Cambridge, MIT, June 2014
mirror wall at mit (sonya kovacic)
When the John Hancock Tower was completed in 1976, it was praised as an achievement in modern architecture. The building's reflective window panes – 10,344 in all – were designed to mirror the city's changing colors and weather patterns. It's been described as Boston's "architectural mood ring".
The tower not only reflects the sky, but also its neighbors: the Trinity Church, the Copley Plaza, and Boston's two original John Hancock Buildings. Built in 1922 and 1947, the two "Old Hancocks" stand just across the street from the newer skyscraper. As architect Donlyn Lyndon explains:
"If you stand on the corner of Clarendon Street and St. James Avenue and look directly into the mirrored surface of the third Hancock, you will see reflected there the first two, aligned hierarchically in an ethereal family portrait."
Cambridge-based filmmaker Errol Morris has won dozens of awards for his documentaries, including an Oscar in 2004. His signature interview style – most recently seen in The Unknown Known – is due in part to a clever device involving two-way mirrors. He calls it the Interrotron.
June 2014, South Boston Waterfront, ICA
reflection in jim hodges' movements at the ica (sonya kovacic)
One of the city's most famous self-portraits is a 380-year-old Dutch etching – the size of a postage stamp – that's been missing for almost 25 years:
On March 18, 1990, two men disguised as Boston police officers pulled off one of the largest art heists in world history. They took thirteen pieces of art from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, valued at approximately $500 million. The stolen works included paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Manet; drawings by Degas; a Chinese vase; a French finial (the ornament that tops a flagpole); and a tiny, etched self-portrait by Rembrandt – sized at 2" x 1.75".
Curiously, the Rembrandt etching had been taken from the museum once before. It was stolen in 1970 — in the Gardner's only other major theft in its history. The portrait was returned and reinstalled a few months later, after being discovered on a New York City subway.
Currently, all thirteen works of art are still at large. The FBI is still working on the case, however, and announced just last year that they've identified the criminals involved.
The pop/soul band Lake Street Dive met ten years ago at Boston's New England Conservatory of Music, and went viral in 2012 with a live performance on a Brighton sidewalk.
Their 2014 tour has already sold out, thanks to recent appearances on Letterman, Ellen, and the Colbert Report. Hear their new album's title track: Bad Self Portraits.
Brookline, June 2014, trees
tree silhouette, brookline (sonya kovacic)
A city's tree canopy cover is the amount of its land covered by leaves, trees, and stems when viewed from above. It can be calculated to a percentage, and Boston's canopy (around 29%) is higher than the national average — as well as that of New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco.
Boston has also started an campaign – Grow Boston Greener – which aims to grow the canopy cover to 35%. The initiative, launched in 2007, will help plant 100,000 new trees in the city by 2020.
The You Are Here project publishes one unique digital map every day. You can view their first six Cambridge maps online, including an interactive look at the city's street greenery.