i got out of bed around 9:30am to wait for LSH to show up at 11am so we can go get dim sum in chinatown before watching the boston greek parade in copley square at 1pm. after a shower, i tidied up the house a bit, didn't want it to look too dirty. li showed up early at 10:45am. he asked if he could use some chain oil as the chain on his bike was slightly rusty from disuse. li told me he invited another friend to dim sum, who was meeting us in chinatown. we left by 11am. it was a crystal blue sky day, with temperature in the upper 50's lower 60's. i only wore a dress shirt which was a little chilly in the shade but downright hot when in the full sun. we arrived at hei la moon by 11:30am.
we got a table in the windowless basement, which can feel claustrophobic, the heat of so many bodies combined with the heat from the kitchen. unlike last time, we got an aisle table so cart access was easier. we started ordering, li texting his friend to figure out where he was. peter showed up soon afterwards, a chunky chinese guy. originally i assumed they knew each other from their astrophysics studying, but they're actually badminton friends, peter affiliated with harvard medical doing bioinformatics research at dana-farber. i found out he's originally from hunan, but actually more canadian as his family immigrated to vancouver when he was 8 years old. if he never told i would've never guessed, as he seemed whole china chinese, without any hint of american/canadian. he's fluent in chinese, as he was in the 3rd grade when they moved, so he can already read and write (unlike me, where i only managed to pick up bits and pieces over the years).
as we started finishing our dim sum, there was a horrible chemical smell filling up the basement, like a mix between gasoline and burnt plastic. customers were covering their mouths while the manager looked apologetic but did nothing to let us know what was going on. after we finished paying, we quickly left before we could be poisoned by the fumes. turns it the smell came from road crew laying down new asphalt on beach street, its fresh noxious odors steaming outside.
peter came here by T, so couldn't get to copley square as quickly as us on bikes. his only choice was to walk, but he thought it'd probably take 40 minutes, but google map told us just 20 minute. li decided to walk with peter, while i rode off on my own, with less than 15 minutes to spare before 1pm. i didn't have a clear route, but traffic was light, and i ended up riding on the sidewalks most of the time on wrong one-way streets, using the john hancock building as my beacon.
the greeks don't mess around, and the parade started promptly at 1pm at the far end of boylston street, while i waited at copley square. i texted li to let him know the parade was happening. though the weather was very pleasant, i've learned that bright sunny days make for terrible photos as people's faces can become easily obscured in harsh shadows.
after the parade was over, peter was interested in seeing the inside of trinity church. i discovered that even though even he's been in boston since last september, he hasn't really done any exploring. the only place he's gone was faneuil hall, which is a tourist magnet, so i wasn't surprised. but as a canadian, he really had no excuses, it wasn't like boston was some strange city with mysteries ways, i imagine it's very much like vancouver. anyway, i told him the church charges admission which seemed to dampen his enthusiasm but i added that on sunday mornings they have a free tour.
instead we went to the old south church across the street. i admit i'd never been inside this church before even though i pass by it all the time and the exterior is featured in many of my copley square photos. i was surprised that it was so empty, figured at least it'd be full of tourists. li and peter that the trinity church is far more spectacular on the inside. the OSC also had free wifi, so it's a nice place to come and relax.
next we went inside the boston public library. i'd taken li here when i gave him a personal tour of boston last september. like li, peter was not impressed when i showed him the reading room. "this looks just like the [harvard university] widener library," he said, "except that one is bigger." peter went home afterwards, he had other social events to go to. he took the green line from copley square. later he called li to tell him he rode the subway in the wrong direction and got lost.
li and i biked back to chinatown where we got groceries at the jiaohe supermarket. i got some chinese rice wine yeast balls (only 99¢) for making fermented rice dessert (jiuniang) and some instant tapioca balls for my parents. we returned to cambridge via the charles river bike path, stopping to admiring some turtles sunning on some booms, before splitting up at harvard square. after gathering my stuff at home, i biked to belmont.
we set a new production record today with 49.08kWh, after breaking the previous record yesterday. tomorrow is another sunny day, we may set yet another record.
last night i sent my father a link to a 21.3 cu. ft. GE upright freezer currently on sale at costco for $739.99 but he hadn't seen it yet. when i showed it to him, he discussed it with my mother and they decided to buy it, especially since the industrial freezers we saw at the restaurant depot cost $1300 each; at that time, we could buy two GE freezers for the price of a single industrial freezer. but i did some searching, and saw that home depot also had the same freezer on sale, although slightly more expensive, but with the possibility of a rebate. i checked the rebate and it's only for residential customers, and you need to turn in your old fridge; basically we didn't qualify, so i ordered from costco: free shipping, and they could also take away an old broken fridge in the cafe basement that's missing a door.