if they ever have kids, I hope they don’t hyphenate their last names.
It’s still Winter in Boston, but it felt like Spring outside today, the last day of February. And that felt wonderful after a particularly difficult Winter here.
My thoughts turned briefly toward clothes I may need to replace or upgrade for Spring and Summer.
I’ll keep you posted.
Fifty years ago, we stood vigil on Amherst Common to bear witness against the Vietnam War.
Today, we attended a rally and vigil in Lexington Center to protest gun violence and to support more effective gun control laws, and much stricter enforcement of those laws.
Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA 5th District) was especially eloquent in her address to the large crowd assembled on short notice at the Depot in Lexington Center.
Different times, different issues, but you do whatever you can.
A week after Super Bowl LII, it’s finally time for me to move on. The grieving has concluded.
Really though, as much as I hated to see the Patriots lose, that loss was bittersweet because at age seventy-five, I can remember myself as a seventeen year old Eagles fan in 1960, listening to Bill Campbell call the game on the radio as they won the NFL Championship Game (what they called it before they started calling it “The Super Bowl”), defeating the Vince Lombardi Packers in a game that came down to the final play..
I don’t remember post-game riots, or even a victory parade. But then, the city and in fact the society have changed quite drastically since 1960.
But I do remember how wonderful that feeling was for me - and for all Eagles fans.
The first Red Sox Spring Training Game will be on the radio one month from today. I find that a very encouraging sign that Winter is term-limited.
The North End of Boston has pretty much become a theme park, compared to what it was when we lived on Beacon Hill in the late 1960s. But then, it seems like that has become the case with a lot of Boston neighborhoods.
Even though Meyer's Meat Market on Salem Street, where Harold the butcher knew exactly the cuts of meat we liked, is long gone, there are flashes of the old North End still there to see if you know where to look for them.
Modern Pastry, for example.
Established in 1930, it was named "Modern" because it differed in certain ways from the traditional home-made pastries that the first wave of Italian immigrants brought with them from the old country. It was "modern" in the context of its times - the midst of the Great Depression. The first American generation were transforming the "old ways" of pastry-making and selling, and this bakery on Hanover Street was the showcase for it.
I saw “The Post” today, and the experience of having lived through those turbulent times as an adult came rushing back. I ran a bookstore in Harvard Square called Reading International in 1971, and sales of newspapers and magazines from around the world were a significant part of our business.
I remember in particular the need to double and then triple our order of The New York Times and The Washington Post to meet the customer demand after publication of the Pentagon Papers. I also remember Daniel Ellsberg stopping by to pick up copies of each paper every day he was hiding out in plain sight in Cambridge.
I now have the overwhelming desire to buy Sunday editions of the Times and the Post tomorrow. I haven’t bought a print newspaper in years, but the sights and sounds of the paper being produced in the movie were very powerful.
By the way, it’s a fine movie on multiple levels, and I strongly recommend seeing it.
When “Mad Men” debuted in 2007, and I first noticed Joan Holloway wearing a pencil on a chain around her neck, I had an epiphany:
Lee Holloway, the central character in “Secretary” (2002), also wore a pencil on a chain around her neck, in a particularly memorable scene.
Joan Holloway was Lee Holloway’s mother! (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
This kind of pencil necklace is often referred to as a "chatelaine", a term once used to describe "the woman of the house" who often wore a series of short chains around her waist, to which were attached things like keys, thimbles, scissors and other small, useful domestic objects.
And chatelaines often included pencils, typically enclosed in an ornate silver or gold holder. Chatelaines enjoyed a renaissance in the 1950s, in offices, libraries, and anywhere else someone might need a pencil in a pinch.
Here is a modern version:
And here are some antique and some whimsical examples (with a couple of them being more of an homage than being functional):
The best chance for a renaissance of the chatelaine pencil these days, given how most of us do work in an electronic way most of the time, would likely involve the Apple Pencil, or another stylus.
This must explain why I love ketchup so much. I wish my mother was still here to verify it.
I forgot to mention that our visit to the Boston Museum Of Fine Arts last week would not have been complete without re-connecting with Degas' little dancer.
Today was the first Sunday of the first full weekend of the month, so that meant free admission to the Museum Of Fine Arts, courtesy of our BankAmericard. Thank you once again, Bank Of America.
I'm just going to leave photos here of some things that drew me to them. It was very special to see such beauty that had survived from the 15th and 16th centuries.
And yes, Botticelli's "Venus" was indeed part of the exhibit, and for many of those present, it seemed to be the primary focus. And it certainly was powerful to see the original painting in person.
But my eyes drifted to other works that were less known or unknown to me, that engaged me immediately
There was a young man with a man-bun looking at this painting while I was taking the photo. I resisted the temptation to ask him if this might have been the inspiration for his choice of hairstyle.
By Danny Coleman for the "Old Images of Philadelphia" page on Facebook
What's in a name.... The Philadelphia Blue Jays???Hold on to your hats this is a doozy...In 1942 the "Phillies" officially changed their name to "Phils". In 1943 lumber baron William Cox bought the team and changed it back to "Phillies". He was only able to buy the team because Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis blocked Bill Veeck's attempt to buy the team and load it with players from the Negro League. That being said under Cox's ownership he devoted the resources to fund a real team with an actual farm system as the Phillies finished last perennially. They finally were "out of the basement ". But.... the owner, Cox, was caught betting on the team and subsequently was banned from baseball. The Carpenter family then bought the team and tried to clean up the image by subtlety naming it the "Blue Jays". The name did not take but the farm system did and yielded Robin Roberts, Richie Ashburn and the 1950 National League Champion Whiz Kids!!! Yes it's ironic the "Phillies" lost to the "Blue Jays" in the 1993 World Series.
An Amazon Books store opened on the North Shore, and I wanted to see how a store without visible pricing could possibly hope to succeed. With my background in bookselling and retail, and as an Amazon Prime member, I was especially interested in learning about how in-store transactions got processed and whether or not that elusive thing known as "Customer Service" would be present.
And I made a commitment to myself not to purchase any books there, since I'm on a personal campaign to jettison those of my existing books that I no longer read or care about but have some market value left (to family for free, or to other readers for as much money as possible on eBay). Books I purchase these days are either ebooks, or Audible books.
So how did it go?
Well, it's a gorgeous store, in the way that I think Apple stores are gorgeous. It doesn't look like an Apple Store, but it does have that same clean, open, thought-through look and feel to it. It's comfortable and it looks like a bookstore.
About a quarter of the store is devoted to Amazon electronics, which allows the customer to interact with Kindle and Alexa hands-on instead of online. Online shopping is a wonderful thing, but you can't see and touch (and interact) with things like you can in a brick-and-mortar store. So in that regard, Amazon Books is a showroom - and it is especially a Prime showroom.
And if you're saying "well I like shopping online because I like to read the comments" all you have to do is open the Amazon app on your smartphone, scan the item, and read the comments. Alternatively, you can take the item you're interested in to one of the scanning stations in the store.
All in all, I was impressed. I didn't ask Alexa any questions, but despite my best intentions, I did buy a book.
Early this morning, runners prepare to board busses in Boston for the trip to the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton.