Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Its snowing!!

it started snowing this afternoon. tiny, very very tiny flocks, but many of them. they covered the trees but not the streets.... its still snowing right now, but its mixed with rain, it seems, and still not much on the ground. i do hope it looks like this when we walk to the subway station tomorrow morning... that would be nice! this is once again an old pic from january. i spent quite some time going through old pictures this evening, and not one was to my liking. grrr... so i settled for this one. 
although i have walked this path almost every day now for the past 1.5 years, it was only this time that i really noticed the houses behind the train. suddenly they looked cute, and very american. i guess the snow made them stand out. time for bed now. hope to wake up to a fresh pack of snow....

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hull village

so... this is the hull village cemetery, from which i showed you one grave last week. right in front of you is the "mixed-faith jewish" section, which is there since 2008. its for "interfaith" couples who wish to be buried together (as opposed to the consecrated jewish section, where only those with the jewish faith can be buried). to the right (not on the pic) are the oldest graves, from before 1900, also facing the ocean. down to the left are the newer graves. the remainder is somewhere in between old and not so new.. i liked that the graves here are not really placed in a strict pattern, but more scattered, with quite some space between them. you are allowed to drive on the rather narrow paths, but i keep finding that weird and interfering (especially on this cemetery that is not that huge), so we parked somewhere else. if you drive down here, you get to nantasket beach, which is very nice, especially in summer. but if you were to turn around, you will find a little path through the bushes and some steep concrete wall. the first time we were here, i was very curious what was there, and without telling tim, i just went up and discovered an entire abandoned fort! i felt kind of like an explorer, haha, except that i was not the first going there and my journey was not very long or with many hardships... the fort is in a really bad shape, and almost entirely covered in graffiti (more about that fort some other time).
here you can see some more pictures of the cemetery that i posted on flickr. there were interesting stones, beautiful personal messages and funny names or combinations that i could not ignore.. :)
for more taphophile tragics, go here!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do you...

.. know whats going on here? because i dont! some window, i think an office window, in downtown boston.
not really graffiti, haha, not at all! but all i could find around here... 
for real murals, go here! :)

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Charles MGH

charles/mgh, thats the name of the subway stop where i took this picture. thinking of it, it might well be the only stop that looks kind of modern in entire boston. at least of the ones that i have seen. actually, its only the glass cage that leads you to the platform thats modern... 
charles is for the charles river that you will cross when taking the outbound train to cambridge. mgh is for massachusetts general hospital that you will see on your left when taking the inbound train into boston. ofcourse, there is a wikipedia page for this red line stop. however much i love wikipedia, i never felt the urge to contribute to it myself, and often wonder how/when and whom decides its time to make an entry about certain things. but... it did tell me that the bridge that you are on when crossing the charles with the red line is named the longfellow bridge. i kind of knew that, reading it. what i didnt know, is that this bridge is also called the salt-and-pepper-(shaker)-bridge (shaker is apparently optional). this is because of the shape of the central towers on the bridge. hmm... we crossed this bridge several times by foot, yet i never thought, hey, those look like salt and pepper shakers! so... one day i have to go back and picture them, so that you can tell me what you think... :)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

No loitering

no loitering.... loitering is a funny word. it looks funny, but i never heard someone say it. when i say it, it sounds funny, but perhaps im pronouncing it all wrong... :) im still waiting for an opportunity to tell someone to stop loitering... haha.
you see this "command" hanging every here and there. for example, at the start of the path to our apartment complex is a bridge leading to a street of (i think) single family homes. every night around ten, this bridge is locked for reasons that are beyond my understanding, and early in the morning its opened again. next to this bridge is the "no loitering" sign. but how can you not loiter there, if you cannot pass the bridge if you fail to come home before 10?! (locals actually know a way past the 2 gates on either side, so i really dont see the point of locking it. perhaps to make the no loitering sign useful?).
so... no loitering means that you are not allowed to remain in a certain public space for a certain amount of time (dutch translation here). wikipedia is not very helpful, other than mentioning its mostly prohibited in the US, UK and australia. in theory you could get arrested for loitering. i dont really like the image, the policeman with baton and the 3 guys, casually hanging around. the one standing is smoking. even with this simple image, they managed to throw in some stereotypes!
the sign above was at the subway station (green line, science park), above a bench. but isnt waiting for a train some kind of loitering too... ? how am i supposed to wait for a train then.. ?

