Classical Music Graffiti, or the Promise of Placecasting

Earlier this week I noticed that a fellow patron of the JP Licks men’s restroom felt inspired to jot “Gustav Holst 9 planets” on the baby-changing table with black marker. Perhaps it was playing on his iPod as he was taking care of business and he felt compelled to leave an inscription of this sublime listening experience on the nearest wall. Now that our listening experiences happen more often while we are out and about, perhaps this is a natural impulse–to connect our music memories to places.

In fact, a exploding number of networked geo-annotation projects offer digital outlets this impulse, and as with every other nuance of networked culture, a neologism now exists to describe it:

placecasting ‘: networked publishing of digital media (esp. audio) that is logically associated with a physical location, to be experienced by suitably equipped people in that location.

Placecasting would allow the music lover I describe to attach Holst to the JP licks bathroom (or perhaps JP Licks more generally, to be inclusive) such that anyone else with the right networked device would be able to listen to it here.

And the social networking aspects of this digital annotation would enable allow others to satisfy their need to comment on the original post, as another patron of the bathroom did the next day:

“John Williams made a career outta ripping of him off! So much for public domain”

Advertisements

Graffiti, Somerville/Cambridge Style

This afternoon I noticed these two pieces of street art on Summer Street in Somerville, one a spray painted portrait of Nome Chomsky and the other a picture of a mushroom cloud attached to a no parking sign a little way down the street. Someone from the neighborhood has noticed the Chomsky portrait as well, wondering if this might be a form of “intellectual graffiti ” and has commented, “I presume it was motivated by political rather than linguistic reasons, but it’s still the only instance of cognitive science graffiti I’ve come across.” I agree with her that only in Cambridge would someone think to chose Noam Chomstky as as a graffiti topic, though I did run across a mention of a similar sighting in Atlanta.

A Day on the Franconia Ridge Loop

Saturday we spent the day on the Franconia Ridge Loop, the best trail I’ve been on so far in New England. It’s got everything–peaks, waterfalls, 360 degree views, woods, river crossings, holly berries–all in a hearty 6 hour hike. We started on the old Bridal path which was a strenuous but short hike up to the top of Mount Lafayette (5,2000 feet), where we had lunch with a brilliant view of the Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range. From there we bundled up with all our layers to brave a blustery jaunt across the ridge to Mt. Lincoln and then Little Haystack. To add a bit of excitement, two jets made a close flyby over the trail. The final 3 mile leg took us down the Falling Waters trail, the first half of which we skied down as much as walked, on a few inches of soggy leftover snow. Towards the end the trail wove in and out of several streams that eventually joined into a series of waterfalls, a beautiful way to round out an already enjoyable hike.

Jamaica Pond in Color

Sam Blackmon has a new site call The Jamaica Pond Project. Heres how he describes it:

Life on a Smaller Scale
We live in Jamaica Plain, a neighborhood on the south side of Boston. One of the best parts of JP is, undoubtedly, Jamaica Pond, a small, spring-fed, kettle pond.
The pond covers about 60 acres and is 90 feet deep at its center, making it the largest body of fresh water in Boston. It’s ringed by a walking path that is rarely empty.
Every time I walk around the path I try to find something different, or beautiful, or sad, or silly. This is what I’ve seen.

A few days ago, this photo was what I saw riding by Jamaica Pond. Hard not to miss.

Recipe for a Tasty Fall Evening in JP

Last night we had friends over to JP for the Lantern Parade around Jamaica Pond (a few pictures here), a community event featuring lanterns made by kids in the neighborhood to raise money for charity. It was blustery and cold, but it didn’t keep the faithful away, and as usual there was no shortage of super-cute costumed kids.

After our stroll around the pond, we walked back to the apartment for an autumn-themed dinner:

  • Carrot Ginger Soup, served in baby pumpkin bowls
  • Butternut Squash Pizza with Rosemary
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake from Trader Joes, with baked pumpkin seeds on top
  • Hot Mulled cider
  • Red wine

The pizza was particularly tasty, so I would recommend trying it if you’re looking for a twist on the standard fall fare.

We bought the pumpkins a couple of weeks ago at the Allendale Farm, which is only a couple miles from here just on the other side of the Arnold Arboretum and is the last working farm in Boston/Brookline.

Eastern Point Lighthouse

Yesterday we took a pleasant bike ride around the Eastern Point area of Gloucester, a peninsula that sticks out into Gloucester Harbor. I’ve driven around the loop any times, but it was only as we began exploring some of the side roads that we discovered entire areas that we didn’t realize existed. Following one such road took us back among the summer houses of the absurdly rich, one of which was the Beauport, former home of interior designer Henry Davis Sleeper. Eventually we ended up at the Eastern Point Lighthouse and the Gloucester Tidebreak. Walking out to the end afforded us fine views of both the lighthouse and downtown Gloucester.

On our way home we swung through the Rocky Neck Art Colony, which the oldest active art colony in the country. Unfortunately, most of the galleries were closed for the day, and most everything else seemed to closed for the season.

Birthday Colors

Yesterday evening I biked by this tree in Eliott Street Park and couldn’t help but stop and take a photo. There wasn’t anything subtle about it–just brilliant setting sun on brilliant yellow leaves. It was my first birthday present of the day, and things only go better as I went from there to meet Cathy for a picnic next to Jamaica Pond.

Birthday Tree