Posts Tagged ‘greenway’

In my last batch of photos, I showed a piece from an Art League of Rhode Island exhibit to which my friend Ann Ribbens had contributed. The show, “Below the Surface,” had a humanity-versus-water theme, and the quilt I shared in that post featured a warning about toxins in fish. Today I’m displaying Ann’s lovely “Undersea Tapestry” and two other pictures from “Below the Surface.”

Now I’m wondering if there’s something in the water that New England artists are drinking. The next group of photos is from a recent exhibit at a Massachusetts gallery, and the subject is “Undercurrents: Water and Human Impact.” If artists are to be believed (and they are), things are not looking good for water and it’s all our fault.

At “Undercurrents,” I especially liked Henry Horenstein’s photograph “Cownose ray” and Joan Hall’s “The New Normal,” which hints at manmade items that wash in with the tide.

Still on the subject of art, I want to mention that yesterday I checked out the new mural on the Boston Greenway, where I used to love walking when I worked downtown. There are many post-Covid changes in the area (I felt like Rip Van Winkle gazing around in wonder after a long nap), but the Greenway is still hiring artists to paint the wall of the giant Air-Intake building over the Big Dig. The latest painting, of a little boy with a boombox, has a wistful feeling about it.

The mural photos are followed by several local scenes, including a look at the bright cherries next to John’s front porch.

I end with a picture that Ann took last month while traveling in France. I couldn’t resist. It looks so utterly French to me.

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Probably a painted turtle looking for a spot to lay eggs

Time for another hodgepodge collection of things that caught my eye on recent walks. To start, I include a video of what I think is a painted turtle. (Do correct me if I’m wrong.) It’s being nudged along by my sneakers because it will be safer from bikes on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Can you hear the audio? Jeanne and I had been referring to the turtles as “he,” but we had a suspicion they were crossing the blacktop to lay eggs. So, not “he.”

There are also flower photos from my yard and my neighborhood and several from the Buttrick Mansion, now a visitor center for the Minuteman National Park. The Buttrick gardens specialize in peonies and iris. Isn’t that black one amazing? You can see rhododendrons along a staircase going down to the Concord River and a view or the river itself in another shot. A photo of the Daniel Chester French statue of the Minuteman farmer is also included.

Everyone loves flowers. The tiny garden with the two little putti is actually in a large parking lot. Funny how the statues each have a hand to an ear. It makes me think they have cellphone earbuds!

The banner featuring blown milkweed seeds and the words “Love” and “Justice” (the latter planted in Minnesota) was part of an Umbrella Arts outdoor exhibition called “Change is in the Air.

The farm mural in West Concord, an initiative of the Village Art Room, seems to have been a group effort, with contributors assigned small squares to complete.

Moving on to Boston, where I had to go to renew my senior discount for public transit, I made a stop in Dewey Square. I always like checking out the latest Greenway mural. This one is by Daniel Gordon. It’s not as edgy as some I admired in the past.

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The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston is not only the place to go for peaceful walks among gorgeous trees and flowers, it is loaded with art. One example: a 3-D printer in the Chinatown stretch of Greenway for passerby to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.

Allison Meier at Hyperallergic writes, “Acquiring a 3D-printed rooster from the “Make and Take” installation in Boston’s Chinatown Plaza on the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway requires a bit of luck.

“The small objects are printed continuously, dropping into a slot when complete. Although artist and engineer Chris Templeman designed his project with ample space for accumulating roosters, visitors have been arriving day and night to collect the free birds. …

“The ‘Make and Take’ machine, made in collaboration with New American Public Art, is housed in an eight-foot-tall polycarbonate kiosk, positioned just before the red gate to the plaza. It was launched on Chinese New Year in January in honor of the Year of the Rooster. The interactive art machine follows previous Greenway Conservancy projects based on the Chinese zodiac, including Kyu Seok Oh’s handmade paper ‘Wandering Sheep‘ for 2015’s Year of the Goat, and Don Kennell’s steel ‘Monkey See‘ for 2016’s Year of the Monkey.

“Templeman’s rooster was 3D scanned from a porcelain statue at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. …

“Running a 3D printer constantly out in the elements of Boston has had its challenges, with wild tangles, and misshapen botched birds. …

” ‘Over the first month I was on site on average every other day, so it was a tough start, but I learned so much and I got to interact with the public which was awesome,’ Templeman said. ‘I am awe-struck that people are waiting hours to get a rooster.’ ”

More here. If you are on instagram, check this out, too: @newamericanpublicart.

Image: Chris Templeman
“Make and Take” 3D printer installed in Chinatown Plaza on the Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston.

