Bike ride from Cambridge to deCordova

We’re trying to make the most of our last few days of summer, so yesterday we hit the road for a cycling adventure out to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum. deCordova is only 15 miles from Cambridge, which makes it a nice day trip. As an added bonus, cyclists get into the park for free!

As someone who currently rides my bike about three times per year, I found the route to be enjoyable and not too challenging. We started by riding across Cambridge to the Alewife T Station, where we were able to hop onto the Minuteman Bikeway. We then took the path out to Lexington, where we stopped for breakfast. After fueling up, we rode out of town towards Lincoln and out to deCordova. There were some decent sized hills between Lexington and deCordorva, but nothing that caused me to get into my lowest granny gear 🙂

deCordova turned out to be an interesting place. The park was full of modern art sculptures, and the museum currently has an exhibit by Tony Feher of everyday objects turned into quirky pieces of art. I might be missing the point, but at least that’s how I would describe the exhibit.

Here are a few of the highlights from Sculpture Park:

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No, that’s not spilled paint. It’s art.

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P1010759This was my absolute favorite. The pictures don’t do it justice at all. Something about it reminded me of a hologram. It’s worth a trip to the park just to see this sculpture.

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P1010762No, the groundskeeper didn’t crash. This is more art.

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And a couple of shots from inside the museum:

P1010802This was created by using painter’s tape on a window. Very pretty.

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P1010795Samples of the art made out of everyday objects.

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SoWa + the quest for the best hot dog ever

My husband has been wanting to eat a Super Dog (aka – America’s #1 Hotdog) for quite some time, and I’ve been wanting to check out the SoWa Open Market (also for quite some time), so a few weeks ago, when we were looking for something to do that required “low brain power” per my husband’s request, we knocked two things off our Boston to-do list in one afternoon.

The SoWa Open Market has three sections: a farmers’ market, an arts market, and food trucks.

The farmers’ market looked a bit weak, so we didn’t even check it out. The arts market was okay, but not as big as I expected.

While perusing the art market, I did learn how to tie a bow tie from the nice gentlemen at this stand…

SoWa

…and I loved every piece of art at this stand by Elizabeth Benotti.

Elizabeth Benotti SoWa

I ended up leaving without making a purchase, but she had so much more available at the market than at her etsy store, so I might need to take another trip to SoWa if I decide I’m ready to commit to a piece. At least these great hanging planters are available online in case I don’t make it back.

After my indecision about the planters, we moved on to the food trucks.

The food truck section felt a little bit like being back in Southern California. Food trucks + hipsters everywhere = the closest Boston can get to feeling like LA.

I don’t think any food truck can top Kogi, but the food trucks at SoWa were unique in their own way and had a nice New England feel.

SoWa food truck

SoWa food truck

SoWa food truck

I can’t say that I ever saw a lobster or oyster food truck in LA.

And of course there was the Boston Super Dog truck.

SoWa Super Dog Food Truck

We ordered fried green tomatoes and a Jr Dog (which was the size of a regular hotdog; the regular size was huge). I then proceeded to not take a photo of the hotdog, so you’ll have to take my word for it that we got one. The fried green tomatoes were okay, but nowhere near Sweet Cheeks.

The verdict on the hotdog? “Pretty good, but I don’t know about the best.” According to my husband, who is apparently a connoisseur of hotdogs, as he said it would have been better if he’d gotten the regular size, because the bread to dog ratio was off in the Jr Dog. Who knew such a ratio existed? To me, it was just a hot dog.

Worth a visit: The MIT Museum

What to do when your day off work is rainy? Head to a museum!MIT Museum But first I swung by the Central Square library to pick up a museum pass for the MIT Museum. Somehow the library has funding to allow patrons to check out museum passes, which is a pretty awesome library perk.
MIT Museum The first exhibit was on artificial intelligence, which is just not that interesting to me, so I started out feeling especially happy that I didn’t pay $10 to get in.

Then I got to the Gestural Engineering exhibit by Arthur Ganson.
MIT Museum

It’s hard to explain what gestural engineering is, so think art + engineering = quirky moving objects that are mesmerizing to watch.

