a sunny sky greeted me this morning. remnants of the hurricane was still active, but for the time being the weather was calm. it was the perfect time to go out and see the aftermath of the hurricane, the earlier the better before the road crew had time to chop down any fallen trees. i was given further incentive when my sister sent me a photo of a tree near my parents' house that toppled over. if nothing else, i could at least see that.

i raked the leaves in the backyard before i left, as well as picked up the debris off of the sidewalk. the overhanging diseased elm never did drop any large branches, but i still made sure i had a clear escape route should i hear the cracking of falling wood. there was a lot of pine needles in front of the house although no pine trees anywhere on the street. i ended up with two barrels of leaves and twigs for garden refuse collection tomorrow. what we really need is a good street cleaning, but according to the usual schedule that won't be until the end of next month.

there was no damage on my street but 2 streets down on prentiss was a fallen tree across the road. it landed on a car but through some miracle it didn't crush the roof. some cable lines across the street kept the tree (a locust?) from toppling over completely. police had been here earlier because the area was roped off. as for the tree, it was a weed tree that was growing from a crack at the base of a building. as to who would be responsible for the damages, i'm not so sure. why the tree was allowed to grow so tall in the first place is a mystery.

surprisingly, there wasn't a lot of damage in the neighborhood. a lot of leaves and twigs on the streets, and here and there some larger branches. however when there was a toppled tree it was easy to spot because the area would be roped off. that's how i saw the damage on raymond street, off of linnaean. a utility pole had snapped in half, pulling down strands of cables, smashing a transformer and a street light onto the ground. a city worker was parked nearby in a car and nervously got out when he saw me approaching the roped area.

at the intersection of huron and lexington avenue was another fallen tree. this one i recognized, a tall and stately tamarack i passed by all the time when i traveled back and forth to my parents' place. this one was doozy, a tree growing in one neighbor's front yard falling onto the yard (and driveway) of another neighbor. once again, the issue of liability comes up. who's responsible for the damages? the house itself seemed to have escaped damage, although a minivan parked on the street had one of its windows shattered by a poking tree limb. it's a shame to see this tree go, there aren't a lot of larch trees in the neighborhood.

speaking of larches, a few streets down on larch road i saw one the worst case of hurricane damage. a tall oak tree had toppled and landed on the side of a case, cleaving off one face. from the street i could see a bookcase and a computer and a monitor just dangling from the second floor. structurally it just wasn't safe to retrieve any of that stuff and so the owner just left them there.

what amazing is that in all these examples of falling trees, the roots themselves aren't very deep, and in some cases the trees don't even seem to have any significant roots given how tall they are. it's surprising not more trees had toppled during the hurricane! another thing i noticed was all these trees (and one utility pole) were all falling from east to west. this makes perfect sense since the wind direction of the hurricane from blowing from the east for the most part.

a little bit further down larch road was another fallen tree landing on a house. this one hit the house dead center, but the tree (another oak) wasn't as large. the branches managed to topple much of the chimney, with red bricks littering the driveway.

people were out surveying the damages to their neighbors. one empathic mother said it wasn't right to be gawking at the misfortunes of others and called her children to leave. i was feeling a bit guilty myself being a disaster tourist. i hope these people have good insurance that will pay for the reapir. in these two cases since these trees were public sidewalk trees, it can be argued that the city is legally responsible for the damages.

along fresh pond down huron avenue i saw more damaged trees. since this road is a major thoroughfare, trees were cleared away as soon as they fell. there was a stack of broken branches on the side of the road. there were also a few smaller trees that seemed to have been snapped in half vertically; they probably won't survive and will need to be chopped down completely at some point.

i finally made it to belmont, where i saw the fallen tree on dalton road. once again, it was a east-west collapse. the homeowners were lucky, the tree missed their house, at most a few shingles damaged by the branch tops. everyone who passed by the house - be it pedestrians, cyclists, cars - were compelled to stop, and many took photos.

i stopped at my parents' place briefly. i tried to let hailey out into the backyard but she won't go outside if the lawn is wet (which it was). my parents had no tree damage.

returning home i stopped by the cafe to tell my parents about the damages i saw during my tour. i grabbed a container of fried rice (for dinner) before leaving. back at home, i went to get some groceries from market basket. it was starting to rain so i decided to postpone my trip. soon after the rain stopped i finally made a successful trip.

drew got in touch with me today, said he wouldn't be back in cambridge until tomorrow afternoon. this meant his little weekend jaunt back to pittsburgh turned out to be a nearly weeklong trip.

i had dinner while watching the celtics-heat game which kicked off the NBA season. the action was intense, it felt more like the playoffs. one of the big stories was shooting guard ray allen defecting to miami. i love ray allen but when the celtics play the heat i hate ray allen. in the second half it looked like things were getting out of hand as the heat pulled away with a 19-point lead. i'm glad i stuck around and watched the entire game because boston made a run and got as close as 4 points with minutes left in the game. unfortunately time just ran out and boston lost their season opener. newly-acquired shooting guard jason terry wasn't very effective as a 3-point threat and made me yearn for ray allen. newcomer leandro barbosa earned some fans tonight with his dominant 16 point performance (in almost a single quarter of playing time), and courtney lee seemed promising. brandon bass is also a good player, and even though jeff green didn't score that much tonight, i know he's good too. despite the loss, i feel pretty good about this season.