Conference ended Friday, and if you can’t tell from the recent silence, it was an absolute killer. I have now had about 48 hours worth of decompression-and-return-to-normalcy, where normalcy is defined by me being in yet another hotel room living out of a suitcase still for a few more days. But better than the conference craziness.
The hotel is great, actually, right near Central Square and its dining options (not to mention T-stop). Funny, though, that the bed (king-sized) just seems ridiculous to me. I have a single/twin in the UK, and the conference was hosted at a small college in Maine where we were all staying in undergraduate dorm rooms. Now that I’ve got this massive king I’m struggling, ending up completely sideways by morning. The room has the best room-blackening curtains I’ve ever seen, too. Makes for good sleeping, which was needed after the conference.
I should explain that Boston is the one city in the US in which I have never lived, but I have been such a frequent and extended visitor that it does feel like pseudo-home. There have been yearly conferences at the Hynes centre, plus visits with friends and colleagues all around. I don’t have any family members here, but it sort of feels to me like the place where your grandparents live, where you don’t actually ever live but you get to know it and develop and nurture a familiarity and affection over the course of a decade or so.
Yesterday I nabbed a friend for an Irish pub brunch (practically a Boston requirement) and we took the red line down to South Station near the Institute of Contemporary Art, which I had never visited before. It has an amazing waterfront location and fantastic galleries all on the top floor. I am a huge fan of modern sculpture, especially when it has a sort of structural or engineering bent to it (think Calder and others from Storm King). It was not until after thoroughly enjoying the exhibit on Anish Kapoor that I realized why I knew of him, from the amazing Cloud Gate in Chicago, which I have never seen in person but much admired. The exhibit at ICA was breathtaking and thus my free day was made. There was some other modern art worth seeing in the ICA, including the extremely interesting work of several South African artists including Nicholas Hlobo and Robin Rhode, but definitely for me Kapoor was the highlight. It forces a really terrible confession, though. I am from Minneapolis, where the Walker Art Center has long been a leading light in modern art, and I have never been inside. But of course that is because they, like Storm King, have an amazing outdoor sculpture garden that I’ve visited many times, so I’ve never felt the urge to continue indoors… perhaps something to be rectified when I’m in Minneapolis THREE WEEKS FROM NOW…
Today was more low-key for me, since I am back to work tomorrow. I headed over to the Back Bay and wandered down Newbury street into the Prudential/Copley shops and restaurants. I bought some books and otherwise the biggest adventure was my venturing out of my culinary safe zone and trying soft-shell crab for the first time. Tomorrow starts three days of meetings and a flight back to the UK Wed. night. I am then there for 16 days before the next flight… that’s a record for the last series of trips–16 whole days in one place will be amazing after the trips I’ve been on since 14 June when I first left for Cape Cod!