it'd been more a week since i was last in the community garden. it's a wild place now, so overgrown with plants that i can't see the ground anymore. powdery mildew continues to advance on the 2 squash plants; the zucchini is pretty much done, not because of disease but rather due to rot on the main trunk (SVB-related? hard to say). i managed to harvest a container of cherry tomatoes, 1 cocozelle squash, 4 large red tomatoes, and an assortment of hot peppers.


i've gone to the boston caribbean carnival parade enough times that i wonder why i even bother going since it's pretty much the same every year (archive: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011). but what else would i be doing on a saturday afternoon? and as a fan of spectacles, this is one of the more spectacular events of the year.

the weather was so nice i had a tough time deciding between taking the bicycle or the motorcycle. in the end i chose motorcycle just because it was faster and i would've arrive at my destination all sweaty and tired. i took a new route, across the MIT bridge, down mass ave to shawmut avenue to washington avenue to roxbury, to my usual motorcycle parking spot at the corner of the melnea cass swimming pool.

i arrived a little after 12:30, with the parade scheduled to begin at 1:00. but these caribbean parades have a tendency to start late, so i wasn't too worried i'd miss the action. i went to the corner of MLK boulevard and warren street, my usual spot. this is where all the politicians normally gather. there was a big group supporting elizabeth warren (although the woman herself was a no show), handing out free campaign stickers and t-shirts. there were also a few neighborhood politicians whom i didn't recognize, but i did see sonia chang-diaz, who is a common political figure at these parade events (here she is at the pride march back in june).

the politicians marched at exactly 1:00; the rest of the parade didn't begin until almost half an hour later, and even then, there were long stretches of waiting as the procession stopped a few times. bored with my usual photo spot, i climbed a high wall on the southern side of MLK boulevard, found the perfect place that had a long stretch of sunlit street between 2 trees. i've been here before, the high vantage point gives me a better view, but i'm pretty much stuck there as there isn't any room to move.

in the beginning the wall was a good spot, with the sun in the perfect position, but as the parade continued, the sun shifted west, so it began to shine behind people as they marched east. i didn't feel like moving by that point so i kept to my spot. in hindsight, the better spot would be on warren street, with the sun shining directly on the faces of the parade participants. also that early in the procession, people were still getting ready, and there wasn't any of the organized dancing that'd come later (it's not just a costume party - it's a costume dance party).

on a few occasions i had a hard time taking photos because the music was too loud, the kind of serious volume that can blow open a shirt. i forgot to bring my ear plugs and was busy with fingers in ears to prevent myself from going deaf.

the total haul from the parade was 1017 photos; i didn't use up my 4gb memory card but it was close. i don't think i had that many great photos, but through my mistake, it gave me a better idea of where to stand in relationship to the sun for next time. the good thing is there will be another caribbean parade next month, in cambridge, near my neck of the woods.

i return to cambridge via cedar-columbus-tremont-mass ave.


my sister was supposed to come as well but at the last minute she had another one of her many temper tantrums decided not to go.