Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mountain angels

on sunday we finally went to mount washington in new hampshire! i had been wanting to go there since a while now, but it is quite far (3 hrs by car). so, we got up early, and arrived down at the mountain around 11.30. it is 6,288 ft, or 1912 m high, the highest peak in this part of the us, and famous for dangerously erratic weather (wikipedia). the weather was perfect, sunny with only a few clouds. i had put on my most sporty outfit and my ugly running shoes. yep, we would walk up that mountain; a 4,4 mile hike! i decided to take tims camera bag taking all the lenses we have, and tim carried a backpack with food, water, extra jackets etc. the first part was fun and all. the path so rocky, but very doable. halfway, or rather, what we thought was halfway, we had lunch. unfortunately, we could not find the place where we supposedly could fill our waterbottle. not so nice, as we would have drank less.... soon after that, the path became more rocky, and considerably steeper. but still, doable. up, up, up we went. getting more and more tired. but the views were beautiful and the weather nice. and we saw so many people, also rather old people, so why wouldnt we be able to do this? at some point, while we thought we were really almost there, we drank all the water! and the path was getting more and more difficult. at some point, there were only rocks, and it was really steep. and i was tired, and we got  past the treeline and we were up so high and the sun was shining and i never did something like this before.... i was getting nasty with tim.... and why did i bring that stupid camera bag?!!
luckily, our fist mountain angel arrived! you can see her here. she was training and had an extra bottle of water, entirely for us!! that was great, and we got some courage again.... then we climbed up rock after rock for another 45 minutes, before we finally reached the summit. we took all the required pictures, including this one. in total, it took us nearly 5.5 hours!! all the while, i was telling tim that i was not going to walk back that path again... however... taking the train or shuttlebus back down would be 45 dollars per person!! we did not even bring that much money! lucky us, once again, we could drive down with a family that visited the mountain for the first time with their kids, 20 years after they had visited it together for the first time.... what would we be doing in 20 years?
so, we had a great day, but certainly it would have been less nice without these people that helped us out! thank you, once again!
more photos of our adventure? here!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Bike lane

in some parts of boston and cambridge you have separate bike lanes. as above; the green lane is for bikes... in the netherlands, almost everywhere you have separate bike lanes. being used to that, i really do not feel comfortable biking here, especially in combination with the shitty roads (so many big holes you have to avoid, while at the same time avoiding big cars!), and big cars that are not used to tiny bikes...
as i said so often before; i really miss taking my bike and going somewhere quickly...

American emptiness

this was last week, in new hampshire. it felt like we were driving through a movie set. everything so empty, here and there a house, a lone shop, just like in the movies. only the men with guns were missing.. but we did see a gun shop (i ofcourse thought it was a gum shop, at first..).

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Happy family

looks cute, no?
at the frog pond, once again, in the boston common.
im not so much in a writing mood, these days.... perhaps next week again!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Yellow fan

the MBTA recently painted the fans in the subwaysystem yellow. when i first saw them, i found them really funny. sooo big! and would they really cool down the stations? soon i got used to them, until we had a visitor who showed me her pictures and said she tried to picture those big fans, as they looked so funny. only then i remembered that i once found them funny as well... :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Big bag

what a big bag for such a ittle girl!
someone once told me that everything that while going through life you put all experiences into a bag that you will carry with you onto the next experience, and sometimes you get something out of the bag thats useful for another experience. 
i guess now i should say something deep too, but... hmm... im rather empty! i guess its all stuffed too deeply in my bag...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bridge closed

if there is no bridge.... then apparently you need to fly..! 
above you see a hang glider being pulled into the air by a plane.... later the hang glider will be released and eventually will fly/float/whatever back to the ground. so tim went to do some of that. or rather, he was on a field with 2 instructors and had put on such fake wings and was running like crazy and sometimes he would get into the air a little. i just wondered; if we were meant to fly, wouldnt we have just gotten some wings?! but tim liked it a lot.....
here some pictures of him in action! :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Almost collapsing

i saw this old barn about to collapse, somewhere in new hampshire.... i took so many pictures but all do not show how interesting it looked! perhaps if i could reconstruct a 3d image of all the pictures i took... :) here you can see some more pics.
now im soooo tired! thats because we had to get up real early this morning; tim dragged me to new hampshire at 6.30 in the morning. for his new hobby (nope, not for some sort of nice surprise for me... ;) ).... while he was out playing, i got to walk around and invetigated this barn. perhaps i will show you more about his new hobby tomorrow.. good night!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Do not...