Oooohh, beeeghhhh..

i take so many pictures... and then i just copy them to my laptop, view them. select some. forget the rest. i usually do not take the time to throw out at least the unsharp ones... i do sometimes copy them to an external disk, as im so afraid to loose them. and... because my computer is overflowing. beeghh. i should sort them out. also, i am planning to make a photobook from our road trip. i should write emails. sort out papers. ooh, shit, and file my taxes (iieeekk!! last year was such a frustration, i dont want to do it again..). but what do i do when i come home? on a good day, to the gym. on a lazy one.. just cooking... then couch. then bed. 
im very frustrated with my computer, too. the past few weeks it suddenly became extremely slow. time for a new one? beeehhh... 
i wish i could just do like the cute dog above. enjoying some sun.... :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

The universe

im really tired and not at all in a writing mood. i was in the kitchen all night and half of my "experiments" there failed... buuuh. ah well, im not alone, according to the universe. pfew. that was in cambridge, close to the charles river on some lamp post...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Impossible heels

i like shoes. at home we have this cute bench of which you can lift the seat, revealing a lot of storage space. many of my shoes are in there (although not all.... it didnt fit). sometimes i look in it, and see a pair i had forgotten about... yeejj! i also like to try on shoes. especially here in the us, where the heels seem higher and the shoes more ridiculous. i dont own a pair of high heels as pictured above, but i have tried on many models and had tim picture it (here another example). this furry model was in the sales section, there were many of them. i guess they were just too weird....
when we were in miami during new year's eve, we saw many, many dressed up ladies. heels like this or higher. and most ladies were not very well trained in walking on them. it was fun to see... 
when we were about to return to our hotel, we saw 3 girls. it could have very well been the girls we saw earlier that day on the beach. they were all wearing a super short skirt and killer heels. then... one of them dropped her phone. she reached out her hand to pick it up, but at the same time the other hand went to the back of her skirt, and she realized she could not pick up the phone. there they were, standing on the sidewalk like 3 bambi's, just learning how to stand on their hoofs. she reached out her hand again, but the pavement was really far away! i was about to walk back and pick up that phone when another passerby did just that. and guess what?! right after that she dropped it again, and the entire scene repeated itself. standing there helplessly on their impossible heels. but being oh so pretty....
i wish i could have taped that!! most certainly, if i ever were to make a movie, that would be one of the scenes i would include... :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Grave post

i dont know how to start this post. i guess by telling which cemetery we visited, where, and why. it was this saturday, and we went to hull. we planned on going there this weekend, but only if the weather would be good. the weather turned out perfect, and off we went... we have been to hull many, many times in all kinds of weather, and i never get bored of it. it is a bit of a drive, as it is at the far end of a peninsula in the massachusetts bay (by boat its very close to boston actually, but the ferry only goes during the week :(. i have posted many pictures of hull on this blog (here, here and here, for example). the indians called the area nantasket, which means low-tide place. hull history means lifesaving; their lifesaving post, opened in 1889, saved 1000s from shipwrecks. yet 19 to 30 people still drown around hull every year.
last year, we discovered the hull village cemetery. we literally drove right into it. its situated on a hill, overlooking the ocean. it was the first cemetery i ever saw with such an amazing view.... i think i will dedicate next week's post to this cemetery as well, so that i can show you how beautiful it is. this week i want to show you just one grave. it was in the newer section. usually i avoid the "new section". all the stones are uniform, as are the rows, perfectly aligned. but not so in this cemetery. many stones had very personal messages engraved. the above one had one too, but of a different kind... and then i saw the age of this person, steven coble. only 2 years and exactly one month older than me, yet by now i am 4 years older than he ever got...
of course i wondered what happened. but this is not some ancient grave. was it ok to google around, and find his story...? eventually i did.... and it just made me sad. the missing persons site told me that on feb 16, 2006 around 11 pm, 26 year old steven coble and his 18 year old cousin went fishing. their canoe capsized, and while the cousin was found hours later shivering on a rock 65 yards off the shore, there was no sign of steven. in another newspaper i found that only on april 18, steven's body was found in the waters of hull. a sternman on lobster boats, he loved the water and fishing. he had 2 daughters and was engaged.
these are "facts". i just found them on the internet. but the stickers say so much more.

