Thursday, March 31, 2011

Once again..

... we are having snow!! nope, thats not a joke; its still march (at least on this side of the ocean..)! just ran outside to take a picture, and brought back quite some snow in my hair... :) see the light in the apartment just at the end of the bridge? thats ours! 
just checked the forecast: "The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for areas..." etc.. etc. its pretty white already; perhaps tomorrow everything is covered in quite a layer again? i start to finally believe the bostonians; the winter here is endless... :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Walking home..

or rather.. walking from charlestown to north station. i normally take the shuttle, but tonight i was shown the scenic route... so pretty!! i was disappointed that the times i walked instead of taking the shuttle (perhaps 3 times, haha) i always took the route alongside the road; not much fun. too bad  i didnt have my fancy camera just now. but isnt it pretty? the zakim bridge by night, and behind it the TD garden. and as a bonus their reflection... :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Public markings

aka graffiti..... 
this is here, in Hull, right behind a cemetery. we were just walking on the cemetery when i found a way to climb up, and suddenly we were in a fort, with an amazing view on the ocean! great historic site... but.. not so much.. it was in such a bad state, everything covered in graffiti. i was rather surprised, as i have come to understand that americans cherish anything with a little bit of history. but no, this fort was just abandoned and most likely used by local youth (ow, do i feel old, writing something like that!) to drink beer and mark the walls...
i never liked graffiti but recently i changed my mind. a little. maybe not so much about graffiti but more about advertisements that are placed everywhere around us. wherever you go, you will see billboards or smaller ads. pretty women making clear that you should buy this and this shampoo if you finally (eh..?) want nice hair, telephone companies that want your money or half naked ladies in victoria's secret underwear. do i want to see all that? not more than i want to see graffiti... i guess. and at least graffiti sometimes can be funny, while advertisements are just telling you that the products you are currently using are crap, or that you really should start to loose weight or goto the gym......
anyways, this morning there was an article in the newspaper about graffiti. apparently, in boston its not easy to spray walls. the police is always on the lookout. fines being between 500 to 5000 dollar. and... and average of up to 3 years of jail time. an average of three years?! isnt that a little too much...? a funny detail was that some artist that had his work displayed at the ICA got arrested for placing graffiti across boston city...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Catching shadows

sometimes its hard to be objective about the photos i take (or always?). here i clearly see the man pulling forward his cart with all those empty bottles and cans, and i like it.... but then i wonder... do others see that as well? now i really dont know whether thats a clear shadow of a man pulling a cart or not.... it was really sunny, as you can see, but it was quite windy and chilly.
anyways... here almost all bottles and cans (even small soda cans) have a deposit. most people dont bother to return them, so there are other people collecting them from wherever they find them. just in the corner you can see a part of a second cart as packed with refundable bottles as this one. we were on the perfectly fine sidewalk; i dont know why he choose to walk on the street... this is close to south station, where we got off yesterday to have a nice walk around a part of boston we dont visit very often. walking on leads you eventually to the ICA (institute of contemporary art) and from there we walked along the shore back to the center of boston where we found Panera already closed at 4 pm!! bugh, the financial district is really empty on a sunday afternoon....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Open door

im lazy today, so i let the church once again speak for me....
however.. i do not agree...!
you can also just drive on to boston....

Ooops, trespassing!

yesterday tim said; i found a real cool spot to take some pictures! so after he picked me up from work, we drove there, parked the car at a deserted parking lot (only for students with permit; others will be towed; ofcourse we did not have a permit), and walked on the above road. it was cool indeed; this was right underneath the big dig! above us all the cars on the many roads leading into boston. i posted several pictures while driving there already. while driving i am always amazed by the many roads crossing/passing etc each other, to eventually all lead you, from all directions, into boston. the amount of concrete is amazing, but i wouldnt call it ugly... :)
we just walked, and we were right underneath the road that gets you to this spot. we walked on, and suddenly stood right in front of another landmark: the boston sand & gravel! it was cool, but also a little scary; normally there are gates, cameras, security and signs warning you to stay away. here; nothing! until we walked back and i found this sign; i cant blame us for missing that when we rushed by the first time.... :) perhaps we are now sought for trespassing and photographing potential targets. (girl with bright green sneakers and guy with red trousers; thats hard to miss on their closed circuit television!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Its cold!!

