Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Weapons firing

I found the notice very disturbing, but the people sitting there obviously did not mind. This was in Charlestown, in front of the Bunker Hill monument. Right now im too lazy and tired to elaborate on that, but here you can read it all! anyways, i wanted to climb that tower, but it was closed for reconstruction and not opening until somewhere in the fall..
although that was closed, there was a demonstration of some weapon they then used. a guy dressed up in "very old clothes" (i presume from that time, around 1775) came with some weapon and started a neverending story. it was so boring we didnt wait for him to finally fire the damn thing. no clue whether he did, we didnt hear it, while walking back to Boston. "dont fire until you see the white of their eyes!" the only sentence i remember from the endless rambling...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Boston Nantasket

when driving from boston to nantasket (or hull, still dont get where one starts and the other ends..) you cross this bridge! it is in quincy and you will pass underneath it when taking the ferry from boston to quincy....
its pretty, i think.. (pic was taken through the front window of the car, while driving.. well, while being driven as i dont have a driver's license.... )

For sale

but i think its been for sale since a looooooonnngggg time!! the weather during the weekend was amazing! on sunday it was sooooo HOT. we went to an outlet center with i dont know how many shops... but we didnt buy much, it still wasnt cheap enough! :) this center was soooo enormous, and the parking lot aorund it was even bigger, yet it was difficult to find a parking spot...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

People everywhere

this is the institute of contemporary art.. i liked the building a lot (in fact, as mentioned, it was the most interesting thing to see when we went there recently). it is at the boston harbor and you have a nice view on the water. to me it looks like a beamer, the small thingie in the middle, where you can also see some people... perfect for ocean watch... instead of projecting something it is a means to allow people to see the water. actually this picture by night is far better than mine, and also the article is pretty interesting...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Boston common (2)

sometimes you have to lie down (i had to look up whether it was lay or lie, but i think its lie; you lay something down, and people lie down by themselves) to see it all in perspective... :) this was in/at (i still dont know) the boston common, a while ago already...
its really good to spend time with real americans... im learning so many new expressions and words, things you certainly dont learn at school! :) who knows, maybe i will put some of them into practice here... ! (but its not even that easy to find real americans; in my lab nobody is, for example)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mirror portrait

this was a complicated one. i saw this mirror in a very fancy shop, and wanted to picture tim reflected in the mirror. so i directed him to stand in the bushes while i was on the other side of the glass building taking the pic. then tim saw that from his side i was reflected together with the american flag (from the harbor or so). a much better one! thus then i had to stand in the bushes, while tim was posing on the other side... ah well...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Harvard building

as you can see, it is still raining.... this is the hallway on the fifth floor, where i work. some of the umbrellas are sooo nice! especially on the other side of the hallway are often very fancy, shiny purple umbrellas... but i took a pic on this side as there were a lot more :)
this afternoon patrick and his daughter came over to pick up a yeast plasmid! we had lunch (at panera ofcourse, yumyum) and tim came over as well. that was nice! while waiting for patrick, we were sitting in the fancy glass building that is connected to my older, crappier building. it really looks nice, and i was trying to get a nice picture, which didnt work out. so i was trying a little more... and then a security guy came and said: "you are not taking pictures, I assume?" and while holding my camera i said: 'ah, is it not allowed?' "no. it is a matter of privacy". and then he kept staring at us until i felt so uncomfortable that we decided to go somewhere else. at that very moment patrick came and asked the unfriendly guy directions...
buugggh. is this another example of overreacting? who am i harming with some stupid pictures? there are no patients in our building, just crazy scientists like me..! and no, i am also not planning some attack and therefore checking out the building... (thats why they dont like people taking pics on the subway, this is what they write in their policy about taking pics: "intelligence indicates that persons who wish to target particular locations for terrorist purposes are likely to use photography as part of their pre-attack surveillance and planning. As such, the MBTA has not only an obligation to protect its customers and employees and deter and prevent terrorism, but also an inherent responsibility to regulate photography on, in, or of MBTA property, vehicles, or employees.")

