Category Archives: USA

Self-Guided Tour of Harvard University’s Old Yard

If you’re in Boston, Massachusetts, don’t forget to visit the city on the other bank of the Charles River – Cambridge, MA!

And while you’re in Cambridge, you might as well visit Harvard University, the oldest university in the United States.

I’d suggest you put aside a whole day just for Harvard, since in addition to the one-hour Guided Historical tour of the university, Harvard museums – Harvard Art Museums and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture – are worth a visit as well.

Quincy Street entrance to the newly renovated and reopened Harvard Art Museums
Quincy Street entrance to the newly renovated and reopened Harvard Art Museums

If you don’t have that much time, at least do the tour of the university, either with Guided Historical Tours of Harvard or on your own.

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston with kids

It’s the vacation week, and since I have time off as well, I’ve decided to take my eight-year-old daughter to a few local museums, starting with the Museum of Fine Arts.

"Think Pink" exhibit we saw in April 2014
“Think Pink” exhibit we saw in April 2014

She’d seen it several months ago when my friend and I took her to see the “Think Pink” exhibit. She liked the “Pink Room,” and spent quite a bit of time looking at the pink dresses, shoes, suits, and doll clothes, but didn’t care too much for paintings and other collections.

This time it was just me and my daughter, going with another girl, who supposedly really liked the Egyptian area, especially the mummies.

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A few thoughts on Nicolas Regnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel”

If you are planning to visit the newly opened Harvard Art Museums, and are willing to play “scavenger hunt” with me, please read first “Invitation to Play ‘Scavenger Hunt’ at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues.” 🙂

If you are not going to visit the Harvard Art Museums for a while, or at all, because Cambridge, Massachusetts way off your itinerary route, and you like to read about art, read on.

Last week I posted close up photos of a few details from five paintings at Harvard Art Museums that I found interesting. Some of them would be hard to miss as they are quite prominent in the painting, some might take some looking for, since they are just a small part of the overall piece.

detail from a 1620s Flemish painting
detail from a 1620s Flemish painting

The blobs of paint on the easel in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel” are hard to miss because the easel is positioned right in the center of the paining and is quite prominent, though it would not be the first thing you’ll look at, I bet.

What captivated me in Nicolas Régnier’s “Self-Portrait with an Easel,” painted around 1620s was… well…. how pasty pale he is. 😉

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Invitation to Play “Scavenger Hunt” at the Harvard Art Museums – The Clues

You may have heard that Sunday, November 16, 2014 is the Opening Celebration at Harvard Art Museums, which is reopening after a long renovation that started with the closing of Harvard’s Fogg and Busch-Reisinger museums in June 2008, and the Sackler Museum  in June 2013.

Now, collections from all three museums are  housed under one roof in the completely renovated and expanded site of the former Fogg Museum designed by Renzo Piano, renowned architect who also designed the post-modern The Centre Pompidou in Paris and the expansion of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Even though the official opening is on Sunday, two days away, Harvard Art Museums had opened its doors to Harvard affiliates earlier today and of course I simply could not miss the chance to go see it.

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Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH

I admit, if it weren’t for the M.C. Escher exhibit, I’d probably never think of going to the Currier Museum of Art, in Manchester, New Hampshire. Which means I’d miss out on a fun, inspiring, and educational afternoon.

Currier Gallery of Art: a small but distinctive collection,” published in The Christian Science Monitor in 1981 said:

[T]he Currier, considered to be one of the best small art museums in the US, is better known among curators and art historians in Paris and New York than it is in its own region. Both the Louvre and the Metropolitan have borrowed artwork from the compact gallery, which has as its motto, “One masterpiece is more to be desired than a roomful of run-of-the-mill paintings.”

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Marriott’s Cypress Harbour in Orlando, FL – “next door” to SeaWorld

If you’re planning a trip to Orlando, FL to visit the SeaWorld, consider “next door’s” Marriott Cypress Harbour Vacation Club property, at 11251 Harbour Villa Rd, Orlando, FL 32821.

That’s where we stayed exactly a year ago, in November 2013 though the timeshare program run by Interval International.

Marriott Cypress Harbour is part of the Marriott brand, but it’s not really just a hotel, it’s more like a gated little village consisting of  several buildings with two-bedroom apartments, that include a full kitchen and in-unit washer and dryer.

The Apartments

The master bedroom with a large, king-size bed, includes a massive whirlpool tub. The second bedroom has a comfortable queen size bed, with a sofa bed. There’s also a large sofa bed in the living room. Every room has a TV and free WiFi.

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Flat Stanley’s visit to Garden in the Woods

One beautiful September Saturday, Flat Stanley, my daughter, and I went to a place called Garden in the Woods.

Garden in the Woods is a woodland botanic garden owned by the New England Wild Flower Society that cultivates, or grows, plants native to New England.

Some of the plants at the Garden in the Woods are common, but some of them are rare. The reason why some native plants are rare, or not growing much anymore, is because some might grow in only one, small, area of the world, while others might have been over harvested, or picked too much, because of their beauty or medicinal value.

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