the church finally changed their sign (this was their previous one). i actually thought it said dont initiate instead of imitate. perhaps i should let them know that i think initiate in this respect is better than imitate. if you only imitate, does it really come from you? in the case of evil that would perhaps be better, but when being good......
sad, sad things, so many sad things happen every day.......
but! we had a good day, it was hot, but not as hot as yesterday. i went to the gym and afterwards to the pool, then some shopping, and i did NOT buy those green shoes i liked.... (i have more than enough shoes), but i did buy a new shirt (it was on sale!). and just now i painted my fingernails bright orange and my toenails screaming pink. i think it looks nice, but i know tim does not like it.... :D (and i used the word "but" 5 times as my english vocabulaire is so limited....)

Boston's great!

this evening we saw a movie at the hatch shell, as you can see above! next to the charles river, boston organizes free friday flicks starting in june until august. the movie starts at sunset, today that was at 8.14, and thus every week the movie will start a little earlier, funny, no? we got some pizza, sat on some scrubs (tim brought them from work, we fogot to bring a blanket like real americans), enjoyed free salads and beverages... and finally a movie. this time it was despicable me, an animated film. i liked it so much!
on wednesday's you can go to the hatch shell as well, then to enjoy some classical music, as i posted last year. in the meantime, it was really, really hot today. at some point the temperature was 39.5 degrees celsius, or 103 F. the only day it was hotter here in boston was on july 4th, 1911, when it was 104 F. when stepping outside for lunch today, i had the feeling i stepped into a hair dryer, as it was very windy, somehow i liked it! anyways.. authorities take the heat very serious, you can goto "cooling centers" in the city, and i now know that the MBTA has distributed 66 extra fans throughout the subway stations, where it can be real hot. as such, the total number of fans is 276. just so you know! :) here you can read it all.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ice cream...

or just anything cold.... as it is soooo hot!! and tomorrow even hotter; 38 degrees celsius (100 fahrenheit). but i only notice it during the short stretch from home to subway and back as everywhere else the airconditioners are working at full speed... wearing an extra jacket at work to keep warm! isnt that weird....
just read on wikipedia that in the persian empire, 500 BC, something like ice cream was already served. when it was hot, people would pour grape juice concentrate over snow and eat this as a treat.  either snow would be saved in the cool-keeping underground chambers or taken from fresh snow that still remained at the top of the mountains by the summer... want to read more about ice cream? go here; then i goto sleep now... good night!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat advisory

so, its hot in boston, well over 30 degrees celsius, and friday its predicted to be over 35..... the mayor has therefore spread a heat advisory... :"The City’s cooling centers will be open and pools will operate with extended hours, until 9 PM, for residents who want to cool off.  The Parks Department also operates 50 water spray features at parks throughout the City."
what are cooling centers?! and is it allowed to enjoy the water sprays if you are an adult without kid? above another photo of the frog pond... :) note the 2 photographers in the front; they were there without children! but i presume they just wanted to catch the rainbow, like me...
but remember; you cannot get too hot; dont take off all your clothes and take a swim in the charles river, you will get handcuffed (while naked), as you can see here. however... i recently read it is legal for women to go topless! at least this is the case in new york: "The state's highest court established long ago that women have the same right as men to appear topless in public" if you feel the urge, august 21 you can participate in the national us go-topless day...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Playing sports

this was sunday, at the real american party! some badminton in the garden...
i just like the fisheye lens so much!
every evening i think about going to the gym in the morning, but in the morning i really do not see one reason to actualy go there. tim has much more discipline, and does go... perhaps i will too, tomorrow, since i spent yet another evening sleeping on the couch...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Look, there!

