i went to the dentist this morning to get the filling on my number 14 tooth repacked and to fix a cavity on my number 15 tooth. the appointment was in allston at 10:00 so i left my house via bicycle by 9:30. it'd only take 20 minutes to ride there but i wanted to get there a bit early so i wouldn't be completely sweaty and out of breath when i arrive.

the dentist office shares the building with an international english school. while sitting in the waiting room, i watched a steady stream of foreign students coming in and out.

doctor huang first examined the area with his dental pick. then he shot me up with novacain. i don't know his secret, but he has the most amazing technique, and i never feel the needle. after a few minutes my upper left jaw went numb and my dentist went to work with the power drill. there was the smell of burnt tooth enamel and i could feel small bits of old filling falling into my mouth. when he wasn't looking, i felt the tooth with my tongue, nothing but a big crater. he then screwed this vise-like device on my tooth, and filled up the hole with something rubbery first, before capping it with silver filling. the whole procedure took over half an hour. in the end, he told me that my 15 tooth was okay (no cavity apparently, i guess cavity detection isn't an exact science) and he only worked on the 14th tooth. total cost: $145. he told me to wait an hour before eating but that i could drink without any problems.

i first noticed it when i was riding into allston center, but the sports bar on cambridge and franklin street (which is now a pizzeria regina) is actually a richardsonian romanesque building. returning home, i got a better look to confirm my suspicions. turns out it's the old allston station for the boston & albany railroad. shepley rutan & coolidge finished the commission in 1887 after richardson's untimely death. the train tracks still go by the old station although trains don't stop here anymore.

crossing over the turnpike on the pedestrian bridge, i went down franklin street then the wrong way on adamson street to connect to everett street. traveling north to eventually get to the charles river, i looked down brentwood street and saw what appeared to be yet another romanesque structure, a church this time. i took a detour to investigate.

here was st.anthony's church in allston, build in 1894 by franz joseph untersee, a swiss-american architect responsible for a slew of catholic churches in the northeast, often in a romanesque style. this particular church has the characteristic rounded arches on doorways and windows. the original 1894 plan might've featured a tower of some sort (another classic richardsonian romanesque trait), but a photo postcard 12 years later (1906) shows no signs of a tower so it might've been left on the drawing board. this building also has one of my favorite features, which are the interesting carvings of faces. beneath the ceiling of the archway entrances are mosaic designs. the color bands on the shingles remind me more of gothic architecture.

brookline-based mystery writer dennis lehane's dog has been missing since christmas eve. this story has gotten a bit of press recently, because the author said he'd write the person who returns his dog into his next book as a character. but just being in allston, i noticed the place was saturated with missing posters of his dog. lehane must've spent a small fortune just printing out these posters, in different designs too, like bilingual flyers in spanish neighborhoods. frankly i find it a little insulting, like maybe he thinks a hispanic person has somehow taken his dog without realizing it. the sad truth is the dog has been missing for more than 2 weeks now. if it's been outside all this time it's probably dead now, either from exposure (we've had some really cold single digit nights) or possibly predation (by coyotes).

from everett street i crossed western avenue (where i was just yesterday, visiting client N) and onto the charles river. i figured i'd have a leisurely ride back to my house along the water, but what i didn't anticipate was large stretches of trails still covered in ice. i followed the river gingerly, until i could cross eliot bridge and get back onto the cambridge side of the river. there were large flocks of canada geese on the water, as well as a smaller group of common mergansers. this was my first time getting a good look at these birds. i thought male mergansers had black heads but they're actually metallic green like mallards (just darker). every once in a while one of them would disappear underwater.

i got back home sometime after 12:00. i waited a little bit longer before finally having some lunch in the form of sweet raisin brown sugar oatmeal. afterwards i dropped off the packaged art history textbook at the UPS store on mass ave before riding to market basket to get some groceries. after dropping off some things back at the house, i went to the cafe to deliver some cilantro and bean sprouts. along the way i ran into jeff and we chatted about richardsonian romanesque (he's into it as well, since he's an architect). i finally returned home for good around 2:30, where i continued my work for client R. i finally got the code to import an XML document working, now i just have to organize my flash assets so they can be updated with either english or spanish translations.

for dinner i made myself a reuben's sandwich. i finished off my milk (i tend not to have any adverse symptoms when i ingest lactose with other foods) so i could toss out the container for tomorrow's recycle collection.