I feel blessed that I don’t personally know anyone affected by the 9/11 attacks. This past Sunday was a difficult day for many people. It being a day of service as well as a day of remembrance, I wanted to get out and do something.

I heard about an art project being sponsored by Boston Cares, which would be overseen by Sidewalk Sam and his wife, Tina. I’ve always wondered who Sidewalk Sam was. I have seen his chalk drawings on Boston sidewalks for years. So I showed up at City Hall Plaza on 9/10 to find a 20′ x 30′ canvas on the ground, and volunteers and families of 9/11 victims painting away. Tina was directing people and dishing out paint, and Sam was greeting everyone and being a DOLL. We painted the Massachusetts 9/11 Fund symbol on the canvas: doves coming out of the American flag.








This is the group just starting to paint. By the time I left two hours later, it was almost all done. I wish I had a photo of the completed mural! It was supposed to be hanging up on City Hall for a week, but I didn’t see it there today.

Here’s a video clip from a local TV station…at one point you can see me painting at high speed in the background. I was happy to support 9/11 victims’ families in this small way.

Number 35


I visited Boston College’s art museum today. The current exhibit at the McMullen Museum of Art is Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity. Dura-Europos was an ancient city in modern-day Syria. It was settled by Macedonians before Christ, then seized by a few different groups, the last time being in 256 CE. It was totally “sacked” and lay untouched until British troops stumbled upon it in the 1920s. Then the archeaological games began.

It was pretty incredible to look at artifacts that are more than fifteen hundred years old. Jewelry, ceiling tiles, altars, shields and helmets. Beautiful limestone carvings.

The exhibit included photos of the initial digs in the ’20s and ’30s. The idea of an archaeology dig makes me swoon. There’s something so romantic about it. Maybe I should have been an archaeologist. I have a sudden urge to watch The Royal Tenenbaums; Anjelica Huston’s character is an archaeologist, if I recall correctly…

It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here

Mary and I took a glassblowing class yesterday at Diablo Glass School. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was half expecting to work with little blow torches. I was most definitely not expecting to stick a metal rod into a 2100-degree furnace full of molten glass. And then sit on a bench and form the red hot glass using tools with my right hand. (I’m 105% left handed.)

WTF!!! As the head instructor explained the process, Mary and I murmured back and forth, What did we get ourselves into/I’m scared/That furnace is really hot/How are we going to do anything with our right hand (She is also left handed).

Luckily, there were multiple instructors and we all got one-on-one attention. Otherwise I would not have made it out of there without third-degree burns. We made paperweights; I didn’t even care what mine looked like. I just wanted to make it through the process unscathed!

After checking out the Chihuly exhibit at the MFA a couple of weeks ago, I ordered a video called Chihuly in the Hotshop on Netflix. It arrived a couple of days ago, so I watched it last night. Now I can TRULY appreciate what these glassblowers do. The video was taken in 2006, when Chihuly did a weeklong residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. He invited a bunch of gaffers (glassblowers) and artists he had worked with throughout his career to come and make pieces from the different series that they used to work on with him (Persians, Baskets, Ikebana, etc.). It is simply amazing to watch!

I don’t know if I will keep up with the glassblowing. But I may try my hand at those little blow torches.