Friday, December 31, 2010

Blizzard 2010; Weston Ski Track, Weston, MA

 My wife is from Miami.  Yes, this is a picture of my wife and I in snow pants.  It was a long ten years from our first x-country ski trip till now.  Last time she was trying to convince me that you can take the girl out of Miami so I would marry her.  This time she credits the snow pants.  I credit the 45 degree temps and crystal clear blue skies.  Sydney was just happy to have somebody else to fall with.

I grew up loving Weston Ski Track.  It was a ten minute car ride and always had snow.  I started out on x-country at the same age Sydney did, somewhere around 2-3.  Liji would not be lured into such madness, but he sure loved the pulk .  He fell asleep somewhere around minute ten.   Weston makes snow, which keeps them in business from December 15th till March 15th, a pretty good deal for those golfers at Leo J. Martin (it doubles as a course in the off-season... you notice I say "doubles" 'cause which is the real sport here?).

By the third hill, both mommy and Sydney alike stayed upright the entire ride down.  Mommy doing her best imitation of Liji's potty-training, grinning from ear to ear.  Sydney, serious in his tuck down the hill.   We are off to Smuggler's Notch (this is a shameless plug as they may comp us a third night if we post about them) in a few weeks for my Hanukah present.  Dare I dream that I've taken the Miami right out of that girl once and for all?

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Transcendental Christmas; Concord Museum, Concord, MA

Ok, so we don't celebrate Christmas.  But I always was a sucker for those trees.  What better way to spend the holidays than the Concord Museum's 15th Annual "Family Trees; a Celebration of Children's Literature." (Open December 3rd to January 2nd).  Now, this is a top-notch local museum to begin with.  There is a great collection of Americana from this center of the Revolution, even if it isn't as fancy as the new MFA wing.  Of course they celebrate neighbor Ralph Waldo Emerson (who resided across the street) and that little battle that happened just down the road.

But, on the day before Christmas, you come for the trees.  There were majestic pines filled with hand-stiched animals from one of our fav authors Clare Beaton's, "One Moose, Twenty Mice."  There were even pails hung from the outdoor tree of the fabulous "Ox Cart Man" by Donald Hall.  We got to make our own wish for the tree for "Wish: Wishing Traditions around the World," by Roseanne Thong, illustrated by Elisa Kleven.  But mainly we read on the comfy couches, soaking in such new wonders as "Kermit the Hermit," by Bill Peet.

According to the museum, "each tree serves as a canvas for the artistic creations of a dedicated team of volunteer decorators. Inspired by the storyline, the illustrations, the characters or setting of a particular book."  So while many of you are out there jostling your way through Toys R Us or fighting for that last ham at Whole Foods, you might want to take a minute and enjoy the simple glow of the holidays in the quaintest little town on earth.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

All Star and All-American; The American Wing at the MFA, Boston, MA

We are museum snobs.  There, I've said it.  I think we deserve it though.  After years educating kids at the NYC Museum School  and plenty more traveling the globe I think I get an opinion or two.  I grew up on the MFA.  It set the bar for my own art education as a kid.  You may find it hard to believe that I followed the opening of this wing in the Globe more closely that the recent trades for Gonzalez and Crawford to the Sox lineup. 

The MFA was already a world-class institution, if not a bit stuffy.  This Art of the Americas wing upgrade was like scoring Crawford, Gonzalez, Jeter and Rivera.  We camped out in the colonies for half our visit.  Sydney was so enamored with the artist demonstration on colonial chair making, I thought we may never get him out of there. Liji was busy comparing Copley portraits with mommy.   Sydney and I were smitten with GW crossing the Delaware.

Alright, so maybe mommy and I are not much for 19th century America.  But what a lovely surprise to be greeted with TWO Calders on floor three, our fav.  The tech wasn't too bad either; both boys loved restyling some famous works on the touch table computers.  But the real thrill was the views through the three story walls of glass.  Sydney just hung out looking over the diners and the junction of the old and new.  A treat for almost everyone of the senses.