Friday, December 31, 2010

Five on Friday - The "Old" Version


I decided what with this being the last day of the "old" year before we hang up a crisp, clean calendar and begin a brand new year full of hope and promise and prospect, that it would be nice to do a set for Travis' Five on Friday using the word 'old' somewhere within the title.  What a treat it was to find songs by some of my favorite artists - hopefully there's one or two in the mix that you'll like, too.

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As an added bonus this week, I thought I'd include a song by Dan Fogelberg whose music I always loved even though it's brought a tear to my eye more than once. What New Year's Eve would be complete without the song and the tear in the eye both?


Wishing everyone a very safe and happy New Year's Eve and sending wishes for a fantastic year ahead!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Scaring Up a Splendid Stay in Salem, Part Eight

In my last post on our recent stay at the Hawthorne Hotel I showed you some the pictures of the door to Room #612 and the rather 'odd' bits of white light that appeared in the picture of the hallway in front of the door. I also mentioned a glowing green light on the side of the hotel closest to Salem Common that appeared near the 6th floor that I really couldn't figure out. While going through pictures for this post, I found that glowing green light again but this time it was located on the other side of the building and, just like before, definitely near the 6th floor!

The Hawthorne Hotel at Night

The picture above is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot that I took from across the street from the hotel shortly after we had returned from seeing the Salem Trolley presentation of "A Christmas Carol".  As you can see there's a green traffic light on the corner as well as a street light on a pole to the side of the hotel in addition to a couple of other lights on the left-hand side of the picture.  With so much lighting it definitely wasn't necessary for me to use a flash to get a semi-clear shot of the Hawthorne at night without too much glare and flare.

Room #612 is located at the top right-hand corner of the hotel and consists of three windows on the front side of the hotel and two on the right-side.  Going from left to right, the first window is the bedroom, the middle window is the bathroom, and then the third one is the living room area as are the two on the side.  There are actually a couple of things wrong with this picture with the very first one being that when we left to go see "A Christmas Carol", I am quite sure that we turned off the lights as I was raised by a father who taught me to always turn off the lights when you left a room regardless of whose room it was.  I wasn't paying the electric bill at the Hawthorne but I know that they take a lot of pride in being as "green" as possible and I really don't think I would have left our room for several hours with the lights still on.  I double-checked with the girls and they both told me that they were pretty sure the lights were off when we left but they distinctly remember them being on when they went back up to the room from the Tavern after dessert.  It's also quite obvious from this picture that the lights are on in the living room area as well as apparently in the bedroom.  Considering we hadn't spent any time at all in the bedroom, I find it very hard to believe that I would have left a light on in there but something's obviously glowing.

If you look at the middle front window which is the bathroom window, there is no light showing however there's that strange green glow again in the window that was previously on the other side of the building.  What's additionally "odd" is that the bathroom has two doors - one that opens onto the bedroom and another that opens onto a small foyer that leads into the living room.  I am quite certain that we didn't close both doors to the bathroom and yet, there is no light from the other rooms showing in the bathroom window at all - just that green glow.

Green Glow in Window

I don't remember ever reading anywhere that there have been reports of lights turning on by themselves in Room #612 and I'm also pretty sure that I haven't read anything about green lights hanging around up by the 6th floor either, however - there they are.  I'm sure there's probably some sort of logical explanation but I really can't think of one at the moment!

Now ... even though you folks think I'm dragging this out for effect, please believe me that I'm not as I had all good intentions of finishing off this series today but I kind of got sidetracked going shopping with my Mom and Amanda most of the day yesterday and then I popped off to the pub to meet a friend for a bit last evening. Needless to say, finishing this post kind of took a backseat - especially when I started noticing things in pictures that I hadn't noticed before - and  thus I'm only doing a partial post rather than a wrap-up post like I had intended.  Please bear with me for one more final post about the Hawthorne and our stay there but also please understand that it may take me a day or two to get to it being that I've got to do that pesky thing called work which makes it possible for me to go on these jaunts to begin with!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scaring Up a Splendid Stay in Salem, Part Seven

After our tour of the Salem Marine Society cabin on the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel, the girls and I had one more thing planned for the night - a presentation of Dickens' famous classic "A Christmas Carol".  But this wasn't going to be just any presentation of the venerable holiday favorite - this presentation was going to take place on one of Salem's famous red trolleys as well as other locations around town.

