August 25, 2012
I write this from my hotel room in Houston, Texas. Last week I was in Boston, this week I am in Houston. Boston unlike Houston is a place where I could live. The differences between the two cities are enormous. Boston is people friendly, it is politically liberal, and it is a center of education and culture. I felt comfortable in Boston. Houston is not a city I would return to other than for work. It is a concrete jungle. I would not hesitate to return to Boston, even for personal reasons in winter if necessary. In fact, I’m just getting started seeing Boston. On the other hand, with just one trip I’m finished with Houston. The whole of Boston is rich in a history that I would like to experience more of. Boston has a transit system which, although old, is excellent. One could live there without a car. I was not even able to find the transit system in Houston. It is car culture on steroids. Surprisingly, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is every bit as good as Boston’s. In fact, its facilities and presentations are world-class. Oil will do this.
In Boston I took one of the open bus city tours, and it was excellent. An open bus tour in a new city is always a good idea. It seems that almost every street in Boston is filled with American revolutionary history. I wish I had more time to take pictures and walk the streets.
I did, however, get to spend a full day in the Boston Museum of Art and I squeezed a few hours at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. I would not actually call it a museum because of all the restrictions, it’s more like going into somebody’s home and looking at their art collection, and I think that is the point. It’s a very eccentric and frustrating place, but extremely beautiful and fulfilling at the same time. I’m sure it mirrors the character of its founder, Isabella Stewart, but it’s definitely worth the trip. While I was there I snapped this wonderful painting by John Singer Sargent. Isabella Gardner has been painted as the dancer. It’s an outstanding painting!