Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘cambridge’

051118-looks-up-at-blue-sky

Spring sunshine and blooms provide opportunities to take the kinds of photographs I like best. Here I share blossoms that I believe are quince, things I saw in the woods (baby oak leaves in mud, foam flowers, ferns, Sessile Bellwort, and a garter snake), murals in Cambridge, Mass., and a random indoor shot from the past month.

The carpet of cherry petals was shot in Providence.

051118-might-be-quince

051018-lialcs-and-graveyard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051518-pink-petal-carpet

051018-world-is-mudluscious

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051718-iris-in-waiting

051318-Amble-Trail-Hapgood-Wright-Town-Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051318-could-be-Sessile-Bellwort

051318-foam-flower-Town-Forest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051318-unfurling-ferns

051318-garter-snake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051118-brass-75-Federal-St-Boston

051818-horsewoman-mural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

051818-violinist-mural

051818-woman-in-window-mural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

050418-mural-in-Cambridge-MA

 

Read Full Post »

tiep8r0mct2xnjxb7w8tntetqtbkuyah6hj-zgw637s

Photo: Amy Sterling
Amy Sterling’s guerrilla-gardening campaign means tulips will be blooming in unexpected places come spring. You could do this in your neighborhood.

Boston Globe reporter Steve Annear gets all the fun stories. Here is one that John knew at once was made for this blog. I do love public-spirited projects that people organize just for the heck of it.

“Amy Sterling had tulips on the brain,” writes Annear. “After returning from a recent trip to Amsterdam, where she served on a panel about artificial intelligence, the Cambridge resident went to a home improvement store and picked up a bag of bulbs so she could plant the spring-blooming flowers in her yard.

“When she was finished gardening, Sterling and her husband, Will, realized they had about 50 bulbs left over. In a moment of spontaneity, they decided to bury them in random places around their neighborhood near Inman Square.

“Now Sterling wants others to do likewise and participate in this act of so-called ‘guerrilla gardening.’ …

“ ‘It’s just a way to cheer people up,’ Sterling said. ‘Get outside, it’s super nice out, go plant some stuff, and then sit back and relax — and when spring comes, you can enjoy the spoils.’ …

“After burying bulbs beneath public trees in Cambridge Sunday, she posted a picture of herself, shovel in hand, to the Boston Reddit page, as a way to spread some happiness, [and] others quickly latched on to the concept. …

“Sterling started calling around to Home Depot stores in the area, asking if they’d be willing to donate to the cause. In the days since sharing her impromptu project with others online, Sterling has collected hundreds of additional bulbs, she said. …

“Sterling said she chose tulips because they’re ‘a signifier of the death throes of winter’ and require very little maintenance. You dig a hole, plop the bulb in the ground, cover it up, and then just wait, she said. …

“She has also started a Google signup sheet for the ‘Boston Tulip Takeover,’ where people can get a free bag of tulips to plant around their neighborhood.

“ ‘We need some actions to bring us together,’ she said, noting that the news has been particularly hard to swallow lately. ‘And remind us that people are generally pretty nice and want to do well for their neighbors.’ ”

More at the Boston Globe, here.

Read Full Post »

My childhood friend Caroline, now living in Colorado, writes, “As a person who has spent her life designing and building housing, I am pretty convinced that we need to figure out how to house more people closer to downtown areas rather than contributing to endless low density sprawl and destruction of open spaces.

“To this end Tom and I attended the first ever YIMBY (yes in my backyard) conference that was held here in Boulder in June. It is a movement driven primarily by millennials and I am forwarding this invitation to a lecture in Cambridge in case it piques your interest.”

It does pique my interest.

As anyone who has read the incredibly moving Evicted (by MacArthur award winner Matthew Desmond) knows, housing is one of the most critical issues, if not the most critical, for domestic policy today. Housing ties to everything else.

So here’s the opportunity for people in the Greater Boston area: Jesse Kanson-Benanav (chairman of A Better Cambridge) is giving a talk September 14 at 6:30 p.m. for the Cambridge Historical Society on the Yimby movement.

Click this EventBrite link to sign up.

This month we’re asking ‘What is a YIMBY?,’ with the help of Jesse Kanson-Benanav, Chair of A Better Cambridge.

What’s our goal?

The Cambridge Historical Society wants to facilitate dynamic conversations about the housing issues facing Cambridge residents today with a historical perspective.

Where and why?

We are heading out to meet you in the city. The historic Hong Kong in Harvard Square is the perfect setting to bring your friends (or make new ones), grab a drink, and settle in for some engaging conversation about our 2016 theme, “Are We Home?”

Tickets:

$5 members/ $10 non-members

Questions?

Email us at rprevite@cambridgehistory.org

or call 617-547-4252

Read Full Post »

So much anxiety about “the others” these days, anxiety that is seldom based on knowing even one of those others!

That is why I found this story by Steve Annear in the Boston Globe so charming and important.

He wrote, “Mona Haydar knew that when she set up two signs outside a Cambridge library [in December] with the words ”Ask a Muslim’ and ‘Talk to a Muslim,’ she had to be prepared for strong opinions about her faith.

“But the Duxbury resident said the impromptu experiment led to a meaningful series of conversations about religion, politics, history, and sports. It was an experience that, even in a time of prejudice against Muslims, showed Haydar that ‘the community is loving.’

“ ‘We just wanted to talk to people and we didn’t see any harm in doing that,’ said Haydar. ‘We are just normal people. There is definitely fear [in America], and I want to talk about it, because it’s actually misplaced and misguided — I am really nice!’