for more taphophiles, go here.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents day

this is the side of a house in lowell, massachusetts. this is not an uncommon sight in the usa, i have seen them smaller, and a little bigger (but mostly smaller), but i never managed to take a photo, usually because we were driving by and i saw it too late. here i made tim stop (and we were a bit lost, so it was a good opportunity to look at the map). i thought it appropriate for today, as it is presidents day, a federal holiday in the us.
this day was implemented in 1879, to honor george washington, the first american president. it was originally on his birthday, february 22, and was also the first holiday to honor an american citizen. it was then named washington's birthday, and thats how it is still described in the american law that describes federal holidays. but from 1971, presidents day has always been on the third day in february, as dictated by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. i find that very funny. the uniform monday holiday act (i dont think they call it UMHA, although americans love these kind of acronyms). i guess thats american regulation and efficiency all in one! as such, many american holidays are always on a designated monday, so that americans then always have a 3-day weekend, instead of some random day off in the week (perhaps also to prevent people from taking off more days in order to MAKE it a long, even longer, weekend?). 
presidents day... i do find it complicated... although by law its still named washington's birthday, its now more known as presidents day, and supposedly more regarded as a day to honor the office of the presidency rather than a specific president. ah well... not much honoring was going on at our place, we got earlier than normal, to be at the dentist at 8 (yuk), then groceries, then major housecleaning (beehh, not done yet), then some work and then it was evening again...
for more monday murals, go here!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Golden dome

i took quite some pictures during the snowstorm in january, but since we havent had any snow since, those pics look a bit out of place.. :( but i like this one so much! today we were here again, its in the boston common, and you can see the state house in the back. today skies were perfectly blue, and the sun was shining. it was really nice walking around, and my wintercoat was too warm...
the state house was builst between 1795 and 1797 (i was surprised by that, somehow i thought it was built more recently). you can visit the state house, but we still didnt get to that...
i like its golden dome, you can see it from many places. when on the banks of the charles river, on the cambridge side, you can see it shine. originally, however, the dome was made of wood shingles! in 1802, it was covered by copper, to prevent leakage. first it was painted grey, and later yellow. in 1874 it got its real golden layer... then i found that it was painted black during world war II. the article doesnt mention why, which was my first question, ofcourse! amazing, how you can just type your question into google, and when its somewhere on the internet, it will pop up.... so.... the answer is..... it was painted black to prevent reflection during blackouts. this to protect boston from potential bomb attacks. i found that here, where you can also read why there is a little pine cone at the very top of this dome (i had never seen that, i guess you have to be closer to the dome to be able to see that).

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A party?

saw this car last week, next to ours, just had the chance to snap a quick pic when he passed us. i thought it looked funny. were they going to a party?
or did they perhaps kidnap the balloonman.... ?
everything is possible!

Park street

last week or so we were sitting at park street, waiting for the train to come, the train in the other direction was just leaving (im thinking really hard where we went or came from, i cant remember, and i think its odd we were waiting for a red line, but we clearly were, as you can see...; our home is on the orange line). in weekends and evenings trains come less frequent, and its not that crowded, so i felt more free to take some pics.
when we were in boston for the very first time, we rented an apartment close to the park street stop. it took a while to figure out this station (in fact we didnt manage to figure it out during that week). you can walk to the orange line, the red line, and upstairs you can catch the green line. but it was not clear to me, at all, how to get from one platform to the other. especially when arriving on the green line "outbound"... complete desorientation. "i see the platform i want to go to now, but HOW do i get there?!" to complicate matters even further, there are 4 different green lines "inbound", and i had no clue how people knew which green line goes where (then i found out they have letters, B, C, D, and E, and there are 2 platforms, B & C stop on one side, behind each other, D & E on the other. but this took me months!!). the designation "inbound"& "outbound" was weird to me too at first, they sort of randomly choose the center of the city, and depending on that, directions are given as in- or outbound (sort of like up- or downtown, i guess, only boston is just so tiny!)
hmmm, i guess this is boring, if you have never been to park street in boston. if you ever go; remember that you are allowed to cross the tracks of the green line at park street. you dont have to wait until a train arrives, going in on one side, and leaving on the other..... :) (when someone told me that, i was just glad not being the only one who thinks this station is very complicated...).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Through glass

watching the fireworks during chinese new year from behind the window...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lousy parking

