A window of blue skies and sunshine between snow storms gave us a chance to wander Boston’s Seaport last week. With the scars of area construction and works-in-progress blanketed with fresh snow and the harbor a shimmery, inviting blue, we braved the area on foot.
In town for an event at the Convention Center, we took the opportunity to visit the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) – long on the big list of places to go. A gray pearl in a sea of highways and parking lots, it would have been difficult to find without the little logo displayed on every corner of the building. We had to dodge some pretty gritty sections of streetscapes and navigate nearly impassable sidewalks to get there, and still somehow managed to find only the back door. But once inside, unbundled and thawed, we found a light, bright and warm space with wonderful views of the harbor – and loads of art. Well worth every slippery, precarious step. Perched beside the harbor waters, seemingly poised to leap into the water, the ICA was like an art playhouse instead of an airless shrine to art. Refreshing. And lots of fun. The inside was magical, with a sense of being connected to the seascape and night skyline outside, walkways and hallways providing welcome breathing and mind space between viewing art in the galleries. And by chance, we were there on free night, an extra bonus. We’ll be back for sure.
The next morning, the still waters of the harbor and the blue skies above lured us to the Harborwalk and a visit to the new courthouse, with its enormous curve of glass – like arms embracing the Harborwalk and reaching out to the city skyline across the harbor. The harbor itself is a star in this neighborhood, and a walk along the edge – skies blue above, ice floes dancing in the cold waters, sculpture peeking out from snowpiles – was a surprise winter delight.
The Convention Center impressed me with its use of natural light and views of the harbor, connecting it to the scape outside, eliminating that horrid disconnect one often feels during a day spent inside a traditional windowless convention center. A surprisingly delightful and happy space. open, light and airy.
Urban outings can easily overwhelm, with its masses of concrete and people, but Southport felt just right. The city skyline was impressive against the blue sky, its historical connection to the sea palpable, and the few people braving the streets friendly, seemingly happy for a break in the stormy weather.