Posts tagged ‘photography’

17 January, 2012

Running All Over Town Before Grad School Runs Me Down

So I cleverly bought myself a week and a half before the semester slammed into me where I could just explore Boston and play and have a grand time before the soul crushing academic grind began again. Of course, I squandered most of my time catching up on TV shows and revisiting old haunts (I really didn’t need three new used books from Raven Books…), but I also continued my quest for the perfect Boston coffee spot.

So, with no further noise on my part, here is how I spent my time:

January 7

My parents are horrific creatures of habit (so am I), so, despite my whining and wincing, we ended up eating at the same places while they were here. My dad didn’t want to know anything about Little Italy or my favorite Turkish diner. New England = sea food. Period. Thus, Legal Seafood. However, Legal serves their tea in these incredibly cool cast-iron teapots. All was well. By the way, the wealth of plaid in the background is my mother’s outerwear.

January 8

Despite my vow that they would not haunt Fanueil Hall (it’s a dangerous addiction) on this trip, we ended up down that way for dinner, anyway, because we spent our day at the aquarium, where we spent a gloriously long time looking at fish, and remarking upon how ugly shark’s teeth were.

January 9

You may not know this (or maybe you’ve sensed the trend) I love shop windows. Especially late at night, when the light gets a little spooky.

January 10

Wandering around Brookline Village it occurred to me that it was January, and there were still green things. Green. These tiny mosses are still alive.

January 11

If you thought this was snow, you’re wrong. It’s baseball diamond sand, which I’m pretty sure is frozen with these footsteps in it.

January 12

Thus begins the frantic travels part of my vacation: two friends and I (yes, I spend time with other humans, hence why I take a lot of late night photos– it’s usually the only time I have a moment to do so) went to the MFA to attempt to finish what a Certain Fellow and I began in October (we failed. A third trip is necessary.) So a Certain Lady, a Certain Fellow, and a Certain Villain went cavorting about the Asian and Buddhist areas of the MFA. Certain Partners in Crime are certainly not in this first photo. Later photos: the funniest thing I saw all day, followed by collection of creepy shadows around a really nifty Japanese Buddhist idol.

YAHHAAAA! I AM AMAZING.

January 13

This is the inside of a great coffee shop whose name I have now forgotten.

January 14

Toured around Newbury St. Signs in stores, sunsets, and other trivial bits. The second one is somewhat hard to read (curses on my tiny camera phone’s screen, which made it look very clear indeed) but it says “keep this little button safe, though humble he could be of great use one day…” Oh, Anthropologie…

January 15

I also love wires and wire intersections. Reservoir Station has a marvelous collection. Plus, sitting down to pleasantly friendly graffiti is always a bonus!

January 16

In the department of new haunts/old haunts, I found a great cafe in Cambridge that I’m now rather partial to (Cafe Crema, to the curious), where I took no photos. Then I prowled around the same stores I always prowl when up in Cambridge. Then a Certain Fellow called to inform me it was snowing. I supply the photographic evidence. All my complaining about the lack of tangible winter has paid off! But first! A picture of feet at the Park St. Station.

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8 January, 2012

So much work to do!

I have, for your viewing pleasure, Boston in an example of Extremely Persistent January Greenness. It simply refuses to be winter, which is extremely frustrating (says the idiot whose commute involves a minimum of ten minutes walking).

My dating system has totally disintegrated in the highly acidic mental environment of the end of the semester, so I will generalize this set as “something in the neighborhood of Dec. 10-19th.”

Something in the Neighborhood of Dec. 10-19th.

Celebrating the season (in spite of snow, or other indications of the season), the cake store put out a gingerbread house. It was actually really lovely, and this picture doesn’t do it a lot of justice.

fabulous Cleveland Circle graffiti doodle, which I have been trying to take a photo of for weeks. My phone likes to die on me before I can be in the right place to take the photo. In a rare display of my prowess over technological demons, I finally got a photo of this dude.

Free medieval opera up in Cambridge. Orientalism and faux antiquity for the win. Some of the costumes were really fabulous. There was one prop I loved– a bedraggled fan that had four really stubborn pink feathers still clinging on. Unfortunately, however, I’m too polite to take camera phone pictures during a performance. So… this is a recital hall.