when walking to the subway one morning we saw this car... parked like that!! i think the photo does not entirely show how ridiculous this was, and how, relatively, steep.... i guess he/she didnt fit in the normal way you are supposed to park you car, and came up with this solution instead. im just wondering if it was sheer frustration and anger, or perhaps also just for the fun of it...?
we once got a ticket for parking in the wrong direction. something that does not matter (anymore) in the netherlands, you can park however you like, so we were not aware that here that can get you a ticket for that. luckily for us, the ticket never made it to "the system" tim found out when he called to pay the fine (what was it? 20 or 40 dollars or so?), so we never paid... we thus were sure this car would either be towed, or at least get a ticket. but when we got back home in the evening, the car was still parked like this...
around our subway station are 788 parking spots, and they are always, always all occupied (during the week, that is). for some you still have to walk a good 5 minutes to the station, and parking costs you 5.50 per day. i just calculated that that is more than 20,000 parking dollars per week (!!), just for this station. wish that would go straight to me.... !

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Burial ground

during the week, we will always goto work by subway, its fastest and cheapest (traffic into boston in the morning, and out of in the evening is more often than not awful). i wish i could go by bike as i used to in the netherlands. tim actually did it a few times, and i did not like that at all. fortunately, he himself decided pretty quickly to stick with the subway (you basically have to bike on the highway at certain parts.. beehh). but on weekends, we often go by car. parking is free then, and no traffic. when driving past charlestown, i always see the above cemetery. i had been wanting to go there since a while, and now that im participating with the taphophile tuesday, we finally did! driving by turned out not to be the same as actually getting there, but we eventually did. as it is fenced off, we walked around to get to the entrance, which was locked! buuuhhh... :( turns out it is always locked. i thus took the above picture through the fence. 
this cemetery is in between blocks of houses, and looks a bit out of place. it has an elevated center, and then many graves seem to be placed arond that, in a circle, kind of like sun rays. it is named the phipps street burial ground, named after solomon phipps, a settler from england. it is the oldest cemetery in charlestown, dating from around 1630! it has 1549 gravestones, and according to the sign, it might be that the layout of the cemetery corresponds to a map of the town. fortunately, a 19th century "beautification" plan to straighten all stones into neat rows was dismissed. there are people buried here from every class and background, the most notable being john harvard. the exact site of his grave is unknow, however, since his marker stone is gone. (most of this info i found here.)
there was a sign on the gate "to enter this site, please call the boston parks department".it feels kind of weird, having to call someone to get access, (how does that work? do they come immediately, do you have to make an appointment..?) yet i would love to be able to walk around there, like this i could not get a good impression of the cemetery. so... another time, maybe... (just a pity i really, really hate to make phone calls..). on flickr i posted 2 more pics that i took through the fence.
for other taphophiles, go here!

Monday, February 13, 2012

How cheesy!!

and its not even a mural... but this is all i got right now. im a little lazy! saw it and ignored it, in boston's chinatown, but then tim said; hey, hey! and well... i took the picture... :)
tomorrow is valentine's day. signs of that are everywhere; the office at our apartment complex asked all residents to pick up their delivered packages as they kept coming in, taking up all the space. shops have entire aisles just for chocolate and other red/heart-shaped candy (they started that beginning of january, some even earlier). and even tonight, at the supermarket one of the employees went crazy over the intercom; "we have roses here, a dozen, they are so cheap, cheaper than anywhere else! we men are in the doghouse, so be her hero, bring her roses. buy some nice chocolate. now do it, really, and here is the place to do it. do your shopping, and get the roses too. and some candy. and since its cheap... you dont even have to spend a lot of money. dont you want to get out of that doghouse... " it went on, and on and on...  (a youtube video about the doghouse (had never heard it before); its rather funny, but a bit long....). 
in the netherlands, valentine's day is not that big (pfew), but here it seems really important...
for some real murals, go here!

Boston & Tim

so.... today a photo of tim & boston, after boston & me... :).  no pink for him... this is from quite a different location. not on the banks of the charles river, but in winthrop, but on the other side of the water you can see boston again. had to look it up, but winthrop is a town, and not part of boston. its tiny, yet densely populated, and cute, with many dead end streets, leading to the ocean. it was established in 1630, and that makes it one of the oldest towns in the us! named after john winthrop. you can read all about him here, as i am supposed to goto bed now....
it was cold today! -4 C during the day, and very, very windy. but soooo sunny, as you can see, so we had to go out and do some exploring....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Where's the....