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A few recent shots. The beautiful Zakim Bridge, late summer flower in the Greenway, water bugs on the Sudbury River, four scenes from Boston’s North End (which can still feel a bit like stepping into Italy), mysterious “pasta” along the railroad track, and my selfie shadow.











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Yesterday two of my grandchildren came to where I work prior to setting out on a downtown exploration with their mom. What a treat for me! Co-workers who missed seeing them were kicking themselves today. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law took pictures I could share.

After the kids pretended to work at my desk (assisted by a colleague’s Donald Duck — push the button and he talks like the real thing), we went out into the Greenway. There is always something going on there in the summer, and we were surprised to find a good band concert surrounded by lounging chairs, tables, couches, bouquets, and beach floats.

I had to go back to work, but the kids got to ride on the wonderful marine-themed carousel and get wet in the crazy fountain. Everyone was impressed with all the food trucks along the Greenway and sampled a couple.

I was just running out to put more coins in the meter where my savvy daughter-in-law had parked (she actually found street parking!) when they returned from their adventures, just in time. That takes talent.







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The little Vine video is of the fountain that children love in the Greenway. Nearby is the old State House, looking refined in the shadow of tall, impersonal modernities.

I took a photo of the sign explaining some new sculptures. They turn out to be part of the Design Biennial in Boston.

In the Dewey Square section of the Greenway, I also love the farmers market that materializes Tuesdays and Thursdays. Note the sunflowers, flourishing in the Greenway’s demonstration garden. The narrow, decrepit building behind them always intrigues me. What would you do with it if it were yours? It’s a valuable location that no one seems to want. What about a pocket performance space?








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This group of photos starts with four from New Shoreham, including the Southeast Light and the posters on the food truck.

Next we have two sides of a utility box in Arlington, Mass. — the work of local artists. Many other utility boxes around town are painted, all charming.

The old, unused water works building always strikes me as a perfect setting for a mystery novel. The dog in the next photo is checking out the portable Uni library in the Greenway, an initiative of Sam and Leslie Davol.

The lushness of the hydrangeas this year makes me think of sheep. I start singing, “Sheep may safely graze and pasture/ In a watchful shepherd’s eye.”

And you know clouds.















































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I probably wouldn’t have known that Frederick Douglass spent time in Ireland if I hadn’t read the Colum McCann novel TransAtlantic. McCann likes to take historical events of different time periods and imagine the parts we can’t really know. In TransAtlantic, he wove together a historic 1919 flight from Canada to Ireland, the Douglass lecture tour of Ireland and his horrified witness to the famine there, a servant girl’s emigration to the United States and her role in the Civil War, and the rather thrilling negotiations to bring resolution to the Troubles between Protestants in Northern Ireland and Catholics.

According to an initiative called the Douglass/O’Connell Project, “Douglass was greeted in Dublin, Belfast, and Cork by enthusiastic crowds and formed many friendships on his trip, most significantly with Daniel O’Connell, a figure still revered in Ireland today for his role in Catholic emancipation and his fierce opposition to slavery. O’Connell and Douglass shared the stage just once, in September 1845 at a rally in Dublin, but retained a mutual respect and affection until O’Connell’s death less than two years later — and Douglass acknowledged O’Connell’s influence on his philosophy and worldview for the rest of his life.

“The Frederick Douglass/Daniel O’Connell Project is a living legacy to the leadership of these two men and the causes they championed by strengthening the bonds of friendship between Ireland and the United States, encouraging greater understanding between the diasporas of Africa and Ireland in America, and fighting injustice and human rights abuses throughout the world.”

Which brings me to how I happened to be able to take a photo of the Irish statue of Douglass today. The Center for Race Amity in Boston is partnering with the Douglass/O’Connell Project on a celebration this weekend, before the statue goes on tour. Isn’t it magnificent? Andrew Edwards is the sculptor.

There will be a preview of the public television film Douglass and O’Connell Saturday at the Museum of African American History at 7 pm, followed by a lecture by Don Mullen, the author of Bloody Sunday. On Sunday there will be festivities in the Greenway from 1 pm to 5 pm.

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flowering-on-the-bike-pathI had such a nice walk on the bike path before work this morning! The sense of it kept coming back to me during the day.

The flowering cherry photo is from that walk, as are the sculptures on flagpoles that I never noticed before. I am also sharing an amble down a Boston alley near the Oyster House, a cod racing an owl on the carousel, and two rabbits pursued by an owl, a butterfly, and some kind of sea serpent that can never catch up.

I have a new Greenway photo I’ll call Heat Rising: from every new angle, the Echelman sculpture surprises.

Finally, I can tell you that the wonderfully artsy pipe resting against my neighbor’s fence is now buried under the street.