I had read about the Salem Trolley & Griffen Theater Presents ... "A Christmas Carol" back in November on the blog Discover the Magic of Salem, Massachusetts written by Kate Fox of Destination Salem - the official guide to Salem.  It sounded like it might be great fun so even though tickets were apparently selling like hotcakes, I managed to snag three for the 8:00 showing on Thursday, December 16th.

What really appealed to me was the fact that the story took place on board a trolley as it made its way down the streets of a very dark Salem in addition to stops along the way to meet up with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, & Future.  I'd read that there was a lot of interaction with the audience involving improvisation, comedy, and of course drama so thought it might be something that would appeal more to the girls than your standard production of "A Christmas Carol".   The Salem version is the brainchild of Erik Rodenheiser who owns Salem's Griffen Theater and who also plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in most showings - and might I add he does a very good job of playing Ebenezer Scrooge!  You can read more about how the show came into being at this article on Salem Patch if you'd like.

As it wasn't far from the hotel to where the show started, the girls and I bundled up for the walk and left our room to take the elevator down to the lobby.  Or at least we tried to take the elevator down to the lobby!  The Hawthorne has two elevators that run side by side with a panel that tells you what floor each car is on and when we got to the elevators, the lights indicated that there was a car on the first floor and another already on the sixth floor where we were. Jamie pushed the button and nothing ... the door to the elevator that was on our floor didn't open.  She pushed the button again and still nothing.  Odd.  With one car already being on the sixth floor, I knew that another car wasn't going to come up so we opted to take the stairs down to the lobby instead.  At that time I didn't think much about it as I thought perhaps there was just some sort of glitch with the elevators but I ended up giving it a lot more thought later on.

Really Bad Picture of Our Trolley!After reaching the lobby, a short walk from the Hawthorne brought us to Pickering Wharf and the beginning of the production inside Salemdipity, one of the many shops located along the waterfront.  After Scrooge instructed Bob Cratchit to be back all the earlier the day after Christmas, he ordered those of us in the audience to go climb on board the red trolley that was waiting for us outside with the warning that there were to be no cell phones or texting - particularly texting as he found that to be quite deplorable!  Needless to say, he had the girls laughing right from the get-go and we all loved the production from beginning to end.

In addition to the really bad picture that I took of our trolley, I only took a few pictures as I was enjoying the show way too much to worry about pictures but I do have a few to share with you.  Thankfully neither of the girls grabbed the camera and snapped pictures when I was pulled out of the audience to dance at the Fezziwig Christmas Ball but I do have a picture of Jamie standing next to the Ghost of Christmas Present in her role as "Want".

Scrooge
Scrooge himself, of course!
Salem Trolley's "A Christmas Carol"
A young Scrooge along with the woman he loved, Belle, as well as Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig
Old Scrooge, Young Scrooge, and Belle
Old Scrooge looks on while Young Scrooge declares his love to Belle 
The Ghost of Christmas Present
The Ghost of Christmas Present who wouldn't stop moving his head long enough for a good shot! 
Bob Cratchit
The audience looks on while Bob Cratchit speaks to his family
"Tiny Tim"
Not your typical Tiny Tim! 
A Toast to Mr. Scrooge
A toast to Mr. Scrooge by the Cratchit family
Jamie as "Want"
Jamie as "Want" and another audience member as "Ignorance" 
In spite of the look on her face in the above picture, Jamie absolutely loved the show and suggested that we make it an annual tradition - a suggestion that Amanda readily agreed to even though it was her sister who suggested it!  After Scrooge realized the error of his ways and became a new man, we were dropped back off at Pickering Wharf and sent on our way with many wishes for a Merry Christmas and a gold-wrapped chocolate coin to boot.  All in all it was a very fine time indeed in spite of the fact that it was, as Scrooge put it, "freaking cold!"

We made the short walk back up to the Hawthorne but before heading inside to the Tavern for dessert prior to heading up to our room, I attempted some night shots as it was just too pretty not to at least try! If you look closely in the first picture, you can see Amanda and Jamie waiting "patiently" for me by the main entrance to the Hawthorne.

The Hawthorne Hotel at Night
The Hawthorne Hotel - of course! 
Night Flags at the Hawthorne Hotel
"My" flags were still flying! 
Wreathed Art
A view to one of the art galleries located on the lower floor of the Hawthorne
The Gazebo on the Salem Common
The gazebo on Salem Common
The Hawthorne Hotel from Salem Common at Night
The side of the Hawthorne as seen from Salem Common
In the picture above, if you click on it and go to my Flickr page for the bigger version and then look towards the middle of the 6th floor, you can see what looks like a small glowing green spot.  It's very similar to the glowing green spot that showed up in some of my other pictures that I can't explain.  I especially cannot explain this one as I wasn't using a flash when I took the picture and there's nothing on that side of the hotel that should have been reflecting at that height - or in that color.  Considering all of the stories I've heard about the 6th floor of the Hawthorne being the "most haunted" then I guess it makes sense that the green glow appears where it does.