...snow?! i liked this statue during the one real snow "storm" we had this year. it is in the boston common, and i dont know why its there or who made it... in fact, i had never seen it before, the snow made me suddenly see it... :)
today we had a little snow, tiny flakes. but it was not cold enough for them to stay on the ground. buuuhhh. but... for the economy no snow is good. at least, thats what i read in time magazine. there is more work for construction workers, more gets done, people buy more, and the city does not have to spend millions on snow removal (last year's budget for snow removal was 16 million dollars, in boston!! and they spent it all, maybe even more...) and roads get less damaged (although the roads around here are so awful already, i cannot imagine they can get even worse...).

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hey, Dali!

sorry, no post last night, i was suddenly exhausted and fell asleep on the couch.. (actually quite a while ago since that happened. at some point it happened almost daily!).
just a quick post to make up.. here we were just driving around, not too far from our apartment (but have no clue anymore where this was). i suddenly saw this (i think) stencil-painted face of (must be) salvador dali on this piece of street furniture. hahaha, almost every day i learn something new, because of this blog (as a result, it also always takes me much longer to write a post than i intended. as it is usually the last thing i do before going to bed.... i usually end up going to sleep later than i should) i was looking up how you call this thing. well, its a fire alarm call box, but normally they are painted red, so im wondering whether this one is still in use (and so i learned that in the UK they call everything placed on streets, like benches, fire alarms etc "street furniture"). 
anyways... these boxes look very ancient, and they are! but they still work, and for example after 9/11 they proved useful in new york (there are 15,000 of those in new york). power and cell phone service were down in large parts of the city, but those boxes are powered from a separate supply and continue to work in the face of outages of both electrical and telephone systems...
behind is a fire hydrant. you cannot park in front of a fire hydrant. always frustrating, when you think you have found a parking spot (parking in boston is horrible!!), the fire hydrant pops up... grrrr. if you do park there, you can expect a parking ticket. or.... if there is a fire... firemen will not hesitate to damage your car... (picture here).
and once again... i wrote much more than intended! i just wanted to show this pic, and write that this is a typical residential street with use houses. that i like these streets, and that they are just as you see them in the movies... :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Boston & me

i dont have my computer here right now, so im using tims annoying (non-apple) computer, and his photo. of me.. :) in cambridge, photographing the charles and boston in the background. the hat (how you call such a thing? we dutch call it a "muts", here you have such weird names. isnt it called a "beanie"? i think that sounds really weird.. :) ) i bought at H&M, mostly because it was pink, it tends to sit a little weird on my head, as you can see, so i dont wear it much. the perfect photographer's gloves were knit by my friend sylvia, who lives in california, where she probably doesnt need them.... she also knitted me a perfectly-fitting purple hat (beanie?), that i usually wear, but i thought pink fits better with my red snow boots. at least in my world..... one day i show you the boots, i just got them for this winter, but barely had the opportunity to use them so far... :( buuuhhh.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Banning sugar?

this sculpture is in cambridge, in a park called the cambridge common, which is right behind the harvard university campus. i liked this sculpture, but did not really know why it was there. underneath the inscription you can still faintly see that someone wrote "yet they still do" (i think someone should repaint that, its a good addition that makes you think if you didnt when reading the first sentence).
it is a memorial to the great hunger in ireland. both the woman and the man have a child in their arms, and they depict separation due to hunger. the great potato famine was a period between 1845 and 1852. due to a potato disease, potatoes were not available, while a large part of the irish population depended entirely on the potato for food. 1 million people died, and another million emigrated from ireland, causing a significant drop in the population.
regarding food..., today i read an article in nature magazine in which the authors argue that sugar should be taxed, just like cigarettes and alcohol! they write that there are 30% more people obese than there are undernourished (although im not sure this is worldwide or US only). interestingly, while sugar is present in nearly every product, long-long-long ago sugar was only available during a short period of the year; in fruits during harvest, and in honey (but honey is guarded by bees... ). so.. evolutionary we are (still?) not used to taking in so much sugar, yet we all do.... (many people eat 500 extra calories a day, just from sugar additives in their food!! just look at the labels... especially here in the us many, many products will contain high-fructose corn syrup)
several governments are now thinking of taxing sugar, but while you dont need to smoke or drink to survive, everyone does need food..... im not sure making sugary things more expesive will help to reduce sugar intake. but maybe it will help the food industry? if sugar becomes something "bad"/expensive, maybe they will stop putting high-fructose corn syrup in everything?
sorry for the boring post, here is the entire article, which is in fact really interesting. if you cant get to the entire article, i can always send it to you... :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In between...

