i almost forgot the somerville open studios (SOS) was this weekend. like last year, and possible all the years before that (i just never noticed), it coincided with the annual harvard may fair. the weather was overcast but mild, with threats of rain that wouldn't really manifest until late afternoon or early evening. there really wasn't much of SOS i wanted to see, with the exception of the museum of modern renaissance (115 college avenue). i saw it for the very first time last year and just had to see it again.
i grabbed my fuji bike from the basement (putting in freshly charged batteries for the wheel lights) and headed towards davis square via elm street around 12:20pm. i arrived at MoMR 10 minutes later. i knew what to expect so already had the wide angle lens mounted on the camera. it was still early so it wasn't crowded yet. unlike last time, they made an effort to mask the dank odor with some scents. i stayed long enough to snap a few photos from the corners before leaving 10 minutes later.
outside i felt a few droplets of rain, but i was still confident about the weather forecast despite the ominous overhead clouds. i headed towards porter square and went to harvard via oxford, to check out the may fair. my sister called me earlier, asking where i was. she was with my mother and my sister's godmother. i called them back when i arrived around 1pm, they'd just finished eating. my sister also brought hailey, who was very well-behaved (or maybe just scared by the crowds). the weather must've turned folks off as there weren't as many people as last year.
for me, the may fair is pretty much street foods, musical performers, handicraft vendors, free samples, and chalk artists (my favorite). it's one of two harvard square street festivals, the other being octoberfest, which coincides with the honkfest parade. that for me is more interesting, i can photograph a procession then work my way to getting some festival shots afterwards. my mother and her group were still busy slowly browsing, so i decided to leave them as i had no interest in either food or music, and headed to church street to watch the chalk artists in action.
afterwards i returned home, retrieving my bike parked by the science building. i took the scenic route and went down a few side streets, looking for the puffy pink clouds of cherry blossoms in bloom, which have began to really put on a flower show within these past day or two.
i'm still confused by all these flowering trees. when is it a cherry, a crabapple, a pear, a plum, a something else? cherry i can sort of identify from the bark, which is characteristically shiny with bands of horizontal lenticels. these pink trees that are flowering now, i'm certain they're flowering japanese cherries with double flowers. they have to be appreciated quickly, as wind or a sudden burst of rain could shake off plenty of petals. these are the kind of trees we were thinking of planting in the backyard, but we still haven't done anything with the old stumps besides treating them with stump remover, which take time to work.
i arrived home by around 2pm. earlier i'd already packed up two clumps of tongbaechu kimchi in a pyrex bowl. i gathered my things, tied the kimchi to the bike of the fuji, then left for belmont, my camera slump across my chest, ready to take photos of any flowering cherry trees i see along the way.
i found my father working in the backyard, reforming his brick firepit. i weeded a few dandelions that'd sprouted up, dug out a few creeping bellflowers, and excavated a long underground wisteria root (5ft) having the thickness of a pipe with help from my father. afterwards i sprinkled some plant-tone fertilizer around various plants: peonies, hawthorn tree, lupines, columbines. neither of us saw any signs of rabbits.
this type of tongbaechu kimchi is hard to eat because the cabbage bundles need to be sliced before serving. you're working with a slippery messy food item that will stain the cutting board afterwards due to the chili paste. there was a lot of flavors, but wasn't as sour as i'd like, which meant i could still taste the fishiness. my mother said my last batch was better, using my usual way of cutting up the cabbage into squares mixed with daikon radish. i think the tongbaechu kimchi will get better over time, as it slowly continues to ferment in the fridge, developing its sourness and enhancing its complexity. i did want to bring it back out of the fridge and let it ferment in room temperature, but in the end i didn't want to risk having the kimchi get moldy (which in my experience has never happened before).
i found out yesterday that my parents no longer have HBO anymore. why it was even on for more than a month in the first place is a mystery only verizon FIOS knows. they still have free complimentary showtime, but showtime is not going to get me my sunday night westworld fix. i'll just have to watch the old-fashion way, torrent via VPN. fortunately there was a new episode of deception on ABC, so sunday night wasn't a total lost.