, of course, because of the signal lanterns. "You know the rest," as Longfellow said.

At St Leonard's

This church in the old Italian section of town features a small army of statues in very bright colors.

At King' Chapel

The architecture makes it really easy to sleep, make faces, etc, during the sermon.

Mother Goose

According to the guidebook, she wasn't the real Mother Goose, so people shouldn't leave pennies at her grave. I never really thought of Mother Goose being real.

On the Freedom Trail

First stop: the Old Granary Burial Ground. Turns out the burial ground we saw yesterday was a different burial ground.