URBAN LIFE – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Urban

So the subject of the exercise is “urban.” I thought I’d start off with a picture of where we currently live. We didn’t always live in the country. In fact, until 19 years ago we lived in Boston. Before that, I lived in the city of Jerusalem and was raised in New York, in the borough of Queens.

With some years in Hempstead, which is a semi-urban suburb of New York, until we moved out here, we were always city folks. it has taken a bit of getting used to!

Be it ever so humble

So here’s a bit of Boston — Fenway Park, Beacon Hill, the Wharf … and more.

CITYSCAPE: A PHOTO A WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape/Townscape

I love shooting in town. We used to get into town a lot more often than we do now. Admittedly, we get into Uxbridge often, but there isn’t a lot of Uxbridge to shoot. It’s a very small town and all the towns in the area a small. Boston has a lot to offer, but it’s a long drive with terrible traffic, bad roads, and incredibly expensive parking and we go there only rarely these days.

Schubert Theater, Boston, 2014

Fenway Park 2018

The city has spent literally billions of dollars to redesign the roads. They look better, but the traffic is even worse. They made the roads straighter and one of the worst ones now runs underground so you don’t have to see what a terrible mess it is. But the mess is there and for me, the idea of bumper-to-bumper traffic in an endless tunnel is not an improvement. Just breathing would be traumatic.

Brookline

Parking on the street!

So we stay here in the country. Our city pictures all date from 2016 or earlier. That’s how it will remain. I don’t see the traffic, parking, or distance getting easier, cheaper, or shorter.

On the street

Symphony Hall, Boston

STREETLIGHTS: A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Street Lights


Streetlights. I love them! Especially in a city when the streets are a little wet from recent rain. The street light reflects in rainbow colors and the neon signs make a night in the city glow in a million colors.

Night near Symphony Hall

Strangers in the night?

Home. Downtown

Theater district

Night near the theaters

WIDE SHOT VS. CLOSE UP – AKA – LANDSCAPE VS. PORTRAIT

Longest shot

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: PORTRAIT VS. LANDSCAPE

From Paula: Today you are invited to post a portrait and landscape format of the same scene. You may be surprised at how much different they look and what each one reveals. That’s the only requirement for this challenge. The subject is up to you. Have a great day!


Long view of the back of Boston’s State House.

Same picture, close!

jupiter najnajnoviji

THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: NOCTURNAL – BOSTON NIGHTS

BOSTON AT NIGHT

I have to dive into WordPress and see why I’m not getting Paula’s notifications. Fortunately, I saw someone else’s post and it wasn’t too late!

Downtown city night

Downtown city night

I love shooting at night. These are both taken in Boston, at night. I wish we got into town at night more often. Next time will be next month – October – for another concert. Same theater district. But hopefully, new views.

Schubert Theater boston night

Thursday’s Special: Nocturnal

 

LIFE AFTER DARK: THURSDAY’S SPECIAL – NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY

Thursday’s Special: Night Photography (Response to Guest Challenge)

I love shooting at night. Urban landscape at night is not only fun, but offers tons of creative opportunities to capture motion, mood, the wonderful grittiness that works best after dark on a city street.

Here are some favorites.

Boston's Schubert Theater

Boston’s Schubert Theater

Downtown night in Boston

Downtown night in Boston

Dancing in the dark in winter

Dancing in the dark in winter

URBAN LANDSCAPE: BOSTON – CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Cities and City Structures

Bright lights, bright nights

schubert theater boston night

I love urban landscapes and particularly at night. I don’t get into Boston often these days. Usually when I do, I’m in the city during daylight and almost always, in a hurry.

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It seems that I’m always on the way to or from an appointment, trying to beat traffic out of the city.

wang theater boston night

Every now and then — usually around Christmas — I have an opportunity to take some pictures of Boston at night. I always have a camera with me.

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CHRISTMAS AT THE POPS 2014

Of all the things we do in December, our trip to the Boston Pops for their Christmas concert is my favorite. First of all, what’s not to like?

It’s a great concert, fine orchestra, perfect symphony venue. Boston’s Symphony Hall was built in 1900. It’s a classic, both architecturally and acoustically.

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According to the BSO’s website, Symphony Hall opened on October 15, 1900 with an inaugural gala led by music director Wilhelm Gericke. The architects, McKim, Mead & White of New York, engaged Wallace Clement Sabine, a young assistant professor of physics at Harvard, as their acoustical consultant.

