on this last weekend of unofficial summer, those who can get away are gone, as evidenced by the abundance of free parking on the street. i woke up at 6:20am to see GC off. he left at 6:50am, a small suitcase, a full backpack, and his badminton racket. we shook hands and said good bye. it was actually kind of sad, GC despite all his annoying quirks, was a good roommate in the end. it was also sad for him because his boss will most likely send him elsewhere next summer, so this may be his last time in boston.

the minute after he left i was in his bedroom pulling up the bedsheets and tossing everything into the washer. i lit a candle in the room to drive away some of the previous smells. he left almost nothing behind. both the fridge and cupboard were bare. he even took the dove soap that he infrequently used (he usually doesn't wash with soap). there was a nearly carton of lactose-free milk, probably purchased by accident, because i don't think GC was lactose-intolerant. he left behind a container of salt, newly purchased; in the 2 month that he was here, he managed to finish a previous container of salt, which makes me think hypertension will be in his near future. strangely, he left behind a shuttlecock, which might be defective since it's missing one of its feathers.

i had a lot of time before i needed to leave at 11am, to catch the caribbean parade in boston. instead of going my usual way (down the jamaica parkway through JP), i decided to go the more direct way (even though it was slower by a few minutes), down mass ave (across the MIT bridge) and tremont street/columbus avenue. in all the times i've come to this parade, i've never gone to the food festival celebration ending at franklin park zoo, and was hoping to go this time. instead of parking at my usual spot (opposite the roxbury grocery), i was hoping to find some parking along seaver street next to franklin park itself. i'd thought about inviting LSH, but there's another carnival parade in cambridge in 2 weeks, and i didn't want anyone to slow me down, as i was prepared to stay the whole day there. i've only ever taken 2 other roommates to this parade: in 2010 my shanghai roommate, and in 2016 spanish christine but i actually met her there.

it didn't take me long to get to dorchester. my plan of finding parking on seaver street was quickly dashed when i saw a column of double parked cars. i turned up elm hill avenue and found a parking spot on homestead street (it wasn't hard with the motorcycle). from there i walked down chenery street and ended up on blue hill avenue. i walked up warren street until i arrived opposite the roxbury YMCA. i then went up MLK jr boulevard, hoping to see the parade participants getting ready, but there was hardly anyone there. that's when it dawned on me that the boston caribbean parade - though some sources say start at 12pm - actually begins at 1pm. i had 45 minutes of waiting.

this is my 11th year attending the boston caribbean parade (2005 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2015 2016 2017). as long as i'm in town, i never miss it, through rain or shine. in fact, since discovering this parade in 2005, the only times i didn't come was because i was thousands of miles away in china (2006 2013 2014). it's one of the photo highlights of the year, and i can always get a few good shots.

my replacement terracotta garlic keeper arrived tonight. my previous keeper was smashed when the insulation guys came to work on my house a few years back. this one looks more pale, but could be because it's new; hopefully it'll darken with age. they sell on amazon anywhere between $8-15, but i got mine on sale for $6.