Video: Meera Loves Boxes

When we go for a walk and Meera sees a cardboard box in someone’s trash, she wants it.  One time she made me carry a big water-heater box back home.  With some box cutters, duck tape, paint, binder clips and a big dose of Meera’s creativity, we made a Rocket Ship!  She and her friends have more fun with this Rocket Ship and many, many expensive, store bought gifts.

This girl is ruling my life! Love her.

Meera at the Harvard Art Museum

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag

For many years, Harvard’s Fogg Museum showcasing a beautiful collection of 19th century French and American art, was one of my favorite past-times in Boston. Harvard also hosted a unique Degas at Harvard exhibition – Degas: Of Dancers and Bathers. A few years ago, Harvard undertook a major renovation of the Fogg Museum, expanded it, and brought together collections from the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Arthur Sackler Museum and Fogg Museum. This was my first visit to the renovated and renamed Harvard Art Museums with Meera as a curious companion. Thankfully, they did not change the main layout and courtyard, but extended the side wings and added a Louvre-style, roof top glass pyramid.

Meera had a wonderful time reading the layout map and leading me from section to section. She was particularly intrigued and recognized the portraits of American Presidents. Obviously this first grader thought all the renaissance paintings with scantily clad women were “gross”. She was terrified of peering into the courtyard from the upper level verandahs. This is not the Chhatrapati Shivaji Museum and I was not expecting a plethora of Indian art – they had a 13th century Chola bronze of Shri Rām, a few pieces of Buddha and other miscellaneous artwork.

We had a wonderful meal at the cafe and ended our visit at the gift shop – Meera’s favorite. She did say she liked the Harvard Museum of Natural History better and I promised her a return trip this week.

This day I loved this work by the 16th century, Italian Baroque painter, Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin and the Sleeping Christ; see how kindly she shields the child with her diaphanous veil.

pictures from the Harvard Art Museum Cambridge by Arun Shanbhag
Orazio Gentileschi – Virgin with Sleeping Christ, 1610


Meera at the Cape

pics photos of beach at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
The views were soothing

Meera was thrilled to be visiting the Cape. She looked forward to this all spring and finally it happened. The weather was perfect – warm days and cool nights. She loved the Lighthouse, collecting shells on the beach, playing in the pool, catching up with friends, soccer on the beach, scoping seals lazing on sand bars, riding the boat and toasting marshmallows by the bon fire. As in earlier times, the food was spectacular. Overall, a great time.

The lighthouse is beautiful.

pics photos of Lighthouse at the Chatham Bars Inn Cape Cod by Arun Shanbhag
Lighthouse at Chatham

Roofers in Arlington

Robert Farina Roofers in Arlington pics by Arun Shanbhag

This was a hardworking bunch of six roofers in four trucks, who descended on our house very early on a Saturday. After a busy day of climbing, covering, pulling, scraping, hauling, balancing, brushing, taping, nailing, sliding, edging, sawing, more nailing, venting, cleaning, more cleaning, much more cleaning, vacuuming, they were done. We are ready for more snow-geddon this winter. Continue reading “Roofers in Arlington”

After the Snow – Walking down Washington St

With all the snow in the Boston area, the simple task of getting to and from work is a serious chore, taking at time 2-3 hours one way. After much of the snow, the buses would not come up the hill, so I would walk down to the cross street, or the bike path and hiked to another bus or T-station. Its a long, cold walk in the snow and the winter wonderland feel is exceptionally beautiful; but you have to be cautious of slipping on the narrowed streets in the path of oncoming traffic.

See Meera walking to school that morning.

Fujifilm X100T Film Simulation – Quick Examples

Fujifilm X100T is ❤

Just received my X100T over the holidays and it’s a beauty. A few thoughts:

Small: It’s tiny (compared to my D600). I have small hands and can barely get my hand on the grip and not smudge the LCD. If you have bigger hands, I’d advise you handle this camera before you rush to order. It easily fits in my jacket pocket – in Boston we wear jackets 8 months in the year, so a big plus. Also fits in the city bag I sling across my shoulders and includes a water bottle, reading glasses, small notebook and pencils. Continue reading “Fujifilm X100T Film Simulation – Quick Examples”

Meera at Legoland Boston

photos from Legoland Boston by Arun Shanbhag

What could you do with three million Lego bricks? Build a city of course. At the recently opened Legoland Boston, the highlights are a few of Boston’s iconic buildings, painstakingly assembled with Lego bricks. The attention to detail is amazing and they have captured the main sights including a miniature of Fenway Park filled with mini figures. Pressing a button releases a ball over the mound and with a single pin ball flipper at home plate, you could try and swing for the wall. Very nicely done; apparently took 60,000+ pieces. And Harvard Yard, Widener Library, MIT Dome, Boston Statehouse, Custom House, a road accident with flashing lights and rescue vehicles, and a lot more. Meera was awestruck; we spent an hour peering through the city. Continue reading “Meera at Legoland Boston”

Meera at a Sushi Restaurant

photos of Meera at a Sushi Restaurant in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Meera’s such a champ. Wherever we go for dinner, she just munches on plain rice. She’s such an adventurous girl, but she takes no chances in eating. Even at home, she is most thrilled with rice, yogurt and a papad.


