i got a phone call this morning at 9am, from a number in winchester i didn't recognize. normally i'd just ignore it, but for some reason i decided to answer it. at first i thought it was a wrong number. then the guy on the phone said he was in front of my house and said something about installing a dryer. only then did it dawn on me: this was the electrician here to do the dryer hookup. somehow he managed to get in upstairs but steve and paul were nowhere to be found so he called me, the emergency contact. it would've been nice if steve or paul had told me the electrician was coming. also: who opened the door for them?
i ended up texting steve to let him know his electrician was here waiting for him. i also e-mailed them. i went outside to speak with the electricians. he was kind of ticked off because he was here as a favor on a sunday morning, and they weren't even here. it wasn't until almost 10am did paul finally call back the electrician. paul and steve were actually coming back today, but not until the afternoon. later throughout the morning i heard the electricians banging around upstairs and the basement. if i hadn't known, i might've called the police because i wasn't expecting anyone to be at the house.
while chatting with renee outside, i saw joseph arriving. i thought he was done, but he was back to pour some more concrete after renee complained about the unleveled walk.
i debated long and hard this weekend as to whether i wanted to go see the dominican parade this sunday in JP or go furniture shopping with my parents on tax-free weekend. in the end, after my mother decided she didn't want to get a new sofa after all (too much hassle), it made my decision easier. i had a greek yogurt for breakfast, used the bathroom one last time, applied some sunblock on my arms and face, then finally leaving via motorcycle around 11am.
i was trying out a new route this time, same old way across the BU bridge to get to jamaica plain, but getting off of the jamaicaway at riverside and looping around to get onto south huntington avenue and onto heath street. i then take heath all the down until i hit columbus avenue, then i navigate to ritchie street along marcella playground to find parking. i arrived by 11:30am.
i could see the police already barricading parts of the street. i walked south along columbus avenue, towards egleston square, then kept walking until i reached franklin park. i was hoping to see the front of the parade, but it seemed to be getting sparser the farther i walked, the only people around were locals camped out on lawn chairs on the sidewalks waiting for the parade to start. so i headed back to egleston square.
not sure when i first realized my mistake. i should've realized something was wrong when they closed off only the western side of columbus avenue (southbound). kept looking south, thinking the parade would approach from there, but then i heard commotions from the north. that's when i realized the parade was coming from the north to south, from centre street. i got my geography mixed up, thought centre street was to the south.
so i ended up waiting longer for the procession to arrive, when i could've just waited at jackson square (in hindsight, that's where i remember watching the past parades). but where i was from egleston square was just as good, uphill so i could see the parade slowly making its way southward. i was also standing south facing north, which made for good light exposure on this sunny day. it was nearly 1pm before mayor marty walsh started approaching egleston square.
i've been to the dominican parade just twice, once in 2007, once in 2010. i remember the parades were small but lively. in the nearly a decade's time since my last visit, the procession seemed to have expanded. it's still a small venue, and i didn't see that many other photographers if any at all, which meant i got all the attention from the posing parade marchers. i was also probably the only asian person there.
i had my 55-250mm lens, which seems to be my go-to lens for parade photography. i also carried my 18-200mm, but i only used it once before the parade started to get some architecture photos. could be just my imagination, but the 18-200mm is not as sharp as the 55-250mm lens. i never noticed it before because i didn't have anything to compare it with (other than my 70-300mm, a lens i almost never use now), but since getting these new lenses, i'm very pro 55-250mm. i shot in aperture priority, f/8, exposure compensation stepped down to -0.7. ISO was set to auto, but in hindsight i should've put it on 400 or 800, because occasionally the exposure evaluation would get it wrong and shoot in ISO 100 with a low shutter speed when i want a high shutter speed to capture the action. that tip will come in handy next saturday when the annual boston caribbean parade happens. i also had my earplugs, which i always carry in my camera bag: you need them to keep from going death when a speaker car goes by.
there were a bunch of girls wearing different colored dressed. they looked interesting but i didn't know the story. later i found out they were supposed to be muñecas sin rostro, faceless dolls, something indigenous to the dominican republic.
instead of flatbed speaker trucks, here at this parade they had speaker cars with towers of speakers either mounted on car roof our wall of speakers mounted on an open hatchback.
the procession had passed egleston square by 1:40pm. i went back down to ritchie street to retrieve my motorcycle, about an 8 minute walk. from there i retraced my steps, going back to cambridge via heath street, my new found shortcut to jamaica plain and dorchester/roxbury.
back at home i bumped into margot. we got to talking about laundry and she asked me if i had a washer and dryer. i told her yes, i had an stacked in-unit model, and then decided to give her a tour of the house, as she'd never been inside before, at least not since i moved in more than 17 years ago. her house is the only one of the 4 similar units that i haven't seen before, other than through the windows, although i have been to the 3rd floor of that house when i was house hunting back in 2002.
i packed up my things and got ready to ride to belmont, but i ran into joseph, we was loading up his truck. i asked him to send me the photos of the finished gutter work (he was supposed to do that a month ago). everything seemed to be happening all at once, as steve and paul showed up. i was hoping i wouldn't run into them but glad i did, because i was able to learn they'd only be here for one night, leaving tomorrow for a weeklong plane trip somewhere. of course they didn't apologize for not being here this morning and i had to be the point man for their electrician work, even though they didn't tell me about it beforehand.
i arrived at my parents' place by 3pm. i saw my father driving away in the opposite direction. my mother told me he was going to the cafe to help my godmother's son finally move his motorcycle after all these years (at least half a decade?). it'd been sitting in storage all this time, taking up space. originally it was in the shed, but then moved outside hoping it'd give weiwei the impetus to move it. but years later it's still sitting there. we've asked him to move it every single year, and every single year he said he would, only to break his promise. until today.
my mother and i watched the whole move on webcam. there was a point where it looked like he wasn't going to move the bike (seized carburetor, rusted wiring, who knows), but then we saw weiwei get on the bike and finally ride it away.
my sister came home with hailey and showed her the solar fountain. her dog then spent the rest of the day biting the sprinkles until we finally had to call her inside, otherwise she'd be outside indefinitely.
a perimeter check showed that the woodchuck didn't break through the renewed defense on the eastern fence.