this was last night, from our apartment...! it lasted not very long though.... tim was somewhere in cambridge, and there was no snow at all.
tonight its cold as well. we went to the cinema. oh no... i mean, we went to the movies.... apparently people here dont say "we went to the cinema". when i said that the other day in the lab, someone said; cinema?! is that what you say over in europa? ah well... the movie was not the best. lincoln lawyer, with matthew mac-something. i dont really like that guy anyways. it was not boring, but also not very great.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Behind them

i was right behind them. and im still wondering how they looked from the front...  even more so right now, now i cannot run forward anymore to check them out... :)
its the same with science, often. only when you did the experiment, and are looking at the results, or often, even just before you analyze your results is it that you realize what you forgot to check, what you forgot to take along... etc. as with any other happening, i guess. only later, when you cant go back....
anyways... that day it was so sunny! and this morning we woke up to a bit of white on the streets, and just an hour or 2 ago there was again quite some snow. wheres spring?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boston skyline (2)

this time from an industrial area around the red line's andrew station. wherever you are, you can always recognize the hancock tower (to the right), and prudential to the left...
ah, and there is a cherry picker/lifts..., which was the reason for me to pick this photo... :) here you can see only one, but there were actully many, many stored there.
im quite busy currently.. so its hard to find time to do my blog and/or check others.... :((

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Marching on

yet another picture from the st paddy's parade (someone asked us on saturday for directions to the parade and then wished us "happy st paddy's day!"). it is held in boston since 1804, and in new york they do it since 1762, the longest running parade in the US.
the sun made for nice shadows and i tried many time to catch that; mostly not very successfull (the policeman was in the way.... :D). i liked this one, although i dont remember who these men were. surely they looked all very different, but their shadows are alike....
i read somewhere that nearly 600,000 people gathered for the parade, and the newspaper told me this morning that 363 citations were issued by the police and 11 people got actually arrested for the following reasons: "Charges included assault and battery, disorderly conduct, affray, indecent exposure, and resisting arrest". my goodness! i just was googling around a little more, and ended up at (boston police department), here they have listed with full name and age who got arrested on sunday. i think thats ridiculous....

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dancing cop?

nope.... he wasnt (elegantly?) dancing.... this cop was trying to get all those people peacefully watching the parade onto the sidewalk (you can click on the picture to see it entirely). here they are slightly on the street, and he might have gotten orders to not have people on the street. he really pissed me off big time... with his overweight figure, barely able to move himself. if he had had to run, he wouldnt be able to, for sure. but he liked to threaten people, for no apparent reason. there was a woman who went to stand in front of the parade (they were not moving at that time anyways), and someone was taking her picture. mister big cop didnt like it, and told them to MOVE, or next thing would be handcuffs.... really, nothing was going on, the sun was shining, everyone was enjoying themselves, and then there were these cops trying to make themselves look important. or noticed, or whatever....
other than that, i really enjoyed it, especially since it was so sunny out! today, on the other hand, it was snowing most of the day, later turning into rain! spring... not quite yet...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Girl waiting

we went to see the st. patrick's day parade in boston. dress code; green...

A party

no post last night; we went to a party to celebrate my institute's second anniversary. it was in the kennedy library. i was very curious how it would look at night, but actually i was more impressed by it during the day. still, it was a very cool location for a party! there were so many people, and everyone was dressed up. always fun to see your colleagues in a party setting.... :)  americans dress up quite differently from the dutch, i would say; much more extravagant. there was food, music, and a lot of wine....
unfortunately, my fancy camera is bigger than the fancy purse i have, so i only had my small camera. the place was rather dark; thus no pictures from last night... :( instead this shopwindow in utrecht, the netherlands, from last december. 
its so sunny here right now, and at 1 the st patrick's day parade starts... we will go there and perhaps there will be some nice photo opportunities.....

Saturday, March 19, 2011

How about.....

... just a picture of the ....bridge that leads you into boston? i might have written this already; but every time we drive on this bridge, i am enjoying its beauty and the view  on boston you get and almost each time im trying to take pictures... here i actually only just now noticed the shadows of the cables.... so i cropped the pic a little to let that stand out more.. on the right you see the TD garden, where lady gaga had her concert. on the sides you still see some snow; but that must be gone by now; the past two days it was so mild almost all snow has melted away.
ooh, i was supposed to goto sleep now, but i just read something funny; in 2002, 14 elephants crossed this bridge to symbolically demonstrate its sturdiness (i.e., the bridge can support 112,000 pounds). in the 1800s, such "elephant-tests" were used to show that the engineering of newly built bridges was decent, since that was not always the case in that time. for example, the NY brooklyn bridge was tested in this manner in 1884. why elephants? "According to folklore, elephants are used for such shows of strength because they are widely believed to have uncanny instincts and will not cross unsafe structures". well, thank you, once again, wikipedia, for stuffing my brain.. :) and good night!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Saint Patrick....

