Shades Of Words


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Downtown Boston

Downtown Boston

Well that is probably not the best heading for this post because a single post could not cover all that Downtown Boston has to offer. Here I am going to talk about one lovely sunny weekend that I spent walking around that area. I am actually working on Bolystn street, so walking during lunch time had made me familiar with the area. Right next to our office building was the gorgeous Trinity Church. I was so fascinated by its exterior I knew that I had to come and visit it. And right next to the US Heritage site of Trinity Church is the shimmering glass building of John Hancock tower – the tallest building in New England Imagine the contrast!

I planned my day in such a way that I would cover Trinity Church, The Boston Commons and Gardens and the Brattle Book shop ( talked about it earlier).

The Trinity Church – Founded in 1733, this is one of the more treasured heritage churches in the US. I was lucky enough to make it in a time for a free guided tour. I learned a lot about the history and making of the church some of which I will share in this post.

The man behind Trinity Church was primarily Phillips Brooks. A Rector by calling, he had travelled the world and was influenced by the elaborate Eurpeon and middle-easter religious structures. He wanted to the buildings to have domes, arches and lots of colors.The man who helped turn his vision into reality was Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson’s first major achievement was the Trinity Church and his architetural style came to be known as ‘Richardsonian Romansque’  characterized by use of colors in interiors and multiple patterns of arches.

That was for the facts. When we walked inside the sanctury my jaw literally dropped. Yes I know I impress easily but this was by far the most beautiful church that I saw. It was also different. Lots of color, lots of gold and lots of stained glass windows.

Trinity’s collection of stained glass windows is one of the finest in the world. And apart from the gold gilded Chancel – they are probably the second thing that stand out.

As the Trinity Church was constructed , the windows were ordered from various European artists. The seven windows in the Chancel are all by Clayton & Bell of London and depcit the  various stages in Christ’s life. There are 6 more, each  on the north and south side of the church.And the south walls have some ten or more. All-in-all there are 36 stained glass windows. Well almost. One of the most significant works of art here are the glass windows created by La Farge – these were just not stained glas windows ie to say they were not created by painting over glass. The colors and images were created using a proces of layering opalescent glasss. An entire windows was made of thousands of pieces of glass to create one coherent image ! The three main glass windows with this work are currently undergoing cleaning – a process that has taken nearly a year and cost the church a couple of million dollars !!

After grabbing a sandwhich I decied to walk towards the Boston Common gardens.The weather was perfect – sunny but not warm. I picked up a couple of leaflets from the tourist information center on the way. Boston Commons is a vast garden today with a smallish pond  which is popular with visitors in summers. Lots of kids playing in the water. Boston gardens is also the place where the famed ‘freedom trail’ starts – Its basically a walking trail across boston that covers monuments of significant history in the freedom movement of America. Its something that I wanted to do but never got around to doing it.

Maybe next time.I did get a view of the Massachussets State House which looked quite opulent against the blue sky.

Boston common and the Boston Public garden are separated by a street and both appear popular. However, Boston Public gardens is definitely more well -maintained. The Boston Public  garden is famous for two things – The Swan Boats and the ‘Make way for the duckings’ sculptures. The Swan boats sail through the lagoon that runs across the public gardens. I did not take it simply coz I thought this was more of the tourist hype ( also the long waiting line) – but I did take a lot of photos.

Some of the memories that stayed behind from Boston Public gardens – brilliantly colored flowered beds, the bridge over the lagoon that gives such a lovely view of the boats, the willows on the bank , the statue dedicated to the discovery of ether as an aneasthetic with the words’ Neither shall there be any more pain’ and the craze for taking photographs with ducks ( wtf!!).

Now about the  ducks. Boston Public gardens has both – the real ones that are really people friendly and keep hopping on and off on the lagoon banks and the bronze ducks. The bronze ducks are actually the reproduction of the illustrations of the award winning children’s story ‘Make way for the ducklings’ by Robert McCloskey , about a family of ducks that tries to make their home in the lagoon at the Boston Public gardens. Well for some reason the statues are really famous. Everyone from 5 to 50 was taking snaps next to them in various poses. A 55+ yr man saw my amusement and came to me and said ‘ I read this story as a kid. I really did. I had no idea they were this famous!’

By the time I walked around Boston Public gardens I was exhausted and hungry and just ready to go home.
For more photos on of the above places please visit my album at http://picasaweb.google.com/vipula.gupta/Boston_Weekend1#


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Three Colors White (Trzy kolory: Bialy) by Krzysztof Kieślowski

The Colors WhiteThree Colors White was more of an accidental discovery for me as I was browsing through some of our movies to watch something. I decided to watch this and must say that found it thoroughly worth the watch. It’s the second movie in a trilogy and has similar movies with the names red and blue. Three Colors White is on the theme of Equality.

