i woke up early to have some cereal with the milk i bought last night from star market right before they closed. hunger satisfied, i moved the jasmine and jade plants outside so they could enjoy the sun (it'd hit 82 degrees today), then i rode the motorcycle into boston for work. i was in such a good mood, i even said hi to a guy riding a scooter (this seldom happens). although riding the bike does offer me the kind of independence i don't have when i share a crowded subway train, it doesn't really save me on time, and as a matter of fact, i probably get to work faster riding the subway since i don't have to contend with surface traffic. it took me 20 minutes just to make it to the longfellow bridge, and i still had to navigate boston city traffic in order to get to the office. roughly 30 minutes after i left cambridge, i finally made it, parked the motorcycle in one of the expanded sidewalk spaces that seemed to be reserved for bike parking.
i'd be lying if i said i don't get a thrill walking around the street after riding the motorcycle, helmet in one hand, pair of gloves in the other. i feel like a pilot who just landed his plane. anyone who saw me would know that i wasn't just a simple pedestrian, that my mode of transportation is unconventional and widely regarded as dangerous. is it practical, though? hardly. motorcycles are for leisurely rides through countryside, enjoying the scenery and the nice weather. riding into the city, going up against notorious boston drivers, breathing in their exhaust at every stop, it's a health hazard.
everyone ordered drinks except for me; not like i didn't want to experiment, but i was riding home in a few hours and i didn't want to be intoxicated. peking tom is one of those trendy restaurants with 2 dozen items on the menu and small serving sizes. nevertheless, their chicken wings were really good. i had the salmon bento box, it was okay, but lacked the variety of a apollo grille bento box lunch.
after lunch, katrinka left to home, in preparation for her weekend pilgrimage to the montreal ikea to buy furniture. the rest of us walked back to work. trio's, the club restaurant downstairs below our office, had been closed since at least yesterday. on its doors were taped several notices, one a restraining order against two men, and another a closed sign put up by the boston city licensing board.
i left at 4pm, saying good bye to carly one last time. i had 30 minutes to ride to julie's place in davis square. it took me all of 20 minutes just to navigate out of boston city traffic. as a pedestrian and someone who never drives into boston, i know the streets different. what's a two way street for a pedestrian and quite different from a vehicle. i weaved my way through downtown crossing, down washington street to city hall, then from city hall to the longfellow bridge. from there it was familiar grounds, but my progress was limited by the amount of traffic on the road, which was a lot. eventually i got to julie's (she was waiting outside on her second story porch) although a little bit late.
as if 30+ minutes of traffic wasn't enough for me, driving to winchester to visit the mahoney's gardening store was just as bad. mass ave in cambridge to arlington was bumper to bumper. we went onto route 2 (even though would could've just stayed on mass ave) to get to arlington center, then down route 3 to winchester to mahoney's. earlier julie had visited pemberton and she came back with a report that there wasn't a lot of stock, perhaps the growing season was still early. one step into mahoney's revealed a different story: they had everything, all the vegetables, all the herbs, all the perennials and the annual flowers, hanging plants, orchids, you name it. the difference is they have greenhouses to grow everything in while pemberton does their growing out in the open. julie and i went house on picking the plants we wanted to grow. although she was reluctant to get a pushcart, whe ended up maxing out on space. it was great being there on a friday afternoon, because there was hardly anyone there (i can't imagine the kind of crowds tomorrow, a warm saturday, when everyone will be out in full force getting their gardening on).
i ended up buying a six pack of big boy tomatoes, flat italian parsley, and habanero peppers, a container of cilantro, a basil, and a rosemary. for the upcoming mother's day, i also got a hanging pot of helichrysum, which have the most interesting yellow flowers with orange centers that feel like they're dried (the plant likes dry soil, never seen that before). i looked for freesia but couldn't find it, maybe they'll be out later in the season. altogether, julie and i combined for over $100+ of purchases. we loaded everything into the trunk of julie's car and headed back to somerville. leaving the parking lot, we were behind a red camaro, which julie and i both agree is the poor man's corvette.
after helping julie bring her plants into her house, i left to go back to my place while julie ordered the wings. as a surprise, i went around the corner and bought some anchor steam beer from the liquor store for julie. 20 minutes later she came over with food plus my plants still in her trunk (i had the motorcycle, i couldn't bring that home with me even if i wanted to). although we originally planned for a rousing evening of red sox baseball action, that would not be the case. in recent weeks no team has been able to stop the red sox, and finally it took a force of nature in the form of thunder and hailstorm to bring the home team to a halt, as the game in texas was canceled due to the weather. julie and i both ordered 14 pieces of wings. originally i was going to go with just 10, but julie got the 14, and i wasn't going to let a "girl" outeat me in wings so i had to up the ante (or at least match) and went with 14 myself, even though i had a very filling lunch. by evening's end, either one of us were able to finish everything.