27 March 2013

Weekend ennui

  
I was a little bored this weekend yet couldn't be enticed to do much of anything. I did get a lot of reading done, but something was missing. At one point I realized what the problem was and said to John "I miss my Pym friends". It was so much fun being around 99 other like minded readers. An interesting conversation could be had with anyone in the room. And everyone was so friendly.

And on top of all the great Pym time, my weekend in Boston was chock-a-block with other fun stuff. Perhaps the most fun of all was meeting, for the very first time, a pen pal I have had for 28 years. We started writing in high school, kept that up for about seven years, lost touch at some point, and were "reunited" by Facebook a year or two ago. But through all of that we had never actually met. We used to talk on the phone in college when one of us could afford the long distance charges. But other than that, we were friends who had never met--at least until now. It was a lot of fun catching up with him and there was, at least from my perspective,  not an awkward moment. We both had a lot of blanks to fill in, but it wasn't by any means just a walk down memory lane. We had plenty of things to chat about. As I am not much a fan of Dickens we didn't talk about his current read (Nicholas Nickleby, I think), but I did give him a copy of Some Tame Gazelle. I felt it only proper to proselytize about Barbara Pym.

While in Boston I also went to Brattle Book Shop. Which was a lot of fun, but I actually ended up buying nothing. I should have checked my coat at the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum because I was a bit hot and perhaps didn't take as much time in that amazing building as I would have otherwise. The Museum of Fine Arts was amazing and could have kept me busy all weekend. Unfortunately, two of the more interesting temporary exhibits (New Blue and White and Mario Testino Royal Portraits) not only didn't allow photography, but they had no catalogs or even any postcards.



I thought for sure that the outdoor sales floor wouldn't be open in such cold weather. I was wrong.

Have you ever been to a secondhand book shop where the books are double up on the shelf making it really hard to see what is there. At Brattle they have this double shelf system where the back row is about four inches higher than the front row making it very easy to see everything.

Sculpture over the parking lot entrance at the Museum of Fine Arts
Walking Man, 2000
Jonathan Borofsky

Beautiful Dale Chihuly scupture at MFA.

This could be called a self portrait of me. But it isn't. This is a giant cube with a similar view on each side.
Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism, 2007
Josiah McElheny
The colorful painting reflected in the glass is a Gerhard Richter. One of my favorite living painters.

Detail of Endlessly Repeating Twentieth-Century Modernism, 2007
Josiah McElheny


8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the pictures. I'm going to have to look up the Chihuly sculpture to see what it is made of.
    Is it me, or is it one of the most deflating disappointments to have the anticipation of a famous bookstore and leave empty-handed? I was feeling a little pain for you at your Brattle report. When we were in NY a few years ago, we walked for what felt like miles to visit the Strand. After reading so much about it, I fully expected to leave with a major haul - I left with a coffee mug and tote bag. My family and I have become more spoiled than I realized with several Half-Price Books within driving distance!

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  2. Chihuly just amazes me. The scale of what he does is always a bit shocking. I hadn't realized how large that piece was until I took in the other aspects of the picture. Gorgeous.

    Sounds like a great weekend, even if you didn't buy any books.

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  3. Thanks for the great photos and peek into your Pym weekend.

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  4. Sounds like a great weekend! I feel the same way when I go to the Jane Austen society meetings. I've been to three of the Annual General Meetings which take place every fall, and they're just amazing -- you can strike up a conversation with almost any one of 500 or so people, and they're intelligent, interesting people who all love Jane Austen!

    Beautiful Chihuly photo also! The San Antonio Public Library has one in the atrium of the Central Library. I was there once after it had been put in storage during renovations and watched for a few minutes as they began to reassemble it. I was so nervous watching I had to leave! Very cool though.

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  5. I attended the Pym conference last year and am so jealous of everyone who managed it this year (I live in Scotland so it's a costly expedition) - sounds like you had a good time.

    I share your disappointment about the book shop - we went to Shakespeare & Co in Paris a couple of years ago with similar high hopes and came away empty-handed - I felt it was very pretentious, horribly expensive, and really now just a tourist attraction trading on its past.

    Rosemary

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  6. What a delightful trip! I was you every bit of the way. Good photos as usual.

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  7. Susan: I love the idea of the Strand more than I like the actual experience. I have purchased very little there over the years. I find it too crowded and usually too hot to really enjoy browsing. The Chihuly, like all his works, is made of blown glass. It is very cool.

    Picky: I was trying to get a picture of it without people in it, but it is probably more helpful to have them in the picture to understand the scale of it.

    Georgia: I am glad you liked them.

    Karen K: There is a great documentary on Chihuly that shows all stages of creating his work.

    Rosemary Kaye: Did you go to the one in the US or the one at Oxford. I would like to go to the UK one some time.

    Mary: Thanks. Since John wasn't with me, this time I can claim all the photo credits.

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  8. Oh I remember visiting this shop when I was in Boston years ago

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