Well - a week since my last post. This was the week that past in a fog of getting back to normal. From Monday thru Thursday it was just...work-home. We both managed to make it thru the entire week unscathed which, at least for me, less than a week after the flu - is nothing but a miracle.
You'll note I left off - Friday. Yesterday.
We had planned to take Friday and Monday off to go to a friend's house in Vermont this weekend. But they got nearly 2 feet of snow up there on Thursday night and temps were to be a low of -11 for the weekend. Neither of those facts made us feel really excited about going to Vermont.
So - we took the days off anyway and will do other things. Like yesterday - journeying to our most beloved city, Boston.
First up - the always fascinating Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It's been a long year since we were there last and we made the most of our time. 4 hours of wandering, gawking and standing in awe of some of the world's greatest artists - sculpture, paintings, textiles, jewels, glassworks.
Such as the item at left. A new permanent exhibit of exquisite art glass in every color of the rainbow - at least. I loved the juxtaposition of this vase against the blue sky outside the window. It was a cold and windy day yesterday but beautiful. Crisp sun and a deeper blue than we have seen in about 5 months. A blue that signals perhaps our winter may be coming to a close soon.
Of course we have more snow coming early next week but...for yesterday the sky was cornflower blue, the clouds were light and white and we were in our favorite place.
The drive up was smooth and peaceful. With songs such as the above as our soundtrack, The Oracle and I talked about - oh, so many things. Just the 2 of us, chatting along with the rhythm of the road. It is a drive we know as well as the skin on the back of our hands - intimately, almost without thought we set cruise-control and then, voila, our favorite stretch of road is underneath us.
Storrow Drive. It is picturesque, skimming the shoreline of the Charles River. Tracing the outline of countless pre-war apartment buildings and townhouses. Each one restored to its early beauty and housing - well, the elite of Boston. Ownership of these beauties costs in the millions and rental prices for apartments is counted in the thousands per month.
It's a winding short road that always signals that we are in the midst of the outskirts of our childhood backyards; a city rich in history - indeed the birthplace of our nation; the rebellion started there and the evidence is of course everywhere you look.
Walk the streets or drive them - and history is all around you. I always feel cocooned by it in a way that I don't feel anywhere else; there is something safe about being in Boston. As if the very spirits of this nation's original rebels follows you wherever you go.
One of their current temporary exhibits is of the Impressionist period - and they are all paintings chosen by the people of Boston thru a voting process last fall. Which includes the one at left - "The Pink Cloud" by Paul Signac. One of the very finest examples of Pointillism you'll ever see; each layer of color is applied by a single brush stroke from left to right. It's beautiful to look at under any circumstances but up close...it's beyond amazing.
I am always amazed at the Impressionists - up close you can barely tell what the painting is but you step back and the glory is revealed. Which makes me think about the painters themselves - Pissaro, Signac, Cassat, Serrac, Monet and the mighty Van Gogh.
In fact the painting at right - "Houses at Auvers" - was the #1 selection in the Boston voting for the Impressionist exhibit - by Van Gogh. This is, by far, one of my very favorite pieces in the entire museum. The intensity of the brushtrokes is intoxicating - you can see Van Gogh's madness settling in on him; the strokes are aggressive and filled with longing and pain. To gaze on this is to see inside Van Gogh's soul and to feel his emotional state.
Ah well - I could wax on and on about the MFA but it's not the only thing we did yesterday.
We also ate - a gustatory feast in the Italian district, or as it's known the North End. In the appropriately named "Dolce Vita", where the owner, Franco, greats you with a hug and for the lady, a kiss on the back of the hand.
Where Franco doesn't let everyone look at the menu. We can't figure out why some customers just get the menu and others, like us, get something off the menu. This is the 2nd time we've been to Dolce Vita and the 2nd time Franco has had something unique prepared for us.
There is, of course, a cost associated with this special treatment - but it's one we willingly pay. Last night it was fried calamari - soft rings with a simple, light and very crunchy batter. Like eating puffed clouds. Followed by poached haddock with shrimp and scallops in a white wine, lemon butter sauce. Literally served in its parchment paper cocoon. It was - sublime.
Followed by decadent desserts and coffees. Delicioso!
A wander around the North End and then the long and sad drive home. I never like leaving Boston; I know it's inevitable and I spend each moment there soaking up every molecule of the city that lives in my heart.