summer of love at the mfa boston.

“One pill makes you larger And one pill makes you small And the ones that mother gives you Don’t do anything at all Go ask Alice When she’s ten feet tall”
– Jefferson Airplane, White Rabbit

Over the weekend I had the pleasure of visiting “The Summer of Love: Photography and Graphic Design” exhibit, currently showing at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibit, on view until October 22, celebrates the 50th anniversary of the iconic Summer of Love in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. Visitor’s can take in more than 120 posters, album covers and photographs that center around the artists, albums and performances of an iconic moment in culture and music.

As a student of graphic design, I was particularly interested in the trends that emerged at this time around typography. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can see a trend in type which mimics the movement of lava lamps and sets reverberating colors in contrast on both album covers and concert posters. This effect is used deliberately and forces readers to engage more closely with the art in order to read words on the page. As a web designer, I know the effort that is spent in today’s digital media to ensure contrast and legibility standards so it struck me that 50 years ago the design trends of the moment encouraged just the opposite.

The MFA and their contributors generously allow visitors to use photography throughout the exhibit, and encourage sharing via social media (#SummerOfLove). I took a handful of photos while there which I’ve shared below. Enjoy!

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saturday night at a4cade.

Two Boston-area restaurants recently joined forces to create a new experience in Cambridge’s Central Square. A4cade was born out of a collaboration between the pizza mavens of Area Four and the sandwich connoisseurs at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. The new venue is a 21+ arcade/restaurant/bar that I had the pleasure of visiting over the weekend. A4cade opens at 5pm and gets a line outside pretty much right away (at least on a Saturday). You have to walk through the regular Roxy’s restaurant to get to the arcade and there’s no sign outside letting you know it’s there – which is a little confusing but also gives it kind of a cool speakeasy feeling.

Once inside, there are two full bars and a bunch of servers for ordering food and drinks. And of course, there are a lot of games. I didn’t grow up in a video game household and I’m not great at the more screen-based classics like Pac-Man and NBA Jam. I am a big fan though of the more active games like skee ball, foosball, and hoop fever.

We spent a couple hours and had a great time and some really delicious food and drinks. Of course I took a few photos – check them out below!

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bits of inspiration – #90.

Another project from the architects at Gensler, this time in Boston’s Fort Point area. General Electric Co. announced about a year ago that they would be relocating their headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to the Boston area. Gensler’s building designs were published this week, revealing that G.E’s new campus would be located at the former site of the Necco candy manufacturing facilities. The building will face the water, with direct access to Boston’s Harborwalk. Check out some of the renderings below.

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image courtesy of Gensler


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image courtesy of Gensler


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image courtesy of Gensler


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image courtesy of Gensler


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image courtesy of Gensler

bits of inspiration – #86.

One of my favorite things about living in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood is the proximity to so many beautiful historic brownstones. Marveling at the facades of these buildings is a true pastime of mine so naturally I was very excited when Boston Magazine published an article this week profiling one of the artisans of these homes. Trained as a cabinet and furniture maker, John Carlton transitioned to making and restoring historic doors in 2005. Carlton’s one-man shop, Historic Door Corporation, has been inundated with requests ever since. I loved reading about his love for his craft and the efforts Carlton takes to insure that every door he creates is historically accurate to the home it adorns. I’ve collected some of my favorite examples from Historic Door’s portfolio below and  I’d encourage everyone to read the full profile from Boston Magazine.

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All photos courtesy of Historic Door Corporation