julie from taphophile tragics asked me last week about a wider shot of the netherlands cemetery (last week i just showed 2 graves). i took some while we were there, but the sun was so beautifully bright, only the ones from behind turned out ok. as you can see, this small cemetery is literally just in between 2 houses. instead of the next house, there is suddenly a cemetery, you dont even see it when down the street. it just pops up. unfortunately i have no idea what was there first, the residential street, or the cemetery? (the cemetery dates from 1859). i also still dont know why this cemetery is in melrose. i presume it was just a matter of availability, as i havent been able to find info about a dutch settlement or whatever in melrose. there are people buried here from as far as (relatively) worcester, which is an hour by car from here. melrose was a relatively new town, only in 1845 it separated from the city of malden, and became the town of melrose (in exchange for city in 1900). in 1845, the melrose-area got 3 trainstops, and people working in boston in search of a country atmosphere moved here (haha, actually just like tim and me... although it was more that we would never be able to afford the same kind of apartment with all its amenities in the center of boston...), perhaps some of them were dutch.. ?
there is one other pic i wanted to show, but i cannot break my self-imposed rule of 1 picture a day. so, i cheat, and you can have a look here, at my flickr account, for the one grave that was in dutch (and a few more pics of this cemetery). its not a spectacular photo, but the dutch text is just weird, and was hard to decipher, at first. but it reads "hier ligt het stoffelijk overschot van roosje ween", which translates into "here lies the corpse (!!) of roosje ween". i think thats very weird. why not just, here rests, or here lies... why "the corpse"? perhaps their dutch was not that good anymore, and they didnt know "stoffelijk overschot" is not something you use on a grave? (or is this normal? any dutch who knows this?)
for other taphophiles, go here!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ghost sign

i took this pic 2 weeks ago or so, when we had some snow. this is on cambridge street in boston (i wonder whether cambridge has a boston street? i actually dont think so... :)). although i walk here every now and then, i never noticed this faded mural before. its an old advertisement for quaker oats, "the world's breakfast" (yuk! defenitely not for me!). actually, if you look carefully, you see such faded advertisements on houses/buildings here and there, i like them, as they always look nicely old-fashioned. i was googling around to find more info on this specific one, but... nothing. i just found 2 other blogs that also pictured the one i have here, but no further info.
on wikipedia i did find that these are called ghost signs, brickads, or simply fading ads. the copied wiki-defenition: "a ghost sign is an old hand-painted advertising signage that has been preserved on a building for an extended period of time. the signage may be kept for its nostalgic appeal, or simply indifference by the owner." many of these signs were placed between the 1890s to 1960s, so this one might be decades old! in a time when billboards did not exist and there were no committees deciding as to whether a building would be ruined by such an advertisement or not... 
i think they are interesting, its like peeking into another time, however briefly.... moreover, they are so much more interesting than huge mass-produced billboards! having never noticed this one before, i saw the exact same one somewhere in cambridge later that day, equally faded. from now on i will pay more attention to these signs, so perhaps i'll show you another one sometime...
for more murals, go here!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super bowl

this is a piece of art by barbara kruger, which i photographed in the museum of art yesterday (on my screen the colors looked very crisp. on my screen, not so much... :( ). we have an entire book with her photo/phrases, which are really interesting. she takes her pictures from different media sources, and puts a phrase/question next to it. often, they really make you think. for example; "when i hear the word culture i take out my checkbook" "your moments of joy have the precision of military strategy", "i shope, therefore i am", are a few of them. the pictures are important too, ofcourse... (so you should really look her up!).
anyways... i realized the one above perfectly describes what i have been watching tonight; the super bowl, the annual championship of the highest level of professional american football. it was the new york giants against the new england patriots. until last week i didnt even know what the super bowl was, or that the patriots were in, or.. whatever. but i watched the entire thing. plus 4 times as much of commercials. my goodness... our host this evening told us that for every minute of playing time, there are approximately 4 minutes of commercials. i know now that guys in tight pants have to get a weird-shaped ball to one side of the field, and during this process they are most of the time lying on top of each other. i also noticed they have a towel hanging from their pants, and some have black stripes under their eyes (to prevent reflection or whatever.... well.. the sun still bothers me sometimes, even though i wear a lot of black eye-make-up too! but... i dont usually wear a helmet, perhaps it has something to do with that). more importantly, some players are really really fat, and i could sometimes see their bellies (yuck), and.. the while the patriots had shiny tight pants, the giants had matte pants, and i now know that shiny pants make your ass look more tight. (of course, this has not been scientifically tested. it could be that the patriot's pants were more tight, or their asses better trained...). 
from the numerous commercials i learned that women are objects. i saw many very pretty, barely dressed ladies recommending some product or another... (another image/text of barbara kruger would have been highly welcome).
all in all, it was interesting, and i saw a little more of american culture...

