Monthly Archives: August 2012

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Cliff Diving at Boston’s ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Art (or ICA) has been one of my favorite buildings in Boston since its construction a few years back. Something about a good cantilever that gets me all warm and tingly inside 🙂  About two years ago my Mom was given the opportunity via the Cooper Union, her alma mater, to go on a private tour of the facility since 2 out of 3 of the building’s architects also had ties to Cooper (Ricardo Scofidio is a professor emeritus there and Elizabeth Diller is his wife).  Since my mom knows my dad has limited patience for such artistically-themed outings, she bought me along as her plus one.

I will never forget the first time I looked out the row of plate glass windows that line the end of the ICA’s cantilever and hang directly over Boston Harbor. Looking straight  down into the water from about 6 stories up is certainly awe-inspiring, if not, nauseating. It only took my Mom a few seconds before she was saying things like “that’s enough of that” and ducking back into the hallway that led us to the windows. I myself felt fine, but admit that view was a lot to take in at once.

The view of the harbor from the ICA windows. Photo Courtesy of ICA, Peter Vanderwalker

Imagine my surprise when a few weeks ago I began to see advertisements for Red Bull’s Cliff Diving Series— that was to take place on a platform affixed to the top of the ICA. What? How can this be? My Mom couldn’t even look out the windows, and now they are telling me that people would be jumping off a platform ~50 feet above that (or 27 meters in total height)! I couldn’t believe it. For reference, this is what it looked like:

Surely these people must be insane! I just had to see this Cliff Diving experience for myself– I found my way down to the Seaport World Trade Center dock to try to take in some of the action yesterday. Probably not the best vantage point since I couldn’t see the divers land in the water, but I did get some pretty good pictures of these maniacs taking flight.

A cliff diver peeps over the edge before taking his dive

No turning back! Cliff Diving is a one-way sport!

Don’t worry, he managed to get turned around to go in feet first (which is necessary when diving from this height)

The crowd lining the Seaport WTC dock

Waving to the crowd from 27 meter up!

I wish the light were better, but this is the photoshop montage I put together of a single diver

Pretty crazy, huh? I love how they made use of my favorite Boston building for something so wonderfully insane. I hope they do it again next year!

 

Funny Books: My Summer Reading List

In the beginning of the year I made the resolution to try reading a book-per-week– books that either focused on artistic inspiration, design history, the entrepreneurial spirit, or something along those lines to help inspire me to do projects in the same vein. I made it 11 weeks before I started to realize that the time I was spending reading all these books was taking away from leisure activities that I love; mainly crosswords, funny books and fashion magazines. When I went away on vacation to Iceland I didn’t bring my normal creative literature, instead I bought Joan Rivers’ latest tomb I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me and Chelsea Handler’s Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me . Both proved to be excellent selections for my summer vacation reading.

Two funny ladies, two funny books

In Joan River’s new book: I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, she presents a collection of one-liner jokes, organized by the groups of people or things she is hating on. Some of the jokes are horrible, some shocking, but the majority made me laugh out loud on our flight from Reykjavik back to Boston. Among my favorite parts of the book is when Joan reviews the shortcomings of each state in our union of fifty. Wonderful!

I had read every other book that Chelsea Handler has written so it was only natural for me to pick up Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me  when I saw it staring back at me in the airport newsstand. This book is a little different from the rest of Chelsea’s books as it is written from the perspective of the friends and family who have been the victims of her pranks instead of being written from the first person, but it still made for an entertaining book nonetheless. After reading all of Chelsea’s other books I found it sometimes hard to believe the level of high-jinks present in her stories. Lies that Chelsea Handler Told Me  presented evidence that the types of accounts given in the other books actually happened since in “Lies” they are fully corroborated by the prank’s victims. Chelsea Handler is the type of prank legend we all wish we were, but we will never be due to fear of epic retaliation 🙂

When will I pick up my inspirational books again? I’m not sure. But in the meantime I have been enjoying my other leisurely literature. Sometimes all I need is a good laugh and that is inspiring enough. As long as there are funny women writing funny books, inspiration and leisurely enjoyment might be one and the same for me! I’m looking forward to Chelsea’s next publication– hopefully sooner rather than later!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, though I am not paid by anyone to write about these books.

More Flower Garden Updates

I haven’t been too inspired with things outside of my flower garden lately, but I figure that is okay given how inspired I have been inside my garden! Everything seemingly has come into bloom in the past few weeks. Here are some updates and pictures— I’m still mastering using the fixed 50mm f1.8 lens and  Adobe Photoshop to improve my photography. Enjoy!

The Vegetable Garden

A few weeks ago I noticed that things were really starting to take off in my vegetable garden— the raised 4’x8′ bed I have tucked into the corner of my backyard. However, I had no idea how much more the plants would grow in just a weeks time. Here is a picture of my garden taken in the beginning of July:

veggie garden before

And here is it as of this morning (August 5th):

vegetable garden after

Holy cow! That giant vine that is taking over my yard is evidently some sort of squash (I’m not sure what kind- I thought it was a watermelon when I planted it). Other sizable vines include watermelon ( one is definitely a watermelon, though I am still confused as to where the rogue squash came from), gourds, and acorn squash. Tomatoes, beans, nasturtium, basil, lemon balm, parsley, four different kinds of mint, sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, peppers, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and carrots have all managed to find their way into my veggie garden this year. It has been fun discovering what new thing has bloomed or sprouted each day!

A nasturtium from the veggie garden- great edible flowers for salads

A baby watermelon

baby tomatoes

SUMMER FlowerS

Aside from the vegetable garden, other cultivated areas of my yard have been quite successful this year. Flowers have been blooming non-stop since April, and I must say they keep getting better and better as the season progresses.

Salvia

Zinnia

Shasta Daisies

Dianthus

Sweet William

More Sweet William

Bachelor Button Flowers

Dahlia

Cone Flowers

Hydrangea

Blue Atlas Weeping Cedar

Harvest Moon Echinacea

Day Lily

Black Violas

Strawberries from the side yard

InSECTS & OTHER VISITORS

Lately it has been hard not to notice that I am never alone in my garden even when I’m the only human out there. Here we have my pics of a few of the recent visitors:

Caterpillar on Fennel

Bumble Bee on White Salvia

Butterfly on Cone Flower

Fluffy with Cat Grass

I hope you have enjoyed this brief pictorial tour of my recent horticultural exploits. Stop by again soon for more updates!

 

 

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