Sunday, April 26, 2009

Oh, New England.

The weather was excellent this weekend. I started off Saturday, walking around downtown Holyoke and relaxed at Heritage State Park by the canals... good news, Canal Walk is scheduled to break ground in a few weeks.

For the evening, Elizabeth and I headed up to Brattleboro, VT. It's a laid-back, little town with an evident emprace for arts and local, independent business. After walking around downtown and checking out a few shops and galleries, we saw a movie at the Lathis Hotel & Theatre. The Latchis is a landmark Art Deco building that holds a theater, restaurant, hotel, and shops under one roof. On a side note, did you know that two of the most prominent North American architects were born here? Richard Morris Hunt and William Mead came from this small town.

On Sunday, we took a day trip to Hartford, CT. We started at the world-class Wadsworth Atheneum, a true gem and the oldest art museum in the country. In addition to the grand permanent collection, they had a great piece by Dutch artist Folkert de Jong that caught my eye. After spending a few hours enjoying the art of the Wadsworth, we walked over Bushnell Park. On a sunny day like today, the park was full of life... and masses of Deadheads that infested the city for tonight's show. We then drove over to The Mark Twain House and Harriet Beecher Stowe's house. There's so much to see in the region. Dum-de-dum-de-dum-dum-da-dum-day... Oh, New England.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Day Trip to Albany

Yesterday, Elizabeth and I took a day trip to Albany, the capital of New York. We haven't been there in ages, so we decided it would be a nice place to explore on a nice sunny day. They have an incredibly beautiful State Capitol building. charming housing stock, and a fascinating history. We started in downtown to examine the city's civic buildings and skyscrapers, all top-notch. We more or less had the entire district to ourselves - we saw maybe 2 or 3 people over the course of the first hour. We talked to a nicely-dressed older gentleman who has lived in Albany since 1954 and he said it's always like this; empty. Either way, we were very impressed with the architecture, public spaces, walkability, and surprises around every corner. We took a quick tour of the Albany Institute of History and Art to learn some more about how the city, it's history, culture and to also see some mummies.

After a quick stroll through one of the city's many urban parks, we made our way up to Lark Street. There were a handful of people walking around up this way. We stopped at Crisan Bakery & Edible Art Gallery for some tea and pastries - the cafe had a clean modern interior with some touches of Romanian folk art. After that, we walked a few miles up and down the residential streets of that district. I must say, this city has some of the most beautiful, vivid, historic housing stock out of any Northeast city I've been too, especially for it's small population. Endless blocks of lovely rowhouses. Most of the buildings are the same turn of the century townhouses you'd find in NYC - brownstone, stoops and elegant cornices galore!

We also stopped in Troy, a neighboring city. From the highway, the city looks like your ordinary run-down industrial city, but once you get downtown it's a completely different story. I was completely blown away with the townhouses that surrounded Washington Park. There are tons of eclectic buildings throughout the historic district. Just ask the New York Times, they claim that Troy has "one of the most perfectly preserved 19th-century downtowns in the US" - and to that, from what I've seen, I strongly agree. Although, we saw many vacant storefronts, it seems that many new businesses were opening up. Similar to Albany, we only saw a handful of people walking around the city. Where was everyone on this sunny Saturday afternoon? Hopefully next time we visit, we'll see more life on the streets.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Canadiens, come out to plaaay...

Everyone is hating on the Montréal Canadiens 1912-13 jersey. These are brilliant! I want one of these jerseys! I think they're incredible and have a wicked flair to them - just like one of the gangs in one of my favorite films of all-time, The Warriors. Get your 3D glasses ready, I'll soon become anaglyphic thanks to the Canadiens.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Live, Work, Play

Word on the street is that I take my State to the gym from time to time... you know, helping to make Massachusetts strong. Read more about it here on the Commonwealth's new online resource for young adults. That's some nice Holyoke brick behind my headshot, thanks Jeff.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Urban Waterslides

I stumbled upon a great commercial for some credit card company in UK that involves water slides winding through the urban scape. I'd love to connect my office to my residence, which are a less than half-a-mile away from each other, via a water slide. Hopefully Holyoke's building commissioner would grant me a permit.

When the super rad Northampton/Amherst Subway gets built out... maybe they'll create a special hub that connects the underground rails to my water slide system.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Boston Globe / G Force

The other day, my phone rang - it was the Boston Globe. They wanted to know what types of shenanigans I was up to over here. The G Force feature is now online and will be on newsstands this morning in the rad 'g' section.