Once I finished taking pictures, we went into the Tavern where we were greeted warmly by the staff before we sat down at the table in front of the fire and ordered hot beverages and dessert. Believe it or not, I didn't take any pictures so you're just going to have to take my word for it that everything was quite delicious!  When the girls were done they went up to our room while I went up to the Second Floor to take some pictures of the lovely little lobby area that overlooks the Grand Ballroom - an area that I wouldn't have even known existed if we hadn't had to take the stairs down from the sixth floor prior to heading to Pickering Wharf.

Chadliers Over the Grand Ballroom
Chandeliers over the Grand Ballroom
Staircase to 2nd Floor
The staircase that leads up from the first floor to the second 
Small Chandlier in Stairway
The very pretty light over the staircase 
2nd floor Christmas tree
The second floor lobby beautifully decorated for Christmas
Most of you will probably remember a similar version of the picture above that I used as the picture for my blog header before Christmas.  Truth be told, I'm seriously thinking it may just be the perfect picture to use for next year's Christmas card so don't be surprised if you see it again!   If everything looks a bit dark I should explain that I wasn't using the flash on my camera at all as Amanda says that none of the photography students at Montserrat use flash because it makes the lighting unnatural.  Who am I to argue with an art college student?

Anyhow, once I had taken more pictures than I'm sure I needed to I decided it was time to head back upstairs so I went over to the elevators, pushed the button, and had no problems with a car arriving on my floor promptly.  Whatever the glitch was, it appeared to have been fixed and everything was back in proper working order.  Knowing that there is much talk about the 6th floor hallways being haunted and in particular around the door to Room #612, I decided to take a few shots of the area - again using no flash.   The shot below was taken from the area of the elevators towards our room which is the last door on the right.

Sixth Floor Hallway Outside of Room #612

Now ... call me crazy but I don't think that line of light in front of the door is a reflection - nor do I think the wisps of light closer to the floor are either.  Initially when I looked at the picture on the computer after we got home I thought that it was a reflection from the glass on the fire extinguisher door just before our room door but further review made me think that didn't make much sense.  If the light was reflecting from the chandelier above, then the reflection should have been higher up on the wall - plus those lights really aren't all that bright nor is the door to the fire extinguisher all that close to the room door.

Door to Room #612

This picture above was taken from the hallway in front of the door and in this shot you can't see any sort of a reflection on the wall which you would be able to see if the chandelier was reflecting off of the fire extinguisher door.  I had Amanda take a look at the pictures, too, and she's with me in thinking that those lighter areas in the first picture are not reflections from anything.  What they are - we don't know but we just don't think they're reflections.

Anyhow, while you mull that over, I'm going to work on the last installment of our trip to Salem - an installment that includes more trouble from those pesky elevators!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scaring Up a Splendid Stay in Salem, Part Six

Following a lovely afternoon exploring the PEM and a little Christmas shopping in some of the eclectic shops nearby, the girls and I made the short walk back over to the Hawthorne Hotel where it was almost time to meet back up with Juli for our tour of the Salem Marine Society's meeting place on the roof of the Hawthorne.

With a motto of "Where Virtue Reigns, the Unfortunate Find Relief", the Salem Marine Society, which is the oldest charitable organization in Salem, was established in 1766 by 18 local ship-masters and ship-owners "to provide relief for disabled and aged members and their families; to promote knowledge of this coast; and to communicate observations for making navigation more safe."  Members of the Salem Marine Society even paid for and erected a lighthouse on Baker's Island in 1792 to help sailors navigating the rocky shores of Salem but more on that particular item later!

In 1830 Captain Thomas Perkins, who was a merchant of Salem but not a Society member, willed the Franklin Building on the corner of Essex Street and Washington Square to the Society and it was there that the Society held its meetings for almost 100 years.  When the Town of Salem decided to build a modern hotel in 1923, the Society agreed to raze the Franklin Building and sell the land so that the Hawthorne Hotel could be built in its place.  In exchange, the hotel built a room on the roof for the Society's life use - a deal that was agreed upon via handshake and which lasted for many, many years before it was finally put in writing. The new Hawthorne Hotel didn't just build any old room for the Society, though - they built a replica of the cabin of the Taria Topan, one of the last vessels to ply the lucrative East India Trade that made so many sea captains in Salem millionaires.

