i met eliza at haymarket this morning. she wanted to learn the intricacies of her new used nikon coolpix 4500 and i suggested we could play tourists for a day and get some practice with her camera. first we went to the north end to get some lunch, at some busy brunch place called the north street grille recommended by her brother who just happens to live in the north end. the clientele was surprisingly collegiate (frat boys and sorority girls) but the food was good enough. i had the cabrese omelette while eliza went with the french toast, picking out the banana slices of which she was allergic to. after our meal we paid a visit to the prado before eliza met her brother briefly at the nearby starbucks to get some family facetime.

quincy market was our next step, where there was an ice sculpting contest in progress. the 5th place winner featured a very chinese-looking paul revere riding a blocky crystalline horse. we briefly engaged in a game of sneak photography, where one person would pick somebody out of the crowd and the other person would have to try and get a photo of said person without being detected.

haymarket, besides a great place to find produce bargains, is also rich in photo opportunities. vendors were hip to the fact that we were taking photos and some of them playfully asked to have their picture taken. beware the cabbage salesmen though: those boys were kind of rude - not to us, but they told an old woman to get lost and called her an [expletive] cheapstake. haymarket: go for the bargains, not for the service. also a great place to buy fresh goat meat, but not sure what you'd do with a goat head.

eliza bought a box of strawberries and a bundle of asparagus (labeled as "grass" for some reason) while i bought a pair of carambolas ("yang fruit," as they're called in chinese). after walking through the jewish holocaust memory we made our way to downtown crossing.

"ma'am, ma'am, you dropped this," a man said behind us as he picked up several bills from the floor and handed them to eliza. that reminded me of an earlier incident on the train, when i handed a woman her charlie card after she dropped it without knowing.

at the washington street playhouse (not sure if that's the official name, it's the old school theatre next to felt), i switched over to my fisheye lens for some super-wide-angled shots. we made a cursory pass through chinatown, and cut across boston common.

people were walking (and skating) all over the frozen swan pond. unlike the frog pond, it was free, although the surface isn't as smooth and an ominous sign warns people to "skate at your own risk."

we made it all the way to copley square, where we ducked into the boston public library to use their bathroom. there was a john adams exhibit which we briefly checked out, before going upstairs to look at some more old books.

copley square was our last stop: i took the inbound train back to cambridge while eliza grabbed the nearest bus. i stopped by a dunkin' donuts in porter square to get a large cup of white hot chocolate (it's my new favorite drink). back at home, feeling particularly tired after a day of wandering boston, i took a nap as soon as the day got dark and woke up around 8pm. i heated up a toaster oven pizza for dinner. an tao didn't come back from work until after 11pm.