Refueling after excercising your brain


I go to museums to discover something new. I go to restaurants to eat. When I can do both things on the same day, it can be a pretty good day. Such was the case on a recent Saturday when I took in the outstanding exhibition Turner to Cezanne at the Everson Museum in Syracuse.

This exhibition brings pieces from the collection of a pair of sisters from Wales, the Davies. Only five cities in the nation will be showcasing these pieces, and the Everson is one of the five.

Impressionist pieces are at the core of the exhibition, including several by Monet. I was mesmerized by Charing Cross Bridge, one of the many studies he did of London. Monet loved the London fog and mist and the diffused light.

La Parisienne

Pierre-Auguste Renoir's La Parisienne, 1874. Photo courtesy of Everson Museum.

It was terrific to stand in front of Renoir’s life-size canvas, La Parisienne, and take in the bold shimmering blues of the dress worn by this “modern” woman of Paris. You could easily imagine the swish and shush of her dress as she entered a ballroom.

My discovery, though, was of a painting by the sole woman artist in the exhibition, Berthe  Morisot. I was not familiar with her work, and I left the exhibition thinking of her painting — At Bougival — more than any other.

The painting is of a mother and child enjoying the outdoors, and they are almost subsumed by the vigorous greens of the grass portrayed through thick swirls of color. The bucolic scene actually feels energetic because of the vigorous brush strokes.

Morisot studied under Corot and was influenced by Manet, who would one day become her brother-in-law. She would become the only woman painter in the group that would become known as the Impressionists.

It was great to learn more about her at the exhibition, where you can use your cell phone and punch in a code to learn about several of the paintings.

If you haven’t been yet, go to the Everson. The show runs until Jan. 3.

Not wanting to exercise only one half of my brain, after the Everson I wandered down to Shifty’s, a neighborhood bar on Burnet Avenue, to watch some of the Syracuse University football game. The bar prides itself in offering live music, a good beer selection, and good wings.  I had discovered it during a St. Patrick’s Day jaunt with some friends last year. We had a great time, and I thought a return visit was in order.

webOn this Saturday, the Orange would actually go on to victory, a rare occurrence, by beating Akron.  I walked away a winner by ordering some wings from the kitchen. 

I don’t eat chicken wings as much as I used to, but when they are done right, which means hot but not inferno-like, they can be fun to eat. Shifty’s wings were great: meaty, crisp, and packing some punch.  I enjoyed a dozen for $6.50, and matched with a couple drafts, I left the ‘Cuse a happy man.

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