Posted in Arlington, History, Photography, Photography 101


Here I am again, catching up over the weekend! Way back when, we were asked to capture an image that represents size and point of view. In a word: BIG.

Getting outside to take pictures is an ongoing challenge, but I had errands to run yesterday and my head was pounding anyway. So, I turned off the computer and put on my coat. That check wasn’t going to deposit itself!

The Boston area is home to many home-grown versions of religion, including and especially Unitarianism and its sister, Universalism. It’s a pretty easy-going creed. The initial idea was that God wasn’t a trinity, but a singular unit. Take that, traditional Christianity! The First Parish Unitarian Church dates back to the 1600s in Arlington, then West Cambridge. Fast forward a few hundred years and you’ve got The First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church on the corner of Pleasant Street and Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington Center.

The original building constructed so long ago was lost in a fire at some point in the 1950s or early 1960s. I’m not up on my history when it comes to this building, or this denomination. I’m not the worshiping type. However, the church rebuilt in the early 1960s with what I consider to be a pretty ugly but rather striking construction. Minimalist, with some rather stark lines. The bell tower is unmistakable, though, and really, really big:

bell tower

The building as a whole doesn’t do much for me, but that tower is an Arlington, MA landmark. You can’t miss it!

Posted in Art, Museums

Ancient and Artful Devotions

Took a whole day off today, without feeling blitzed or overwhelmed. Well, maybe still a little overwhelmed. We collected the in-laws and drove out to Clinton, Massachusetts (not far from Bolton, for those in the know), enjoying the waning colors of fall on our way out. Our destination was a Museum of Russian Icons, right there in the middle of rural Eastern Massachusetts.

We’ve been meaning to visit this museum for years. My hubby went to Russia back in the old Soviet days and saw some rather fabulous iconography there. We had no idea what to expect, but we went anyway and were not disappointed.

The museum’s collection goes back to the 1400s. I took (non-flash) photos – but of course – and tried to find some Russian liturgical music to accompany them. Do you have ANY idea how difficult it is to find free downloads of Russian liturgical music?? And, once I found it, I had to continue the search to find something that wouldn’t put me to sleep in the first two minutes. I guess glory to God is not a musically high-energy tradition in the Eastern Orthodox world. More like “Mwwwwaaaaaaaaaa zuuuuuuuuu meeeeeeeeee…” You get the idea.

I finally did find something a bit more energetic. It’s by those wild and crazy “Monks and Choirs of Kiev Pechersk Lavra,” performing their hit single: “Small Doxology.” I hope you enjoy the show!