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Charlie card

oh, we got spoiled by so many days of great weather... i forgot how annoying rain is.. but now i know again. a rainy window view i had from the lab, the subway, the apartment... rain rain rain... the pool is sooo full its almost overflowing! yesterday evening we swam in it, pfew, that was rather cold (it is not heated).
luckily i dont bike to work... :) no, actually i miss that soooo much! i wish i could... so i started biking in the 24hr fitness, because it cant be that i return home and dont know how to bike anymore. but biking on a bike that doesnt move is really soooo boring! instead, i have a charlie card. that card, which costs me only 30 dollars/month (the other 30 dollars are paid by the university) allows me to go anywhere in boston by subway or bus! it is named after a character in a protest song dating back from 1948, "Charlie on the MTA". it was written to protest a fare increase; not only did you have to pay to enter the subway system (10 cents), but also to leave you had to pay an exit fare (5 cents). so, the song is about charlie, who has enough money to enter the subway, but does not have enough to exit and thus rides the T forever. here are the lyrics. and if i wanted to, i can ride the T forever with my charlie card as well :)
i had read about charlie somewhere, and thought i knew a very interesting piece of information not known by many others.. but... having been to many places with my charlie card by now, i saw the story explained already on several stations.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Waiting for..

the rain to stop. its raining since yesterday early afternoon. i guess actually already morning. we had the entire pool to ourselves, because of that (jeej!). but it was also the first time in weeks i am wearing a jacket, and that we didnt have lunch outside. but, today i was told last summer the weather was pretty much like this all the time. how lucky are we to arrive this year! :)
above is between prudential and the scientist church; i think this is the library. that day it was also raining a lot (when the subway flooded), and this woman was waiting for it to stop, until she realized it wasnt going to stop for quite a while, and just went into the pouring rain.... i took several pictures while approaching her, but they all turned out crappy, and as usual, the first one was the best.. (but.. this one is not sharp either, as quite some of my pics, and it annoys me a LOT! wondering whether a better camera would solve that problem? see, thats how little knowledge i have of photography.. grrr.. that also annoys me..)

No exit

at state street, orange line (as can be seen above). not that i thought it was an exit in the first place, but now it made me wonder what is behind that wall! there is currently more police at the subway stations since they hypothesize that airports nowadays are so well protected against terrorists, it is likely that terrorists shift their focus to crowded subway stations. so, they every now and then take a bunch of policemen-machoguys and plant them behind a table at the entrance of a subway station. then they pick out people that they think need their bags searched (see previous post). besides, as extensively described in the newspaper this morning, they are testing gases in subway tunnels, as there is not only fear of bad people blowing up trains, but also of biological and chemical attacks, which are "just as lethal and perhaps harder to combat". what they do is releasing inert, odorless gas and particle tracers into the subway system and then they study how fast it spreads and when its gone again. apparently they already did that in decemeber, but since airflow changes based on weather, they want to see whether and how its now different....
well, it started raining yesterday and is supposed not to stop before tomorrow... will they also test it when its hot and dry again?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Just morons

this evening we were at Nantasket once again, for the ocean and the pizza! (yum!) while sitting in the cafe this time, right outside on the beach there were suddenly fireworks and it went on and on for 5 minutes at least. it was for a bachelorette party. police came to check it out, and were staring at the burned out panel with all the rockets mounted to it, and decided it was best to get the firemen to deal with it (i thought a bucket with water from the cafe would do, but who am i?). and so, soon after a firetruck came rushing down with sirens and all (for a burned out panel, mind you!). then all the machoguys just stood there for quite a while.... shining a torch on the panel. finally, 2 of them got shovels (while actually the thing caught flames again... wow.. they didnt come for nothing!) and went onto the beach. and this was their brilliant action: they flipped the panel over, into the sea, while some rockets fell off. if one if them hadnt yet ignited and would have at that very moment, it would have been right in their face, but well, they know better how to handle a firehazard than me, i suppose. after this, i assumed they would clean up, but they got off the beach! they all got in their big trucks again (another policecar had arrived as well), and just LEFT. they LEFT, while the panel was about to take off into the ocean! now what, pollution!!!! really, so far i have only seen that officials here are a bunch of idiots. yegh...
(btw: another couple & tim made sure that the panel got out of the water.... now its lying there on the beach)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Beautiful evening

