Visiting The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)/Boston
Walking from Government Center
Boston is a beautiful city at any time of the year, but it is clear that during the autumn-winter season when temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less, people tend to stay indoors for obvious reasons, and when they go outside is covered by several layers of dark colored clothing. Whether there is snow or not the city in any way acquire during these periods a calm, quiet and sometimes melancholic environment.
But all that changes radically in summer!. Temperature increases up to above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and everything becomes noise, color and movement. The streets are much more lively than ever and generally look as if the mood of everybody improved dramatically. During the weekends the parks and public squares and shopping centers, entertainment centers, restaurants, etc., are crowded with people and everywhere you can see children running and even swimming in some public fountains.
Besides that enough reason to go for a walk through the streets of Boston, a summer program sponsored by Highland Street Foundation invited to attend for free every Friday at five different cultural and / or entertainment sites every time. Last Friday between the options open to visit was the Institute of Contemporary Art Museum
Wagons of T (short for MBTA as usually is called the public transportation system in Boston) have had ads for several months on the various exhibits at the ICA with a picture very suggestive of the work of Josiah McElheny. I also had the opportunity to visit the port of Boston on the occasion of the exhibition of the tall ships that came to visit from all over the world for the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. This time I walked near the ICA so I stuck with the intention to visit it later.
So the desire to visit the ICA and the option to do it for free was the perfect excuse to take a walk in the afternoon on Friday after a week of strenuous activities.
Free Fun Fridays
Various points along the route on the map
See To ICA Museum from Goverment Center in a bigger map
- Cambridge St & New Sudbury St
- Government Center
- Hanover St
- Hanover St & Blackstone St
- Blackstone St & North St
- North St & Clinton St
- Faneuil Hall - Quincey Market
- John F Fitzgerald Surface Road
- JFK Rd & State St
- State St & Atlantic Ave
- Atlantic Ave & Milk St
- Atlantic Ave & E India Row
- Atlantic Ave & High St (Boston Harbor Hotel)
- Rowes Wharf
- Northern Ave Bridge at Rowes Wharf
- Northern Ave bridge at South Boston
- Northern Ave close to ICA
- Northern Ave
- Northern Ave & Sleeper St
- Sleeper St & Seaport Blvd (Barking Crab)
- Seaport Blvd & Atlantic Ave
- Atlantic Ave & Congress St
- Atlantic Ave & Summer St (South Station)
What do you think of Boston?
Have you ever been there?
It's the location of Boston City Hall at Downtown
Government Center, Downtown, Boston MA
Since I work in the West End, I walked along Cambridge St and reaching New Sudbury St I took the first images of this route (# 1 on map) and decided to start the tour at Government Center (# 2) which is the place where the Boston City Hall is located, and some courts of Suffolk County and the green line T station: Government Center. This Friday I went there, there was as usual in summer several tents with diverse objects for sale, as well as show and music, but did not know the topic or the reason for the event.
Cambridge Street becomes State Street where I could have gone to Atlantic Ave toward South Boston, however I decided to deviate from this route to go to Haymarket on Hanover Street (# 3) in the Downtown because that market is placed only on Friday and Saturday and I was passing through. Prices here can be sometimes half or even up to a quarter of what is found in the supermarket of the same quality in fruits and vegetables.
After buying bananas, oranges and avocados and put them in my bagpack, continue my walk turning up at the corner of Blackstone (# 4) then at corner of North St (# 5) and then to a small stretch up to Clinton St (# 6) to cross to the square of Faneuil Hall and Quincey Market (# 7). This square is particularly colorful, lively and cheerful in the summer, the colors are everywhere, music, people in light clothing, tourists, moms with strollers, bustling shops, abundant vegetation and damp heat. (I put the photographs followed by a few seconds of video to give the impression to be making the trip, the move is magic, Don't you think so? Do you remember the pictures of Harry Potter?).
S Market St
S Market St
Faneuil Hall Marketplace
Walking through S Market St I arrived at John F Fitzgerald Surface Road (# 8) a road that is part of the Big Dig (Central Artery/Tunnel Project). I walked on this road to State St (# 9) which as I said is the continuation of Cambridge St coming from West End.
At State St I crossed to Atlantic Ave (# 10) (which run parallel the waterfront) and here from the Financial District I kept walking on Atlantic Ave passing by the Custom House Tower (now the Marriott's Custom House Hotel) and Rings Fountain at the corner of Atlantic Ave & Milk St (# 11), which is known for its 64 nozzles that shoot jets of water into the air creating various whimsical figures and where I caught some kids cooling off in this hot afternoon in these parks oh Wharf district. At that point I captured the image of a vehicle of Ducktour, an amphibian that makes a land tour attractions of the city and then goes to take a dip into the water of the Charles River to a point near the Museum of Science.
