About Me

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Hello! Welcome to my online travel-food-life journal/virtual scrapbook. I am a poet, playwright, journalist, editor and basic jack-of-all-trades writer. I was born in El Salvador and raised in Minnesota. I have just returned home from a year and a half in South Africa.

12 April 2013

Boston 6: Abolitionist Exhibit, a 2-Pizza-Day and Bye Bye Beantown

Last day in Boston!

Our flight was later in the evening though, so we had time for a few more sites ... AND a slice of true-blue East Coast pizza.  The kind that's bigger than your face.  MMMMM.

Then it was off to the Massachusetts Historical Society.  It is free and has a couple of small exhibits -- small but incredibly powerful.  The one they have now is "Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land": Boston Abolitionists, 1831-1865.

This is Mumbet, who famously said, "I am not a dumb Critter, won't the law give me my freedom?" Read her story below:

And here is the story of Quock Walker:

This, ladies and gentlemen is the pen with which President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation:

And a few very important Lincoln letters -- which document his feelings on slavery -- are also on display:

Then it was off to the The Paul Revere House:

Unfortunately you can't take pictures inside.  It's a fascinating look at 17th & 18th century living.  Really, I can't tell you how much I love Boston and her history.  If you're a history nut there is nothing like being in a place and knowing oh, Paul Revere touched these walls. 

We had a little more time before leaving for the airport so we took one last stroll through the North End:

Then is was time for one last meal ... and oh gosh, how typical of us, we decided on pizza again!  This time at the gorgeous Florentine Cafe.  But this was decidedly different; arugula, eggplant & parm:

Oh man.  What a trip!  We packed an amazing amount into 4 days.  And there was so much more we could have seen!

This is the best way I know how to sum up my feelings about Boston:  I want a new tattoo.  I want the 4 national/state flowers of the places I have considered home:  El Salvador, Minnesota, South Africa -- and Massachusetts.

Till next time you beautiful city of my heart.

04 April 2013

Boston 5: Peabody and Natural History Musems & a Portuguese Feast

A tour of Harvard would not be complete -- especially not with Aaron in tow -- without a visit to the Peabody Museum:

Again, I have my issues with museums -- specifically their "owning" (ahem absconding with) national treasures.  In the Peabody's case, they have a large Mayan collection.  Many are reproductions, but some are not.  A few years ago I was actually in Copan (in Honduras), standing in front of the famous Mayan staircase.  And right there in the middle is a big ole hole.  When the tour guide said, "The masterpiece of this staircase, a statue of the king who built it, is at Harvard University," it just broke my heart.  I am not proud that my alma mater is still holding on to something that was collected over 100 years ago when "collections" were gathered indiscriminately.  I hope one day they do the right thing and return it.  Because look at their reproductions: 

Great, right?  Educational and fascinating and not so grievous. 

They also have brilliant reproductions of some of the Mayan world's most stunning murals:

I could have stayed all there.  I am FASCINATED with the Maya -- yes, because they are among my ancestors, but also because of their iconography, their utterly unique world-view.  In my next life I'll be a Mayan archeologist.  (And then maybe Aaron will be a poet?  Ha!)

They also had a glorious Día de los Muertos display:

Attached to the Peabody is the Harvard Museum of Natural History.  It is a fantastic collection:

This is etched aquamarine crystal.  It reminds me of a poem I wrote once about ice.  I'll have to share it one day.

After all that Harvard nostalgia and museum-walking we were starving.  And for my last night in Boston, I had to go to another one of my old favorites, Casa Portugal Restaurant!

Just like dim sum, I have yet to find a good Portuguese restaurant in Minnesota.  Which is a DAMN shame.  Portuguese peeps, please, I beg and implore you!

We had chouriço and fava beans to start:

And prawns and fish for dinner.  See the rice below?  I know it doesn't look like much, but much like the Indian kheer, I have remembered that particular taste for over 15 years.

Mmmmmmmm ... Perfect way to end the day!