i showed drew my basement bike collection this morning. like pau, he had a preference for a man bike instead of a lady bike. the problem was all the men bikes i owned were in various states of disrepair. he asked if he had my permission to take one of the less broken ones into a bike shop to get it professionally fixed (i was fine with that idea). but all my men bikes are also all road bikes, and drew told me he'd prefer a more upright handlebar instead of the dropdowns. all signs pointed to the red lady schwinn, which was pretty much ready to go, no repairs needed, ready to ride as is.

since neither of us had plans for today, i asked drew if he'd like me to give him a bike tour through boston. while he first went to get some groceries from star market for breakfast, i rode the bike first to rite aid to look for burt bee's res-q ointment and then market basket for some granola (for my mother). when i got back to the house, i found drew out on the backyard deck eating a banana with his macbook pro.

before he left i adjusted the seat for him, raising it up by an inch. he carried his empty backpack on his back even though i told him he could probably store it in the milk crate basket (eventually he did).

the tour: we went down beacon-hampshire to galileo way, passed the stata center building to MIT on mass avenue, crossing the MIT bridge, going as far as huntington avenue admiring the mary baker eddy christian scientist church, shoulder to shoulder with car traffic traveling (students returning) down huntington to the museum of fine arts, saw the MFA grand but oft-unused rear entrance and the japanese rock garden, pass the museum of fine arts school, admiring simmons college, cursing the new renzo piano wing of the isabella stewart gardner museum, swinging by mass art and wentworth technical and getting a better look at the mass art student housing building that looked like a tower made out of wood, back onto huntington to ruggles to the southwest corridor heading in the direction of boston, traveling down columbus avenue until mass ave, through the manicured bike path behind backbay, coming out at backbay station to copley square, down boylston down berkeley, admiring the mansion on 25-27 commonwealth avenue, to arlington riding the wrong way down a one way street to the overpass across storrow drive, taking the charles river bike trail back to harvard square, admiring MIT baker house designed by alvar aalto and MIT simmons hall (where the small windows make it seem like it's farther away than it actually is), crossing the cambridge street bridge to memorial drive which was closed to car traffic on a sunday, up ash street (to see the philip johnson house) to brattle street to admire the large houses of tory row, then through appleton highland reservoir fayerweather back onto brattle and up lexington avenue to huron avenue, across the harvard-smithsonian observatory, uphill through avon hill (since linnaean is being resurfaced), not going home right away but taking my shortcut to market basket where drew was amazed by how cheap everything was (and many produce from canada, surprisingly), and then finally coming back home, about 4 hours later and 20 miles of riding.

i've given boston tours before, but there's something special about taking someone who can not only appreciate the architecture, but also know the history behind it as well. some of the places we saw were new for me too, so were like 2 explorers admiring our discoveries. i was impressed that drew managed to keep up, but i remembered he told me he rode through the streets of paris this summer on those parisian rental bikes so boston shouldn't be that much different. he liked the schwinn so much that he's decided he'll continue riding it during his stay here.

while drew was back out on the deck enjoying a can of pomegranate seltzer, i made my exit to belmont via motorcycle.

when i returned home by 8:00, drew was finishing cleaning up after cooking some pasta for dinner. he asked if i had a salad spinner; i don't, but i told him i'd get one (also some longer coat hangers). we chatted for a few hours in the living room (breaking bad, mad men) before he said he had to get to bed by 11:00 so he could adhere to his daily routine of waking up by 7:00. later i managed to watch the encore broadcast of the season finale of breaking bad. they could've essentially ended the series with this episode (as happy an ending as you can get), except that very last scene, where all the pieces finally lock into place for one individual, and it's "can't wait for next season" all over again. it wasn't walt whitman!