Disrupting Christmas: Part 1

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.” – Georgia O’Keeffe   I wonder what Georgia O’Keeffe would have made of the New York Port Authority bus terminal this holiday weekend Saturday morning? In my ongoing project …

Disrupting Thanksgiving

What is Thanksgiving? Nothing brings the question into focus quite as profoundly as being in Paris to celebrate. I’ve been quite intentional this year about wanting “to reset” my holidays: digging deep for fundamental principles in order to extract surprising truths. For most Americans, Thanksgiving is a family holiday. A time to gather with folks …

American Impressionist

Come summer, as temperatures rise and my patience for enduring them wears thin, the cool blues of an impressionist seascape can almost refresh as effectively as a cooling sea breeze itself, if I’m desperate and imaginative enough. This summer, if you haven’t escaped to some upper New England seaside locale, you too can can wallow …

Food is analogue?

There’s a problem I’ve noticed when foodie folks start talking about the future of healthy sustainable eating. We’re not always using consistent language. The conversation usually starts with food in the context of a fundamental element as necessary for life as air, water or sex. But then the discussion quickly moves to policy or health …

Asia in Amsterdam (Us in the World)

Culture : the beliefs, customs, arts, etc., of a particular society, group, place, or time For many years now, around kitchen tables and cocktail tables, I’ve been hearing about the Dutch in Asia and how and what to present to modern audiences of the far-reaching influence of that luxurious golden age. Luxury : something that …

All at Once upon a Time

The subject of the email read “immersive experience in an historic house” and went on in the body to quote “‘this ‘aesthetically visceral, intellectually challenging and emotionally unafraid original work’ sounds right up your alley.” Indeed, over the past years I’ve had opportunity to experience a number of these immersive performances, where the action takes …

Thank You for Coming/Wear Clean Socks

My calendar reminder read, “Wear Clean Socks.” I don’t remember typing those words, though I do remember agreeing to attend at the same time an immersive dance performance at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art,  “Thank You for Coming: Attendance.” Assuming these events must be one in the same, I went ahead and made sure my …

Strandbeests

Reluctantly, I made my way to the press opening for Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest at Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum. I had grown skeptical of the hype that brought an estimated 15,000 gawkers to a preview of Theo’s kinetic “dream machines” at Crane’s Beach and the shallow awe that so often accompanies adjacency to unexpected functionality (i.e. …

An American Epic

It’s rare, wandering Salem’s world-class Peabody Essex Museum, for me to have a feeling of familiarity. Indeed, becoming familiar with the far away and/or long-ago is part of the reason I wander those halls in the first place. So, it was especially strange to encounter references to my hometown in the labels for “American Epics: …