changes are afoot at haymarket: apparently there's some construction work on blackstone street, which displaced all the booths and tents to the perimeter. i would find out later after looking it up online that this is no mere road construction, but the start of a new development project to build a hotel on this very spot. the city of course is saying the right things, that haymarket itself will remain, and dedicated booths with running water and electricity will be built for the vendors, but this is some serious gentrification that's encroaching on a beloved boston institution. the produce vendor association themselves have said the hotel will eventually find some way to get rid of them since haymarket doesn't exactly jibe with their expensive clientele.
the whole time i was there i had one eye on the produce and another on the weather. according to the forecast it wasn't supposed to rain until 2pm, but the sky looked awfully ominous. i left with: 2 yellow dragonfruits ($2), 2 bunches of asparagus ($2), 3 saturn peaches ($1), 5 black plums ($1), 2 pineapples ($3), a box of black mission figs ($3), 6 pluots ($2), a bag of mandarin oranges ($2), 2 bunches of scallions ($1), and 2 lbs. of cherries ($4). i thought the yellow dragonfruits were african horned melons, which i've seen in supermarkets and always wanted to try but they're often too expensive. when i saw these were selling for a dollar each, i knew i had to get some. some old chinese ladies were crowding the booth, trying to find the best fruits. the vendor looked to be a little annoyed. as these ladies were chinese, i asked them how to eat these fruits (thinking they were still horned melons). they said just peel them, and told me these were very sweet, and they'd already tried one, and were now coming back to buy more.
minutes after i left around 1:40pm, i felt my first drops of rain. about to cross the longfellow bridge, it got progressively heavier, forcing me to take shelter underneath an overhang of an office park. i was lucky to make it because the rain soon became a downpour, along with loud thunder and lightning. i waited about 10-15 minutes before the rain became a light drizzle and i could see rays of sunshine and continued on my way. i was careful as the roads were slick from the rain, but not careful enough as a passing truck splashed warm puddle water into my mouth. once the rain stopped and the sun came back out, it felt a lot warmer, as the water on the roads were quick to evaporate, making it more humid.
passing by my house, i kept riding until i got to the cafe by 2:25pm. i wanted to try the horned melon, which i discovered were actually yellow dragon fruits (from the label sticker). i've had dragon fruits before, and these taste similar, except much sweeter (the texture of watermelon), and crunchy seeds like sesames. i also tried one of the figs, super sweet as well. by comparison, the cherries and oranges tasted tart.
i left the cafe around 3pm, went home to drop off my stuff, before riding down to market basket. unable to find sugar free jones soda, we tried offering fiesty cherry diet coke to our longtime customer. surprisingly, he seemed to like it, and my mother asked me to go down to the super market to look for more. i found neither sugar free jones nor sugar free fiesty cherry coke. both soft drinks seem to be rather difficult to find. i left with some italian fennel sausages and a case of schweppes pomegranate seltzer.
i was back at home briefly before i went out again, first to the dollar store to get some gum drops (i seemed to have develop a strong craving for these old fashion gummy candy) then to star market where they had cherries on sale for $1.99/lbs.
all day long i saw david throwing things out in the trash and heard the sounds of vacuuming from upstairs. we they leaving today or tomorrow? i wasn't sure, but when i saw them packing up their suitcases into their rental car in the late afternoon, i went out and said good bye to them in person. their flight was for 6:20pm, and it was already 4:30pm, cutting it very close. i hope they made it! if not, they can always come back!
for dinner i had some canned campbell gumbo soup. i added some frozen kale to make it slightly healthier.