The cabin is not open to the public so I felt very honored that the girls and I were granted a tour and given the chance to see some of the relics of Salem's maritime past that are kept there. At 5:30 promptly, Juli called our room and said that she and several other employees of the Hawthorne who'd never seen the room would stop by and get us on their way up and sure enough, they were there within moments and we made our way up to the cabin on the roof.

One of the first things you notice after noticing that "yes indeed, it does look like you've stepped into a ship's cabin!" is all of the portraits on the walls of past Salem Marine Society members including these gentlemen below -

Past Members of the Salem's Mariners Society

- and a replica of a portrait by Gilbert Stuart (the original is the property of the Peabody Essex Museum) of Nathaniel Bowditch, one of Salem's most famous native sons who was a self-taught astronomer, navigator, and business executive as well as one of America's first scientists.

Portrait of Nathaniel Bowditch

Upon Dr.Bowditch's death in 1838, the Salem Marine Society wrote the following tribute for the man who is arguably the most influential person in the history of American navigation:
“As long as ships shall sail, the needle point to the north, and the stars go through their wonted courses in the heavens, the name of DR. BOWDITCH will be revered as one who helped his fellow-men in a time of need, who was and is a guide to them over the pathless ocean, and as one who forwarded the great interests of mankind.”
In addition to the portraits of Dr. Bowditch and other Society members that adorn the dark wood-paneled walls are a pair of portraits of the same man with a rather unusual tale behind them.   Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury who served as the first superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory in Washington D.C. and whose research led to significant improvements in ship navigation and travel as well as reform for the US Navy, was made an honorary member of the Salem Marine Society in 1848 due to his great naval achievements - in particular those in the field of navigation. In the same fashion as other Society members, Lt. Maury's portrait was hung upon the wall but in mid-1861 his portrait took on another direction entirely.

Lt. Matthew Fontaine Maury - backwards!When the American Civil War broke out, Virgina-born Lieutenant Maury resigned his commission as a Commander with the US Navy (which he had served since age 19) and joined the Confederacy as Chief of Sea Coast, River and Harbor Defences. In this capacity, Maury, using his experience with the transatlantic cable and electricity flowing through underwater wires, perfected an electric torpedo which raised havoc with northern shipping. The torpedoes, which are similar to present-day contact mines, were said by the Secretary of the Navy in 1865 "to have cost the Union more vessels than all other causes combined."

Aghast that the same talents that had allowed Maury to benefit all mariners and that had made him an honorary member of the Salem Marine Society had now made him a deadly foe who cost the Union many lives instead, the Salem Marine Society voted on May 30th, 1861 that Matthew Maury be stricken from their rolls and that his portrait, rather than being removed entirely from their meeting place, be hung upside down and faced to the wall due to being perceived as a traitor to the Union and to this very day, it still hangs that way.

Lt. Matthew Fontaine MauryAs Juli told us, the story didn't end there for in 2007 - many years after the portrait had been turned - members of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities had the opportunity to tour the meeting place of the Salem Marine Society as partial compensation for a mix-up that had occurred with their reservations at the hotel and when they saw the portrait of Lieutenant Maury and heard the story behind it, they became quite upset. After returning to Virginia, members of the Association wrote to the Society and asked them to reconsider the treatment of the portrait however the Society voted to keep the original portrait hung as it was since 1861.  They did agree, however, to hang a new portrait of Maury along with a sign detailing his accomplishments that was provided by the Association next to the disgraced portrait.

Even though the Salem Marine Society now honors Maury with the newer portrait, they have no plans to change the state of the old portrait which continues to hang upside down and backwards due to the side he chose in the War Between the States.  We Yankees can be quite stubborn when it comes to certain things and I can certainly understand where the new Society members don't wish to overrule the old Society members who chose to hang the portrait in disgrace 'lo these almost 150 years ago. After all, like it or not, history is what it is and it can't be erased or swept under the carpet - nor should it be.

Before we left the cabin of the Taria Topan to head out on our next adventure in Salem, Juli offered to take a picture of the girls and I.  Considering that we were in a special place on a special tour, I acquiesced and decided to stand on the other side of the lens for once!  See what a beautiful room it is?

Jamie, Amanda, & I in the Salem Mariner Society's Room

I didn't take too many pictures of the room but that's because I knew there was a video that I planned on sharing with you that was taken by Juli in July of 2008 which gives you a nice tour of the room by Jim McAllister who is a local Salem historian. If you have a few free minutes please take the time to watch the video - especially if you ever wanted to know where the term "blackballed" comes from!


