i almost didn't want to go to chez vous roller skating rink in dorchester. not that i didn't want to partake in jerica's birthday celebration but i just didn't want to skate. however, an opportunity to flex my photo muscles was an irresistible draw so i got dressed and headed into boston. i got off at downtown crossing (i saw some war protesters), grabbed the orange line into forest hills, and then the 31 bus towards mattapan, getting off at the intersection of morton street and blue hill avenue.
this was jerica's second roller skating birthday party (she had one last year as well). after i paid my $7 entrance fee (despite knowing i wouldn't be using it since i wasn't going to be skating), i saw jerica. ed as there too, as well as eliza, alex, and carl & hilary. later susana showed up, as well as nobuko and a friend. the first thing i did was to buy a slice of pizza from the snack stand and wash it down with a diluted cup of pepsi. while everyone else skated (occasionally coming to the bench to rest before going back out again), i was happy just to take photos. one unfortunate note though: despite being armed with a fast lens, i had the aperture set to f/4.5 (4 stops slower than the fastest speed) so most of the images came out blurry. it was a challenge anyway, with dimly lit conditions and everyone in motion, but still, at those settings, i might as well have been using the old kit lens. this was a hardcore skating rink, with kids rolling by at top speed. "referees" with fluorescent vests made sure nothing got out of hand and whistled at anybody who fell down (as if saying, "get back up! you're wrecking the flow!"). there was a live deejay churning out mostly hip-hop and R&B music.
after the rink was closed at 6pm (starting at 8pm they had adult skating), those of us that remained went across the street to a haitian restaurant for dinner. i had the goat stew (the meat's a little tough but has a nice gamey flavor) with came with rice & beans and fried plantains. i also got a side of sweet potato fries. afterwards it was time for dessert and jerica brought out an ice cream cake that she had left here earlier. unfortunately it wasn't left in the freezer so it was a little bit melted by the time it came to sticking in the candle and singing happy birthday.
by the time we left, wet snow was falling fast. ed was good enough to give me a ride back to my place in cambridge (the rest of the crew were heading to a party in union square).