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Post #1372 • July 2, 2009, 10:28 AM • 13 Comments currently finds itself in the midst of post-vacation shoveling out, home improvements with workmen knocking about, and an upcoming long weekend. Posting shall resume Monday. Comments are back open if something of note is on your mind.




July 2, 2009, 10:28 AM

"Shoveling out"? I know the weather's been bad, but it's not snowing.

Not too much happening here. Recently read Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time of Gifts, now in the midst of Between the Woods and the Water. Both good, never less than pleasurable and sometimes quite more, especially the first volume (the second may have some highlights which I've yet to read), though I'm not quite convinced by the "classic" status the New York Review bestowed upon them. Fermor definitely has a gift for bringing to mind the different layers of history and their cultural accretions of the countries he passed through, which makes large stretches of Germany and Austria a treat to read about (the introduction rightly singles out the section on Melk as particularly artful--his feeling for the baroque and rococo comes through at its best there.) Definitely puts one in the mood for a good cup of coffee and a pastry, if nothing else.

Oh, and I should note that Tyler Green is a man of taste and distinction.



July 2, 2009, 10:42 AM

Were those part of the recent haul?

Re: Tyler, he has his moments, but they're discontinuous.



July 2, 2009, 10:56 AM

Maybe it's not snow he's shovelling, JL



July 2, 2009, 11:06 AM

I'm shoveling accumulated work. Although I may have to start shoveling rain if this nonsense keeps up. (Note to non-New Englanders: we're getting drenched.)



July 2, 2009, 12:07 PM

Were those part of the recent haul?

No, I bought them some time late last year. I'm a little behind on my reading. Gotta stop buying books for a while.

It seems to me that Tyler's described the Gardner fairly accurately. Visiting there on a day without abundant sunlight--something we've lacked recently--is an exercise in frustration.

Opie, I considered that, but thought I'd go with a more charitable interpretation this time.



July 2, 2009, 12:29 PM

Franklin, while you were gone, N. TX had a cool front. For a couple of days the temp only got up to 95 degrees. People were celebrating and reaching for their sweaters.



July 2, 2009, 12:38 PM

For what it's worth (and I don't think it's worth much, certainly not till proven otherwise), there is reportedly some movement, presumably forward, in the long-silent Miami Museum Park scheme. The city commission approved the final lease agreement, so that the museums can now get their hands on tons of county bond money (however dubiously acquired). Also approved was the development agreement for the project. I'm hardly excited.



July 2, 2009, 12:58 PM

Did you hear about that time it rained so hard? It rained so hard there were puddles on the lake.



July 2, 2009, 5:38 PM

Ahab, you know Canadian humor is too sophisticated for the blog. Cut it out.



July 3, 2009, 12:43 AM

Who might the architects be for Miami's Museum Park, Jack? I was learning a little today about Berlin's Museum Island - is the Park supposed to be something like that?



July 3, 2009, 10:04 AM

If you must know, Ahab, go here:

then click on the photo at upper right. Do keep in mind you're looking at PR/promotional material from a source out to be seen in the best possible light and definitely not mentioning, let alone delving into, all relevant issues.



July 5, 2009, 8:28 AM

JL, Patrick Leigh Fermor was one of my mother's favorite writers. I should read him sometime.

What a glorious 4th after weeks of downpours and thunderstorms. We hung out in downtown New Bedford for the annual Summerfest and heard some great blues and folk music at the Whaling Museum and on the street. Speaking of Canadians, Harry Manx was fantastic. "Canadians? We're unarmed Americans with health insurance."
Harry has a powerful sound that mixes a deep experience of American blues with years studying in India. If you think about the roots of human music being in Africa and India, this starts to make sense. He has an instrument that combines sitar and traditional blues guitar. It might sound hokey but he puts together a sound that feels like its 18,000 years old and really gets you tappin. Roy Bookbinder was great, the Kennedys, Linda Ronstadt performed friday night. Then a big group barbecue with personal fireworks into the night behind our building. NB cancelled fireworks this year due to budget constraints so the neighborhood made up for it. It was a real homemade celebration. And I really appreciate Sarah Palin for adding some wonderful bizarre amusement to the weekend.

Tyler was right on about the Gardner - a weird, wonderful, creepy place. And I appreciate his shout out for the Worcester Art Museum.


Chris Rywalt

July 6, 2009, 6:20 AM

I just finished reading Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work and I highly recommend it, especially to this crowd. I offer up this bit as an example of the book's humor and sentiment. De Botton is writing about five men whose hobby is collecting statistics on and watching container ships:

They bring to the study of harbour life a devotion more often witnessed in relation to art, their behaviour implying a belief that creativity and intelligence can be as present in the transport of axles around the tip of the western Sahara as they are in the use of impasto in the female nude. Yet how fickle museum-goers seem by comparison, with their impatient interest in cafeterias, their susceptibility to gift shops, their readiness to avail themselves of benches. How seldom has a man spent two hours in a rain-storm in front of Hendrickje Bathing with only a thermos of coffee for sustenance.



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