Boston Archives

August 19, 2005

Back In Beantown

A few quick hits:

I am spending the night in Boston, right in Logan Airport at the Embassy Suites. It's a great hotel: all the rooms are actual suites, you get a full cooked breakfast included with the room, and each room has high-speed wireless Internet access without a surcharge. And I found a deal on the Web for all of this for about $125.

This is my second trip to Boston in the last few weeks, and both visits have been nostalgic for me. I used to live 20 minutes north of the city and would come in at least once a week. I'd typically park in Cambridge, right on the Harvard campus, and take the "T" all over. Even after moving to Connecticut in 1987 I visited Boston regularly through the mid-1990s--at least a few times a year--but I haven't spent a lot of time up here in recent years. So it's been fun to reconnect.

I finally broke down and picked up the "stick of gum" iPod, to be used while working out. Gotta have every toy, I guess!

I am happy Bill Maher's show is back on HBO after his hiatus, too. Best line of the night: teaching "intelligent design" on the same footing as evolution in public schools is like medical schools treating the stork delivery explanation of childbirth as a viable alternate theory.

August 20, 2005

Cincinnati Semis


Well, I wasn't surprised to see Safin lose to Ginepri yesterday. I watched a lot of the match and it's hard to believe the Russian is the same guy who handled Federer so capably in the Aussie Open semi in January. Safin can be brilliant, but he is SO inconsistent. The other three players I mentioned a few blog entries ago all advanced. The Hewitt/Roddick match later today could be a great one; I sense there's not a lot of love lost between these two. Roddick will need to serve well if he wants to avenge his loss to Hewitt in Melbourne. Hopefully the place I'm staying in Bermuda will have ESPN2!

Okay, I am off to the airport.

November 30, 2007



The Handel & Haydn Society's annual concert of Handel's Messiah just finished. I trekked up to Boston earlier tonight to Symphony Hall--regarded as one of the three finest concert halls in the world--for the oratorio and sat about seven rows back from the stage, near the center. Nothing like a little "Hallelujah" chorus to get one into the holiday mood.

February 17, 2008

An Afternoon With Mozart


My subscription with the Handel & Haydn Society brought me to Symphony Hall in Boston today for a program that included a terrific Symphony No. 39 as well as the Requiem, both by Mozart. The symphony was especially exquisite, particularly the clarinet work in the fourth movement. And the Requiem recalled scenes from the film Amadeus as I listened.

April 4, 2008

A Bit Of Haydn


I spent this evening at Symphony Hall in Boston for an evening of Haydn works. The Handel and Haydn Society performed Symphony No. 44 (“Trauer”) and the “Harmoniemesse” Mass. It was an excellent program.

July 30, 2008

If It Makes You Happy


Sheryl Crow just finished a set of about an hour-and-three-quarters, mixing tracks from her new album, Detours, with some of her best-known radio hits. The concert, held under the big tent at the Bank of America Pavilion right on Boston Harbor, opened with James Blunt on stage with his four-piece band for about an hour. Blunt did a creditable job delivering familiar songs from his debut album with a handful from his sophomore effort, performing with admirable energy. I have long liked Sheryl Crow's music, but this was the first chance I had to see her in person. I came to appreciate the Detours songs a lot more having heard them live, but the highlights of the night included hearing some of my favorites: "If It Makes You Happy," and "Soak Up The Sun," which she saved for the end of the set.

August 7, 2008

London By Way Of Logan Airport

I arrived at the Boston airport about an hour before my scheduled flight to London. Delays on the Mass Pike slowed me down on the trip up, but soon I'll be winging my way across the Atlantic Ocean.

August 20, 2008

On The Grid Once More


My American Airlines flight just landed at Logan Airport, which means I can reactivate my iPhone. I've had it in airplane mode since leaving the States almost two weeks ago. I'm determined to avoid outrageous charges for telephone or data access while traveling abroad, so I cut off all connectivity for the device while in Europe.

October 5, 2008

A New Season Opens


This is my second season as a subscriber to the Handel & Haydn Society. Today I attended the "Celebrate Handel!" concert in Boston's Symphony Hall, with a program featuring a mix of the composer's coronation anthems and his arias from various oratorios. The orchestra plays with period instruments and the chorus was joined by soprano Gillian Keith.

January 23, 2009

The Soul Of Philosophy


My subscription to the Handel and Haydn Society bought me to Symphony Hall in Boston once more tonight for a performance of Orfeo (or, by its formal name, L'anima del filosofo, ossia Orfeo ed Euridice). The opera was not staged as such, but was presented as a concert. Sitting in the center of the third row, I had a terrific vantage point to enjoy the three talented soloists and the violin section in particular. Before the concert, I was invited to attend a reception with musicians and some of the H&H staff. It was quite evident those of us invited were there to be "cultivated," as my colleagues in the Choate development office would say, but it was a nice opportunity for some free wine and hors d'oeuvres in place of dinner!

July 26, 2009

The NT's Phèdre Telecast


The Coolidge Corner Theatre is a terrific little independent not-for-profit cinema in Brookline. It showed the HD transmission of the National Theatre's staging of Phèdre. The production was terrific, with a wonderful set conveying the stark aridity of Greece, its bright sun, and blue sea. And the acting was even better, highlighted by Helen Mirren's turn as the title character. The place was pretty full, mostly with an older crown (playgoers in general tend to be an older demographic). I liked the concept of the play being broadcast live (though this particular show was recorded), as the camera provides an intimacy not possible sitting in the actual theater. And it was perfectly suited to this particular play.

June 10, 2010

The Canon Completed


I have just finished seeing the entire canon of Shakepeare's 39 surviving plays produced on stage. Timon Of Athens--the last drama remaining on my checklist--was presented by a troupe called the Actors Shakespeare Project, and this show turned out to, perhaps surprisingly, a very compelling piece of theater, and well worth the trip up to Boston to see it.

I hasten to add I am not "finished" with the Bard in any sense. I still have a schedule of plays I intend to see all over the place this summer. And I am scheduled to take a course on Shakespeare's comedies and romances at Yale this summer. But it is nice to have a sense of closure to this challenge I set for myself two years back.

Hmmmm . . . what to do next?

April 29, 2011

A Stirring Dose Of Classical Music


Spent this evening in Symphony Hall where I enjoyed a terrific concert by the Handel & Haydn Society. Tonight's program was highlighted by Mozart's Requiem. A fairly thrilling presentation, all told.

May 22, 2011

Richard III In Beantown


I drove my class to Boston today to see Richard III staged by the English all-male theater troupe Propeller. For many of the kids, this was the first time they had seen a Shakespeare play performed. (We had finish reading the play about a week ago.) They liked the show, and I thought it was the most effective version of this play I have yet seen. The approach to the material created a nightmarish atmosphere through lighting, set designs, and very effective use of music. And the violence was over the top, in almost a black comic way. The actor portraying the lead was wonderfully seductive. A thoroughly engaging performance.

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