Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night
Culture, Italy in Boston, Review, Sightseeing, Travel, Venice in Boston

Finding Venice in Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at night

I recently wrote about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum during the daytime, but for me, it’s even more beautiful and magical at night!

Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night

I went on a Thursday evening, as it’s open until 9:00 pm on this day, and I initially didn’t think I would like the courtyard at night.

Since the entire top of the courtyard is covered in glass, during the day everything is bright and sunny, and it feels like you’re outdoors.

However, even with dim lights in the evening, somehow the courtyard was illuminated just perfectly.

Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night

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Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard
Culture, Italy in Boston, Review, Sightseeing, Travel, Venice in Boston

Finding Venice in Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Where’s the best place in Boston to visit when you need a quick escape to Venice? Why the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of course!

You get to roam around a a building inspired by the grand palazzos in Venice and also view its beautiful interior courtyard. 

She personally collected and sourced her art collection and architecture (for example, the columns, windows, doorways) from her many travels to Italy and around the world.

The museum also followed Isabella Stewart Gardner’s request and kept all the art, furniture, decorations, and set-up exactly as she intended.

As a result, not only do you get to “travel” to another country, you also get to do a bit of time-traveling!

Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard

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Culture, Sightseeing, Travel

Essential Paris Day Trip: Giverny

Last year I wrote about the Top 5 Museums in Paris for fans of Monet, and I included Giverny as a bonus pick. I only briefly mentioned it, but I think it’s such a must-see day trip from Paris that I’m devoting a whole post about it!

I highly recommend visiting in the spring or summer so you can see the flowers in full bloom. It’s amazing to see what Monet’s house might have looked like when he lived there surrounded by different varieties of flowers. It’s like his works of art have come to life!

Even Monet’s charming pink house with its pastel colored accents is surrounded by flowers. I happened to take a photo when this visitor was on the stairs, and he kind of could be Monet just taking a break from painting a masterpiece. 😉

Paris in Boston Giverney

In front of his house is his beautiful gardens. One of my favorite Monet paintings is of a path in his garden that’s surrounded by flowers of all different colors. I feel (or wish) I could just step right into that painting. I wanted to try to recreate that painting in the next photo, but I’m not sure how successful I was. Continue reading “Essential Paris Day Trip: Giverny”

Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

NYC and the Up Close: Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel exhibition

When I was recently in New York, I was fortunate enough to stumble across an amazing exhibit at the Oculus called “Up Close: Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel”. This was a limited exhibit of Michelangelo’s iconic works of art. Although there was a fee to walk around the exhibits and view them up close, there was no charge to view the works around its periphery.

This exhibit occurred from June 23 – July 23 in The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center, but it will travel to various other cities for exhibition: six weeks at the Garden State Plaza from September 1 – October 15, and then six other cities: Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle, Chicago, Annapolis, and San Diego. If you’re close by, you don’t want to miss it!

Oculus Up Close Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel

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Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Let’s visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC! – Part 4: Pleasant surprises

In Part 3, we visited the Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing. In this post, I’ll talk about some of the cool rooms and unique exhibits at the Met. Every museum must have something unexpected and awe-inspiring displayed, it’s why visitors keep returning for another visit! The Met is no exception. Let’s see what interesting things it has to offer!

Met NYC Marble Patio from Renaissance Castle

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Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Let’s visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC! – Part 3: The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing

In Part 2, we visited the Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons fashion exhibition at the Met. After visiting this exhibit, we headed downstairs to see the Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

This was the exhibit that I was most excited to see. I first heard about it from an episode of Project Runway where they had to find inspiration in this room for a collection

From Wikipedia: The Temple of Dendur is an Ancient Egyptian temple that was built by the Roman governor of Egypt in 15 BC (my comment: wow, 15 BC!). The temple was commissioned by Emperor Augustus of Rome and has been in the Met since 1978

Met NYC Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing Reflection Pool

I wrote about the ideal places to write in an earlier post, and now I think I want to include writing next to this reflecting pool and huge windows!

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Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Let’s visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC! – Part 2: Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons exhibition

Continuing from Part 1 of my trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC, in this post, we’ll visit the Costume Institute exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, which is on view through September 4.

This is a FREE exhibition that you can visit with your regular Met museum admission.

This is on the same floor as the Impressionist paintings that I visited in my previous post, so you can leisurely stroll over here when you want to see something completely different!

You’re greeted with the exhibition’s name projected onto a blank wall:

Met NYC Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between Sign

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Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Let's visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC! – Part 1: Arrival and viewing famous artworks

I recently visited New York and its famous Met museum, and wow, it did not disappoint. I lived in NY for two years as a Masters student and never made the trip downtown to visit any museum, which is such a shame. So on a Saturday this July, I made it a priority to finally visit the Met and see all it had to offer. Let’s see shall we?

Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC

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Accommodation, Culture, Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Solo holiday in London: Food & museums in Covent Garden and Kensington

London Covent Garden Balloons
Clusters of clouds at Covent Garden

Sometimes when I feel like traveling but don’t have enough money or time, I like to go to TripAdvisor, pick a city I want to visit, and look at the hotel rankings for that city. Maybe it’s my researcher side, but I like to see what hotels have available rooms for a timeframe I wish I could visit, like near my birthday or for a long weekend, and then research online to see if I can find the best prices. It’s kind of like when people use pretend money to invest in stocks, sometimes you win or lose money, but it’s all pretend.

However, there are times where I’d find a great deal on a nice hotel, but the flight to that city might be too expensive, negating any savings I might have had with the hotel deal. But on the rare occasion when the hotel is within driving distance, I might throw caution to the wind and say “why not?” – and I’d book the hotel for a much needed escape!

This is exactly what happened when I was feeling mentally drained from my PhD. I had just submitted my PhD thesis and was now in the middle of studying for my viva, which decides whether or not I earn my PhD. To take my mind off my stress, I went to TripAdvisor and looked at the top hotels in London just to see if there might be any good deals. Well, lo and behold, that day I found one!!

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Culture, Sightseeing, Travel

A day at the Louvre in Paris (and unexpected details and sections to look out for)

The Louvre offers so many exhibits and works of art that it could take weeks to see every single item. However, not everyone can afford to spend months in Paris on a holiday, although I’m sure many of us would love that!

For someone planning a visit to the Louvre, it might be helpful to see some highlights and the different types of art on display so you know what to expect. Since the objects span prehistory to the 21st century, there’s no shortage of interesting information to learn and see.

Let’s begin our tour of the Louvre!

Paris Louvre interior courtyard

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