if it wasn't for karen, i would've never discovered the mudflat pottery studio. i knew there was a pottery workshop somewhere in east somerville, but never visited before. in 2011 they moved from their old space (4 blocks down) to their new (current space), a renovated theatre. i'm typically indifferent towards pottery, but karen wanted to check it out, maybe buy a mug for her mother who collects them. she wanted to go early because she saw they open at 10am, but the somerville open studios event wasn't until noontime, so i convinced her to go later just to be safe. she tried to see if her friend paula had time to go with her, but she couldn't get ahold of her. finally i told her i could take her, and afterwards we could go check out the may fair happening in harvard square.
mudflat pottery school is located in east somerville, almost to the very edge of town, close to the assembly square mall. we left at noontime. a 2.2 miles ride, it took us 17 minutes cutting through union square down washington street. we went up myrtle street then franklin, coming out on broadway exactly opposite the studio. we found out when we went inside that they had in fact been opened since 10am. it didn't seem that large from the outside, but inside it was cavernous. there were workshops but also rented studios for artists, all of which we could visit. a lot of pottery items were on sale (typically $20-30 a piece for a mug), and a few caught karen's interest, but in the end they all seemed kind of expensive for handicraft items in mexico that would sell for cheap. we stayed for an hour, finally leaving at 1pm.
next i wanted to show karen the museum of modern renaissance. in order to get there we basically had to bike from one end of somerville (east) to the other (west). on the map it seemed simple enough, just follow broadway until it hits powderhouse circle, about 2.1 miles away. google map gave a different way to go but i ignored its directions. either way would still involve traversing the hills of somerville. once we climbed winter hill to the summit, it was an easy downhill, going through magoun square, until finally arriving at powderhouse. from here i pointed out tufts university, and we made a stop into nathan tufts park to see the historically famous powderhouse, the symbol of somerville. i showed karen the larch trees growing on the hill, the pine tree that loses its leaves every season.
i was excited to awe karen with the interior of the museum. however, when we went inside, we realized there was a yoga class that began at 1pm and wouldn't end until 2:30pm. we could only see the main chamber from the outside. after a few minutes we left by 1:30pm.
although there were potentially more studios to visit, that concluded our somerville open studios tour. we headed back home so we could go to the harvard square may fair.
after a very brief rest, we were out again. along the way we passed by an open house which i took karen to see, so she could get a peek on how other americans live. it was in the building with 6 units that has a high turnover rate of people moving in and out. there were a lot of potential buyers, and a good number of young chinese, which i naturally despise and hope they don't move into the neighborhood. it was about 100 square feet larger than my place but it seemed significantly smaller. advertised as 2 bedrooms, it's only really 1 because the other bedroom is so smaller currently it just has a crib. i've seen these units before, one thing i don't like is the centrally located bathroom has no windows. because it was on the top floor, it gets good light. the asking price was crazy, double the price i paid for my place plus an additional $10k.
i haven't been to the harvard square may fair in 4 years. may fairs of years past: 2002 2003 2006 2009 2010 2012 2013. we finally arrived by around 2:30pm. karen was surprised by how many people there were.
we wandered around a bit, finally stopping and deciding to get some gyros ($7) for lunch. it was okay, not the best gyro i've ever had. in hindsight, i should've gone with the jamaican curry, at least it would've been spicy. what i really wanted was a vanilla shake from the shake shack, but i was afraid it'd be crowded and i didn't want to wait a long time for my order.
chalk murals are my favorites. this year's panel of artists don't seem as strong as in years past. there were even a few empty reserved spots, the artists deciding not to show up for the event. i never realized how dirty you can get when doing a chalk mural. since you work with both hands, and eventually they get covered in chalk, i saw a lot of artists with chalk smudged faces (they reminded me of coal miners).
i noticed an old chinese lady taking a photo of the coconuts with her ipad. i look a closer took and realized it was my mother's friend nancy. the same person i always run into. what are the odds of this happening again, with so many people at the may fair? i grabbed her, which startled her for a second until she realized who it was.
we returned home by 4pm. i didn't stay long, gathered up my things and left for belmont.
i helped my father cut a few large branches from the two dead plum trees. i dug out some creeping bellflowers and pulled a few underground bamboo rhizomes. i found another dead rabbit in the exact same spot as last time. this one was an intact bunny missing its head. i'm starting to think it wasn't the work of some raptor bird, but rather a neighbor's cat playing with a catch in our backyard. i know our backyard neighbor has a cat (saw it a few weeks ago sitting on the corner of their 3-story roof) but have never seen it roaming in our backyard. i'm actually fine with a cat controlling the rabbit population.