Tuesday, August 15, 2006

springfield, not so very far away you know

A visitor enjoys himself at the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden. (MARC-YVES REGIS I)

who knew all of these things were in springfield? i knew about the dr seuss memorial but not about the other things. of course i also knew about the basketball hall of fame (go larry bird)

Culture Cluster Springfield's Quadrangle Of Museums Is A Rich Mix

By ANNE FARROW Courant Staff Writer August 15 2006

I saw a Picasso, visited with the Grinch, drank a delicious cappuccino in an Italian cafe, and took a trip back to the world of Currier & Ives, all in one place. For my "daycation," I drove 26 miles on I-91 North to Springfield, then spent the day exploring the city's rich complex of museums, four of which border the long green quadrangle that is home to the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden.The cover of the visitors' center map says, "Come in and See the World," and it is an apt phrase for the culture cluster known as the Springfield Museums, which includes the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, the Springfield Science Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Connecticut Valley Historical Museum.I go to museums the way some women shop, so the idea of "all museums, all day" was perfect for me. I began with the science museum's Hall of Dinosaurs, which is dominated by a 20-foot-tall model of tyrannosaurus rex. It may be the effect of those "Jurassic Park" movies, but dinosaurs seem more familiar than scary. This is a museum with a strong emphasis on the education of children, so even the video that plays in the hall is rather comforting. I learned that "many of the herbivores didn't chew their food," and that the dinosaurs "have left us great dental records."I love dioramas, and this museum has a lot of them - from moose of New England, to bison of the Great Plains, all of whom looked small after seeing that tyrannosaur. The highlight of the museum for me was the planetarium show, because I hadn't seen a planetarium show since my dad took me to the Museum of Science in Boston in the 1950s.............

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