Now ... I know you're all still anxious to find out whether or not we had any ghostly encounters at the Hawthorne so please be sure to come back for my next installment and I'll see if I can scare up the answer for you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Scaring Up a Splendid Stay in Salem, Part Five

The Peabody Essex MuseumHaving paused to enjoy Christmas - and I hope you did, too - it's now back to our "mini-break" in Salem, Massachusetts and that post on the Peabody Essex Museum that I promised you.  The girls and I went to the PEM as guests of the Hawthorne Hotel and I am quite glad that we did as it's a remarkable place with some truly fantastic exhibitions and pieces of art.

Founded in 1799 as the East India Marine Society by a group of Salem-based captains and supercargoes - the people who were in charge of the cargo that a ship carried and who were employed by the owner of the cargo - the Peabody Essex Museum is the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States. Members of the Society were required by the Society's Charter to collect "natural and artificial curiosities" from beyond the Cape of Good Hope or Cape Horn and as such, the East India Society members brought to Salem "a diverse collection of objects from the northwest coast of America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, India and elsewhere." By 1825, the Society moved into its own building, East India Marine Hall, which today contains the original display cases and some of the very first objects collected.

East India Marine Hall

The Peabody Essex Museum was made up of the merging between the Essex Institute (originally compromised of the Essex Historical Society which was founded in 1821 and celebrated the area’s rich community history, and the Essex County Natural History Society that was founded in 1833 and focused on the county’s natural wonders) and the Peabody Museum of Salem which was originally called the Peabody Academy of Science. Essentially the Essex Institute concentrated on the area in and around Essex County while the Peabody focused on collecting international art and culture.  In July of 1992, the two organizations were consolidated to become the Peabody Essex Museum which today contains over one million "works of art and culture featuring maritime art and history; American art; Asian, Oceanic, and African art; Asian export art; two large libraries with over 400,000 books, manuscripts, and documents."  In addition the PEM has twenty-four historic American structures and gardens with five buildings designated as National Historic Landmarks and eight others listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the only complete Qing Dynasty house outside China, Yin Yu Tang.
Cafe Area of the Peabody Essex Museum
As hard as it is may be to believe, the Peabody Essex Museum in little old Salem, Massachusetts operates the 15th-largest art museum facility in North America which, I think, is probably superior to some of the museums that can be found in bigger cities like New York or Chicago or San Francisco.

Long ago in what now seems like another lifetime, I visited the museum while on a high school field trip to the House of the Seven Gables.  At the time it was "just" The Essex Institute but I still remember all of the figureheads and other maritime art that we saw there.  Obviously a lot has changed since 1975 but I was quite happy to see that there were still several galleries in the museum that held the figureheads and maritime art that I so fondly remembered.

The first exhibit we went to is one that is very special as it's the very first time any of the objects contained in it have been seen by the public. The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City contains 90 objects of art including murals, paintings, wall coverings, furniture, architectural elements, jades and cloisonné that belonged to one of history's most influential figures - the Qianlong Emperor who reigned over China from 1736-1796. During his reign, the Emperor, who was a connoisseur, scholar and devout Buddhist, was one of the most powerful and richest men in the world and for his retirement he had created a luxurious garden where he could retreat and relax within the Forbidden City. That garden was known as the Qianlong Garden or the Tranquility and Longevity Palace Garden and it was from there came all of the objects in the exhibit.

Peabody Essex Museum

Not surprisingly photography is not allowed in the exhibit but let me just say that the contents have been meticulously restored and are absolutely beautiful - as one would expect from an Emperor! The exhibit will be closing at the PEM on January 9th as they prepare to move it to its next showing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from February 1st to May 1st.   If you're in the New York City area and get a chance to see it, I highly recommend that you do and while there, just remember that it made its debut in Salem - I think that most definitely gives the PEM some bragging rights!

Another of the exhibits that Juli told us to be sure to see is called "Figuredhead" by Charles Sandison which is a computer-generated piece of art that is featured in the PEM's original display hall on the second floor of the East India Marine Hall.  It's rather hard for me to explain exactly how this particular piece of art "works" so please feel free to read below (this is the information that appears outside of the hall before you go into the exhibit) or click on this link which will also tell you more about it.

Information on "Figurehead"

I took pictures of the exhibit as best I could and hopefully it will give you a bit of an idea of what it looks like ... sort of ... though you really have to be there in person to get the full effect of the words and pictures swirling around the great hall.