the weather was great yesterday (actually almost everyday its great, but being confined to airconditioned places (work, subway, bus..) i often dont notice.. but we left work on time yesterday and went to the ICA (institute of contemporary art; americans love to make abbreviations.. if possible they would speak & write only in abbreviations, i sometimes think). because... on thursdaynights entrance is free!! (normally admission is 15 dollars), and its open till 9. well, we needed i think half an hour to go through the museum, there was (this time?) not much interesting to see, except for the building itself...
this pic is made on our way towards the museum. i had never been in this part of boston yet. south end it is. and i liked it there! so spacious! lots of water, interesting buildings... and the sun made it all even more beautiful.... and there were these planes, 4 or 5 of them, that were writing in the air.. but to be honest, the pictures had been nicer without it...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Not original

yesterday we had dinner in cambridge! me, tim, adam (the new tech from the lab behind me) and his roommate. it is restaurantweek in boston, so they have fixed-price menus, allowing you togoto a more expensive/fancy restaurant than usual. we went to evoo. 3 course meal for 33 dollars. it was nice. it was fancy. it was a lot. nice company. but the food wasnt that great... i had mozzarella/tomato/basil as starter (normally 13 dollars or so), as main dish chickenbreast floating in some watery-whatever and a little tiny bit of vegetables (normally 35 dollars or so!!) and a nice dessert panna cotta but not being real panna cotta but nice anyways (forgot the price). i was stuffed! and it was late! and the restaurant had its airco blowing on full, i was cold!! when going outside it was like a hot blanket, after 11 in the evening...
but this all has nothing to do with this pic, i realize! well, this pic i took a few weeks ago, its close to downtown crossing. its funny as the sale sign says: buy 1 get 2nd half off... as if you want your wig cut!! and i found this shopwindow a little eerie and sad, as well as oldfashioned. so yesterday i picked up this free magazine with almost exactly the same picture in it!! as well as another one i am still planning to post here.... :( what does it mean? i am not original? everyone is taking these pics..? or it could have been my pics in that magazine... ? anyways, i wasnt pleased... :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cant decide

how to turn this picture....! but it was the only way to get the text and the bridge. i posted a pic of it earlier, and everytime we are driving on it is a pleasure, so pretty! after that you enter a tunnel going into boston (or goto somerville and so on, the other direction), the thomas o'neill tunnel, part of the Big Dig, about which i will write some other time! (im every now and then reading in a book about the Big Dig, but you have to put it away after a few pages, as it rambles on and on about how great the tunnel constructions are for the highways leading into boston. each page has something about the "best this, the greatest that, the most enormousblablabla...". but thats for another time.
and this is a very recent pic, i took it this morning!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tax free

last weekend it was "sales tax holiday" or something.. anyways, it meant that that weekend there was no tax... what i find annoying here, is that you for example see a nice "ruffle top" (whatever that may be) for 8 dollars. but then at the counter it is 8,something as there is also tax on top of that (in the netherlands it is already included in the final price..). but not last weekend! also not on computers (then it really makes a difference), or alcohol.. anything (just curious, also not on cigarettes? dont know!) well, we missed it entirely... we didnt buy anything! as we were working on grant proposals and so on.... we only did grocery shopping, and there is no tax on groceries in the first place (hmm, maybe there is on bad food, like chips and so on, but even that we didnt buy...). ah well, we also do not need more stuff, i guess... :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

No wisdom

this was in the christian scientist church, or rather in the building next to it, where they have the Mapparium (that was in fact very nice to see). this was some kind of fountain that was spitting out words that were then flowing through the water, over the ground and then disappeared, and reappeared again in the fountain.
ah well. i have no wisdom, i guess! buuuhhh. just burned eggplant in the oven. and so on and so on!! beeeeghhhhhh

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lets go...

.. to wonderland!! well, thats perfectly possible in Boston. just take the blue line till the end... :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Another lady

i think her glasses are sooooo old-fashioned american! this was close to the public library in boston, and she "forced" her grandson (i assume) on a picture.. :) (and she was not posing for me..! i just also took a pic)

