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Posts from the ‘Boston’ Category

Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Bloom

copper urn, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

When the first Spring blossoms have arrived and the trees start to turn green with immature shoots, then it’s time for me to visit the Mt. Auburn Cemetery.  Founded in the 1830’s, many elite Bostonians are buried in the rolling 174 acres of this graveyard.  Like many old cemeteries, Mt. Auburn is more of a park filled with historic and interesting memorials.  Early May is one of the best times to visit when you can stroll and enjoy the mix of burgeoning color and partially bare trees.

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ArtSmart Roundtable – Copley Library Galleries in Boston

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together posts from some of the best art history-focused travel blogs on a common theme.  For January (and just in time for your 2013 travel planning), we are discussing “The Best Museum You’ve Never Heard Of”.  This is a great topic and I can’t wait to read about all the great finds from the rest of the roundtable!  You can find links below to all the group’s articles.

Boston has some incredible art museums – The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Art and the (currently condensed) Harvard Art Museums .  While I definitely recommend these places, some of my favorite paintings in Boston are actually public art in the central library!  The Copley Square Library was constructed in 1895 and was decorated in a Renaissance revival and Beaux Art style.  Inside are three incredible and overwhelmingly beautiful mural cycles including one by my favorite portrait painter.  The Galleries are free, open to the public 6 days a week and worth a trip for any serious art lover. Read more

Boston’s Most Historic Advertisement

Citgo sign Boston

Boston’s iconic Charles River skyline contains a bright, conspicuous CITGO gas sign.  You might think this is just an unfortunate billboard ruining the view, but the beloved orange triangle is actually a piece of historic art now maintained by the city.

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New Stikmen in Boston

yellow stikman, Boston, MA

After a drought of sightings, I found two new stikmen around Boston!  Last weekend, I was walking through Cambridge and found two new and very fresh stikmen who had not been there the week before.

Harvard stikman, Cambridge, MA

It was maybe 5 years ago in Washington DC that I saw my first “stikman”.  Stuck to the road inside a cross-walk was an 8 inch robot or alien looking creature made of white industrial vinyl.  It was an interesting little figure, but I thought it was a one-off piece of street art.  Then I started noticing stikmen all over – in Georgetown, in Dupont Circle, and down the National Mall.  It seemed like a well coordinated but subtle urban art campaign.  I assumed it was a DC phenomena because there were so many of them.  (At the time, I missed this Washington Post article noting 150 stikmen in the DC area.)  I was shocked to then spot more of these alien-robots in New York City, Boston and Seattle.  Turns out stikmen have been found in Indianapolis, Toronto, and even Denmark!  There is an extensive Flickr collection of stikmen sightings.

yellow stikman in crosswalk

The road stickers are just one aspect of the stikman project that was started 20 years ago.  The artist “Bob” (who has remained anonymous throughout) had a solo exhibition at pandemic gallery in NYC this past Spring.  The stikman project began with 3D stick figures (hence the name) affixed to city elements and has since branched out to stencils, hidden components in posters and, of course, the road stickers.

After I first noticed the stikmen, I would mention them to friends or pointed them out whenever one popped up.  No one claimed to have seen them before.  I think that’s why I like the stikmen.  They are right there on the road, thousands of people walk over them, and yet no one notices them.  These awkward, but endearingly primitive little figures are silently watching city life go by.  Over time, traffic and weather warps and wears away the stickers.  While their degradation makes for some beautiful effects, it does mean that the stikmen don’t last very long.  The first Boston stikman I found by South Station disappeared years ago.  Maybe that’s why I am so excited to see some new stikmen in the neighborhood!

So have you ever seen a stikman?  Keep your eyes open; you never know where he’ll turn up!

**UPDATE – I spotted a wooden stikman in Chicago!**

Boston Harborfest: Tall Ships and Fifes and Drums

USS Constitution, Boston

The USS Constitution “Old Ironsides” will be celebrating the bicentennial of several famous naval victories this year

Boston really does know how to do the 4th of July.  The week long Harborfest brings together lots of American history, colonial revolutionaries and roving bands of Redcoats, tall ships, good food, great music and a firework spectacular.  I met some folks from Florida last night during the festivities who were there checking Harborfest off their Bucket List.  I’ve been in DC for several Independence Day celebrations and I have to admit that Boston is more fun.

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