i went down to JP this morning to meet julie at 11:00 at the green street station. i decided not to go via bike because i was afraid of icy patches on the roads and i would much rather travel in the warm confines of a heated subway car. according to google map it'd take about an hour to get down there, so i left the house around 9:50. from porter square to downtown crossing to switch to the orange line, then in the direction of forest hill to get to green street.

jamaica plain might as well be in another country when you live on the other side of the charles river in cambridge/somerville. getting there isn't very easy (if you don't make the commute very often), regardless if you're driving/biking/subwaying. the only reason i'd ever go down to JP was back when eliza still lived there, or if i was taking the motorcycle to visit the arnold arboretum.

julie moved to JP back in june when she and chris decided to move in together. up to that point, she'd been living in somerville for as long as i've known her. the last time i saw julie was july of 2013, when i met her at my community garden plot to give her instructions on how to care for my plants while i was gone.

i arrived at green street station about 10 minutes early. it was a cold day, with temperature in the low 20's, but out in the sun it didn't feel all too bad. just my toes were feeling a bit cold, despite wearing my merino wool socks. i saw a group of 15 chinese people (graduate students?) gathering together and walking north along the southwest corridor trail. i knew they were chinese because of the bright colors (hats, jackets, pants) they were sporting.

when julie finally showed up, we walked up a hill to the 5-point intersection of elm-revere-newbern-roanoke, then walking up roanoke down alverston, then greenough avenue to centre street. we passed by a lot of fancy victorians, all kept in great condition, a nice little place to walk around if you're into architecture. we then went to her new place on burroughs street. a great 3rd floor apartment with plenty of light, with a massive shared backyard with enough space to build a few more houses. i met chris (first time) and together we went out to get some cuban food for lunch.

we went to the old havana cuban restaurant on centre street close to the jackson square subway station. the restaurant was empty when we arrived, but apparently there was a large (24 people?) meetup group gathering there for lunch (one of them even asked us if we were part of the meetup) that suddenly gave them a lot of business. i ordered the cuban sandwich (never had one before) which came with some plantain chips and a tangy dipping sauce. i was talking so much i only ate half my sandwich, and i couldn't remember what it tasted like.

afterwards we walked to ula cafe under the shadow of the haffenreffer brewery smokestake. i got a chai latte to go, and we walked down to the green street station. there was an exhibition nearby (balloon sculptures) that we checked out before i left for home around 3:20. the orange line train showed up right when i got to the platform, and likewise with the red line train at downtown crossing. i got off at harvard square and waited just a minute before the 73 bus arrived. i managed to get to belmont with 12 minutes to spare before the start of the patriots-ravens game.

i was nervous before and throughout the whole game. the baltimore ravens are one of the few teams that give new england trouble. the teams have faced each other 3 times in the playoffs, with the ravens winning twice and narrowly tying in a 3rd game were it not for a freak 3-point missed field goal kick. from the start things didn't go well for the pats, with the ravens scoring a touchdown in their first possession with just 5 plays. then in the first quarter baltimore scored again, putting new england in a 14-0 hole. pats would get a touchdown of their own in the first quarter (brady actually running it in himself), before tying up the game in the second quarter. things looked good, with the pats in a position to score another touchdown before the half, but then brady threw an interception that resulted in the ravens going up 21-14 before the end of the quarter. in the 3rd quarter, ravens scored again to take a 28-14 lead. but the lead would disappear in the quarter when the pats scored 2 touchdowns of their own, including a trick play where brady threw the ball to edelman who threw it downfield to amendola to tie the game. in the 4th, pats defense stepped up, allowing the ravens to only score a field goal, while the patriots finally took the lead for good with their 5th touchdown. but it was still tense, and the game didn't end until the final second, when flacco threw a failed hail mary to give the ravens one last chance to win the game.

it was definitely a stressful game. i would've much rather preferred the pats playing with a lead instead of having to come back twice from 14-point deficits. but these are the ravens and they're a tough matchup for the patriots. from the initial look, it was definitely a game baltimore should've won, and only through new england's resiliency did they crawl back from the edge of defeat to finally win it. but here's hoping the remaining playoff games won't be as nerve wracking!

after dinner i drove myself home.