... is taking a nap!
so, its saint patrick's day, and wikipedia can tell you everything about that day! perhaps 50% of the people at work wore green (i rediscovered i have green shoes..!) and in the evening i saw what this day really means to bostonians; wearing green shirts/hats/wigs, going to irish pubs (or stand in line to get into one), and drink.... there were so many people on the streets! the weather was surprisingly mild; mane cafes had their windows open and at one place people were even sitting outside!! (although with jackets)
we just got home, and above what i saw in the orange line... (in real the belly was much greener!!), and someone sleeping behind his drycleaned shirts.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

See something?

when you are waiting at a subway station, you hear a lot of messages. that the train is approaching, then that the train is arriving, that you should watch your personal belongings, that you should not litter the station as that could cause fires. that courtesy counts, and that if you see something, you should say something. apparently, commuters dont really hear all those messages anymore, and so for the "see something, say something" campaign they now started with a different approach. because... people in boston dont see, and/or say as much as people in other cities/countries and thus not that many suspicious people and/or packages are reported. they want boston to do better!! (but, maybe there are not that many suspicious things going on here... :D ?) yesterday at north station there was  this enormous package. i asked tim whether he saw it (its right in front of you when you enter the station), but he said "huh, what package?" so... today i was in front of the package, and i took a picture of it when he arrived at the station. then we went downstairs, and i asked him; did you see the package? guess what his answer was...
ah, and.. "The campaign is funded by a $1 million grant from the Department of Homeland Security’s Transit Security Grant Program.  It promotes a collaborative effort of state and local agencies to work together educating the public to be more aware of their surroundings, and report any behavior that may appear suspicious to the proper transportation and law enforcement authorities." but for sure they didnt reach tim.... maybe he should watch this video....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Time's flying

we moved the clock one hour forward this weekend, 2 weeks earlier than in europe. jeeej, now it gets dark later, but its still dark when i get out of work... now i officially cant wait anymore for warmer weather to start... :) and the pool opens again, but the latter will only be in June or so, i believe...
next month we are here a year! this sunday we went to revere beach for a walk. when still in the netherlands and searching for a suitable apartment, i found those buildings you see in the back. it seemed like they were placed directly on the beach, close to the T and to the city center, and with an indoor pool. what more would i want?! i got rather excited and decided this would be the place.... but when we went there to look, it was hard to miss how grey, ugly and depressing the enormous buildings are. and no, they are not directly on the beach, there is a busy road that separates these building blocks from the sand. the pool was a miserable, dirty, never used puddle of water and it is not that close to boston either. we did not even bother checking out the apartments from the inside, especially after we heard this part of boston is not the nicest place. but the beach is rather pretty, (and  americans wouldnt be american if they wouldnt proudly mention that revere beach is america's first public beach established in 1896; whenever there is a first, finest, biggest or whatever -st; it will surely be mentioned!) and can become very crowded on summer days. during the day, that is. it is said that after dark.. this is not a place you should goto....
hahaha, i was just looking for the official website of those apartments, but i could only find this; a website about those apartments from someone who used to live there for quite some time, but does not seem to be very happy about it...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Going nowhere...

this was friday night, donwstairs on the dock is where i took this picture. tim had picked me up from work earlier that evening, we went home for a quick dinner and 1 episode of the big bang theory (i wouldnt be surprised if we had seen each episode at least 3 times), and then we drove to the lab again where i had to do something for 10 minutes. but doing something for 10 minutes means you are busy for something like 30 and when i was done it was late and we were tired and in deserted charlestown and... i was so glad we drove here and we spend perhaps an hour in total just taking pics here and there, from the city, ourselves, whatever...
too bad i still did not read the manual of my camera, and too bad i dont spend as much time taking pics as i would like. but well, maybe that would get boring... :) besides, its still too cold out, so not always much going on....