In brief, the story is about a man (Karol) and how he exacts his revenge on his ex-wife (Dominique) who has divorced him and thrown him out on streets of Paris with no money. Dominique claims him to be an impotent for taking divorce, keeps all the money and puts cops behind him. Somehow the story is not sad. Not for a moment, I felt sorry for the Karol and not for a moment, I felt any hatred for the Dominique. While begging at a station, Karol meets another man Mikolaj who is successful from standards of society but is unhappy with life. Story takes many twists and turns from here till the end and keeps the viewer hooked.

What I liked in the movie was the story. It’s  realistic that a woman/man can ruin one’s life like this. But it’s more a fantasy for someone to plan revenge. The irony is the love that Karol still feels for Dominique and has to overcome it to exact his revenge. In the end, he is shown crying with a smile on his face. In any case, he remains a loser.

I am looking forward to see the other two parts of this movie and have a feeling that I will like them both…

VERDICT: Must watch…


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It Happened in Italy by Elizabeth Bettina

It happened in ItalyIt happened in Italy. What happened in Italy? Italian people treated Jews nicely during the holocaust. That pretty much ends this book by Elizabeth Bettina. The moment you have understood this and appreciated it, which happens within first few pages, there is nothing more in the book to keep you hooked.

I was very excited to read this book because I wanted to know more about this piece of the history as it is a great tale of humanity. I am quite surprised of my ignorance of this wonderful story of how Italians saved so many lives by risking their own.  This book should have definitely been written and talked about so that world gets to know that there is always good amongst the evil. I am glad that I read this and could actually relate it to one of my own experience (When I was helped by a Muslim family during religious riots in India. I am a Hindu)

So as I said, this book should have been written. But it should have been written much more differently. While reading the book, I often kept feeling that I was reading someone’s blog about day-to-day happenings. It happened in Italy wastes a lot of time talking about operational parts of the story and thus leaves the reader high and dry when it comes to the actual story of holocaust.  Also, the ‘Story’ that is being shared through different people comes across as pretty much the same.

I must say that you will be thrilled to know that this all actually happened and is thus a wonderful book to read, if you can ignore the fact that it’s been written badly. Thanks to Thomas Nelson for publishing this book and spreading the word…Maybe we all just need to Give Peace A Chance…


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The Brattle Book Shop, Boston

IMG_0295Going to a famous bookstore or a book-shopping area is a must-do no matter where I go. Infact I dont remember a single visit in recent times where I have not actively researched on that information before the visit. So obviously travelling to Boston would not be any different. Of whatever I read I found that The Brattle Book Shop is the place to go. The Brattl Book Store is located at 9 West Street, Boston MA 02111. Established in 1825 , it is one of the oldest Antiquarian and used book store in US. Now I know squat about old and rare books but I thought this would be an ideal place to pay homage to for a bibliophile like me. Located in Backbay area of Boston, its approximately a 15 minute walk from the Station. The coolest thing that about the shop is the ‘Outside Sale lot’ which has hundreds of books ranging for $1 to $15. Its pretty awesome. You have a wide variety to browse through in all price areas. If I did not have luggage constraints I would have probably got a whole lot of books. The Shop itself is a three story building jam packed with books. The first two floors have a general fiction/non-fiction books and from what I saw I believe that even the new books are marked down from printed prices. The third floor is where all the old and rare books are. Though definitely outside my budget , it was still a nice experience to pick up and read books that were easily a few hundred years old.I would recommend a visit to this shop to anyone who is in Boston and loves reading.

What I bought..except for the rocking horses

IMG_0334


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Turning a cable spool into a bedside/coffee table

Cable Spool table

Cable Spool table

I am always on a lookout for reusable stuff that can become into something really cool through a simple DIY project. When I spotted this spool table at the office basement cum junkyard I knew it had more potential.

I went to the hardware store got myself sandpaper, primer, turpentine,putty, paint of my choice (brick red in this case) and some brushes.

I started off on a sunny weekend morning with scrubbing of the dirt and un-evenness with sandpaper. Its hard work and after 2 hours of it my table looked much cleaner. To give it a smooth finish I applied a layer of primer on it and left it to dry for 6-8 hours. Once the primer is applied the uneven parts of the spool are visible clearly. Now the next stage is to apply putty on those gaps so that the wood is all leveled. Applying putty can be a messy and tricky job – one should attempt it to butter it across the surface. Putty will take another 6-8 hours to dry. The table will then be ready for another coat of primer.

Once you have applied the primer and it has dried – apply two coats of paint. My husband was not too happy with my choice of red but it turned out to be alright. Look at my brand new table.

The New Table

The New Table