the city of somerville is painting the beacon street cycle track. it's hard to miss in its bright fluorescent green. but besides the color, it was the odor that made me first notice, a horrible melting plastic stench that i could smell from my house with all the windows closed. that cycle track seems like a neverending boondoggle. i asked the workers if they were going to paint the bike lane on the other side of the street as well, nobody knew, but the cop chimed in and said they were going to raise it up like they did on the inbound side (i doubt that's true).
after hearing some good things about the city slicker cafe on somerville avenue, i decided to get some lunch there today. i phoned in an order for an 8-piece jumbo crispy korean barbecue wings ($10.95), ready for pickup in 10-15 minutes. normally it's a 4 minute walk via the sacramento street underpass: however, the underpass is currently undergoing rehabilitation and won't be opened until mid-october. so instead of a shortcut i have to take the long way which is 15 minutes. via bicycle it a little quicker - 4 minutes - so that's what i ended up doing, going in a clockwise direction. i stopped by the dollar store to pick up some batteries and snacks, then wheeled right next door to the cafe. at 11:45am they were still empty, the lunchtime crowd haven't descended yet. a girl handed me my order, i paid her in cash using a tracked $10 bill i'd discovered earlier.
my first impression, they're not like the bon chon wings. if you really want authentic korean wings, go with bon chon (the closest one around here is in harvard square). city slicker wings are fried, but i don't know if they're double fried, for that added crispiness. it came in a cardboard container wrapped in tin foil (no styrofoam these days, it's the law). they weren't lying when they said jumbo sized: hard to tell from the wings, but the drumsticks were definitely jumbo, just like the ones i used to get from wing works (RIP). compared to bon chon, these were the better deal as bon chon wings are tiny given the price you pay (although bon chon come with complimentary korean pickled vegetables).
these wings were coated in the korean barbecue sauce, but not swimming in it. it had a good enough flavor and also came with a container of blue cheese, which i dipped liberally, enhancing the flavor. no palate-cleansing celery however. i like the portion size, and the flavor is good, but given the choice, i'd still go with bon chon for my korean fried chicken needs. if only city slicker cafe had a garlic and parmesan flavor! then i would order from them regularly, and they'd be a worthy successor to the defunct davis square wing works. these wings were so big i actually hit a wall, and had to save a few for later.
in the afternoon i went down to the community garden to do some watering. i don't have too many vegetables in my plot this year: 2 japanese eggplants, 1 large tomato, 3 smaller tomatoes, 4 pepper plants. the large tomato in the grow bag doesn't seem like a vigorous grower. it got big enough, and set out more than a dozen good sized green fruits, but it seemed to have stop growing. maybe the bag inhibits indeterminate growth. but it could be a good thing, as it concentrates all its energy not on making more leaves and branches, but rather ripening the tomatoes. the grow bag eggplant is huge, i challenge anyone else in the garden who thinks they have a large eggplant than mine. it has one small eggplant developing, and another flower that will hopefully form into a second fruit. the 3 ground level tomatoes are doing okay, the one further in is getting really big and challenging the bag grown tomato as the largest tomato plant in my plot. they're surrounded by striped mallows though, which i think could sap some of the nutrients and rob them of sunshine. as for the peppers, hopefully after i did that major pruning of the lemon balm on saturday (today being thursday), this will give them more sunshine to work with.
as i had my 60mm lens with me, i went around the community garden looking for insects to photograph before the sun got eclipsed by the western trees. i identified a question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis), which gets its name from the white "comma" and "dot" marks on the underside of its wings. i've also seen commas in the past, as well as false commas (compton tortoiseshells). i like the challenge of photographing butterflies. different species have different characteristics, with some being very friendly and photogenic while others are very skittish and fly away when disturbed. but if you ever find yourself in a clear surrounded by wildflowers, that's the best place to capture them.
not only butterflies, but other flying nectar-feeding insects as well. i'm also trying to expand my bee vocabulary, besides the basic bumble-honey-carpenter-sweat-generic solitary.
before i left i noticed somebody had tossed out two perfectly fine zucchinis into the garden refuse bin. i picked them out and tried to see if there were anything wrong with them but they seemed fine. why would somebody throw out perfectly good zucchinis? granted, zucchinis when they get going during the summer can grow a whole zucchini in just a few days. i myself have given away zucchinis as well, simply because i had too much.
annie came home around 7pm. i intercepted her before she could start making dinner because i was going to make another italian sub and share some with her. it's also the only time i get to chat with her before she retreats to the bedroom to bury her face in her GRE study guides. she only recently discovered that "sub" actually meant a type of sandwich. i explained to her it's short for "submarine" which the bread resemble. she also asked how to pronounce the names of two associates: danielle and sophia. i explained to her that danielle is the feminine form of daniel, and that dan is the shortened nickname. i also listed a few other shortened nicknames, like bob, john, joe, and tony. i gave her just a small slice of my sandwich, which was enough to be her whole dinner. she gushed over how good it was but i didn't believe her, it's just a simple italian sub. there are other better sandwiches out there!
i watched the first of a 4-series red sox yankees match up in fenway. tonight was a special game, with boston beating new york to a sweet tune of 19-3. red sox got spanked in their last meeting back in london, with the yankees winning 17-13 and 12-8. but boston made it interesting in both games, still within striking distance, unlike tonight's game, which it was clear that the yankees were not coming back. hopefully this can continue and it'd be a dream if boston can sweep the new york this weekend, with the red sox gaining in the standings while the yankees dropping.