drew wanted to go into boston and check out some public art for his course. i was all ready to go but he said he had some writing to do and said he couldn't leave until the afternoon. i was fine with going later but i had to get back by 5:00. in the meantime i biked down to market basket to pick up some eggs (i'd used up my supply making tea eggs).
around 12:00 i was making preparations to leave for boston first and then maybe meet up with drew later. there was a classic car show that i wanted to check out at boston common. but drew finished with his writing so we left together.
our first stop was inman square, where he wanted to check out the fire station, with it's relief panels depicting fire fighting equipment and exploits.
we stopped at 1 kendall square to check out the statue in front of the dante alighieri society of massachusetts and the mural behind the wall of the advance tire company.
kendall square wasn't even on the agenda, but i told drew about the globe sculpture/fountain. we ended up spending a lot of time there, not only to admire the public art, but drew was taken by the layout of kendall square, how a lot of money was spent in developing the area despite being relatively unused. walking around the edge of MIT we saw the newly-relocated picasso sculpture "figure découpée" (1958) behind the sloan business school (it's supposed to be a bird).
heading into city hall, we came across the TD mayors cup bike race. i've always wanted to see it so it was quite serendipitous. i could've just spent the rest of the day there, taking photos of the cyclists as they circled the track, but there was more public art to see. while walking around looking for drew (i'd momentarily parked my bike), a TD bank spokesgirl gave me a bike bell. i asked her if i could have another for my friend who's actually from toronto (the "T" in TD).
next we crossed over to the quincy market area. while drew was busy taking photos of statues, i went to nearby haymarket to get some blueberries. asking drew where he wanted to go next, he said the bunker hill monument. when i told him it was too far, he didn't believe me until he took out his map and saw it was actually in charlestown.
so we went onto the rose kennedy greenway instead, which was just nearby. even though we weren't supposed to bike on it, there was nobody around to tell us otherwise.
we went around the federal reserve building where we found a few more unexpected pieces of public sculptures. there was an "audit the reserve" protest, some sort of offshoot of the occupied movement. there was only a few dozen people but a few cops were there to make sure things didn't get out of hand. i was approached on two occasions to sign a petition but i declined.
next we went through the financial district, a ghost town on the weekends. empty enough that we could ride in the streets since there wasn't even any cars. we went to downtown crossing, then post office square...
then liberty square...
coming back up by the old custom house, next to government center, then towards boston common. this was my original destination, to see the car show, but we arrived too late and the exhibition had already closed.
at some point i realized drew and i were in the city for different reasons. i wanted to do some leisurely sightseeing, but he was here to work. on more than one occasion i just sort of sat around on my bike, waiting for him to take his photos and write his notes, so we could go see the next interesting thing.
at the boston garden we finally split up. it was already 4:30 anyway, i had to race home then go to belmont for dinner with some relatives. i took the charles river-MIT bridge route (seems to be my preferred route returning from boston these days) and got back by 5:00. after a quick shower, i took the motorcycle to belmont.
only my father and sister were home; my mother went with bin bin's parents and her boyfriend's friends to do some shopping at the wrentham outlet mall. my aunt and uncle made a reservation for 6:00 at the restaurant but my mother and her gang didn't leave wrentham until 5:30. we decided to meet my aunt and uncle at the restaurant and want for everyone else to arrive.
i was surprised to see my sister coming, because she always seems to have an excuse to not attend these family dinners. before we left the house, she was searching for motion sickness pills. i asked her what for, she said she gets motion sick if anyone else drives but her (my father was driving). i could see she was beginning to lay out the groundwork for an excuse. in the car, she complained that my father was driving the wrong way to the restaurant. i was a bit confused too, because my mother told me a few days ago that we were going to IHOP, because these china relatives have never experienced american-style breakfast foods like pancakes and maple syrup. but turns out my aunt and uncle were treating and they decided we'd go to an italian restaurant instead, in waltham, the chateau, because it'd be something different for these chinese guests.
and then it happened. with a fabricated smile, my sister told my aunt and uncle she wasn't feeling well and then left, taking the car, stranding my father and i. everyone seemed confused, my father kept telling us not to worry about it, and if he knew the reason why my sister left, he wasn't saying. my guess was she didn't like it that we weren't taking her food recommendations seriously so she got angry and stormed out. again.
my mother and our relatives didn't arrive until 6:30. minus my sister, there was a total of 11 people. we got one of the long tables, and everyone just sort of sat haphazardly, so binbin's boyfriend ended up being separated from his parents and my parents and myself sat with them, with not much to talk about.
serving chinese food to chinese people seemed too unimaginative, and i agree we should treat them to something american, but italian food was just too different for their chinese pallet. my parents (like myself) have lived in america for more than 3 decades so we've acquired a taste for italian cuisine in that time. but binbin's boyfriend's parents almost seemed scared by the dishes they saw, and his mother hardly ate anything.
after dinner my aunt and uncle gave my parents and myself a ride back to belmont in matthew's new audi. right away i was impressed with the rear view camera with proximity sensors. there was also satellite radio and bluetooth connections. i wouldn't be surprised if it had built-in gps navigation.
back at my parents' place, my sister finally told us why she left. she actually didn't feel well, some woman issues, and needed to race home. it still left everyone with some bad feelings, because we all thought she was angry with us. she's done it so many times in the past, she's like the boy who cried wolf, on this one occasion when she was telling the truth, nobody believed her.
later in the evening it began to rain a bit. had i have known, i would've covered up my motorcycle, but a little rain won't hurt it and might actually wash off the film of dust that's accumulated. now that i think about, i did remember something about a brief early morning rain shower.