Old lady

i think this was on july 4, in/at the boston common. did she buy the balloon-creation? find it? get it? she reminded me a little of the old lady from the museum of fine arts. but then a friendlier-looking version.... looking back that guard really looked a bit evil.. like from a roald dahl story or something.
ah, and look... a baseball cap!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Public works

this pic i took already in june, when we were in chinatown. i like it a lot, but somehow never came to posting it. so..., here it is!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Balloon man

this guy i saw before in the boston common. here he was in cambridge, actually on the day the dutch lost from spain..... there was some festival going on, it was bastille day, but i saw nothing special. as i noticed before at the common as well, children are a little afraid of him, they do like his balloon creations, but they dont want to come too close to him. why? because hes a little scary? or just because hes an adult...? (i found him a little scary..)
ah, and i am wondering why their father (?) is filming him.. maybe so that he can do this at home as well?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

North station

at north station i change from the orange line to the slow green line. in fact i can also stay in the orange line to Ruggles, but then i have to either catch a bus or walk 20 minutes. the buses here dont keep their schedule very well, and thus i almost always take the green line, however slow.... :) besides, I prefer north station over Ruggles. and usually tim is already there waiting for me..
what i notice here, is that people do not like to sit next to me. whenever there are free seats available, people next to me move away. the first 3 months i thought there was something specifically wrong with me. so then it is good again to have american colleagues... :) apparently many americans have "problem with personal space" and thus keep as much distance from strangers as possible (unless the train is really really full; then they just push themselves in, as everywhere else). pfew. that was good to hear... :) i also asked if i am expected to do the same when sitting next to someone and another free spot becomes available, but they said i am not.. pfew again... (at first i though i should have listened to the advice in my "orientation" handbook, namely "do not use any perfume, as americans are oversensitive to that". ah well, maybe it is me after all... :S

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bike seat

entering the orange line at north station through oak grove, 12 minutes long (according to the website of oak grove village), i wondered why this guy held his bike like this, his front wheel on a seat. it was not that he was stuck or something, because he also just left at oak grove station. maybe he just thought his bike deserved a seat? he didnt think his bike deserved the escalator, instead he carried it up the stairs.
right now it is 11 in the evening, and still almost 30 degrees and very humid. sleeping will be difficult once again....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Behind bars

tim took this picture in amherst. i like it a lot! :)

Amherst yeast

on wednesday we went to patrick! we left work in the afternoon and drove to amherst. i needed to pick up some yeast strains that so far refused to grow in boston, and it was easier to get them from patrick than to have them sent form utrecht. now we finally saw amherst in daylight, previous time we came after 7 and went straight to patrick's house (with sylvia!). amherst college is on walking distance from his house and the campus was sooo beautiful. small buildings scattered on hills, a huge sport's field and a great view on mountains further away. the building on the back is where his lab is, so i finally saw that as well. and his office... where we spend over 3 hours discussing a still to be published paper from utrecht. then we had dinner in a nice small restaurant with his lab members and his wife. nice!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Remember to

stretch!! it was on the HarborWalk ("a 38-mile landscape bike, jog and walking path extending from Boston’s South Shore, through Harbor Point, to downtown Boston and onto the North Shore"). i think the lady in the back does not do a lot of stretching! :)
sorry, yet another old pic. this is not my best week....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Heavy rain

last night it was soooooo hot and humid! and this morning as well. and yes, that had to end in rain and thunder; a lot, this afternoon. luckily i was just in the lab, and now its nice and sunny again. it reminded me of the heavy rain we had when sylvia was here, and the subway flooded. i still had not posted a picture on that. so here it is... :) i like this one, since the water was really flowing like crazy, and the guy is just checking which line to take, as if his feet are not soaking wet.. :) it as really like the titanice, water was rushing down the stairs and from the platform. some people made movies of that, and posted them on the internet, in fact, if you look very careful, in some of them you can see sylvia and/or me!!
pfew... now im back on schedule again with daily pics.. its just... im so busy at the moment!! (sorry, therefore also only old pics... soon some new ones again, i hope)

American beach

however, this picture is from revere beach.. and in fact it was pretty nice there!

Dutch seaside

this was in the boston public library (beautiful library! we went there with sylvia). there was a display of old advertisements for places to go to. ofcourse i had to picture this one... :) and yes, the beaches in the netherlands seem nicer than the ones I saw around boston, so far... and no sharks!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Beach boy (3)

and then sometimes he would lift his shovel into the air, walk away or towards the water... but refraining from joining the others in their play, totally absorbed in his own :)
and yes, this is the last pic of him (unless i find him again at nantasket beach!)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beach boy (2)

see, how hes just standing there with his miniature shovel, observing the others?