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From every angle, the luminous art floating over the Rose Kennedy Greenway suggests a unique story. Fire in the sky, fishing nets for spirits, a voice saying, “look up,” magic, the Aurora Borealis. I don’t think words capture it.

Karissa Rosenfield at Architecture Daily writes, “Janet Echelman‘s latest aerial sculpture has been suspended 365 feet above Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway. On view through October 2015, the monumental spans 600 feet, occupying a void where an elevated highway once divided the city’s downtown from its waterfront. …

“The fluid structure is made by hand-splicing rope and knotting twine into an interconnected mesh of more than a half-million nodes. Though the rope structure is incredibly strong, it appears to be as delicate as lace, floating above the Greenway’s traffic and pedestrian park.” More at ArchDaily.com.

The locals talk a lot about making Boston “a world-class city.” The most likely route for that could be through art that embraces everyone. Walking under this sculpture and seeing people’s faces light up makes you realize that public art really is for everyone. Whether you work in one of the office buildings nearby or sleep on a park bench at night.

There’s more on Janet Echelman at her website.  Tonight they will be lighting up the sculpture.





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Because I have tried and failed repeatedly to upload my video of this art installation, I offer instead a still shot from the Boston Cyber Arts website. The video would have shown you the generative art installation as the tadpole becomes a frog. Having been around a newborn and a two-year-old this week, I’ve been thinking a lot about how new beings grow into beings that are both different and the same.

Elder Brother is currently more interested in the washer-dryer than anything else on earth. I heard about a man who drives big rigs with ease and was obsessed with gear shifts as a toddler. Will Elder Brother grow into a washer-dryer inventor, repairman, or salesman? Will he just be the guy who is always happy to help out with the wash? Or will this tadpole grown into a man who has no interest in washer-dryers but, for reasons unknown to him, loves the smell of detergent? Time will tell.

Getting back to the art installation, there’s a good description on the Cyber Arts website: “Chunky Frog Time is a new generative art installation by Brian Knep, created for the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center located on Boston’s Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway. The … animation is of a frog swimming against the tide of time, cycling from tadpole to juvenile and back with each kick. Moving across an ever changing made-made landscape, the frog’s struggles represent the ebb and flow on the islands, as well as the relationship between nature and our idea of nature.

“Brian Knep is a media artist whose works range from large-scale interactive installations to microscopic sculptures for nematodes. He was the first artist-in-residence at Harvard Medical School, working side-by-side with scientists, using their tools and techniques to explore alternative meanings and ways of connecting to the world.”

More here.

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There was an event in the Greenway today to commemorate Sept. 11. A lot of companies volunteered to help the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund prepare care packages for service men and women.

The fund’s website explains that the care-package service project was to support active duty service members and veterans. Activities included “building 500 military care packages for our service men and women overseas, writing letters of support to our troops, building care packages for our local veterans in need, and a pledge drive for the families supported by the Massachusetts Military Heroes Fund.” More here.

I saw the mayor having his picture taken, so I took his picture, too.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh at 9/11 service project in the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

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The Barking Crab is watching one of many new Seaport buildings go up on its doorstep but wants you to know it is still around and serving seafood.

I was going to use the Barking Crab’s new fence to write a philosophical post with a title like “Nothing is Constant but Change.” Unfortunately, after a couple months, I still couldn’t think of anything philosophical to say and gave up. So here are some more random shots from my peregrinations.

A couple hundred yards from the Barking Crab, a teaching sailboat is once again docked for the summer. In Dewey Square, the Greenway demonstration garden is growing, and the coffee guy is making espresso for customers. One day this week, I saw him teaching a group of schoolchildren about how it all works.

Meanwhile in Rhode Island, a rider was exercising a horse in the early morning, and at night, a rainbow appeared and a lovely sunset.






















































































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roof-garden-at-office-buildingHere are some photographs from Greater Boston this spring.

The first three represent the work of an exceptional landscaper in an office building downtown.

I also want to show you that the Barking Crab may be surrounded by construction in the Seaport District but is still open for business. There’s a tall ship in the Harbor. The blue whale in the Greenway carousel is ready to ride, and the Greenway demonstration garden is producing strawberries. The Dewey Square farmers market has plenty of produce and flowers.

I threw in the third-floor balcony at home.
























































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What a treat to be outdoors in the Greenway again! Flowers and trees are starting to bloom, and there is always something new to observe.

Although I don’t use my phone on my walk, except to take pictures, a new amenity provided by Fort Point neighbor Life is good is likely to be welcomed by many visitors. I saw one phone-recharging kiosk near the Dewey Square food trucks and one near the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Got my lunch at the Vietnamese food truck Bon Me and ate outside in the sun.








































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