marco and i biked into the city to check out the ongoing occupy boston protest. there was supposed to be a march from park street to south station happening in the early afternoon. the weather was surprisingly pleasant: sun and blue sky, but with a strong 20-40mph wind. crossing the longfellow bridge, marco noticed for the first time how nice it was, even though we've passed by this way before (on the bike and the subway). my canvas shopping bag that i had in one of the rear baskets got caught in the gears and we had to stop briefly to get it untangled.
arriving at park street, we saw a slowly growing group of what appeared to be protesters waving flags. we heard drumming and realized we were right in the path of an oncoming convoy of protesters marching up summer street. they stopped in park street and began talking through a megaphone. we waited for them to march but they seemed to be just standing there, maybe hoping for more people to show up. marco wasn't impressed with the turnout. when similar marches happen in spain he said, people show up by the tens of thousands. there also seemed to be a lack of a central focused message, ant-establishment mixed with anti-war mixed with some other random elements. we left and headed into south station to see the tent city (first making a stop to the station itself, where marco has never been before).
there seemed to be only a ragtag assembly of protesters at dewey square, with the bulk of the congregation still amassing at park street. curious tourists taking photos seem to be equally represented as actual squatters. there was a semblance of organization, in the form of a large feeding station (where anyone could get free food), and a place where anyone could make a sign. as much as i agree that there's something terribly wrong with the inequity between the rich and the poor, i still don't understand how camping out in a tent in boston is going to solve the problem. if i was a wall street fat cat sitting high up in my perch, i could care less if a bunch of hippies are making noise in the cities. there has to be something else but i don't know what it is.
we left dewey square and headed through the weekend-empty financial district to haymarket. we were stopped by the police when we arrived in post office square. apparently they were shooting scenes for the upcoming movie RIPD (2013). a crowd wrangler told us that they had the whole area around the old state house roped off for the entire weekend. i snapped a few photos but the wrangler told me photos wasn't allowed (i wasn't in the mood to argue with him about public accessibility rights). we tried going around through liberty square, but that area was closed to. another wrangler let a bunch of people cross over and we went with them as well. they were definitely doing something serious, with a pile of crushed cars nearby and a bunch of people wearing motion controlled suits. i wanted to sneak a photo but decided against it.
"whoa," said marco, as he saw the cheap produce at haymarket. we'd passed by here once before, but never stopped to take a closer look. since he wouldn't be home all next week, he said he'd come by some other time to do some serious shopping. i ended up buying $10 worth of produce (cilantro, garlic, potatoes, grapes).
i would've preferred coming back along the charles river, but marco asked if we could cross the longfellow bridge again. that turned out to be an especially difficult task, involving going uphill with an extremely strong headwind. it seemed like forever crossing the bridge and when we finally made it over to cambridge we were relieved.
after taking a shower, i left for belmont. my sister wasn't home, having left with hailey for the weekend to do some hiking in new hampshire, so the place was especially quiet. i stuck around for some dinner and left.
i was surprised to find marco still at home, since he told me he might be going out for dinner. he ended up deciding to stay home so he could do some packing for tomorrow. he also paid for next month's rent without me having to ask him (which i've always found awkward). we ended up watching the last 2 episodes of breaking bad. later he got in touch with david, his lab partner, who's also going with him to brookhaven. "david is still up this time of the night?" i asked, looking at the clock which said 1:00. "actually, david is still at MIT, creating the samples," marco told me. "are these samples dangerous? they're not radioactive are they?" i joked. marco told me the samples were safe, but the packing material might be hazardous.