This picture looks pretty dull, but the beads were coming out of the faucet at a speed that was almost hypnotizing. Video wasn’t allowed so you’ll have to take my word for it, or go visit the museum and see for yourself.

MIT Museum - Arthur Ganson

Since taking video was not allowed, here’s my attempt to show how interesting the pieces were. Look at the next three pictures quickly and you’ll get an idea of how the objects moved.

MIT Museum - Arthur Ganson

MIT Museum - Arthur Ganson

MIT Museum - Arthur Ganson

Next up were the special exhibits. Both of the special exhibits that are currently running were outstanding.

The Kurtz Gallery for Photography has an exhibit called Compass Points by Joel Tettamanti. His photos focus on the impact of human settlement on the landscape. It doesn’t sound all that exciting, but the photos were stunning. I didn’t take any pictures (because I think it’s weird to take pictures of a photographer’s photos…), but you can click here to see my favorite photo.

The other special exhibit that is currently running is called Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things.

This exhibit artistically displays common objects, like teabags, and shares the history and design process of each one. Many have been unchanged for decades, because the original engineering can’t be improved.MIT Museum - Hidden Heroes

And of course the MIT Museum has to have a couple of these things….no science museum would be complete without them.MIT Museum

MIT Museum

All in all, it was an enjoyable way to spend a rainy afternoon in Cambridge.

Boston Book Festival

This afternoon I went down to Copley Square to check out the Boston Book Festival. As a lover of books, it seemed like the place to be.

Part of the book festival is the One City One Story program, which is a project to promote literacy among the teens and adults of Boston. This year’s selection was The Lobster Mafia Story by Anna Solomon. I really enjoyed the story, but I didn’t get to the festival early enough to hear the discussion about the story.

I did go to a session called The Brain: Thinking About Thinking. Neuropsychiatrist, Eric Kandel, and quirky author/inventor/futurist, Ray Kurzweil both spoke at this session. I had high hopes, but honestly they were both a little too academic/dry for me. It felt a little bit like a grad school lecture. I’m more likely to read Kandel’s book than Kurzweil’s, but honestly, I probably won’t read either.

The Trinity Church Sanctuary, where the session took place, was absolutely stunning. Here’s a picture of the inside, but it really doesn’t do it justice.

There were several bookstores selling books.

And lots of publishing companies selling books. Of course MIT Press was there :).

And guess who was there, chatting, signing, and giving out free hugs?

Of course, it’s Junot Diaz!

Here’s the line to get a hug from Junot. I passed on that one. Been there, done that.


The Boston Public Library, looking gorgeous, as always.

It was another beautiful day in Boston and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Eat Boutique Fall Market

Yesterday I convinced my husband to take a break from studying, so we headed down to the Atlantic Wharf and enjoyed some time at the Eat Boutique Fall Market.  Here we were able to meet local food makers and sample their delicious treats. There was something for everyone – fresh mozzarella cheese, whoopie pies, wine, maple syrup, cookies, gluten free brownies, homemade marshmallows, tea, cheesecake, nuts, and more!

These apple cider marshmallows were pure melt-in-my mouth goodness.

This maple syrup was divine. And the maple syrup cream? I don’t even know what maple syrup cream is, but I could have eaten it all right out of the jar. So good.

Words to live by.

I can’t wait for the Holiday Eat Boutique Market! I’ve already got December 9th marked on my calendar!

I took a picture of the Citgo sign

Why? I don’t know. Because that’s what you do when you’re in Boston. Like taking a picture of the bean in Chicago. Or Times Square. Or the Golden Gate Bridge. Okay, maybe it doesn’t belong in the same category as the Golden Gate Bridge…

Part of the Boston skyline, the Citgo sign overlooks Fenway Park, and to many is a part of the Fenway experience. To others, the sight of the sign is the glorious 20-mile marker of the Boston Marathon. It also serves as a point of reference for lost tourists. As I managed to find the Citgo sign, but completely missed Fenway Park, I probably fall into that last category…