on what would be the last weekend i'd be in town with pau still living at my place, i decided to take him into boston for his very first dim sum experience. the weather was a little humid so we decided to take the subway instead so we wouldn't arrive in chinatown all sweaty and gross. the last time i went to dim sum anywhere was 2 years ago, at the hei la moon restaurant in chinatown. but my traditional dim sum venue is china pearl, which is where we ended up going today. even though it wasn't so crowded that there were people waiting in the mirrored hallway, we still had to wait about 15+ minutes before we managed to get a table.
maybe it was because i haven't had dim sum in a while and my eyes got bigger than my stomach, or maybe i just wanted pau to have the full experience, but i ended ordered a lot of food, more than we could eat, including double dishes of my favorite tripe. in the end i managed to cram it all down, which made pau think that all taiwanese are gluttons. he paid for tip while i paid the bill ($40).
next we stopped by the c-mart on lincoln street so i could pick up a few things. pau noted that he was the only non-asian person in the supermarket. he wanted to get some good coffee so we made our way to the north end along the greenway; this would also give me a chance to get a few things from haymarket.
we took a detour along northern avenue and crossed over the steel truss pedestrian bridge over to the moakley federal courthouse. we followed the harborwalk until we got to the institute of contemporary art (ICA) before turning back.
we continued along the greenway, even watched a photographer shooting a southeast asian wedding group.
there was some sort of street festival happening at the north end. we walked up and down hanover street before deciding on caffé vittoria to get something to drink. pau had an espresso which he said was kind of watered down; i had a hot chocolate which he treated.
after a quick walkthrough of haymarket, we grabbed the subway nearby and returned to cambridge.
i wasn't home long before i left for belmont, where my parents were taking my niece tangtang out to dinner.
we ended up going to amarin, a thai restaurant in newton. we'd have some good meals there in the past, but the food wasn't like i remembered it and business was a little slow for a weekend evening.
after dinner i returned home. pau was out having drinks with friends but said he'd be back home by 11:00 so we could go to the midnight bike ride that was happening boston.
since he didn't have a bike, earlier (in the afternoon) pau tried out some of my basement bikes. he picked the GMC denali partly because it looked cool but also it was one of the only mens bike that was in ridable. he even took it out on a test ride around the block a few times to make sure he could ride it.
in the evening, when i went down to the basement to bring out the denali, i saw the front wheel was flat. so i pumped it up but that's when it went crazy. without warning, the inner tube exploded. it was loud enough that my upstairs neighbor steve ran out onto his deck, thinking that maybe the propane tank of his barbecue had popped. "i'm fine, i'm okay," i muttered, not that he asked. "i just exploded a tire." fortunately i had a spare inner tube, so after shaking off the shock of having something explode on me, i replaced the tube with no additional drama.
pau didn't get back home until 11:15, apologizing profusely ("when you're with a bunch of spanish people, it's hard to leave") and was afraid i'd already left. we rode into boston, to rendezvous with the group in copley square. i was afraid it might rain so i brought a plastic bag to shield my camera equipment but crossing longfellow bridge it flew out of my basket without me knowing (pau saw it happen but couldn't do anything).
when we arrived we signed waivers disavowing the tour leaders of any responsibility in case we get injured. everyone wore helmets except for us. we waited until midnight and began the tour after an introductory speech by the group leader.
during a brief stop in kendall square, a biker was quickly changing out a flat tube. suddenly there was a loud pop, like a gunshot, followed by a knowing groan through the crowd. having so recently exploded my own inner tube, i knew exactly what that sound was.
none of the other bikers made an issue about us not having helmets, but we did hear it from rowdy pedestrians; at least 3 separate occasions onlookers shouted at us for not having helmets. we even heard it from a couple riding in a boat ("where's your helmet!?") as we rode across the locks from boston into paul revere park.
we went to constitution wharf, which i don't think i've ever visited (maybe when i was in elementary school 3 decades ago). we rode underneath the zakim bridge and rode the new pedestrian overpass that connects charlestown into cambridge.
from the science museum we rode to inman square then harvard square. after some exposition in front of memorial hall, pau and i decided to return home since it was already 2:30 and the house was only a minute away.