Amateurs build gingerbread houses – but architects and architectural designers build gingerbread landmarks.
That’s one conclusion you can draw from a Christmas-themed exhibition now on display at the Boston Society of Architects at Atlantic Wharf: a dozen renditions of Hub landmarks in gingerbread and icing, including Boston City Hall and its plaza, Trinity Church, Old South Church, and the John Hancock Tower, Prudential building and State House.
These are creations that require far more work than a Christmas Eve project. Kachina Studer, an architectural designer with Arrowstreet Inc. in Boston, was one of 20 people from Arrowstreet who assembled their "Naughty or Nice?" version of City Hall. omagined with a skating rink and elf on a shelf.
"The plaza took about 80 hours to complete, and the city hall took about 100 hours to complete," Studer told necn.
It’s not just because the display is so detailed, with wreaths and dots of icing ornaments in trees, but the Arrowstreet team learned the raw materials are tricky to work with.
"You’re going to keep breaking pieces," Studer explained. "You're going to keep baking and keep breaking them."
Another business getting into the Christmas spirit in Boston in its own unique way is Zipcar, which made Boston one of eight U.S. cities where it's offering, brand new for this holiday season, “Santa’s Sleigh” car rentals –- vehicles wrapped to look like a sleigh full of presents and with reindeer eyes and a red nose on the front too.
Bob Shear of Boston, who’s been a Zipcar renter for 10 years, got an email announcing the short-term availability of the vehicle named “Prancer” and clicked on it immediately – only to discover the Ford Focus was parked in one of two Zipcar spaces on Merrimac Street, right across from his West End home.
For no extra charge over a normal daily rental, Zipcar throws in candy, a Christmas disc to put in the CD player, and free Santa Claus caps, plus makes a $1 donation to Toys for Tots every time someone rents it.
As he prepared to drive off with the vehicle, Shear said he is expecting a Christmas to remember as he and his partner, Jill, drive to see family in Canton and Lynnfield.
"I just think we'll have some people smiling, and it's fun, and it's something you don't see every day," Shear said. "And we'll have the only one in Boston."