I thought it might be nice to share a glimpse of my academic and future professional world with you. The museums listed here are some of my favorites, for various reasons. Some of them are obvious choices, but others are small, hidden treasures. Most of them have warranted multiple visits, and are places I know I will continue to return to, year after year.
I plan to keep adding to this list.
I’ll start off with home sweet home, of course!
- The Abbe Museum, Bar Harbor
A Smithsonian affiliate, the Abbe Museum is focused on “inspiring new learning about the Wabanaki Nations.” The downtown Bar Harbor location is bright, open, and beautiful (seriously, it’s a great interior), and the original trailside building at Sieur de Monts Spring is open spring through fall. This Museum has an active relationship with its community, and I like that a lot.
- Portland Museum of Art, Portland
- The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
During my year at MassArt (a stone’s throw away from the MFA), the Museum’s Asian and Islamic art galleries served as a second home. The MFA has expanded quite a bit since my original visits in 2003, and remains one of my favorite art museums.
- The New England Aquarium, Boston
- The Woodman Institute, Dover
I have to mention The Woodman Institute in Dover, New Hampshire, because it’s such an unexpected local gem. The main Museum building is home to both an extensive mineral and taxidermy collection, including what happens to be known as the last eastern cougar ever captured in the state of New Hampshire (circa 1853). There are also a couple great Victorian mourning pieces in the collections at The Hale House. This is definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.
- The Fairbanks Museum, Saint Johnsbury
The Fairbanks Museum is special because it occupies a large space in my memories of childhood. The building itself is spectacular, and the collections are typical of the late 19th century. The Fairbanks is (unexpectedly) home to the entire collection of John Hampson’s “Bug Art” mosaics, which I was obsessed with as child. The Museum’s display cases are brimming. Take your time with this one.
- The Shelburne Museum, Shelburne
Shelburne Museum requires a full day, at least. I have been 20 times over the years (probably), and I always discover something new.
The Smithsonian Museums seem like such an obvious choice, but they are really spectacular. The Freer and Sackler galleries house the Smithsonian collection of Asian art, and should be included on any “must visit” list. They stand out among everything we saw on our first visit to the city. On my second (solo) visit to DC in 2013, I visited the National Museum of American History and wept over Julia Childs’ copper pots. I’m a little sensitive. You can read about that trip here.
We visited the National Postal Museum on that first trip to DC in 2012, strictly so I could see Owney, but it ended up being a surprising gem of a site.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments! Do you have a favorite museum? Tell me your recommendations.
It has been ages, hasn’t it? I was going through some things. I think I still am, but I am no longer letting that be an excuse for not being myself, or not being present.
A lot of things make up a person. That’s such a dumb-obvious thing to say. We are complex. While the internet sometimes makes sharing pieces of ourselves too easy, it can also a very safe and scripted platform. The things I share here are usually well thought out in advance. I edit daily events to my liking, to fit into the space provided. There are a thousand parts of my day that I choose not to share. There are a thousand parts of myself that I choose not to share. I like that a blog can be made of deep thoughts, photos, poetry or of lists, easily digested.
This one is an easily digested list, because it’s been a while since I’ve written anything. These are things that are a part of me, but not all of me, right now.
The afternoon is cool and sunny. It is May. Everything is (and will be) beautiful.
- My favorite colors are purple and blue-green.
- I do not believe in a God or gods or goddesses. I do believe in nature and science and animals. I believe in ghosts.
- I have not read as many books this year as I would like.
- I love the ocean. The coast of Maine is beautiful.
- My mother died when I was sixteen. I am thankful for the strong women in my life who helped fill the space in my heart. (aunts, dear friends of my mother and father, my friends, cousins, a sister-in-law, mothers of best friends, mothers of boyfriends). These are the women I recognize on Mother’s Day. I love them.
- I am in the process of re-watching The X Files from the beginning. This is probably why I haven’t read very many books.
- I’ve been sick an awful lot, this year. I’m not sure if it is symptomatic of depression, or if depression is symptomatic of illness. I do know that my job is to blame for much of it.
- I am having a really difficult time writing this. Twenty is a big number. It’s hard to get back in the groove. I thought this would help.
- It is the time for iced coffee and bare feet. My toes are freezing as I type this. I do not even care.
- I am actually going to finish some artwork. I’m looking forward to sharing.
- I love our tortoise, but I am looking forward to getting a dog (likely a lady beagle). We have also considered rats (I’ve had them in the past), but Tj is worried they won’t like him. McCoy (the tortoise) gets along pretty well with rats. A cat is out of the question.
