a few days ago i saw my first frozen ice puddles of the season. today it was the first powdery white roads. this happens due to a combination of very cold temperature and salt particles on the streets. i know it's simply not frost because when i ride behind cars, i see it kicking up the dust and i can taste the saltiness in my mouth when i breath it in. one of the pleasures of winter biking!

this morning i had to go to the library to return some books then visit the city hall annex to pick up a visitor's parking permit for my grand uncle. along the way i'd visit a few richardsonian romanesque buildings.

cambridge public library:

now's a good time to see the library: due to the winter break, there aren't any scary looking high school kids loitering outside. every time i see the cambridge public library (the old wing, not the new extension), i see something new. for the longest time i thought it was a direct richardsonian creation, but i recently learned it was built by van brunt 1888, the same architect responsible for the harvard memorial hall.

after waiting in line (15 minutes) at the city hall annex to get the visitor's parking permit (free for senior citizens), i traveled down inman street to central square. here were 2 romanesque buildings: cambridge city hall (1888 longfellow, arden & harlow) and the guaranty trust building (763 mass ave, architect unknown). unfortunately city hall was undergoing renovations so much of it was covered in scaffolding. but in my opinion, the more interesting building is the guaranty trust building across the street.

i wanted to see austin hall in harvard law school, an h.h.richardson original, but there were in the midst of cutting down a tree in front of the building so i didn't get a very good look. back at home, after a shower, i made some cinnamon raisin oatmeal for lunch. with a rainstorm slated for most of tomorrow, i made a quick stop at market basket to grab a few things.

my mother can't seem to get enough of ocean state job lot (OSJL) so in the late afternoon my father drove us to the one in waltham, on the same street as russo's in watertown. driving by the cambridge reservoir (which sits on top of one of the highest points in belmont), i noticed for the very first time that the little maintenance structure on the summit is built in a romanesque style. i'll come back over the weekend and get some photos.

the waltham OSJL isn't as big as the one in medford, but it isn't as crowded either, and it seems to carry the same things. my mother picked up another safety reflector vest ($2 this time around with coupon, ironwear 7015-L lime green mesh breakaway vest with reflective chevrons in the back). i got a 2'x8' rubber pad ($4.99) for my runner rug in the living room that seems to have lost its grip; a box of green pear's soap ($2.99, greens are hard to come by; ambers are readily found at rite aid); and a pair of wool blend socks ($3.99, women size, alaskan-nits hiking crew socks in khaki/spiceberry, 22% merino wool, 63% acrylic, 14% nylon, 1% lycra). my parents also stocked up on OSJL's large selection of nonperishable goods.

we left around 5:00. the traffic wasn't that bad, maybe a lot of workers are cashing in their vacation days for some end of the year rest and relaxation.

we ate dinner early, and i went back to cambridge before 7:00. the large storm had already arrived with the faintest of drizzles. much of new england would be buried in snow but boston will escape the worst of it with only rain. i must've ate something good (egg nog? dried figs?) because as soon as i got home i could hear my stomach grumbling. after bringing out the trash and stowing my bike in the basement, i made a mad dash into the bathroom. after a shower, i replaced the rubber pad on my living room runner and spent the night catching up on movies.

as the night wore on, i could hear the winds whipping outside and the patter of raindrops on the windows. the wind was strong enough that i could see the water sloshing in the toilet bowl. good thing is my upstairs neighbors aren't back yet, so i have one more night of blissful sleep.