Porch-roof sitting Santa. What do you do if you have a second story apartment and a plastic Santa you’re dying to display? You put him on the roof of the porch and laugh in the face of gravity.

The cranes above my desk. Read also: a day I didn’t go outside because I was bent double writing papers.

One of many days that I left campus embarrassingly late. I liked the shadows on the sidewalk. This is your brain on grad school finals.

Please note: rain. Not snow. Inappropriate weather. Go to jail. Go directly to jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200, Mother Nature.

Harvard Square. Please note the guy wearing an entire orchestra… or something. 😀

baseballs + December = why is there no snow yet? I don’t get it.

Finally, my favorite part of finals: the detagging of library books, and the deconstruction of the terrible devices I make to keep my brain functioning and fully sensible in the face of sleep deprivation.

More to come– I have book reviews and more recent pictures to put up, too. I took a break from pictures while I was home for the holidays, but now that I’m back in Beantown I’m back at it.

12 December, 2011

Another Diversion: Bergdorf Goodman Window Displays

photo from another normal.com (linked below)

Basically the coolest window displays of all time.

http://maisonchaplin.blogspot.com/2011/11/bergdorf-goodmans-christmas-windows_22.html

Even better news: there’s an archive of these gorgeous things.

http://www.anothernormal.com/?page_id=59

22 October, 2011

Further Adventures, Further Proof that I Am Nocturnal

October 9: As most weekend days become in grad school, this was a beautiful day that I spent in my window seat reading.


October 10: No Parking Any Time…unless you’re a bike. I love the way my camera distorts light. Did you notice the car in the middle of the intersection? I also found a corner of the universe where everything was brown.

October 11: Owls + Peruvian gourd art = winner.

October 12: These are the same morning glories I photographed in the early morning. Despite their name, they are lovelier and more glorious in broad daylight.

October 13: Monsoon day.

October 14: the foliage has been a little bit disappointing, but I’ve also been spoiled by the Adirondacks, and the weather has been so schizophrenic lately in Boston that I understand nature’s hesitance to commit to anything dramatic at the moment. Also, another monsoon day, and another Friday spent in a library.

October 15: Boston Book Festival! 1st photo – Trinity Church, 2nd and 3rd – Old South Church, 4th – The Holy Church of Continual Caffeination (known to most as Starbucks.)

October 16: “Really, now, you named your company what?”

October 17: Because it’s important for you all to understand how much caffeine keeps me going.

October 18: Best surprise ever.

October 19: This is the Fiber Fort. It is followed by River Walk in Longwood. 🙂

October 20: Cosmetology props scare the crap out of me. Below is an instance of me creating narrative nonsensically. What do you do when you walk in out of the monsoon and there’s a row of umbrellas sitting on the floor below some perfectly good hooks? You hang yours on a hook and think about how it is a good umbrella, a warhorse among ponies, and has clearly kicked the asses of all the other umbrellas. Then you take a picture. Then you leave the umbrella on the hook, conducting a whimsical social experiment.

October 21: Sometimes I go out at night, where the lights are bright and the buildings are huge. Boylston, then Copley, although in real time these were in the opposite order. But that doesn’t matter much.

8 October, 2011

A tremendous number of photos…

Sorry for the mega-update. Busy things for busy people…I’ve been keeping up with my photos, though.

September 25: Reading day. Made myself a pot of tea and drank out of one of my green cut-glass teacups. This was basically the most exciting thing I did all day.

September 26: Sitting around and waiting for the T to show up… 

September 27: The bounty from my adventure up to Harvard to see Ed’s miniature book. Look how wee it is! The book ends were actually stone. Ed’s book is a printing of Monty Python’s “The Galaxy Song”, and I cried a little, which may have helped me not get my ass handed to me by the Houghton book cops when they almost caught me taking these illegal pictures. Anyway, the book is beautiful, and I feel tremendously fortunate to have studied with such a cool person.

September 28: TODAY I FOUND A BUNNY AND THE WORLD WAS FULL OF GOODNESS. THAT IS ALL.

September 29: Long shadows at the Reservoir Stop.