"Figureheads" in East India Hall
"Figureheads" Exhibition in the East India Hall
Chandelier in East India Hall
A Model Ship in "Figureheads"
"Figureheads" Exhibition in the East India Hall
"Figureheads" Exhibition
"Figurehead" Exhibition
"Figureheads" Exhibition
"Figureheads" Exhibition in the East India Hall

As I said, the pictures really don't do the exhibit justice and even though there are videos to be found out there on the internet as well as a couple that the girls took while we were there, they don't really give you a good feel for it either. It's best viewed in person from one of those chairs that are set up around the room as that way you can sit and watch the words and pictures dissolve and reform as the Salem weather takes them where they will.  The only thing that I didn't like about the exhibition, which will be at the PEM through April 24th, 2011, is that I couldn't really see the beautiful figureheads that I had liked so much when I was a teenager - obviously they were still there but it's really quite dark in the hall while the exhibition is exhibiting - but that just means I'll have to take another trip to the museum after the exhibit is done.  Darn the luck!

For those who will probably never get a chance to go to the Peabody Essex Museum, I'd like to post some pictures from other galleries of the museum.  Obviously some galleries prohibit photography but most galleries allowed it as long as you didn't use a flash.  Here then are a few of my favorite things from the PEM starting with the Japanese Art Gallery and Asian Export Art on the Second Level:

Japanese Art Gallery - Level Two
Shishigashira (Head for Lion) - 1645
Shishigashira (Head for Lion) - 1645
Japanese Art Piece
Amida, Buddha of the Western Paradise on a Lotus Blossom, 12th Century
Koi Soup Tureens
Koi soup tureens
A Beautiful Bed!
Moon Bed (Chinese marriage bed), circa 1870-1880
Silver & Wood Ships
Silver and Wood Ships
Also on the second level was this piece from the Contemporary Indian Art Gallery -

Mukha Linga in Indian Art Gallery
Mukha Linga covering, 1700-1800s
- and the American Art Gallery -

Level Two - American Art
Shell Wedding Dress
"Island Bride" by Brian White, 2002
Another of the PEM's exhibitions is called "Eye Spy, Playing With Perception" and it had a lot of fun pieces of abstract art that are "based as much on what we think we should see as on what we actually see".  The girls and I really enjoyed this one as it's art that you can interact with!

Mirrors
Me in the Mirrors
Amanda & The Mirrors
Jamie in the mirrors

Or that just looked cool! 

Artwork from "Eye Spy:  Playing With Perception"

In the Maritime Art Gallery I found another of my favorite things - a replica of the Minot Ledge Lighthouse. The real one is located in the southeastern part of Boston Bay and has quite an interesting history but I won't go into that here!

Replica of Minot Ledge Lighthouse

On our way back out to the atrium area the girls posed with the museum's giant Foo Dogs or more accurately, Chinese Guardian Lions - we Westerners like to mess up what others call things from time to time!

The Girls & The Giant Foo Dogs

In the atrium across from the cafe is a piece called "Halo"

"Halo"

that looks like this when you stand in front of it -

"Halo" in the Atrium

Our last stop in the museum was another section of Maritime and American Art that I insisted we take a quick turn through as I had a feeling it contained some of the things that I remembered from my 1975 visit and it definitely did as there were more figureheads there, though they were of a smaller nature than those in the East India Hall -

Figurehead in the "American Art" Gallery - First Floor
Figurehead in the American Art Gallery - First Floor

There was also a very nice - and very large - replica of the HMS Queen Elizabeth which was most definitely one of the grand dames of cruise ships! 

Replica of HMS Queen Elizabeth
Replica of the HMS Queen Elizabeth

There was a lot of the museum that we didn't get a chance to see - including the replica of the Chinese House - but all in all, Amanda and Jamie and I got to see a lot of the Peabody Essex Museum and we thoroughly enjoyed it all.  It's most definitely a museum that I'd like to go to again as one of the things I really liked was the fact that I wasn't fighting crowds to see things like you do whenever you go to a museum in New York City.  Plus, the PEM has the kind of art that I can understand and appreciate rather than stand there and think "HUH?" while I'm trying to figure out exactly what it is!  Oh, and next visit I'm definitely going to tour some of those twenty-four historic houses - that's definitely on the list!

A very big thank you to Juli Lederhaus and the Hawthorne Hotel for giving us the chance to see the wonderful objects that the PEM has to offer; the girls and I really appreciate it!