Golden M

wherever you go, a golden M will be around. usually easy to spot from highways. sometimes more hidden; when i did an internship in the USA years ago, the canteen of the university housed a mc donalds, i found that very odd. while driving around boston today, we found a walmart. and this walmart had a mcdonalds. the golden M as entrance to your calorie infested food,  was somehow appealing to me.... why dont more mc donalds restaurants have an M like this? i never saw it before!
anyways, the walmart was an interesting experience of (a part of) american culture... it was my first time going to a walmart, finally!! when waiting for my visa, last year, i stumbled upon this website, where people post pictures of "interesting-walmart-clientele", and that made me wonder..... should i really.... ;)
unfortunately, i was once again too shy to take my own pictures that certainly could have been added to this site....

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Powerful position

so says the church..... i dont know what to add to this! maybe its related to this sign i once saw carried by a man at downtown crossing?
close to Saugus, somewhere around here... ah, and it was a beautiful day today! so sunny, and not too cold.

City lights

in charlestown just an hour or two ago, at the ferry dock where (during the day) you can take the ferry to boston for $1,70. we took a lot of pics. some crappy, some nice... it was kind of foggy.
and now.. as every friday, im very tired... good night!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shoe warehouse

it is restaurantweek in boston. eating in expensive restaurants for less money than they normally charge. but the tricky part; also their menu is different. for the cheapo option, that is... you almost feel bad when they ask you: normal menu or restaurantweek menu? (and it does feel as if they say; cheapos or...  are you coming for the real thing?). anyways.... our table was booked for 8.45. i was a little early which allowed me to visit DSW; the designer shoe warehouse for cheapos! :D 1000s of shoes at discounted rates.... when tim came, i tried on some "real american woman shoes.." ;) as above.... see-through heels in 3 different colors with glitter... (too bad you cant see that on the photo). i decided not to buy them when i found out that they actually did not light up when walking... :( a huge disappointment ofcourse....!!
ah yes, another tim-picture...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tim's ladies...

this is a photo tim took yesterday at the entrance of the TD garden, just before the lady gaga concert. i like it much better than mine, theres so much to see! those 2 young girls with too short skirts and too high heels. it was rather chilly last night, so they probably arrived in coats that they are now giving to daddy who is dropping them off. their mom is just behind him; when the girls got rid of all their non-necessary items, she took a picture. perhaps its now on their facebook-page; "just before the concert!"
to us, as simple dutchies, its really striking to see all those girls, young, old(er) or super young, dressed like this when going out (for me its especially the extremely high heels that are remarkable). it is not an exception; it rather seems the rule! at least here in boston...
i imagine a similar scene after the concert, when they were picked up again, handing out coats, taking pictures, but now most likely very tired and perhaps without shoes.... cute, no?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lady Fiasco

yesterday i saw large trucks with "monster tour lady gaga" on it. i asked my friend google what it meant, and i found out that today lady gaga was giving a concert in the TD garden. since the TD garden is in north station, where i take the orange line, i packed my camera this morning as i hoped to finally photograph "people going to the TD garden". ~19.000 people fit into the TD garden, so whenever there is an event, its hard to miss when you are in/around the station. tim left work a little later than me, so i was alone at north station, with my big camera, much too heavy bag, and an enormous amount of shyness!! :(( buuuh.. there were sooo many, very interestingly dressed girls (and some guys), much more interesting than these legs i recently posted. that was just child's play. seriously. but i did not dare... i felt so out of place, so obviously an outsider just there to take pictures. it was very crowded, and there were so many policemen and security guards... then tim finally came (usually then i better dare taking pics), but no.. still not... then he took some, and i was jealous, but they were all unsharp (ha! i thought... (how mean!)). finally i took the one above, but i took some time (as thats one of the things i finally learned; if i do take a pic; dont take it hastily...). and yep, immediately a policeman came telling me that i could not just stand there and had to move on. so, that was it. no extreme lady gagas for me..... :(

Monday, March 7, 2011

After skating....

... a little rest is well deserved. too bad; as an adult this isnt cute anymore, but just weird... :)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spring's arrival...?

it was warm today (kind of..)! and so was yesterday.... the snow is melting away quickly and you can now see yellowish grass and (sometimes) a lot of garbage underneath... its kind of ugly, currently. the snow thats still there turned black.
we were at the frog pond at the boston common this morning. in summer it looks like this, and in winter as above. over the weeks i have taken pictures whenever i was there, but i was never satisfied. today they had just polished the ice (is that how you call it?), so the reflections were marvellous, but so hard to catch with my camera... :( there was quite a layer of water on the ice too, one little boy fell and was wet entirely...
it was nice to smell a hint of spring. hmmm, actually now i cant wait for the days when the pool is open and the nearby ice cream shop and we can goto the beach again and....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Building structure

this was in the mall in providence. i thought it was pretty and took out my camera. i was not entirely satisfied with the image above, and wanted to take more photos. but then 2 nearby security officers with stupid hats and barely 20 years old (or younger; they looked real young) told me that it was not allowed to take pictures of the building. why not? because the building manager does not want it. oh, but is that legal? yes, you are on his property, so he makes the rules. you could ask him, but he is not here on weekends, so right now we have to ask you to stop taking pictures. yes, we understand it is annoying, and we often have to explain this to many people, as they like the building and.. blablablabla... then they told us that it was allowed to take pictures with a normal camera, rather than a professional camera (should i have told them i still have to read the manual?), and it would be ok to take pictures of each other with phones and so on as this is something they cannot prohibit. but yes, yes, with professional cameras, and after 9/11, you know.. malls like this have become potential terrorist targets, and you might be here to photograph the structure of the building! (so i presume its also not allowed to post this pic online, since people with bad intentions can now see the structure of part of the mall!!)
so... you have to do it with this pic.... and my boring account of speaking with these 2 securiy officers... :)

Sleeping away...

whoopsa.... and another evening lost sleeping on the couch. how frustrating when you wake up and realize you were not in the most comfortable position and everything became numb... worst of all; now you have to drag yourselves to the bed and try to fall asleep again.
too tired and sleepy to really make an effort for this post.., this was a while ago at a parking lot in somerville... :) good night!
i just found this on the internet, its a video on you tube made in a neighbourhood in utrecht where i lived for a few months, its really amazing, all those birds giving away an air show...!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Empty wall

i currently feel like the wall above; totally empty... not good if you are trying to write something... :( and whatever i wrote i erased again... aarghhh...!
this was also in providence, last sunday. we wanted to walk a bit through the city. but it was really, really cold. and the streets were so empty.... we were glad when we found back the car to go to the nearby mall. but the mall was a letdown too....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March happenings..

... thats above the calendar in a free magazine from our supermarket. apparently march is national nutrition month. in less than 2 weeks the clock will be turned again; longer days! the 17th its st Patrick's day (i yet have to do my wikipedia reading on that), and the 20th spring officially begins.... 
but here its snowing again! and its very windy and cold. a good opportunity to post another snow picture (im running out of pictures and really need to take new ones! "but who has the time?" sheldon cooper from the big bang theory would say... :) for those interested; here are the BBT transcripts, haha).
anyways, this is in the center of boston, close to state street, during a snow storm. the streets were prettt empty that day.... no people to photograph... :(

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

American restrooms

the bad guy or poor woman in "on the run"-type of hollywood movies almost invariably have a scene where the main character is hiding in a toilet. they then always have to hoist themselves onto the seat, carefully balancing themselves without making a single noise, as to make sure nothing can be seen from underneath the doors (or heard, since the divides are so poorly constructed). i always thought it funny that in movies they have such weird open toilets, surely it makes it more exciting as almost impossible to hide there, but i hadnt given it much thought that these are just the actual american restrooms... where you have no privacy whatsoever! no moment for yourself, nothing..... whatever you do, the person next to you will know its you, by just looking down and recognizing your shoes...  how i miss the entirely closed dutch toilets..... :) also the word "restroom" i find entirely misplaced, the US kind of toilets are not... a place to rest.....(i should once find out the origin of the word restroom)
i was just googling around, and found that i am not the only one with this concern. apparently there is an "american restroom association" that advocates for better public restrooms since some people prefer working at home solely due to the restrooms at work. and... because europeans can form a bad impression of the USA as a country because of their poor restroom privacy... :) (i myself hadnt gone that far...).
anyways, the toilet above i found charming. did they take the no-privacy to another level with these faces all over the toilet walls? :) this was in the museum of art of the rhode island school of design in providence, where we went last sunday. the entrance was free since it was a sunday and we came in early...... and the museum was huge, very diverse and interesting! even their restrooms... ;)