Wandering Boston, Cambridge, and seeing the Chinese New Year celebration in Chinatown

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Sunday, 09-Feb-2014

Wait, seriously? This is… what, the fourth New Years celebration that I’ve been to this year?  Seriously?  We need to calm down about this whole new year, and move on with our lives!

But so it happened – another New Years Celebration was upon me.  I’d woken up this morning with absolutely nothing to do, and no plans in the pipeline.

Thankfully for my sanity, a quick check of Facebook clued me in to the official New Years celebration parades happening down in Chinatown, so I tosses an apple and a book into my satchel, sent a few messaged telling people where to meet me, and headed out into the daylight.

The first stop was breakfast, where I met up with Emma on the way to Davis, and then grabbed food at the usual buffet at the Foundry.  Parisian Brunch Buffet they call it; and if I haven’t mentioned it before, it’s basically the best thing in the world.  Eggs benedict, Sausage and gravy, bacon, Cream cheese and blueberry crepes… all you can eat, and with some pretty good coffee to boot.

After I was fortified for the day, Emma split off on her own way and I grabbed the red line into the city.

I walked out of the train station into the sound of explosions and the smell of sulfur and cordite.  Not really what I’d expect in Boston, especially after the bombings of the previous year, so it took me a moment to orient myself.  The police were out in force today, not getting in peoples way, or blockading anything, just being there.  Mostly in pairs of patrol officers, stationed every so often or just walking around with the rest of the passers by.

I respect them a lot for it, actually.  Allowing people to keep their traditions, even in the face of horrible tragedy, and choosing not to ban celebratory fireworks “for the common good”.  But instead come out in force, stand a bit back, and reassure people that the officers are there, if needed.  But that they won’t interfere unless required to.

I stayed for a while, taking pictures and learning a bit about the celebration.  I believe that this was a blessing of sorts – the shopkeepers would put out plates of food for the lions/dragons, who would eat, bless the shop, and then leave by the sound of fireworks.  I may be a bit off though… I couldn’t really find anything written down, or anyone giving out explanations for what was going on.  The whole celebration was obviously for the people living there, not for curious bystanders.  I was just along for the ride.

So along I rode.  Following around until I got bored, and started my way back home.  Instead of the T, I chose to walk the 6ish miles back home – a slower path, but like I said; I didn’t have anything else to do on a lazy Sunday.  So I walked, stopped, read, and walked some more.  I stopped into a tea shop in Harvard square to warm up for a bit, but was quickly on my way again once the teapot was empty.

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