Atlantic Ave & Milk St
Atlantic Ave & Milk St... and Ducktour!
Rings Fountain at Atlantic Ave
Rings Fountain at Atlantic Ave
Atlantic Ave & High St
At the corner of Atlantic Ave & High St (# 13) can be seen on the west side a beautiful set of skyscrapers and the east side the Boston Harbor Hotel at Rowes Wharf (# 14) and the port of Boston. Through the great arch formed amid the whole hotel I passed to the port area, the marine, restaurant and the water terminal towards Northern Avenue Bridge (# 15), a rare double truss bridge spanning over the Fort Point Channel from downtown to the coastline of South Boston (# 16), where the first one is found is the John Joseph Moakey United States Courthouse, and then about three more blocks of the same Northern Ave keep the ICA/Boston (# 17, # 18).
Boston Harbor Hotel exterior at Rowes Wharf
Boston Harbor Hotel's Arch
Boston Harbor Hotel's Arch
What places you like to visit when you go on tour?
Do you like visiting museums?
Water transportation terminal at Rowes Wharf
Restaurant at Rowes Wharf
Boston Harbor Hotel view from marina
Fort Point Channel
Northern Ave bridge
Northern Ave bridge
John Joseph Moakey United States Courthouse
Have you visited the ICA Boston?
ICA is on the shoreline of the South Harbor Trail. Beside the pleasant house of Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant. The entrance to the building has a large lobby with access to the box office, the store and a restaurant, the area of the elevators that are very wide and scenic features a sculpture what I did not understand but I liked it. Although the ICA has 4 floors, the latter is what serves as a museum and has access to the public.
South Harbor Trail
ICA Museum and Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant
Inside ICA, elevators area
The first exhbiciÃ³n I visited was that of Josiah McElheny "Some Pictures of the Infinite". A set of textures inducing lines and shapes to reflect on the different aspects of infinity its representation, interpretation and the roles that can mean in our thinking, way of organizing and living in general.
Josiah Mcelheny - Exhibition "Some Pictures of the Infinite" - Island Universe, 2008
When I was writing this lens I remembered some of the associations that appeared particularly in "Island Universe" in which bodies looking like galaxies may seem celestial bodies but also much more abstract things like ideas, some big some small, some with branches and others end soon, some that coalesce and other solitary but overall always with the possibility of expanding in all dimensions. It was very interesting visiting this exhibition.
View of Boston Bay and Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant from 4th floor of ICA Museum
... and then suddenly out of the room where they exhibited "Island Universe", you pass to a grand hallway with the outer wall made of glass from floor to ceiling as well as great part of the building, that offer a great view of Boston Harbor.
The previous aisle lead to a room where Doris Salcedo exhibited some of her interesting works. Common objects converted into abstract ideas with different interpretations such as representing the presence of someone who is not physically there but who has used these objects. Then works that adopt geometric forms from relatively simple and common objects like pieces of coal (Cornelia Parker) or pins (Tara Donovan).
Os Gemeos exhibitionClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do you have a preference for some art in particular?
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Also on display was the work of graffiti brazilian artists Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, identical twins called "Os Gemeos" (The Twins in portuguese), a series of surreal figures, sometimes challenging but very attractive especially for the eyes and for the interpretation. The museum also features the works of many other artists exhibiting their works permanently.
At the end of my visit I walked off the fourth floor to the attractive scenic elevator that allows to see the Boston Harbor from inside.
Leaving the ICA I took again for Northern Ave (# 19) to Sleeper St (# 20), where I turned to reach through Seaport Blvd passing in fronto of "Barking Crab" (# 21) a restaurant that served as location for the movie "The Game Plan" starring Dwayne Johnson and Kyra Sedgwick and where you can eat various seafood specialties including of course the famous "clam chowder". By Seaport Blvd toward the west I came back to Atlantic Ave (# 22) and then took it south to the Congress St (# 23) where I met the now famous Federal Reserve Square building housing the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Finally in front of this building on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Summer St, South Station where leave trains and buses to various parts of the country as well as the T silver line that goes to Boston's Logan Airport or the red line that eventually led me to my house (# 24). I hope you enjoyed the ride. Goodbye!