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Events & Exhibitions

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The Best Fireworks from Coast-to-Coast


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

When it comes to fireworks, I love to find some lucky spot away from the crowd. In our twenties, my friends and I used to bring a duffle bag full of cocktails (who am I kidding? Replace “cocktails” with “cans of beer”) up to my friend’s office in the Hancock building in Boston to enjoy the fireworks on the Esplanade in Boston. We’d tune into the Boston Pops on the radio to hear the patriotic tunes better. Back when my friend Alex had a loft here in midtown Atlanta, we’d catch the Centennial Park fireworks at eye-level; and we’d catch a bunch of other shows from a distance. Two years ago we could see them for the patio of a cottage on Cape Cod. Up at my aunt and uncle’s house on Stockbridge Bowl in Stockbridge, Massachusetts last year, we coud hear the John Williams music carrying over from Tanglewood as the fireworks went off over the lake. I’m spoiled!

image by G. Widman for GPTMC
If you’re not like me and enjoy the convivial spirit of patriotic crowds, here are some of the nation’s biggest fireworks shows on the 4th.

Where do you think the best shows are? It seems like the East Coast kicks some West Coast butt when it comes to Independence Day blowouts. Here’s a guide to a some big shows across the country this Fourth of July. For those without a specific time, the time is “after dark”:

New York City: At around 9 p.m. on July 4th, Macy’s will be lighting up the sky from four barges on the Hudson River between 18th Street and 43rd Street. Wach from the West Side Highway.

Boston: The aforementioned Esplanade along the Charles River on the Boston side, unless you have a pal in a high-rise.

Washington D.C.: Another top spot in the U.S.A. to enjoy Independence Day. The National Symphony Orchestra will play a free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol Building at 8:30. Fireworks on the National Mall begin at dark, usually around 9:15.

Philadelphia: Make like Rocky and head toward those Philadelphia Museum of Art steps. Philly claims to have the largest free concert, played on The Benjamin Franklin Parkway. This year they’ll have The Roots, Queen Latifah, Daryl Hall, Common and Joe Jonas, a group of performers you’ll likely never see in the same place again! Fireworks start around 10:30 p.m.

Chicago: I’m told in Chicago it’s all about and the Navy Pier these days.

Los Angeles: There are a lot of choices; I think I’d head to Long Beach and check out the fireworks from The Queen Mary.

San Francisco: Enjoy the fireworks set off from the foot of the municipal pier and barges north of Pier 39 around 9:30.

Seattle: Check out the patriotic music and fireworks at either Gas Works Park or Lake Union Park.

I know I’ve only scratched the surface here; please share your favorite shows and spots to view them from in the comments section!


Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Giant Cubebot Hits Milan


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky
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At first this image had me a little confused and disturbed; what had they done to Cubebot? Well, as it turns out, something quite fabulous:

He’s been blown up to 20 times his usual size and turned into a crazy lounging piece of furniture. Cubebot creator David Weeks paired up with Tom Dixon to create the MOST SALON, which is explained as follows:

MOST is a new destination instigated by Tom Dixon which will turn the National Museum
of Science and Technology in Milan into an ambitious environment for innovation and culture.
MOST delivers a diverse group of leading global brands and young designers who will be located
in the extraordinary historic spaces of the museum. This collision of technology, culture and
design is set to be one of Milan’s highlights during Salone del Mobile 2012.

I find Cubebot to be one of the most photogenic little critters we have here on Design Public. First we had all those great shots of him in action around the house, and now they have created a Facebook page full of pictures of people lounging around on Cubebot.

Unfortunately, giant Cubebot is not available to those of us in the masses, but the cutie little Cubebots are. You can check them out here.
Have you been keeping track of all that’s going on during Milan’s Design Week? I’ve mostly been keeping up via designboom. If you head over there, be sure to check out Akihisa Hirata’s “Photosynthesis” and Paola Navone’s “The Secret Garden” installations. So far those are my favorites.


Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Exhibits: Bill Traylor at the High Museum


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This week I had the pleasure of heading to one of my favorite museums, The High Museum of Art here in Atlanta.* While the biggest current draw is the exhibition Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters, I was headed over to see Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of The High Museum of Art and The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.

Traylor was a self-taught African-American folk artist. Born a slave in 1854, he finally left the plantation to move to Montgomery Alabama around 1928, sleeping in the store room of a funeral home at night while drawing on the sidewalks by day.  He would sit outside and draw the world walking by, usually on the back of old cardboard ads he found on the street and in the trash. His media of choice (and availablilty) were pencil, watercolor, poster paint, charcoal and crayons. He was able to capture so much movement, emotion and personality with such simple drawings. While they are distinctly folk art, there are a lot of qualities that are at once primitive and modern, from the way he abstracts silhouettes of people to his use of color.

The cardboard is the back of an old sign advertisement for Sensation cigarettes, thus its odd size.

If you have chance to catch this show, you really should not miss it. It combines collections of the two museums. What’s so wonderful about standing 12 inches from one of these works, separated only by a pane of glass, is that you can see the dirt, wrinkles and tears on the cardboard. You can see the rhythm of the pencil strokes up close. You can see where the artist’s finger smeared the charcoal. I hadn’t been this moved by a show since I went to see the quilts made by the women from Gee’s Bend.

Learn more about Traylor and about Charles Shannon, a fellow artist who collected and preserved Traylor’s drawings ever since meeting him in 1939 at

All images via


Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Art on Atlanta’s Beltline


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I have plans to take a little artwalk with a friend today on Atlanta’s Beltline. I was planning on bringing my camera, but it seems better photogs than I have been sharing their work so I thought I’d direct you to it as well. Here’s just a little sample of what’s going on during this early phase of Beltline construction:


Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Cape Cod Modern


Posted by Becky | View all posts by Becky

This week an exciting show will be opening at The Provincetown Art Association and Museum. If you’re in town to, oh, I don’t know, go see Varla Jean Merman (sooooo funny), get there a little early so you can stop by and admire the show about the unique modern architecture on the Cape titled “Cape/Modern: The Architecture of Survival and Celebration .” The show is curated by Mark Hammer, an architect and expert on this regional style, whom I had the pleasure of interviewing awhile back.


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