September 30: Through ancient wrought iron (maybe? I’m not a window aficionado) windows, right before the weather threw a tantrum; litter and reflections. 

October 1: Today we went to the MFA and found my Christmas present. It’s an Akkadian (if memory serves) DRINKING CUP. Shaped like a FIST. Presumably if you get pissed off with your drinking buddy after you’ve emptied it, you can put it on and BEAT HIM UP. There is nothing about this fist-cup that isn’t AWESOME. I will let you draw your own conclusions about the cutlery dispensers, now with multi-purpose spoons.

October 2: Early morning morning glories, and one sunflower that snuck in there like a gawky cousin in from the country.

October 3: Every so often Boston College’s architecture really baffles me. Here we have a building that is basically butted up against a rock face. WHAT?

October 4: Your basic shot of the T; the front window display of a bookstore that I don’t believe actually sells books; mass-exodus at the Reservoir stop. Rush hour commuters are bizarre– a huge flock of people in high heels and suits, tramping along the train tracks, headed for the street.

October 5: Emerson area, at night.

October 6: Tree bark is cool. Just look how many colors this wants to be. 😀

October 7: Here’s a troubling juxtaposition of images– a stained glass window at St. Mary’s, and then I discovered at a street sale in Cambridge that apparently Shatner wrote a series of sci-fi books. Which Shatner? William Shatner. That Shatner. I included his charmingly normal author photo to prove it. 

October 8: Today was (supposed to be, but I am an excellent procrastinator) a reading day. Because it was lovely I went outside to read. It’s tremendously hard to convince yourself to be productive when you’re starting a three day weekend…

 

 

24 September, 2011

American Slang, Inappropriate footwear, and Boston 365

I feel like an editorial note is needed about my photo-taking techniques. I basically want to point out that I have none. I don’t even use a “real camera” to take these– all of my photos are taken with my camera phone, pretty much while I’m walking (or standing around). Often I don’t even break stride while I line up a shot. The other thing is that I pick weird moments to take my photos. I pick moments when I’m alone, or on my way somewhere. This series is about me and this place, not the people in this place.

Also, this week kind of became “take pictures of my feet week.” I blame Diluvian.

September 19: Government Center, with a big blue sky– Quincy Market in the background. One of my students this week told me that what struck her the most the first time she came to America was how beautiful the blue sky was. This was followed by a shot at the Public Gardens (taken about 30 seconds before the swan bit the little girl, if anyone’s curious.)

September 20: Wearing sandals in inclement weather. I tried to take a picture while it was still raining, but by the time I got off the bus again it had finally stopped (dammit!)


September 21: One randomly interjected branch of autumn (I think the bird poop in Boston might be a little corrosive. Check out the holes in the leaves.)

September 22: Same tree as last week, further along in its reddening. I keep looking around at the green things everywhere in Boston, like I’m frantically trying to commit them to memory. Like I’ve never done a winter in the Northeast (in fact, I’ve never NOT done a winter in the Northeast.)

September 23: I AM SO CAFFEINATED AND IT IS AMAZING. FEAR ME, I NO LONGER STOP FOR BREATH WHEN TALKING (actually, not as scary as it looks. Tea bag mountain here took a few days to build.)

September 24: In the library someone spilled the paper assholes all over the floor. It was like carpet lice. Actually, at the time I was in full-on writer-brain mode, with no way to get to a writing place, and the paper assholes struck me as oddly whimsical and fantastic, which is why this picture was taken. This general stupidness is followed by me taking a rather dramatic shot of a statue on campus of the archangel Michael (being generally bad ass).

Now I’m going to actually do my readings for Monday, and drown myself in Erik Satie’s pretty, pretty music.

Until next time, love the blue sky, watch the leaves, and stay caffeinated.

18 September, 2011

Week two, check; Heraclitus and Big Brother and the Holding Company

Briefly, this week I attended part of a hermeneutics conference. Being that my knowledge of Gadamer is zilch, however, I respectfully bowed out after the first lecture. There was a salient crumb from the hour and a half I spent there, however– I was reminded of Heraclitus.

