In My Opinion
Light upon Darkness
It suddenly struck me that the Hebridean islands in northern Scotland and the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa have a lot in common – and not just that we’d visited both in the last couple of years. I love it when these unexpected flashes come out of nowhere and make me think.
Millefiori (“thousand flowers” in Italian) is a glassworking technique commonly associated with miniscule floral patterns produced on the isle of Murano, outside Venice. Yet this time-consuming method – arranging multicolored glass threads in artistic patterns in hollow glass rods, heating and drawing the rods until thin, then slicing them into slender, cross-sectional round canes – actually dates back to ancient Egypt.
Preservation Matters: Photographs of what Boston has lost
“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot” sang Joni Mitchell. Her words came to my mind as I listened to a talk by Anthony Mitchell Sammarco, author of Lost Boston, a book that chronicles many of the old buildings and neighborhoods of Boston that are now lost to history. In one case, at least, Joni was all too prescient: The Warren, an old luxury apartment in Roxbury, was razed and replaced with a parking lot.
A Pioneering Potter: Samuel Marshall
of Portsmouth, New Hampshire
The mouth of the Piscataqua River provided an important transportation hub for domestic and European imports in the late seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Portsmouth, N.H., especially was a target for boats unloading crates of European ceramics, red earthenware and stoneware.
Barbara Miller Beem
For years, she had led an independent life, with some critics suggesting that maybe she was a little bit too feisty at times. But what choice had she had? A young widow with small children, she had not only assumed responsibility for her family but also for the management of the farm on which they all depended. She had never lived anywhere but in the country, and now her son George was trying to convince her that it was time to downsize – to an in-town house, no less.
Lisa and I have just spent a couple of days in the largest medieval city in the world. The medina in Fez in Morocco is contained within an ancient wall in the center of the modern city. Seventy thousand people live and work in the medina. There are no cars, trucks or motor bikes: Everything moves on foot – whether human or donkey. There are just shy of 10,000 streets there, most less than six feet wide, though some of the major thoroughfares may be as wide as eight feet! No street runs in a straight line for more than about 50 yards.