Giant head

this is one of the 2 gigantic baby heads that are flanking the back entrance of the museum of fine arts in boston. we were there today, and as it was quite sunny and not too cold, i once again tried to picture these sculptures... one has its eyes open, and the other, above, has its eyes closed. they are bronze, and weigh  just 1.6 tons at 8 feet tall.  the sculpture is titled "night and day", and made by Antonio Lopez Garcia.
about every time that we go to this museum (and thats pretty often. although we only go when we can go for free. that is, on wednesday evenings or the first weekend of the month with our bank card), i take pictures of these heads, but im usually not very successfull. they are just sooooo big, and it is such a weird piece of art... when i saw them first i thought there was something wrong with me. i passed by in a bus and wondered if i really saw what i just saw. when i really saw them, a few weeks later, i didnt like them at all. now im not so sure anymore. for sure they are interesting! perhaps one day i will like them... (probably when i am able to photograph them in a way that i am satisfied..)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Road house

i read on the news that there is quite some snow in the netherlands! no more trains, extreme traffic jams.... while around boston they know very well what to do with snow, but there is not much of it (none here, at the moment). this was 2 weeks ago, when we drove to new hampshire, somewhere along the route, off the highway. here and there a house next to the road, in the middle of nowhere. it looks nice.... and it must be rather quiet. but most times either me or tim says, oooh... would you want to live there? na. not really....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Cheese balls

im not very inspired today... so here, some cheese balls...
theres no snow at all. its rather warm (certainly for this time of the year), and i wonder if we ever will get more snow! last year we were immersed in it, the streets were getting narrower and narrower from all the snow piling up on both sides. and now?! nothing... :( i could as well be in the netherlands. although... there its pretty cold now, with temperatures well below 0 (celsius).
believe it or not, but the primary reason i bought this enormous thing (what is it? a box? a can?) was because i thought it would look funny at home. placed atop the bookshelf, its size looked really disproportionate. but, of course... after several weeks, i had to try one. and then a few more. and they were not that good, but they were there, and there were a lot of them. and then.... about halfway or so, they got stale. yuk... not surprising, if you think of it, such a huge box filled with air, and cheese balls. that will make them go stale. is that why there are so many overweight people in this country? because everything is in such enormous packages.. and you do need to eat it, before it goes bad, otherwise its a waste! 
i actually trashed them, they were really not good anymore, but then i realized i wanted to take a picture. for comparison, i put my favorite pink illy-cappuccino cup next to it (which i brought with me from the netherlands, i couldnt leave them behind). just the other day tim and me were thinking how it would be for a real american, one that has never been outside the us, perhaps outside his state, to go to the netherlands. he would find everything small. the houses, the cars. the portions in restaurants and the milk cartons in the supermarket (maximum one liter). the fridge would be tiny too, but that would turn out fine, as most products are sold in at least half the size as they are sold here. but you cannot keep everything for weeks in it, it will go bad, as high-fructose corn syrup is used in much less abundance....(gelukkig!)
woops, i wrote a lot. and that for a picture of cheese balls... :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dancing dragon

last sunday we went to chinatown, as they were celebrating the chinese new year (year 4710), which started jan 23rd. the year of the rabbit giving way to the year of the dragon.... (once every 12 years, as there are 12 animals)  i was reading a bit, and did not realize this; in western culture/literature the dragon is a mean, scary beast that needs to be defeated by heroes and so on. on the other hand, in eastern culture the dragon is a symbol of good fortune and intense power.... this could be a good year... ! :) people born under this sign are regarded as innovative, passionate people who are colorful, confident and fearless. 
the dancing dragons were going from door to door in chinatown, seemingly tireless, throwing around lettuce and oranges (this was what they were feeding the dragons). as they were going up each stairs leading to the shops and restaurants, firecrackers were going off. of course, there had to be a policeman guarding this all, but he looked rather bored... (maybe it was too noisy for him).
the theme day for this month at citydailyphoto is animals, so that was a good opportunity to show this pic! :)