Heraclitus is remembered for his interest in logos— the word, reason, plan which drives and unites the universe, and for his doctrine of flux. All is in flux, ever changing– each instant we are in a different universe.

πάντα χωρεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει” καὶ “δὶς ἐς τὸν αὐτὸν ποταμὸν οὐκ ἂν ἐμβαίης”
Panta chōrei kai ouden menei … kai … dis es ton auton potamon ouk an embaies
“Everything changes and nothing remains still …. and … you cannot step twice into the same stream”

–Heraclitus 402a, qtd. from wikipedia (because I don’t feel like cracking my ancient Greek philosophy books.)

In each moment the world is changed. Flux is constant; action now is different from action even a millisecond from now. Nothing is ever repeated. It’s a terrible beauty.

 

September 12: I found this beautiful oddity tacked to a telephone pole while attempting to find the grocery store (I realized about five seconds after snapping this that I was in fact walking the wrong way).

 

September 13: The leaves are starting to turn on campus and in the parks. This is outside of Gasson– expect indoor shots of the beautiful Gasson Hall later next week. There’s a poetry reading in there that’ll take me back in there in the coming days.

September 14: This week I embarked on the sacred quest for a Most Excellent Used Books Purveyor. I haven’t found a good, grungy one with dirt cheap books yet, but I did find Brookline Booksellers, which is wonderful, filled with books, knick-knacks, and all sorts of charming things. Like magnets. They also have the Jesus Shaves/Saves mug, which I NEEEEEEED.

Also, in the used book cellar, the far wall is “Mystery, Mystery, Mystery, More Mystery and Still More Mystery.”

September 15: My studies force me to have hermit days every so often, so here’s a tableau of hermit day #1 in this set: my book, and my snack bowl. It’s a beautiful green glass beauty that I got at a garage sale this summer for a dollar. Also, my proliferation of flags, which pretty much make flagging pages useless, given their overwhelming number.

 

September 16: There’s a beautiful patch of sunflowers on my walk to the T. I snapped this just as a car was zooming past. Flowers in motion.

September 17: I left the Copley library on Saturday needing coffee. Found this tri-corner wearing Godzilla demanding that I pahk the caaah in a  Starbucks. Love it, and Bostonians’ acute awareness that they talk silly. Because so many people who live here are college transplants like myself, however, you rarely hear the Boston accent.

This is in the Copley library. Each section of the hall I was sitting in had the name of a great thinker, artist, or writer carved and gilded below the coffered barrel vault ceiling (fear my art history jargon). WITHOUT LOOKING, I sat myself under Socrates. This is the kind of stuff that happens to me. Things chase me. Socrates is one of them.

September 18: another academic hermit day. This, by the way, is the view out my window into part of the playground/park/field that I live next to. I took a nap face-down in these pillows today instead of reading about reception history.

And, to round out a completely disjointed set of images and thoughts, Janis and Big Brother Caterpillering. ❤

 

5 September, 2011

Embarking on a New Project…Boston 365

So, I’ve recently transplanted from upstate New York to Boston. Pretty much everything is shiny, new, and strange, and I’m doing my best to explore, adapt, and generally not suck.

One way that I’ve decided to get to know the city is by doing a photo project. So, starting on August 31, I began taking pictures.

August 31: Crossing the Hudson, getting ready to say goodbye to New York…

September 1: I found you some plants on move in day…

September 2: Scaffolding and construction on campus. My mother thought I was very weird for taking pictures of construction work. BC.


September 3: Dramatic tortilla chips and beer…and then a wall of rainbow Crocs. Quincy Market.

September 4: Went exploring… found lots of things, especially green things. Boston loves itself some green things. Also, BC at night.


September 5: My room is finally complete (until I decide that I’m bored and need to add more posters), so here is a view of my view. Window seat, overlooking green things, which we’ve already established Boston’s love for.


More later, that’s all for now. I’ll leave you with some Rumi:

“When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you’re not here, I can’t go to sleep.
Praise God for those two insomnias!
And the difference between them.”

— Rumi



30 March, 2011

Gothic Fairytales

I ran across these beautiful images from Japanese photographer Miwa Yanagi, and thought they were worth sharing.

More after the break.

 

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