Tag Archives: Boston

Screw it! I’m going on an adventure!

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Saturday, 10-May-14

(Ed Note:  This post links to the previous post “It’s not always bad when dates don’t go as planned…”, since that was when this was planned out)

I’d texted my adventure partner the day before, but was still waiting for a reply when I headed to bed on Friday… when that happens, you sort of have a feeling what’s going on.  I was right, unfortunately; when I did hear back at 9:30 (when we were going to meet around 10:30) it was to cancel out.

But you know what?  Screw it, I’m going alone – I want to do an adventure, and it’s a perfectly humid day out, and I am good company if I do say so myself.  So I’ll explore the river, talk to myself a bit, and hope that the other boaters on the river don’t think that I’m too crazy, heh.

 

  • Bike to breakfast, eat it, it’s excellent and starts me out right
  • Relax a bit, and call in to make sure I don’t need reservations.
  • All that’s left is to actually rent a boat and get on the water… once I do? My life finally transforms back into one that’s calm and relaxing.  This is what adventures should be like – physical labor, and a bit difficult… but un-stressed and fun.  I love just moving slowly down the river, and spend my time swapping between paddling hard, and letting the current carry me onward…
  • Lots of photo opportunities, and I take advantage of most of them as I paddle & drift down the river
  • Watch a rowing race by some high school teams, get yelled at by some standard-issue sports moms who are saying that I shouldn’t be near the river while they’re racing.  I’m honestly not convinced that’s true, but I’m not really in a position that it matters.  The banks of the river there border Storrow… which means that they’re high brick walls.  Not really an option to leave the river, even if I wanted to… which I most definitely did not want to.
  • Continue on, having water and snacks as I keep playing photographer
  • Once I get near the Longfellow bridge, I turn into the Esplanade, and get ready follow the route that Emma and I took before
  • Take a short break on the boat launch near the end – pull the Kayak out of the water, relax, and have a bite to eat
  • Get back in the water… shoot.  Maybe I should have put the paddle in first… now I’m drifting too far away, and it’s still on the dock.  Crap.  Just before I jump into the river to swim back, someone on the shore tosses it back to me.  Whew!  Note to self – remember the paddle next time!
  • I head inbound and explore the esplanade a bit, which is really fun and very beautiful…  Though I do have to dodge a few other boaters who seem intent on paddling on the wrong side, straight at me, as maniacally as they can.
  • Keep going on, and finally head in to the rental place and return the boat.
  • From here, I need to get back to Allston… roughly a 6 mile walk, via “an unknown road” as google has told me.  So I tie up my gear, clip it to my bag, put on some headphones, and start walking!
  • It’s a good walk, and it honestly doesn’t even seem that long.  I make a few phone calls, catch up with some people, and listen to a lot of music.  It’s nice, and I stick mostly to the North Bank of the Charles, which is one that I don’t usually spend much time on.  Always good to explore the road less traveled, even if it was only less traveled by you.
  • Finishing up the walk / kayak / adventure was a nice drive home – basically, a good end to a relaxing day.

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.

Punching Cars

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Tuesday, 12-Nov-13

 

This story makes me think of this song… so play it while you read!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemKqzILV4w

 

If you’re not a cyclist, also take a second to look at…. THIS!

 

SF-Bicycle-Coalition-Right-Turn

 

OK!  Story time!

 

I punched a car tonight.

I don’t get to do this often, and when I do it generally puts me in a quite good mood.

You see – I was biking, and I got cut off.  This isn’t really a unique occurance, but this is one situation that frustrates me to excess – it’s simply a driver making a mistake and not looking where they’re going… but it’s indicative that drivers don’t even think to check for cyclists before turning.

Now, lest this turn into some rant (which it shouldn’t), here’s the fun and simple story of how my night could have been horrid, but instead was fun and excellent:

I was biking in the bike lane, and the car directly to my left decided to make a right turn.  Fine, in most situations.  But not when there’s a bike that you have to drive THROUGH in order to turn.

So I cranked the brakes, did a bit of a dodge, and gave her side-panel a good left jab.  Couldn’t get a full swing in, unfortunately, but the impact made enough of a noise that the driver knew that something wasn’t right.  Then she looked back, and saw a cyclist.  Then, her face dropped.

In mass, hitting a cyclist is a bad thing.  I mean… it’s always a bad thing, but here the law is on our side.  Example: if you door a cyclist?  Not only can the cyclist bring a civil lawsuit against you, but you are also going to be charged with criminal assault, just the same as if you’d smashed a pedestrian with your door.

So this driver knew she had done something wrong.  But she was frozen to the wheel, looking forward and trying to not look at me.

So I did a bit of a “come on now…” hand gesture, indicating she should roll the window down.  She did, and we had a short conversation that basically amounted to “Don’t cut me off!”  “Sorry!  I didn’t see you!”  “Obviously!  Just be more careful next time”.

And then we went our separate ways.