“Holding a box of doughnuts and cartons of coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, and wearing a traditional hijab, Haydar last Friday and Saturday planted herself alongside her husband, Sebastian Robins, outside the library for several hours each day.

“Haydar said that over the two days they spoke with more than 100 strangers. The initiative, she said, was inspired by a similar act, called Talk to an Iraqi, that was featured on ‘This American Life’ in 2008.” More here.

I’d say she gave a gift to the Cambridge populace, which although considered open-minded, is not monolithic. And she seems to have received a gift in return: the satisfaction of initiating an important conversation and of confirming that the majority of people are kind.

Photo: Mona Haydar
Mona Haydar and her husband, Sebastian Robins, stood outside of a library in Cambridge.

Read Full Post »

In case you’ve ever wondered why anyone would become a scholar and spend life mired in musty, dark library stacks, let me introduce you to an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

“In an unassuming notebook held in an archive at the University of Cambridge,” writes Jennifer Schuessler an American scholar has found what he says is an important new clue to the earthly processes behind that masterpiece [the King James Bible]: the earliest known draft, and the only one definitively written in the hand of one of the roughly four dozen translators who worked on it.

“The notebook, which dates from 1604 to 1608, was discovered by Jeffrey Alan Miller, an assistant professor of English at Montclair State University in New Jersey, … last fall, when he was in the archives at Sidney Sussex College in Cambridge, researching an essay about Samuel Ward, one of the King James translators and, later, the college’s master. He was hoping to find an unknown letter, which he did.

“ ‘I thought that would be my great discovery,’ he recalled.

“But he also came across an unassuming notebook about the size of a modern paperback, wrapped in a stained piece of waste vellum and filled with some 70 pages of Ward’s nearly indecipherable handwriting.

“The notebook had been cataloged in the 1980s as a ‘verse-by-verse biblical commentary’ with ‘Greek word studies, and some Hebrew notes.’ But as Professor Miller tried to puzzle out which passages of the Bible it concerned, he realized what it was: a draft of parts of the King James Version of the Apocrypha, a disputed section of the Bible that is left out of many editions, particularly in the United States.

” ‘There was a kind of thunderstruck, leap-out-of-bathtub moment,’ Professor Miller said. ‘But then comes the more laborious process of making sure you are 100 percent correct.’ ” More here.

Photo: Maria Anna Rogers/Master and Fellows of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge
Pages from Samuel Ward’s translation for part of the King James Bible, the earliest known draft for the King James translation, which appeared in 1611.

Read Full Post »

Cambridge knows how to make artists feel welcome, even cherished. Recently the city had a poetry contest, and the winners are getting their poems embedded in the sidewalk.

Steve Annear writes at the Boston Globe, “Cambridge officials received hundreds of submissions from residents hoping to make their mark as literary legends through the city’s first-ever ‘Sidewalk Poetry’ contest this spring. In the end, only five scribes emerged victorious.

“In March, the city put out a call for poets to participate in the project. Winners were promised a permanent display space for their musings — the poems would be imprinted in the freshly poured concrete as Department of Public Works crews replaced sidewalk slabs cracked or damaged during the winter.

“The response was great, said Molly Akin, the Cambridge Arts Council’s marketing director. More than 300 submissions flooded in from writers ranging in age from 4 to 95, according to organizers.

“A special committee that included workers from the [Department of Public Works], representatives from the local libraries, members of the Arts Council, and Cambridge’s former Poet Populists helped select the finalists. …

“Below are the names of the winners, and their poems:

Rose Breslin Blake
Children, look up
Cherish those clouds
Ride grey ponies over their hills
Feed the shiny fish
Boo the big bear
Chase the gloomy giant
Giggle with the geese
Sing with the lambs
Cherish those clouds; they cherish you
Rest on their pillows.

Benjamin Grimm
I could not forget you if I tried.
I have tried.

Ty Muto
Your blue-green glances
My heart skips double dutch beats
Caught in your rhythm

Carolyn Russell Stonewell
Sun takes a bite of
mango as it sets.
Its last rays
run down my cheek.

Elissa Warner
A Mother’s Wish
Little boys, little treasures
Shine like lights from above
My son, my only one
My wish for you is that you wake
One day when you are old
And feel raindrops on your cheek
Tears of joy from my heart
For you to keep

More here.

Photo: Cambridge Arts Council

Read Full Post »

More and more cities are adding mini parklets, pocket vegetable gardens, food trucks, and tiny outdoor businesses to their parks and playground amenities.

Sara Feijo writes for the Cambridge Chronicle, “Parking spots have always been reserved for cars and motorcycles, but that’s no longer the case in Cambridge. The city is now leasing them to restaurants for pop-up cafes. Tasty Burger in Harvard Square was the first to apply for the permit. …

” ‘It’s a cool idea, David Dubois, owner of Tasty Burger, said. …

” ‘The pop-up cafes work in places where the sidewalks don’t facilitate outdoor dining,’ said Katherine Watkins, city engineer for DPW. “It enables us to expand the outdoor program. We’re really excited to see this one go in.’ …

“Unlike outdoor dining, food is not sold in the pop-up café. Folks have to order food inside and then bring it outside. According to Iram Farooq, acting deputy director for the Community Development Department, pop-up cafes must be placed in locations where there is plenty of parking and they must be adjacent to the permitted business.” Read more.

There really are a lot of wasted mini spaces in cities and towns. I myself would like to see something other than weeds growing around the parking meters on Thoreau St. (Anyone want to go with me under cover of darkness and plant tomatoes there?)

Photo: Wicked Local / Sam Goresh
Cambridge restaurants may now lease ‘pop-up cafes’, where diners are invited to eat their take-out orders.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: