Monday, February 28, 2011

Self portrait

the last day of february already! 
im extremely lazy right now; so another self portrait. this was last friday, when we walked home from the orange line. while the monring started with heavy rain, upon leaving the lab it suddenly had turned into snow! to me always a pleasant surprise.. :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Parking lot

it started snowing a little last night.... and we woke up to quite a layer of snow again! very pretty.......
tomorrow it will be around 10 degrees, so that will result in a watery mess, i presume. as above; this is somewhere at some parking lot around boston. it does not really matter, since all these parking lots are more or less the same, as are the shops....
if you look carefully, you can see several shopping carts randomly scattered around. this always annoys me, and when im in a bad mood, can even make me furious... sometimes we indicate to lazy shoppers that they forgot their cart, but they never seem to get it.... especially at the end of the day, the carts are spread out over the entire parking lot, making it hard to find a spot. ironic, no? you goto the supermarket late to avoid the crowd, but still cannot park... 
in the netherlands this is less of a problem; at most supermarkets you have to put some money into the cart that you will get back upon returning it. surely most dutch will bring their cart to the other end of the parking lot when their money is involved.... :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Aiming for....

... the sky! this is close to the supermarket in chelsea. it was last week, and i didnt yet want to go into the most likely overcrowded supermarket. the light outside was soo beautiful and for sure it would be dark when finally done shopping. so we left the parking lot and the first thing i saw where these cherry pickers (in dutch its "hoogwerker", i looked up this word on, and got hydraulic hoist, lifting ramp and cherry picker. i then searched for google images and only cherry picker gave me the above pictured ones. so, i go for cherry picker, although it sounds weird to me). there was a high fence and i had to climb onto a piece of crash barrier, holding myself onto the fence. the wind was going like crazy and it was really cold, but the sky was so beautiful!!
actually, the dutch news recently had a funny story; a thief tried to steal a bike, but the owner caught him. he then asked some nearby workers for help. they put the thief in their cherry picker, and then drove it, with the thief high up in the sky, to the police. the thief later said he found that tour through the city rather humiliating, hahahaha! i find very useful; so often there a words i dont know. or for synonyms... for all the non-dutch; interglot will tell you why, as a dutch, the cherry picker with "lull" on it, to the left, made me laugh (just remove the last letter before you interglot it! or am i too old to laugh about something like that... ?)

Road repair

many roads around boston are pretty bad, and winter is making them even worse. snow, salt, melting freezing, melting and freezing again... it creates small, large and enormous potholes. we bumped into a few already... by far the worst road is the road to my work, of course... 
tim sometimes picks me up in the evening (when once again i missed the shuttle; after 7.15 they go only twice per hour and at some point im just sooo tired and dont want to take the shuttle/wait for orange line/walk the 5 mins home; the laziness!!). in weekends we always go by car , when the shuttle is even more infrequent; this was last saturday when they were repairing the road. some 2 hours later, when we drove by again, they were all gone and that part of the road looked like new again.
in the background, to the right, you see downtown boston and a part of the zakim-blabla-bla-memorial bridge (cant remember the exact name; but i wrote it down in this post), to the left you see  a bit of charlestown's bunker hill monument (that we still have to climb....).

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ice breaker

have you ever walked on ice that wasnt strong enough to hold you? i never had this desire but the path on yesterday's peninsula was rather icy. or better; it was entirely covered by a layer of ice. actually.. the parts where the ice was breaking were OK to walk, but other, more firm parts were sooooo slippery! when we were about to walk back to the car, an old couple just arrived. they had to return after a few metres.... :(
hmmm, i realize my boots get pictured quite often!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Boston skyline

on sunday we drove around; the final destination was Hull, but we werent in a hurry to get there. underway we stopped and walked around on this peninsula, from where we had a nice view on boston. unfortunately the trees are a bit blocking the excellent view of boston ;) on the right you see downtown boston, more to the left is the hancock tower, and next to it, to the far left, prudential center. it was beautifully sunny (as so often is the case here!!), but freezing cold....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Observing people

this was last week in the green line. the girl in pink was sketching fellow passengers, without trying to hide it in any way. i therefore felt more free to take a picture of her in return.... :) 
my post about the subway legs got posted on a boston news site with quite a bit more readers than i generally have (it actually happened once before with this post). flattering... but.. suddenly i worried.. did i write something that i shouldnt have? is it ok, even though i didnt ask those girls? normally, they would maybe be seen by maximal 50-100 people, now it suddenly were 2000.... does that make a difference?
and then someone posted a comment on that site "good thing he took the picture in the station as opposed to the train, there would be tweets out demanding his arrest!" (the MBTA here has a twitter site where riders can post for example pictures of people behaving indecently in the T; this has helped arresting some people already). and that did make me wonder.... i know you are allowed to take pictures of strangers. but when they are dressed like that, does it make a difference? does it make a difference that i am a she, would it have been less OK had i been a guy? what if they had worn jeans? what does it say about our society? why is there a difference in the first place, is there a difference, since they were "dressed like that"? and what does that mean, "dressed like that?" didnt they themselves choose to be dressed like that? and am i judging them, just by picturing them? and... so on and so on.. then, even... could i be arrested? :) how to explain? ah well... i have this blog, you know, and i like to take pictures of strangers... 
hmm..., i am just an observer, and try to capture what i find fascinating/typical or otherwise interesting.... be it women in short skirts or ice on a fence.... :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Oops, sleeping....

i wrote yesterday we bought a new chair, which leaves more space for one of us sleeping on the couch. involuntarily i tested that the past 2 hours!! gone evening..... :( i did not one of the things i had wanted to do. but sleeping.... grrrrrr!!!
i thought this pic fits to that. it was taken in september, when we went to New York for 2 days... aaah, i want to go there again! here we had walked quite a bit along the shore. through battery park we passed the huge number of people waiting for the ferry taking them to the statue of liberty, then the ferry to staten island (unfortunately it was too late, we had to go back home!), and here we hoped to catch a ferry to new jersey, where our car was parked. but no, that ferry was only operating on weekdays. we did see the ferry coming in from ikea, it was so funny seeing all those new yorkers coming off the boat with ikea-stuff. it was a beautiful day and so was the walk, but quite long and we had walked so much already!
this morning we woke up with quite some snow again, but it stopped in the early afternoon and didnt remain on the streets. but it was pretty waking up...
now off to bed, i need even more sleep!
for the record; this is not a self portrait!! ;)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pure joy

tim gave the fence a little kick while i took a pic.... :) (click on it to see it entirely)
it was freezing cold today!! and we decided it should be a day without work....  off we went with the car. to the beach was the destination... it was freezing cold!! it was so cold that this fence was entirely frozen, and the ocean, next to it, looked like a giant slushee... (i only remember slushee since i saw it in the movie "little miss sunshine"), unfortunately the pics of that just show a grey frozen mass, the movement of the waves was what made it funny....
on our way we saw a goodwill store (where people bring stuff they dont want anymore, so other people can buy it for little money), and we bought a lovely seemingly brand new chair for only 20 dollars!! it perfectly matches our free couch. now i can read in the chair while tim sleeps on the couch (although vice versa is more likely, nowadays)! then we drove on and eventually ended up in Hull, where we have been before, but this time the beach was quite a bit more deserted...then we had pizza in this restaurant along the shore. that was already our third time there, but their pizza is just so terribly gooood!! (even though we had to wait quite a bit as they forgot our pizza in the oven; they had to make a new one).

Snow drift

when walking to the station yesterday morning, i heard some birds, it was very sunny, not cold at all. even warm, perhaps? and i thought i could smell spring... i was writing some lines in my mind that surely would some way or another make it here, accompanied by a bright and sunny photo....
not so much, today it was very cold again!! the wind is blowing around, making it even colder. we went to the cinema, for a change.. :), and saw "the eagle", not about americans, but about a roman that wanted the eagle back that his father had lost somewhere in britain. at times the movie reminded me of "the long walk" (another rather recent crappy movie). both had in common that there were barely women and quite some hardship and fighting. there were at least 3 little kids in the audience, im not sure this movie was the best choice for them. tim just wrote on facebook "avoid at all costs". ah well, i would not go that far; at times it was interesting....
when getting out of the theater it was suddenly terribly cold (-8 C; yesterday it was +13 C)! even more wind, and snow.. blown around by the wind just above the black streets. actually very pretty; i tried to take a picture of it... reminded me of liquid nitrogen on lab floors.....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Police posture

just typical.... theres nothing more to say! :)
as seen when walking to massachuttes massachusetts (aarghh, i can never spell it right!) general hospital (MGH) from north station, wednesday morning.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Subway legs

we saw some legs this evening! tiny skirts and high heels... i took 3 pics but they were right in front of me... so i didnt dare to try more.... the skirts were so extremely short and the heels sooo high, the girls had difficulty walking. this is a very common sight here, for girls/women going out. am i glad im not a real american woman! :)
this was at north station, and they had no clue which train to take....
for another leg photo: here :)

US Morcheeba

we just got back from a morcheeba concert!! i like them since quite a long time and have all their cds, probably know the lyrics to quite some songs (thats rare for me), and listened to their cds many, many times in the lab where i did my PhD (not everyone was happy with that....). then friday i discovered they were coming to boston!! just on time, there were still tickets... :)
so we went and i liked it a lot! i went once before to see them; with my friend in budapest (an excellent reason to visit her!!). then they had another lead singer, which was good, but currently their true and only lead singer is back again; skye. her voice is amazing!! cool... i heard all those songs so often, but never life... and even though some songs are 15 years old... never boring! (but perhaps a little to tim....)
i took some pics; it was quite difficult, by far not enough light and i wasnt very close to the stage. im not sure this was the best one, but its sooo late now and im tired!! her dress was amazing, it was pink/red and the cape was constantly flowing around her. she said she made it herself....
for some really coooool photos: here (wish i had been so close to the stage!)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Another Tobin...

here yet again a little more of the tobin bridge than last time.... i would say this is most of the bridge, although you dont see the part that crosses charlestown. ah, maybe for yet another time... but this is the most interesting part!
sooo cold today!! else, nothing new.....
ah, that gives me some space to thank you all for visiting here! and to all of those who comment: another thank you! i really enjoy reading them..! but not always do i have time to write back again. and then i forget  and then days later i think.. ah, yes... 
now its time for dinner... tim is cooking, have to go!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Obligatory flowers

it is february 14, and since a week or 2/3 shops have been accumulating hearts. heart pillows, candy, balloons.. whatever you can shape into a heart and turn pink or red. even, people at work seriously mentioned valentine's day, and this morning the guy that sells newspapers suddenly also had a lot of flowers for sale. not that pretty bouquets for a lot of money.. even my work-related email was sending me some offer that you could buy a bunch of roses (10 or 12) on discount as a hospital employee (now for 60 dollars instead of 70, or something like that). 
ah, and not to forget; we saw in the supermarket 2 steaks placed into a red heartshaped container, like 2 halves of a heart. how does that work? man buys that for his woman, brings it home and says "here, 2 steaks" and off she goes, into the kitchen?! hmmm, a little old-fashioned.... next to the meat was a heart-shaped container with prawns and some greens, and around that a lot of chocolate-covered things like strawberries, cookies, an enormous cake. eeehmm? so toys are not allowed with food, but raw meat can be kept in the same place as sweets?
hmmm. another in the category "things i miss", a huge bunch of flowers from the market in utrecht. 40 or even 60 roses, or whatever other beautiful flower you like for only 5 euros!!
ah, and the photo was in haarlem. i especially liked the sign "due to freezing temperatures, flower sale inside"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mandarijnen, please...

nothing interesting this weekend. no photos (aside from the one from yesterday). i only worked.... im tired of sitting behind my laptop. therefore a very old photo! it was taken in november 2008, in my old lab in utrecht, the netherlands, during lunch. these are the peels of a "mandarijn", and inside is a toy from a kinder surprise chocolate egg. this is one of the things i miss here; "mandarijnen".  i believe here they are called "tangerines". i associate them with december, "sinterklaas" and christmas. surely i ate a LOT of them when we were back home in december for a few days. here you can buy them too, but they are sooooo expensive!! and they are not as good as at home. the peel is difficult to get off, they are less juicy and they are FULL of pits (i looked it up, but i think it is pit, or kernel?). i had one this morning, and it wasnt a pleasure to eat one... :) oh, yes, there are more important things in life... but it are these small things that suddenly you realize you are not at home... :)
i also miss those lunches with my labmates, i miss my labmates too..... but they are all gone from that lab too, or about to leave, since thats the advantage as well as disadvantage of science; everyone from everywhere comes and goes.....
another interesting fact that i just found because i was looking up how to write "kinder surprise". here you dont get a surprise!! they are sold all over the world excluding the us, where the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act prohibits embedding "non-nutritive items" in confections....poor poor americans... (young and old!)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tobin again!

above yet another view of the tobin bridge. as mentioned, i see this bridge every day, since it is right next to the lab where i work (unfortunately i cannot see it from my window). to me this scene is very american; desolate, the electricity (or whatever) wires above ground, the huge bridge... to the left you see the toll booth; just before that i took this picture. i think it is amazing that while on top of the bridge you are about to drive into the center of boston, while down below you are in deserted charlestown almost at the end of the world... :) (i was recently at the main campus and a nurse said to me; charlestown, ugh, nothing is there.. the perfect place for you scientists...)
as you can see, the snow is getting ugly. it has melted a bit, then it froze again, so its now a dirty, icy mass. although this part of the road looks rather good, many roads are even worse than they were before the snow. small and larger potholes are popping up everywhere; a result of the freezing and thawing, when water gets into small cracks in the road. if you dont have a big american car your rides becomes rather bumpy... (or... even more bumpy....) 
i still didnt manage to photograph the entire bridge... maybe next time... :)
in the meantime, i spent the entire behind my laptop.. trying to write a grant... yugghhh...

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gas king

we always goto the same gas station... whereas most stations currently ask well over 3 dollars (but.. per gallon, not per liter; 1 gallon is 3.8 liters), this one is still a little below 3. it took a few months before we discovered that at most gas stations the listed price is what you pay when paying cash... when paying with card its 3-5 cents per gallon more expensive! however, at this station you can only pay cash, and you have to pay beforehand... i think its weird they all prefer cash; isnt that more dangerous, to have so much money?
ah, they really are the cheapest around boston! (boston gas prices)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fancy entrance

im going through my pics since an hour now.... couldnt decide. so... an old one, from my screensaver that i didnt update since a while... this was in New York last year, or maybe already the yer before? times flying! anyways, i totally forgot where exactly this was, or what kind of building. i was just amazed by all the blue... and in the back, right in the middle someone was sitting. of course just at the moment i took a photo he moved...:(

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Our hallway

ouch, am i annoyed!! when signing the contract for our perfect apartment, it was clear the contract was ridiculous. it stated things as "you can adjust the temperature in your apartment to your liking". it also gave some guidelines for the usage of the washer/dryer and dishwasher and it suggested how to keep the apartment clean (eh?). other than that, we were supposed not to put anything in the hallway, including a name on your front door. so, we are entirely anonymous. no one knows we live here, and we have no clue who lives around us; i hardly see anyone when coming or leaving home.
i noticed some people have a doormat. and one apartment had some small decoration on the front door, changing with the seasons. the snow came, and boots became a necessity. when coming home they are all wet, full of snow, salt and dirt. it became common practice to leave these boots outside. all to keep the perfect inside carpet clean, no? (ours was entirely new when moving in). but now we got a letter from the apartment management, stating that it is not permitted to have anything in the hallway (and then they give some examples; shoes, doormats, toys etc). buuuuggghhh...! and i thought the ugly hallway looked so much better with my boots...
above tim in the hallway, after the pic was taken, i quickly took him back into the apartment.. who knows, maybe you cannot store your annoying significant other in the hallway either... not even for a while...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Showcase cinemas

this is the main entrance to the cinema in revere. it has an enormous parking lot around, and it lies next to the highway in the middle of nowhere; only accessible by car (and perhaps a bus..). it was raining that night and very foggy, which gave the red light of the cinema a special glow...
just saw in the dutch news that true grit from the coen brothers is coming out this thursday in the netherlands. we saw it here a little while back; it was really good (although the end not so much, there they suddenly seemed in a hurry to finish it all). matt damon was also funny; at first i did not even recognize it was him!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Poor plant

but gives a nice picture....
ice really is a problem, currently. huge icicles hanging from most roofs... dropping down... huge amounts of snow that melt and freeze and are too heavy causing more and more roofs to collapse. today yet another building was evacuated because of that; nothing near us, only what i read in the news. in charlestown (where i work) several cars were literally crushed due to ice that fell from a roof above (picture here). tim picked me up from work, and along the road we drove i think 50% of the cars missed their rear view mirrors; its sooo narrow due to the piles of snow on either side... one car was terribly damaged on its street side, but of course i then had the stupid remark; ah look, also its rear view mirror is gone... (i guess the owner wishes that was the only thing that happened to the car).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Dutch street

the past week i often have been terribly indecisive as to which picture to post, today is no exception.... this one was taken in december, in utrecht. although its much cheaper here, i miss shopping there. alongside the canals, the small shops.. as opposed to a large standard mall next to the highway. today we also finished the cheese i brought from home :( (yum yumyum, old dutch cheese... as confirmed by some real americans at work; a lot of american cheese looks like plastic and doesnt have a lot of taste). i miss my bike too... i went to the gym this morning, and spent 40 minutes on a stationary bike; boooring! yes, we do have bikes in the garage here, but currently its really impossible to use them.
ah well. a bit more positive; today was a beautiful day!!! soooo much sun, not very cold.. we went to the museum in lincoln once again; it was free entrance day with our bank card.. amazing to see all the sculptures in snow. some had entirely disappeared under all the snow, some we could only see from the road... and inside the museum there were new exhibitions; here a link to the museum's website!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Snow farm

i guess we discovered a snow farm.... mountains and mountians of snow on the excess parking lot of the showcase cinemas in revere. in summer there is a market here, and in winter there is snow! :)
today it rained a lot, and it was not so cold, so the piles started to melt, resulting in soooo much water on the streets!! but the piles of snow are still high, the roads still narrow (i saw so many rear view mirrors that were broken off cars standing alongside the roads.. it just doesnt fit currently). many roofs are collapsing too, due to all the snow..... according to the weather forecast; more to come next week.
ah yes, we went to see a movie (we go very often here), this time it was the king's speech. i had seen the preview already several times when going to other movies and wasnt that enthousiastic. but.... it was a very good movie. not boring at all (as i had expected)!

Friday, February 4, 2011

The lottery

reason i dont win the lottery is because this shop was too sad to go into... another shop at downtown crossing, boston!
off to sleep... tired, tired, tired....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow umbrella

ah, for a change; this morning we had some snow again! but not by far as much as was predicted.... a bit disappointing... :) schoolchildren had yet another "snow day" today; the schools were closed because of the snow... if im not mistaken, it was already the 6th snow day of this school year, and since you have to goto school a minimum number of days, another snow day is only possible by making up for that day later in the year.... tomorrow should be fine, but then the snow is supposed to come back on saturday!
tim doesnt like these photos, but i like my pink umbrella; this is on our way to the orange line from our apartment.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow night

we started the day with some snow and hail... then it turned into sleet (im getting familiar with the snow vocabulaire; sleet is snow that partially melts as it falls) and then just rain.... the snow on the streets started to melt and there were huge puddles in the streets, especially since the roads are so bad here... gladly i was wearing boots, too bad they were not entirely waterproof... the puddles were mean! often it didnt look too deep, or icy, but when stepping on it.. your foot disappeared and came out entirely soaked... :( then the evening fell and it started freezing; a slippery mess as a result! and now we are back to snow....!
tim came to my work so we could have dinner at the most romantic place in charlestown, the tavern on the water... above the view you have from there.... this night it was soo pretty and somehow so light, perhaps because of the snow and the clouds? (must be awesome in summer too, its right at the water and they have a roof terrace). its a 5-10 minute walk from the lab. but when we came there it looked pretty deserted... turned out to be closed!! :( as charlestown is pretty deserted anyways, we had to wait for the next shuttle, half an hour later.... then we finally had dinner somewhere around north station, in a (also pretty empty) sport's bar. but that was yummie too!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow field

this picture i took on sunday, it is very close to my work in charlestown. although you cannot see it here, on the right side, high above, is the tobin bridge...  ofcourse i took some pictures of  the bridge as well and maybe i will post one sooner or later... :) the light was sooo beautiful this day! it was just before sunset....
this morning when getting up, all paths were still snowfree... but by the time we left the apartment, there was quite a layer of snow! (and no, we did not take that long). it has been snowing the entire day, and snow removers have worked the entire day to keep the roads clear!! i think it now has stopped snowing, but tomorrow it is supposed to start again, bringing even more snow than today. everywhere around me, i only hear the words "snow, soooo much, blablabla inches, aarghhh". but i like it!!! :) defenitely its not only the dutch that can have endless conversations about the weather...
im only a little worried about the glassroof in my building; the lunch area is an open space, ground level, and you can look up all the way to the 8th (i believe) floor, and the roof is from glass: soo much snow is on it now! on the news there are all these stories about collapsing roofs due to the snow....
ah, maybe i should once take a pic inside my building....