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Symphony Hall is widely regarded as one of the top concert halls in the world. The walls of the stage slope inward to help focus the sound. The side balconies are shallow so as not to trap any of the sound, and the recesses of the ceiling, along with the statue-filled niches along the three sides, help to distribute the sound throughout the hall.

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The 16 replicas of Greek and Roman statues are related in some way to music, art, or literature.

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They were placed in the niches as part of an appreciation of the frequently quoted words, “Boston, the Athens of America,” written by Bostonian William Tudor in the early 19th century.

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The concert organ at Boston’s Symphony Hall

The Symphony Hall organ — an Aeolian Skinner designed by G. Donald Harrison and installed in 1949 — is one of the finest concert hall organs in the world.

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A couple of interesting points for observant concert-goers: Beethoven is the only composer whose name was inscribed on one of the plaques that trim the stage and balconies; the other plaques were left empty since it was felt that only Beethoven’s popularity would remain unchanged.

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The initials “BMH” for “Boston Music Hall”, as the building was originally to have been called, appear on the stairwell banisters at the Huntington Avenue side, originally planned as the main entrance. The old Boston Music Hall was gutted only after the new building, Symphony Hall, was opened.

Four calling birds ...

Four calling birds … in “The 12 Days of Christmas

This year’s program was a bit different than previous year’s. Instead of the usual reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” there was a reading and music dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I (November 1914) and the spontaneous “Christmas Truce” of 24 December 1914.

The classic performance of "Sleigh Ride" brought the audience to its feet

The classic performance of “Sleigh Ride” brought the audience to its feet

There was less use of projected images, more orchestral music. But Santa Claus made his traditional appearance and “The 12 Days of Christmas” was as joyful and raucous as ever. The program was intentionally more inclusive. It was great hearing some songs I remember my mother singing in Yiddish played by this wonderful orchestra.

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Sometimes the question comes up whether it’s worth supporting orchestras and concert halls like this … and I think of how much we would lose without them. The shine in the eyes of my granddaughter the first time she saw Symphony Hall. For that matter, the shine in my eyes the first time I heard a concert in Carnegie Hall. These places are national treasures. We have so little of our past preserved. I am so grateful we have held onto these precious, beautiful places.

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And the music. Oh, the music.

NIGHT LIGHTS – BOSTON 2014

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I love our annual excursion to the Boston Pops Christmas concert. I love the music. I love symphony hall. I love the area, the architecture, the happy crowd … and that we always seem to get a great parking space. I take the parking space as a sign that the gods favor us. Next … a lottery win!

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The other big reason I love that excursion is my annual opportunity to shoot at night in Boston. I can shoot night scenes around here any day of the year, but our town isn’t exactly Metropolis. Urban landscape requires an urban setting.

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We always do these excursions in a family group … and I am always the only one who brings a camera. This time I just kept the tickets in my bag and told everyone when I was through taking pictures, they would get tickets … and not a moment sooner. That slowed them down!

After the show, I took a few more, but they decided to not leave me behind there on the streets of Boston, even though I couldn’t threaten them with tickets. Nice of them, don’t you think?

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This also responds to the Weekly Photo Challenge, TWINKLE http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/twinkle/

BOSTON AT NIGHT IN BLACK AND WHITE

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Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Open Topic

One of the big pluses of our annual trip to the Boston Pops is my one and only chance to get some night shots of Boston.

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This area is called “symphony,” and is the musical center of the city. Berklee College of Music and Symphony Hall are here.

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The Tee stop is the Symphony stop. It’s an old and beautiful part of town.

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DOWNTOWN BOSTON – THEATER DISTRICT

Wilbur Theater Boston

The Wilbur Theater is on Tremont Street in Boston. Opened in 1914, the Wilbur was updated and (mostly) restored in 2008. It’s in the middle of Boston’s historic theater district.

boston night theater district

Boston’s theater district is small compared to bigger cities like New York, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in charm. And convenience. It’s not far from anywhere to anywhere else.

wang theater boston night

wang theater night boston

Today, the Wilbur is known for live comedy and music. When fully occupied, it holds 1100 people. Its interior details are traditional “old style” theater.

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I grew up in New York. These details are the definition of theater for me. I miss the old, big, padded seats, though.

schubert theater boston night

Clarence Blackall built the theater in 1913. The Wilbur was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. In 1998, SFX Entertainment (now Live Nation) bought the lease on the Wilbur as part of a larger land purchase. The lease expired in 2006.

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In 2007 the theater was back on the market.

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Today, it’s the home of the Comedy Connection in Boston, formerly located in Quincy Market. It hosts both comedy and concerts.

theater district boston night

schubert theater boston night