The Tea Party’s over
Boston, Boston - Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
I wish I could say that the title of this post refers to the demise of the contemptible right wing Tea Party, but alas it is the last day of our mini trip to Boston. In the evening the lineups to get into Mike’s Pastry are legendarily long. However, show up here at 8:00 on Sunday morning and there’s no problem getting a table. The problem is deciding which of the 100 plus varieties of pastry to choose from. Read more about the dilemma here.
The weather was overcast with that creepy chill that comes from moisture in the air. Even though the temperature was well above the day before it felt cooler – a perfect day for visiting one of the world’s great art galleries, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts or mfa as most Bostonians call it. I was not aware until my first visit to mfa that Boston was the first American city to really embrace Impressionism and that as a result it had a world class collection of impressionist art with a heavy emphasis on Monet. I still remember being visually overwhelmed by the huge canvasses in the Sidney and Esther Rabb Gallery.
Today we were there primarily to view a special exhibition of the best of the mfa impressionist collection as voted on by the general public, which seems have been assembled as a sop to the viewing public, while the Rabb Gallery is being renovated. The museum selected the fifty pieces that voters could choose from and the top thirty vote getters are on display through the end of May.
We always pick up the audio tours whenever they are available because it enhances the experience of visiting a museum or galley immensely. The mfa is no exception and for $6.00 you get the opportunity to get the story on the artist, the painting, the historical times surrounding the painting and other information that can’t be contained in the brief descriptions beside the paintings and sculptures.
We spent about 30 minutes viewing the 30 award winners and then headed out for some highlights from the American collection. Here’s Alison enjoying Sargent’s magnificent Daughters of Edward Boit.
There were a couple of sculptures that were compelling for different reasons. First, Dale Chihuly’s towering glass tree is just plain visually stunning, both from a distance and close up.
And the other is the falling men that are so completely Mad Men that it is eerie. I have to wonder which came first – these falling men or the series opener.
We spent just over three hours at the mfa which is about the attention span limit for any museum or gallery, after that everything becomes a blur.
Our final dinner in Boston was appropriately seafood at Atlantic Fish on Boylston. Turns out it is a sister restaurant to Abe & Louie’s where we ate the first night. They did just as good a job on the seafood as they did on the beef; the cioppino was superb.
Once again Boston proves it is one of the most underrated cities in America.
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