the weather was overcast and cold enough that i wore a long-sleeved pullover. i biked to central square and parked at the intersection of mass ave and columbia street. by pure coincidence my sister happened to be in the area as well, having lunch with her indian friend.
the parade was schedule to begin anywhere from 12:30 to 1:00. lacking any kind of plan, i walked down to the staging area at the intersection of river and blackstone street. i walked around a bit getting a sense of what's to come but i didn't take any photos yet. instead of camping out by the staging area (which isn't really the best place to get photos anyway), i walked a little bit further up between putnam avenue and fairmont avenue. here it was empty and i had a nice unobstructed view of the procession, with a sign post to lean on for added stability.
the weather was perfect for photography, that bright greyness which illuminated everything evenly. i was also mobile, easily moving about the length of river street, angling for those perfect shots. my experience today was much better compared to the caribbean parade in boston a few weeks ago. i also brought one piece of equipment that i wished i had when i was in boston: earplugs. those speaker trunks can be painfully loud, but earplugs made me immune to the volume (although i could still feel the bass vibrating my organs).
photographing the parade is just part of the fun; the spectators are just as interesting:
i followed the procession down to mass avenue, where i bumped into my former roommate WCH. she actually saw me first, casually patrolling the street with my camera. she was with a friend of hers, some guy from hangzhou who was doing research at MGH. it was so loud that i had a hard time hearing what she was saying, and once the speaker trunks rolled around the corner, i put in my earplugs.
after the tail end of the parade passed by us, i said good bye to WCH and went to go retrieve my bike. i planned on following the parade into kendall square via main street, but i didn't anticipate how many other people would be doing the same thing, so there was a sea of people that i had to bike through. i ended up having to push my bike from the sidewalk. once i got in front of the human wave, the road was relatively clear again and i could continue biking forward.
i didn't make it all the way down to kendall square because there was another congestion. i ended up returning home via portland street.
biking down hampshire street towards inman square (practicing my no hands riding skills, something i picked up 2 weeks ago), i saw a nice looking dresser on the sidewalk down tremont street (across from the cambridge public works building). i did a u-turn and went back to investigate. it had a nice wooden construction but the bottom and back were cheap plywood. i could do better, i thought to myself, and continued home.
back at home, after some thinking, i decided it'd be worth it to pick up the dresser. worst case scenario i don't like it and i can always throw it back out onto the curb. but maybe drew might have some use for it, or if he doesn't, i could still use it as storage space in my kitchen.
so i biked down to the cafe (via the newly paved linnaean street) and borrowed my parents' honda element. i then returned to tremont street, not even sure if the dresser would still be there. luckily nobody claimed it yet, so i parked the car haphazardly diagonally on the street and quickly loaded the dresser. it was heavy, but i was adrenalized from the rush of finding free furniture so i managed to lift it just enough so i could get it inside the car.
back at home, drew helped me carry the dresser inside the house. he was impressed by how nice it looked on the outside, and was surprised nobody had claimed it yet, given the high college population. unfortunately he didn't need a dresser that large since the bookshelves were good enough. that means i'll need to find a place for the dresser in the kitchen. i was thinking about retiring the guppy tank (with its population of 1 guppy, which i'd transfer to the tetra tank) and putting the dresser in that space.
i returned to the cafe to return the car and biked the rest of the way to belmont. the first thing i did was to check the sports scores: the parade coincided with the patriots first game of the football season. fortunately they won, 34-13 against the tennessee titans (i forgot: are the titans supposed to be a good team?). watching the highlights, i didn't recognize anyone except the quarterback. i'm still kind of upset they cut deion branch, but there could be a small chance he could come back through a salary loophole.
since yesterday hailey has been suffering from a case of conjunctivitis she contracted from another dog. her right eye was all weepy although there was no redness. she seemed to be doing much better today, but only because my sister wiped away all that pinkeye tears.
ever since powdery mildew and bacterial wilt decimated all my cucurbits, i haven't kept up with the gardening. things are still growing in the belmont backyard garden though:
the ride back to cambridge was cold, with temperature i'm guessing in the upper 60's, a small taste of the fall to come. after a few minutes i warmed up so it wasn't a big deal. i found drew again working in the dark on his laptop in the living room.