Monday, October 24, 2011


Dear Marion has started a new position, as the paper conservation fellow for the Harvard Art Museums.  We're sad, of course, but the Harvard position is very competitive and because she's here on a visa, she can only spend two years working here and then has to return to France (or get other different visas).  So she's trying to get the biggest American bang for her Euro that she can, working in different places.  Which is understandable.

But it also means that I have a reason to return to Boston!  Which I did in early October.  Marion had been working for about two weeks, and Val had a big book-arts conference in Boston, so we made a long weekend of it.

Marion in from of the big Widener Library, on Harvard Yard.
Marion and I spent a lazy Saturday morning with her roomies (also internationals!), eating crepes, and then checked out a great print show at the Harvard Art Museum, and wandered around Harvard Yard for a bit.

Heading to Harvard Square to catch the Red Line into Boston, to meet up with Val for the Freedom Trail!
In the Boston Commons.

State House?  Maybe?
Somewhere in downtown Boston, along the Freedom Trail.
Ben Franklin was born in Boston, but was all, "I'm out of this crazy Puritant-friendly place.  I'm headed to Philly!" as a young man.  But Boston is still very proud...
Val is psyched because Ben's plinth had scenes from his life, and one was of a printing press (she's a bookbinder/printmaker, and avid Franklin-Fan).  That tube in her hand is full of fancy paper, bought at her big book arts conference.
For some reason there was a donkey in the same courtyard as Franklin.  A Democratic Donkey.
No elephant, but you could cleverly 'Stand in Opposition' to the donkey, in little Republican-elephant emblazoned footprints.
Old South Meeting House, which poet Phillis Wheatley attended in the late 1700s.

Honest Abe looks on, as we search the North End (Italian neighborhood) for a restaurant that isn't a 2 hour wait.  Val is about to chew off her own arm, and consulting her iphone to recommendations.
The best pizza we could have imagined.  It had a 30" diameter, and we ate the entire thing.  As fast as possible.
The next day, it was Val's birthday!  So we went to the cupcake shop in Harvard Square!
Marion and I had also picked up some little Val surprises the day before.  Including some lovely Luna Lovegood style SpectreSpecs.  After stopping at the tea shop (Tealuxe - we're still friends, even after all these years!) we headed into Boston again to check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Which is one of my favorite museum.  
After museuming, it was time for Val and I to catch the bus back to Philly.  (Fyi, riding the bus on the way up through New Jersey - ugh, Jersey is not a generally pretty state.)  Val and I decided to eat some sort of sandwich in South Station, so we wouldn't have to get off the bus at Trenton (NJ) for some sort of nasty Jersey sammie.  And how clever we were, because Boston's South Station has the best sammie-stand ever - a grilled cheese stand!  Where you pick your bread, your cheese, and you can get a cup of soup too!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Farewell Marion!

Dear Marion has since left Philadelphia for Boston (specifically Cambridge, where she will be spending a year as the paper conservation fellow at the Harvard Art Museums) and we are all heart-broken.  Before she left, co-worker Keith threw a huge fete for her.  Pictured below is Marion, with her new haircut and the Jello mold.
 Keith and Marion.
 Me and the Jello.  Translucent layer with trapped fruits, creepy opaque layer.  Actually delicious.  Everyone was totally into it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jello Molds

So I have a Jello cookbook and my grandma's lovely Jello molds.  I was also invited to a Labour Day picnic at Val's house.  And since "no holiday meal is complete without a shimmering Jell-O mold," I made the red, white, and blue fruit-in-suspension star.

 This was my first ever Jello mold, and I kind of screwed up the unmolding, letting things melt too much, but I popped it in the fridge and all was fine.  This is later in the evening.
 Americana.  These last photos are all creepy because I had to use the flash (which I normally avoid like the plague).
Decimated: everyone loved it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Soul Stealin'

 I love taking French people to see the Amish: they are simultaneously intrigued and repulsed!  Marion had been desperate to see the Amish, or as she called them, "A-mish."  One hot July Saturday, Marion, Val, Sophie (another Frenchie, friend of Marion), and I rented a car and headed out to Lancaster County to eat some Amish delights and to do some soul stealin' with our photographing machines.
Whoopie pie.  I'd never had one of these before!  I've just moved out from under my rock, you know.  Good, but not transcendent or anything.
 There is antique shop full of crazy in Bird-in-Hand, PA.

 I really wanted this globe, as it featured the USSR, but where would it go?

 We saw so many Amish, it was out of control!  Buggies everywhere, young couples out sparking, and whatnot.

I drove by this place multiple times a year for six years, back and forth from university, and never stopped.  But now, with the Frenchies, it was time.  Please note: they give you free samples of shoo-fly-pie when you visit.
 Sophie and Marion.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

New Rug

Cordelia, sitting happily on her little rug about a week and a half ago.  Life seemed easy, there was a rug to lay on to get brushed, and to give her some traction when she runs around.  Until she puked all over it one day.  All over it.  So much so that I made a vague attempt to clean up, and then just rolled the sad little rug up and shoved it into the garbage.

I missed the rug just as much as Cordie.  She got kind of unkept: no brushing on the hardwoods, as she just kind of slides around on them.  So I went to Target to get a new rug.  Happy with it, I came home and put it on the floor, all, "Look Cordie!  New rug!"  And she hid from it, terrified.
 Close-up on the kitty.  Close enough to keep an eye on the rug, far enough away from it's deadly talons.
 I picked her up and put her on it multiple times, only to have her scoot off immediately.  She finally accepted it about five hours after it arrived.  Now, over a week later, she loves it.
 So cute.