Owl and a Winter Flower

photo of Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
Eurasian Eagle Owl basking in the winter sun

We have had so much snow in Boston, I’ve stopped complaining. After an early morning snow removal workout, we (sa kutumb) went for a much needed walk, … to see an owl. This Eurasian Eagle Owl (?) had found a cozy hole in a tree and was enjoying the sun. Continue reading “Owl and a Winter Flower”

Meera turns Six

Pics of Meera and friends at Lanes and Games in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
To celebrate Meera turning six, we had nearly her entire Kindergarten class over for candlepin bowling at Lanes & Games. The kids loved it. They were thrilled to just send the balls down the lanes. Boys hurled two at a time. On some lanes I noticed more than six mini balls gently rolling down! And then they had cupcakes, pizza and juice. Verily heaven. Happy Birthday Meera! Enjoy Continue reading “Meera turns Six”

Meera goes sledding

pics of Meera sledding in the snow in Boston by Arun Shanbhag
We all complain about the snow. Yes, it’s usually a big mess. But after it has all been cleared and the sun is out, Meera loves to play in the snow. Here we are out sledding on a nearby hill, with one of our neighbors. Everyone had a great time. Here’s Meera after last January’s blizzard. Same outfit, but the jacket is getting tighter.

Zebra and Ohto Mechanical Pencils

pics of Zebra pencils and Ohto Sharp Pencils by Arun ShanbhagI love writing with pencils and slowly weaned Meera away from markers and crayons – I just threw them all away ;-). Now she exclusively uses color pencils for her drawings and I see her focus and attention to detail has increased tremendously. That is also translating into her writing skills. As I walked her to school this morning she blurted, “Papa, I can write “e” and “r” correctly,” and motions the letters in the air. Continue reading “Zebra and Ohto Mechanical Pencils”

Thanksgiving In Boston

pictures of M & Meera at the Seaport Hotel Boston Thanksgiving Brunch by Arun Shanbhag
This year we chose to spend a quiet Thanksgiving enjoying a sumptuous and beautiful brunch at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. We started with the breakfast menu of warm croissants and smoked salmon, then crazed on argula salad and gigantic shrimp cocktail; delicious clam chowder, home made mashed potatoes, the bestest dry roasted brussel sprouts and salmon grilled in olive oil, lemon and capers (wow!). We did not venture near the traditional meats. Continue reading “Thanksgiving In Boston”

Spring in Boston – Meera rides the bicycle

photo of Meera riding here bicycle at Stratton School by Arun Shanbhag

It’s been a beautiful Spring here in Boston, albeit a little chilly. Tomorrow we leap straight into Summer with temps soaring to 90+ deg F. Continue reading “Spring in Boston – Meera rides the bicycle”

Tulip Season

sketch of Tulips by Arun Shanbhag

Usually, I take pics of tulips in my garden (see here, here and here). This year I have been impressed at how easy it was to draw them on the iPad with Paper. I use this app often at work to sketch key concepts.

Meera turns Five, with Amma

Picture of Meera with Amma by Arun Shanbhag

A picture is worth a 1000 words. You can see the unconditional love and trust they share in this candid shot from Meera’s Fifth Birthday. A split second later their eyes were open. What a different pic. See Meera with Pappa. And, boy do they grow fast. Continue reading “Meera turns Five, with Amma”

Meera in the Blizzard

Meera Pics from the Blizzard of 2013 by Arun Shanbhag
Meera ready to go sledding in the Blizzard

We survived the Blizzard of 2013! Ended up with about 2 ft of snow. The hopper on my snow blower is only 20 inches high and it was a challenge to cut a walkway in the snow pack. The snow came in from the East and our East-facing home got a wallop. I opened the garage door, turned on my snow blower and faced a nearly 3 ft wall of fine powder. Worked my way around and cleared the front, so we could open the front doors. Took me a few hours, to clear the walkways and sidewalks of a few of our elderly neighbors. Continue reading “Meera in the Blizzard”

Meera turns Five, with Pappa

pictures of Meera turns five by Arun Shanbhag
We celebrated Meera’s fifth Birthday in Boston. It took us a while to get here, but thankful for all the grace (anugraha) we have been blessed with. Here are pics of Meera with Amma on this day. Continue reading “Meera turns Five, with Pappa”

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