Monday, April 30, 2012

It's a Big Day

Architecture does not often seem to make for compelling news, but today the media is abuzzing. In case you haven't heard, One World Trade Center, New York City's newest skyscraper is set to become the city's tallest today (weather permitting). The steel columns that comprise its hundredth floor will be, officially, the first to look down towards the Empire State Building.

Congratulations to the team that has put this together -- I can only imagine how they feel today.

Til next time.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tilting at Windmills

Last night my girlfriend and I went to see Don Quixote at the Boston Opera House, which is architecturally marvelous (I am a sucker for intricacies and ornamentation). It was, quite honestly, awesome. First off, Don Quixote is just a great story -- who can't get behind a man who gets so swept up in a good story that he just goes out and lives it? Second, having never seen a ballet before, I did not know what to expect, but I was taken completely out of the theater and into Barcelona.

Though a bit kitty-cornered, our seats were great. We could see the whole stage up close, and when the curtain fell, the orchestra was in full-view.

La revelaciĆ³n sobre el ballet numero uno: There is no dialogue. Again, I had never been to a ballet before, so when Don Quixote began gesturing to other characters on stage, I quickly realized that I would have to put the story together in my head.

But that just made watching the ballet like watching a great silent movie. Okay, there are no words, but there is enough to put together a great story. Dulcinea doesn't want to marry this man; she wants to marry that man, but her dad wants her to marry the other one, and Don Quixote himself is aloof, but charming and good-natured. Got it? Okay, good to go! When performed, the story came together quite nicely.

La revelaciĆ³n sobre el ballet numero dos: It is long. This was clearly an epic story: three acts, two intermissions, and a three hour run time. I have been to long stage plays before. In London I saw The Lord of the Rings the Musical -- another three hour production -- but, somehow, Don Quixote felt more energetic. So, while it may have taken up the evening, it was entirely entertaining. Read a review here.

Advertisements for the ballet read, "a frosty glass of sangria on a hot summer's day!" Speaking of which, the bar offers a special Don Quixote drink for those interested.

All in all, highly recommended.

Til next time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy 100th, Fenway!

Happy hundredth anniversary, Fenway Park!

Sure, this post is a few days late, but maybe I just wanted to wait until the Sox were on the upswing (har har). As of now, they have won the last two games against the Twins, and tonight's scoreboard reads 7-1 (top of the 6th).

Probably every resident of Beantown is aware by now that the actual 100th Anniversary game was an L for our beloved home team. And that is unfortunate, but if anything, we are ever optimistic.

The game itself was actually very fun. There was Big Papi's under-review home run, Fenway Franks, and a lot of cheering. But, for moi, it was almost not to be. That's because the decision to go was a last minute one. Ninety minutes before the game, my girlfriend and I found ourselves in a line that stretched from the ticket stand all the way down to the Bleacher Bar (a fantastic place that deserves a post of its own, by the way).

[Aside: To those of you who may be from out of town or planning a trip in the near future, waiting in line outside of Fenway for day-of tickets is a great way to make friends. It doesn't matter who's in line, everyone waiting in it is on the outside looking in; the collective is as one.]

Flash forward: The line stops moving mere minutes before the start of the game. We have advanced to within 25 people of the ticket stand. A low rumble is heard. And two jets fly over the park. It's started!  A few minutes go by, and a Fenway employee greets the line and explains that there are approximately 40 tickets that have just opened up. Some quick mental math (of the most dubious veracity) concludes that if we make it, it's going to be close. Well...(bated breath)...we made it! 

In we went, barreling down the corridors, around the park, and over to the bleachers. Seated, we were just in time to raise a glass to the toast (the now-biggest toast in the Guinness Book of World Records).

No, we didn't toast with .............................................

The Fenway Toast was made with Welch's White Grape Juice. And fun was had by all!

Til next time!

P.S. Can anyone verify the Jurassic Park theme being played during opening ceremonies?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Let's get this straight from the outset: I do not condone graffiti. Because of my love of architecture, I have great difficulty in understanding why someone would want to mark it up. On the other hand, some of the images contained in graffiti are interesting, and they are, by their nature (and the good sense of those who take them down) ever so temporary. So it is with the understanding of this inner-turmoil that I present to you a smattering Boston graffiti (Banksy it is not).

Also, I should note that if either of these pieces have a specific social message to them, I am unaware of it.

Til next time.