Inspiring Places


Lasting Impressions

These are places I've been lucky enough to visit, I may never get back to all of them, but the experience of each will stay with me as long as my memory lasts!

The Teylers Museum, Haarlem The Netherlands:  If you find yourself in The Netherlands this museum is worth the diversion, and the town is cute as a button.  Filled with odd antique electrical experiments, biologic weirdness, it's a true Cabinet of Wonders. The website explains it better than I can.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston  If you've been to this enchanted mansion then you don't need me to tell you what a treasure it is.  In my humble opinion, the most beautiful place in Boston.  Mrs. Gardner was a wealthy widow who left her world wide shopping spree to the general public (sort of).

Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, MA  If you want to say hello to Mrs. Gardner you can visit her in this Victorian sprawling garden cemetery.  Melancholy galore!  Go in the rain, in autumn or the dead of winter.  You'll cry.

Skogsyrkogarden Cemetery, Stockholm Sweden  Speaking of cemeteries, this is another one that blends nature with death, some areas are so minimalist and stoic, others verdant forests with roots entwining tombs.  sigh.

Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Creepy as hell.

Berlin Medical Museum, Berlin Germany

Even creepier, possibly

The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia PA

This eclectic collection was transported to its new home in Central Philly a few years ago from the original location in the founder's home.  There are subtle themes to each room, sometimes the color of the paintings, or their content.  At least that's what I came away with...interspersed are antique hinges and hardware that lend a quixotic touch.  The museum is mercifully not huge, so a relaxing couple of hours wandering the rooms is all you need.

Sir John Soane House, London, England

Basically another crazy wealthy guy who collected  a ton of stuff.  The place is so packed you could easily turn around and kill a Medieval cherub by accident

Dead Horse Bay

Flatbush, Brooklyn NY

The former site of horse rendering plants and a garbage dump that closed sometime in the 1920's the cap that holds everything under the landfill has been breached and disgorges its contents on a regular basis.  While it sounds yucky, and it probably is for some, the reality is that the thousands of bottles and objects scattered on the beach and in the water are truly old and very unique.  Horse bones abound.  While it has a dystopian feel, there was a magic moment when I visited, waves picked up and you could hear all the bottles in the water clinking together like an aquatic wind chime.

Tip:  I heard it smells terrible in the summer, and if you go:  drive.  Public transportation from Manhattan is an epic journey (I did it).