- I very rarely find sea glass on the southern Maine coast. Anyone know a good beach?
- I like the idea of magic. I hope that it’s real for the people who believe it is real.
- I collect stones from all the places I’ve been. I get this from my father. Actually, I probably get collecting things in general from my mother. Only the blame for rocks, specifically, goes to Dad.
- My favorite art supplies these days are water colors, mixed papers, conte pencils, and gemstone chips.
- I have a hard time making friends. I’m just not a very social person. I am incredibly thankful for all the friends who have chosen to remain patient with my anti-social behavior and easily distracted mind. If you are reading this, I love you.
- The notifications that pop up when strangers invite me to join WoW guilds nearly send me into a whirlwind of panic. Who are you? What do you want from me? I just want to collect these carrots and kill this monster in peace. I don’t think MMORPG’s are for me.
- There is a candle sold at Hannaford that smells exactly like my Nana’s house did when I was growing up. It’s both comforting and alarming. I won’t buy one, but I go down the candle aisle every time I buy groceries.
- I had to put socks on. I decided I cared.
- Right now, my favorite essential oil blend to diffuse is Young Living’s Joy + lemon + grapefruit. It’s incredibly uplifting.
+ Today I had the pleasure of meeting some local artists at an open studio weekend at the Salmon Falls Mills. Seeing active artists in their studios is always inspirational. I came home with a million thoughts and ideas, and the biggest smile on my face. I started some new paint-sketches, worked on some projects, and finally finished this post that I had started well over a week ago.
Check out George Longfish, if you get a chance.
I hope your weekend has been equally inspirational and lovely. Thanks for reading! Cheers to this week!
It’s spring. I am officially calling it, try to stop me. The tall maple in front of Timothy’s parents’ house was alive with bird song and shadows on Wednesday. New Englanders, when we peel away our winter layers, become brand new creatures.
Move forward into the sunshine.
1. Wash your sheets, blankets, and pillow cases. Make your bed.
2. Make friends with your feet. Winter boots have been unkind. Sit in the sun with a warm salt soak and follow up with a well-deserved massage. You won’t realize how much they ached until you’re done. Soon the snow will be gone and you can let your toes breathe.
3. Sort through your books; pass along the ones you won’t read again. Re-read your favorite. In your freshly made bed.
4. Indulge in your favorite scented candle. Let it burn.
5. Clear out your browser bookmarks. Unsubscribe from mailing lists. Delete social media accounts you don’t follow. It feels so good. I actually cleaned out four year’s worth of browser bookmarks last night, and I felt like a new person.
6. Then turn off your electronics. All of them. Have an adventure you don’t document. Let it be only yours.
7. You have a Goodwill pile. I know you do. Bring it in before the summer rush hits (before college gets out in May, if you live in a college town). I need to take my own advice for this one; I have five plastic shopping bags sitting on my floor.
8. Buy yourself a really quality bar of chocolate.
9. Write in a paper journal. Write a letter. Have you forgotten what your handwriting looks like?
10. Go to bed early. Wake up without an alarm. Stretch. See the world before anyone else.
11. Recycle. Compost. Find a comfortable way to reduce your consumption and your waste.
12. Teach yourself a new skill, take a class, or find a new hobby.
13. Take a break from processed food. A meal, a day, a weekend. Whatever is easiest.
14. Hand wash and line dry your lingerie.
15. It’s almost time for fresh fruit and vegetables. I can’t even deal. Look up a local CSA.
16. Buy a new pair of lightweight comfy socks.
17. Go to a new-to-you local restaurant for a weeknight dinner or happy hour.
18. Remind yourself, daily, of all the things you love.
19. If you have a supplies stash, put it to use. Take an afternoon to yourself to be creative.
20. Replace your bath pouf.
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I have recently rekindled my love for stationery. Perusing the shelves at DC Museum shops last week probably is to blame (I am looking at you, National Gallery).
Lost on the Midway postcard collection, The Black Apple (etsy)
Prairie Summer boxed note set, One Canoe Two (etsy)
hello letterpress notecards, Honizukle Press (etsy)
Here’s to more letter writing in 2014 (because seriously, I need all of these)!
Thanks for stopping by. My name is Naomi, and this space is made of girldust. This blog is a picture of my comfortably scattered life on the coast of Maine. I'm trying to be a slightly better version of myself every day. I like old houses, reading, the ocean, ghost stories, and museums. You can learn a little bit more about me here.