Monday, January 18, 2010

Greetings from Peabody

We spent a wonderful day at the Museum of Science, where after a brief visit to the galleries with New England animals, we went to the Harry Potter exhibition, which was truly awesome. It was a bit more of a cohesive show than the Lord of the Rings exhibition which we also saw here -- started with kids getting Sorted, then film clips shown to small groups to move people through at a steady pace -- some of the presentations more targeted at kids and families, but then there was room after room of props and costumes, much better arranged than the LOTR and Star Wars exhibits.

My favorite room was probably the second, which has Alan Rickman's Snape robes of the many buttons on display in the middle of Potions ingredient bottles and other dungeon artifacts (Slughorn's robes were there as well), plus Harry and Ron's robes and dormitory stuff, but the Death Eater room was also terrific: a Dementor (I didn't realize they had long skeletal spine-tails), Voldemort's wand and robes, Daily Prophet front pages with articles about attacks, and Lucius Malfoy's beautiful robes with his snake-pattern wand holster, snake-head cane, snake cloak clasps...I had a very hard time not stroking them.

Some of our other favorite things: Ron's collection of Quidditch magazines in his trunk, plus the Quidditch World Cup programs and advertising; Gilderoy Lockhart's complete works and all his office accoutrements; all things Dolores Umbridge, whose clothes I think might even fit me, though those pink kitten plates freak me out; the chocolate desserts made for Great Hall feasts; all the Yule Ball costumes and "ice sculpture"; the Hogsmeade souvenirs, including the Honeyduke's sweet and the Quidditch board game; the Divination crystal balls (I want to see one of the rubber ones they made to bounce down the stairs); the Tri-Wizard cup; the textbooks, especially the Monster Book of Monsters (on display in Hagrid's Hut, complete with Norbert's egg and the oversize half-giant clothes); and the giant animatronic (though not moving) Buckbeak. Also, I must note that there is a shocking amount of Robert Pattinson on display considering how freakin' unimportant Cedric Diggory is to the franchise overall.

Lest you should think we spent all day in the Harry Potter exhibit and its enormous gift shop, we also saw the Antarctica film in the fabulous IMAX Dome (more penguins!), the Van de Graaf Generator show with indoor lightning, the hatching chicks, the tamarin monkeys, the giant snake skeleton, the mathematics room with the sand pendulum, bubble shapes and wall of scientific achievements through history, the dinosaurs, the illusion display, the model ships and dockyards, the light room, the exhibit about life on the edge between land and sea, Anakin Skywalker's spaceship, and the very crowded dining area.

As for our evening: Yay Favre! Yay Jets! Golden Globes: waah Glenn Close, yay Drew Barrymore, yay Sir Paul re: animated films for adults on drugs, bummer re: Jane Lynch who got by far the most applause, sorry Gabourey Sidibe didn't win but I didn't see The Blind Side so can't really judge, whoo Jeff Bridges, LOL Robert Downey Jr., and I was torn about Best Director because I'd love to see Bigelow win but I think Avatar is technically the most brilliant film I've ever seen. And now I must sleep.

Me in front of one of the giant chess pieces from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the lobby. There were more inside the show, including one of the fabulous turtle-like pawns (European armor, Japanese helmet), but there were no photos allowed inside the exhibition or even in the entrance hallway.

Adam checking out the geometric bubble shapes in the Mathematics gallery.

Daniel playing Mean Teacher in the one-room schoolhouse that closed during the Nixon Administration.

Dementordelta straddling Boston and Cambridge at the point where the museum bridges the Charles River.

Newly hatched chicks in one of the third-floor evolution and development exhibits.

Adam in the model ship gallery.

Lightning created by the Van de Graaf generator during a demonstration about electricity.

Anakin and R2-D2 above the exhibit floor.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day -- which I will be spending on the road, hopefully not in the snow!

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