Showing posts with label museum. Show all posts

MIT Museum and around Cambridge

There were so many museums to visit in Boston but we only can visit one for this trip. I don't want to cram all activities with kids in tow on a hot summer season. It is a recipe for meltdowns. I like to take my time looking at exhibits and read some facts or details on display.

We chose the MIT Museum in Cambridge. It would be a good reason to walk around the area beyond Boston. Another reason was to open up possibilities of learning science and technology for our kids.

The Mount - Edith Wharton's former home

The Mount is a house museum in the Berkshires that is formerly owned by the novelist Edith Wharton. Built in 1902, she designed (with the assistance of Ogden Codman Jr.) this house based on 17th century design with Italian and French influences. The property has been declared as a National Historic Landmark and it is open to the public that welcomes 40,000 visitors each year.

Bonjour Paris: Day 6 (Last Day)

It is our last full day in Paris. We decided that this day should be a bit more relaxed and prepare for the long journey back home. It is also our last chance is getting souvenirs.

Our first stop was to pick up some sweets and chocolates.

Bonjour Paris: Day 4

So we finally made our way to Paris. The plane ride was quick and easy. The ultimate challenge was to find our hotel which is located on Montmartre area. Before we book our hotel we made sure it has a close metro stop. It also says that it is a hop and a skip to Sacre Coeur. Sounds really good.

The night before we left from Barcelona, we tried to figure out how to get to our hotel without getting an expensive taxi. It looked like the best way was to take the train to Gare Du Nord and walk our way to our hotel. What we didn't expect was Montmartre is very hilly so walking your way with a luggage on an uphill is hell. Another part that the streets are confusing, there are too many intersections with small streets. We did got lost. Good thing we got a map from the tourist booth at the airport and little by little we found our way to our hotel.

It wasn't a good first impression on Montmartre. It was seedy with a lot of sex shops. We are actually a walking distance away from Moulin Rouge. Good thing about the area was the place is not touristy and the restaurants prices are more reasonable.

National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA

This was one of the stops we had on our weekend trip to Philly. And since, Philadelphia is an old old town, you would never ran out of historical places to visit. For the National Constitution Center is historic but not old. It is an interactive museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution.

Korea Series: The Coex Mall

It was our second day in Seoul. We are still suffering jet lag and had no problem on starting our day early. Rush hour is the worst time to take the subway. People can get very aggressive in trying to catch the train. They pack it so tight that my back is actually leaning on somebody else's back. It was the most uncomfortable feeling but the other person doesn't seem to mind. Apparently, they have a different definition of personal space.

It is one of the largest underground shopping center in Seoul. The Coex mall is a one stop shop and entertainment place to go in a rainy day. You can find a lot of foreign brands here and also you maybe able to find familiar western food places such as KFC, Friday's and Bennigans. This place is so huge that it even have a movie theater, an aquarium and a small museum.

A day in Philly

It has been quiet on my end lately. First, my laptop went kaput with all my photos, videos and files, it was stressful enough but I had seen it coming. That laptop had been temperamental these past few months that it quickly overheats then freeze. The day the mother(effing?)board got fried it finally shutdown and went to sleep for good. So now, I try to check on emails on borrowed computer till I get a new one.

Another culprit was the weather. It has been cold and snowy last few weeks and I didn't really like to go out and bundle up unless I really need to. It's bad enough that I have to go to work and run errands but I preferred to stay indoors as much as I could.

There was a hint of spring from the last couple of weeks. The weather seem comfortable enough to wander back outdoors even with a light jacket. Finally, I took up the courage to dust up my camera and planned a day trip to Philadelphia.

Our first stop was a quick brunch at Chinatown for some dim sum. Philly Chinatown is a fraction smaller compared to New York City, somehow it took us a while to find a place that serves dim sum. Not all restaurants have it based on their menu posted on the window. We were lucky enough to find a good one, it didn't hurt that it is reasonable too. Our tab cost about $10 per person. Not bad at all.

We also happened to watch a short parade in honor of World Peace and Prosperity, surely I am up for that.

One Free Day

There was a free museum day nationwide with most of the major museum has participated on this event. You only had to sign up online and it will give you and another adult an e-pass ticket and present it on the ticket center.

This year we chose to go to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. I have been to most major museums in NYC but this one seem to allude me. Every year during the Museum Mile event, this place had the longest line and if I decide to visit on a regular day, it had a steep $15 entrance free. For that fee it would also be on the same par with the Met Museum with the option to get a same day access to The Cloisters.

Another intriguing aspect about the Cooper-Hewitt that it used to be a Carnegie mansion. So I am more interested to see the mansion interiors than the collection. Unfortunately, inside photography are not allowed  but at least let me show you some of the exterior shots.

The Morris Museum

One of the largest museum in New Jersey, the Georgian inspired mansion houses an eclectic collection from North American artifacts to assortment of art and musical instruments. It has a children's activity area where you can learn and watch about trains and musical instruments. It also has an add on performing arts theatre next door.

The Shoe ...must go on

Speaking of shoes, I took some interesting items seen at the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey on an exhibition called ...The Shoe must go on.

It is a collection of shoes worn from generations.  Also it showed how styles and function change through time. There were also a collection of shoes on loan from famous artists and personalities. I only took photos of some that I found noteworthy.

