i went down to the community garden this morning to check up on my plants. a few small tomatoes that reddened enough that i picked them off and ate them on the spot. the eggplants are of a size that can be harvested but i'll give them a few more days to fatten up still (though they seem like they're lengthen instead of gaining additional girth). i wasn't expecting it since they're new transplants, but there might be a possibility i might actually see some monkshood flowers this season and it looks like there might be some emerging flower buds.
returning home, the front garden looked a little parched so i spent some time watering the plants around my house. for some reason there seemed to be an awful lot of mushrooms (mainly puffballs) sprouting in the backyard. i always wonder if puffballs are edible because i often seem them chewed up by squirrels.
we were leaving for revere beach via MBTA at 11am. i didn't think li was coming until GC told me he texted him to say he was coming after all. li arrived by bicycle. i told him he could park it outside but said he preferred if he could leave it in the backyard. he told me he decided he wanted to stay at my place for 3 months, but soon after he said that and we were walking towards porter square did he receive a call from a coworker friend who told him about another apartment also very close to the astrophysics center. he seemed to have forgotten about my place until i asked him about it again. i told him it wasn't a big deal for me and it'd be better if he found another place with friends, but he should let me know however he decided.
it ended up taking us a little over an hour to get to revere beach via red-orange-blue MBTA lines. the longest wait was at the orange line stop at downtown crossing, in hindsight we should've gotten off at park street and taken the green line one stop to government center instead. the blue line was crowded, probably a lot of people heading to the beach on this hot day. i'm now of the opinion that strollers are the bane of public transportation, especially these modern day ones that are built extra large or can seat several toddlers, blocking exits and causing unwanted congestion and mayhem on the subway trains. the blue line is the line i ride the least often, so it was interesting seeing all the stops i didn't recognize. we finally arrived by 12:20pm.
the first time i visited the revere beach sand sculpture competition was 10 years ago, when i came with julie. the last time i was here was in 2015, when i came with bruce. both times were on a weekday, both times were by car, that's why it felt so strange for me to coming here via MBTA. i believe 10 years ago it was more of a competition but now it's sort of evolved into a full-blown festival, with food trucks and sponsors hawking merchandise and services, with live music and some carnival rides. sure, there were more people than on past visits, but part of the spectacle when one comes to revere beach is the people watching.
it's really amazing the level of craftsmanship involved in each sand sculpture. sometimes the subject matter can be kind of abstract (almost like the stream of consciousness doodles one would draw in school), but there's no deny the expertise involved. as there are some sculptors from abraod (one russian, two canadians), the festival can be touted as an international event. what always made me curious are artists who come from areas of the country and the world not known for their beaches. where do they then learn how to sand sculpt?
a bit after 1pm we left revere beach and went to the flaming grill and supreme buffet, a 20 minute walk through lovely residential revere. it's probably the cheapest buffet with the widest selection you will find in the greater boston area. i've only been here for dinners, but their lunch rate - even for satuday - is just $9.99 per person. i love buffets but i don't like bad buffets, and they're typically more about quantity than quality. you basically get what you pay for. i had to consult google maps several times in order to navigate, as i'd never walked to flaming grill before. eventually we found it after a long trek (at one point crossing a busy semi-highway that didn't seem like it was designed for pedestrian crossing) in some hot but dry weather.
i brought GC here knowing he loves seafood. i saw him spooning a pile of green mussels onto his plate. he came back with two plates of food, including some teppanyaki (which i've never had here before). as this was the lunch menu, they didn't have the crab legs, but those would've only interested GC as i'm not a big fan. nevertheless, the selection they did have was still plenty given the price. my 4 plates of food works out to just $2.50 a plate, which is a steal. i was going to treat but we then decided to split the bill equally.
fortunately we didn't have to trek the 20 minutes back to revere beach station, as there was a closer MBTA station, beachmont, that was only 8 minutes away. we walked around the perimeter of the defunct suffolk downs racetrack, passing by rows and rows of empty stables behind chained and barricaded fencing. i'd never been to this area before so it was all very new and exciting. next to the station was a place called beachmont roast beef which i might have to come back one of these days and try. the train arrived by 3:20pm, taking us back into boston. i decided instead of getting off on the orange line, we got off at government center to take the green line one stop to park street before catching the red line. we finally arrived in harvard square by 4pm.
we decided to get off at harvard instead of porter for the sake of variety, and to show li another way to get back to my place. harvard square was crowded, especially with groups of chinese. many were young, middle or high school aged, in large guided groups.
back at the house i got ready to go to belmont. li left when i did. he heard i had a motorcycle and i showed him the honda shadow spirit. he told me he used to ride a motorcycle back in china, but a small 125cc engine bike; the honda by comparison is 750cc. i wasn't going to let him ride it but gave him a chance to sit on him. "it's so heavy!" he said.
i wasn't planning on going to belmont today but my mother said she made some special broth for noodles. since i had a large and late lunch, i wasn't particularly hungry, but still ate a small bowl of noodles.