i haven't been to the community garden plot in 3 days so i was due for a visit. today i was reminded why milkweed is called that, because its sap bleeds out as a milky white liquid.
there's been reports of fake eclipse glasses being sold online, so i finally checked today whether the pairs i have are fake or not. but i already had my suspicions, given they were purchased on ebay for cheap from a chinese dealer. they said one way to check is to look at the design of the frame. i couldn't be sure. another way is to look for the ISO designation, but those can be easily falsified. however, the pairs that i have don't even say that, just says they're CE certified (which is strange, since CE is a european standard, and these glasses would be primarily used in the americas). finally i put them on to see what i can see. bright lightbulbs i can see, but i can also make out the details of sunlit areas, like the side of a house. are real eclipse glasses supposed to do this? i also happened to have a 8x4" sheet of solar filter from thousand oaks ($7.99), a reputable dealer of solar filters. when i look through those filters, i can only see lightbulbs. looking outside, i can't see any bright glares. of course that got me worried. are those eclipse glasses fake? but could they still be used if i only glance at the sun with them for a few seconds? what about my parents? i forgot to warn them that the glasses might not be real. do they come back blind from bermuda?
i left the house by 6pm. the fisherman's feast wouldn't be until 8pm, but there was some kind of fire and street food festival happening in union square beginning at 6pm that sounded interesting. but when i went by union square, it was empty. either the festival was cancelled or i got the wrong night. so instead i headed out to the north end earlier than expected, via the galleria mall. i rarely ride in that area and took some google mapping to get my bearing and find the correct way across the museum of science. i made good time, arriving at the north end by 6:30pm.
i arrived right when they were carrying the madonna shrine in a procession through the streets. i locked my bicycle to a pole and began snapping away, excited to witness something not often seen by most. i followed the procession on the bike, cutting through side streets, walking the bike through crowds, riding down the wrong way on one-way streets.
the last and first time i've ever successfully witnessed the fisherman's feast was 12 years ago when i came here with renata. i also came here with julie back in 2005 to catch the feast, but we came on the wrong night and only saw the food vendors and carnival games. from my notes i knew that the actual flying angel ceremony happens on north street, so i made my way there. i got there around 7:10pm. i looked up trying to find the guide wires until i finally spotted them. i found a good spot against the side of a wall and proceeded to wait for the next hour, as the area began to slowly get more crowded with people.
around 8pm they shined spotlights on opposite balconies where 2 side angels would be giving a speech in italian. however, they didn't start until 9pm. 8 minutes later the flying angel presented herself, "flying" from the balcony to the madonna shrine which had arrived before the ceremony.
at about 9:13pm they finally released the confetti. 12 years ago it was just shredded paper tossed from the roofs of the nearby buildings; however this time around they had confetti cannons to send confetti everywhere. i kind of miss the good old days of shredded paper because at least afterwards it looked like it snowed. with that, in under 15 minutes, the flying angel ceremony was over, as the crowd of people began to shuffle away.
i parked my bike in front of st.stephen's catholic church on hanover street, across from the paul revere statue. i was excited to ride home, as it gave me an excuse to turn on all my lights, and to use my new front bike light for the very first time. getting back wasn't so easy however, as i wasn't very familiar with the roads in that part of boston. i followed hanover onto commercial street, then riding by the garden onto causeway. there i got a little lost; instead of riding across the charles river dam road, i followed what looked to be a bike path that turned out to be the one charles river along the charles river. i ended up taking that, as it was familiar, despite being the longer way home. i didn't mind though, with my shiny new 300 lumens bike light, i had plenty of illumination.
i finally returned home by 10pm. had everything gone to schedule, i was hoping to have gotten back by 9pm so i could watch the latest episode of game of thrones. it wasn't a big deal anyway, since i could watch it anytime with on-demand. i took a shower first, then went about cooking up some pickled vegetable beef vermicelli. i left the vermicelli on the stove for too long and the final result was a clumpy mess, though still edible (i was pretty hungry anyway, anything would've been good).
i left the vermicelli on the stove for too long because i was busy making a pair of eclipse glasses with some leftover solar filter material. at first i was going to use a sheet of green construction paper, but that turned out to be too flimsy. i ended up with a white heavyweight poster paper. the final result looked pretty good. i didn't make the arms to rest over the ears, they're just for holding, but better than the knock eclipse glasses, as least in terms of safety.
episode 6 of season 7 of game of thrones was bonkers. i didn't watch it until 10:30pm. dragons versus zombies on a frozen lake? zombie dragon? sure, the pacing was accelerated, and the distance between locations traversed in magical times, but that was one crazy episode.