Shoes for the Lotus feet. I am not sure if you can even walk through those.

Photoblog: The Getty Museum

Location: Los Angeles, California

A Richard Meier designed building. It has a great collection of European paintings and sculptures. Admission is free except for parking which cost about $15 but parking on Saturdays after 5 pm is free.

The Liberace Collection

The Liberace Museum is closing soon on Oct. 17, 2010. Get a glimpse of some of his chosen collection before some of it goes to storage. It was said that some select items will be touring across the country on an exhibit.

Those sneakers are still relevant today.

Save Liberace!

The Liberace Museum in Las Vegas has announced that it would close its doors indefinitely after 31 years. It blamed dismal attendance, lack of substantial revenue and endowment mishandling as factors of its demise.

Walter Liberace was a piano prodigy. He started playing at nightclubs and club shows which evolved to a television show where he performs on a live audience.

This has come as a shock to me since Liberace is the epitome of Las Vegas glamour. The shinnier, the more flamboyant the better. He is the original Mr. Las Vegas. The first time I heard about him was a magazine article that talked about elaborate costumes and he is the first entertainer that comes in mind. When I heard that he has a museum dedicated to him in Las Vegas, I knew I have to see it.

The Grounds for Sculpture

The Grounds for Sculpture used to be the New Jersey State Fairgrounds that was transformed by its patron J. Seward Johnson (of the Johnson & Johnson family) into a 35-acre park filled with sculptures from contemporary artists.

It has been a while since I heard of this park in Hamilton, New Jersey. The park also hosts an upscale gourmet restaurant that has an odd name: Rat's. I find that odd too but I heard it has a story behind it.

The weather had mellow down a bit so we decided to stop by a couple of hours. We weren't able to see the entire park, you need to devote at least a full day for the grounds to walk around. It didn't help either that Madison suddenly decided to throw a tantrum. She is more interested in the ducks on the pond.

The House on the Mountain

The only way Joe was able to convince me on going for a long drive to Orlando was to stop by Charlottesville, Virginia to visit the Monticello. It is known as Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece. He was one of the most influential people in American history having the one to draft the Declaration of Independence and the Louisiana Purchase and the founder of University of Virginia.

After serving as the 3rd President of the United States, he chose to retire in Virginia in a great mountaintop mansion that he designed and built. Monticello was originally designed following the English Georgian style till he came back from Europe. He completely changed the whole structure and followed the Neo-classical style which is popular during 16th century France and Italy.

After Jefferson's death, the estate was inherited by his daughter Martha whom sold it to a U.S. Navy officer till it was purchased back by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation.

The Monticello is open to the public, it now serves as a museum.

The plantation garden.

Before and After

From last year Museum Mile Festival, it would be hard not to notice that the Guggenheim Museum is under wraps, its full beehive glory is covered for renovations.

The Guggenheim Museum after much extended renovations, looking like brand new.

NYC: Museum Mile 2009

Museum Mile in NYC is a yearly spring event where major museums in 5th Avenue were open to the public for free. The city closes down 5th Avenue starting from 82nd to 105th streets to pedestrians and street performers; also it allows children to make street chalk drawing designs.

Longstreet House - Holmdel, NJ

Let me take you to a time wrap and get a glimpse on how a well off farm in rural Holmdel, New Jersey look like in 1890.

The original Longstreet farmhouse was built in 1785, additions were done later on which included a 2 story unit with a porch and second floor bedrooms. The property was owned by the generations of Longstreet family till it was sold to the state in 1960. The state re-created the typical farm life in the late 1800's and opened the farm to the public.

Titanic Artifacts - Las Vegas, NV

What is this obsession about Titanic? I am not sure either but I am hooked!

When I found out that there was an exhibition on Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, I know I need to pay this place a visit. The exhibit is a collection of artifacts that was recovered during the excavation. It is both materials from the ship and personal items from the passengers.

It is arranged based on cabin class, you can really tell the difference of the meaning of luxury back then. It even have a replica of the cabins. The first class sections would cost about $70k at present time, it is just a small room with a full size bed and a private bathroom that has running hot and cold water.

The third class fare would be around $750, their cabins are small enough to fit 2 bunk beds. They are only allowed to bathe only once a week.

The exhibition is still worth a visit even if it has a hefty entrance fee, no pictures allowed. You will be warned that your camera will be confiscated if not followed. I didn't risk it.

The only photo I am allowed to take - outside!

Bling Cars

Here are some memorabilia from the Liberace Museum, its the bling cars that he used from past performances. The cars only ran about 10 mph, both swarovski crystals and mirrored glass were glued by hand. Those were working cars that he uses on performances and parades, those on display are still in working condition. If by any chance you got the key, feel free to drive around the Las Vegas strip.

Liberace first saw these crystals when performing at a small town in Austria. He had the idea to put these swarovski crystals on his car so it would sparkle once it hits the light.

Cut glass covered car.

I find this car amusing, its an oxymoron. Its a Rolls Royce (British made) and yet it is all American. It is probably Liberace's sense of humor.

When you are in Las Vegas, visit the Liberace museum, it is one of the rare off the strip tourist attractions in the area. It is hard to miss, find the building that has a piano posted on the roof.