A Street Mural at Cambridge, MA

I wanted to show the artist, including his tools, as part of the mural, his vision of a smiling world a work in progress.

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Smile

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Pilgrims and Wampanoag at Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation is a step back into history.

It recreates the 17th century settlement of the Pilgrims. First-person interpreters (actors in character) interact with visitors and give their unique perspective on life in 1624.

There is also a Wampanoag homesite where Native people are traditionally dressed and explain their history and culture.

It’s a living museum, and one can get immersed in the period.

But what really stands out for me are the people in character.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Transformation

The Islands of the Undesirables Across Harlem River

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(Randall’s Island and Ward’s Island as seen from Upper East Side, NY.)

A set of islands, just across the Harlem River, is where New York used to send “the tired, poor, sick and criminal… to be treated (or sometimes just confined).” They came to be known as the Islands of the Undesirables.

Among these islands are Randall’s and Ward’s, which were distinct islands until the 1960’s when New York dumped its rubble to fill the gap.

Talk about a dubious history!

But today the combined island is home to a park and a stadium (where Usain Bolt broke a world record), and hosts the Governor’s Ball Music Festival. It also has the NY Fire Department training academy where various structures are built to simulate all kinds of environments fire fighters might encounter (including a subway tunnel, a helipad, and a ship).

Undesirable no more.


Dubious 

A Roman Garden With Bellflowers

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An ancient Roman sculpture garden is recreated at the Courtyard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

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At this time of year, chimney bellflowers (Campanula pyramidalis) appear in the courtyard. The flowers are grown from seed and take two years to reach their six-foot height!

Quite an impressive work of horticulture.

“Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”
– Douglas Adams

Recreate

The Fabric of Society

It’s interesting how a piece of fabric can give insights on the larger society.

Who made it? How much did it cost? For whom? For what purpose?

A piece of fabric from a period can reflect how economics, politics, fashion, culture, and values are  interwoven to form a structure that holds everything together — the fabric of society.

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(At the Early Italian Room of the Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, MA.)

Structure
Educate