... is a street, and cars are coming, and....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

General Logan

we went to a very nice, real american party, and above the host's dog! the dog's name is Logan, so i said "aah, like the airport" (how ignorant), while at the same time the host said "like the general"... i thus didnt dare asking who general logan actually is!
i asked my friend wikipedia, and so far found 2 logans (plus logan's son), the general logan from boston, after which boston logan airport was named in 1943, and general logan from illinois, who is the founder of memorial day. if interested in either logan, just click on the links and wikipedia will tell you all about them!
ah well, the dog was cute. i dont generally like dogs, and am usually afraid of them. but this one was more afraid of me! :D

Special parking

right at the entrance, when you are employee of the month at the salvation army! would that be the only perk when you become employee of the month?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sexy cyclist

saw this girl last week at the boston common (there were lots of interesting people there that day!), and she perfectly illustrates a news story over a month old by now... in may, a dutch bicycle company manager was cycling in new york, in a miniskirt. then she was stopped by a cop, who wanted her ID and told her that she was not supposed to ride around like that. she was told that her outfit was very disturbing and dangerous, as it could distract cars. she then told him that she was not aware of any dresscode, and that biking with a skirt is perfectly normal in the netherlands. the cop responded: "I decide what's a dangerous situation".... in the end she didnt get a ticket, but.. next time; she'd better wear pants!!
only later, back home, she posted this pic on facebook and then media saw it and several articles appeared, both in the us and in the netherlands. again somewhat later it was questioned whether the story was true; perhaps it was a marketing stunt to sell more bikes?! she didnt get the name of the cop, and also no ticket. well... i can perfectly believe that something like this happens, i heard several weird stories about us cops showing off their power like this already... like this story, for example, or this one..

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Test stress

at copley square this lady was offering a free stress test. whatever that may be. it all looked rather peaceful to me, and i was not curious enough to wait and undergo the test myself!
if you walk from prudential center to the public garden, you will come by copley square. there is the public library where we always get lost (why is it so big?!), and then there is the square where often people demonstrate for one thing or the other (perhaps i show a photo some other time), there is the trinity church (we never went inside, but the outside is ugly, in my opinion), the hancock tower (the tallest building in boston that closed its observation deck after 9/11), a fountain, some grass. and also a lot of homeless people. somehow i am not very charmed by this square; i like the 2 parks, the public garden and the boston common, much better (but they are also much bigger).

With pipe

i thought the girl in the red dress looked interesting, and that was even before i saw that she was smoking a pipe! you rarely see pipes, and even less on young ladies.... :)
i think anyways people smoke much less here in boston than for example in the netherlands. in new york, however, it seemed that more people were smoking. in the netherlands it is forbidden to smoke inside, but just right outside most buildings it is ok; here you often cannot even smoke outside the building, you have to go a little further away....
someone just told me that chances are that there is not only tobacco inside, but something that would be legal... in the netherlands.... can you get arrested for that? just wondering.....

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Listening stone

i did not know a title for this post, until i looked up the name of the artwork... :)
i never thought of this stoneface as listening, but it actually makes sense. it is made from granite, by joseph wheelwright. it is in the de cordova museum in lincoln, where we have been many times, by now. the park is beautiful, this time we brought a blanket and had a small pinic in between all the sculptures. the museum is nice too, and exhibitions change rather regularly.... if you come to the park by bike, entrance is free!! isnt that nice? i think in general the museums in the us (the ones we saw and that are quite some, by now), are very nice,but i think this museum is my favorite!
behind the listening stone you see another artwork; its a 1936 chrysler equipped with monitors and speakers. its named "requiem to the 20th century" by nam june paik. he is considered to be the first video artist, and his work is in collections all over the world. here is a quote from him that i like: "Our life is half natural and half technological. Half-and-half is good. You cannot deny that high-tech is progress. We need it for jobs. Yet if you make only high-tech, you make war. So we must have a strong human element to keep modesty and natural life." and this one too: "The only way to win a race is to run alone".

Monday, July 11, 2011

Customized MBTA

on saturday we were in the green line, and saw those 2 chairs! i really had to suppress the urge to go and sit on them, as we had to stand. no clue whom they belonged to. perhaps it was some sort of social experiment? who is going to sit on such a chair?
or maybe it was because the MBTA is trying to renew itself? i read in the newspaper this morning that the MBTA (which stands for massachusetts bay transportation authority, or the T, in short) is thinking of selling "station naming rights". as such, the T would incorporate both the station name and a corporate brand into the renamed facility. in doing so, they could avoid an increase in fare prices, which would be a good thing (although i think the T is really cheap, especially compared to the netherlands, where it is ridiculously expensive) but can you imagine the weird names wealthy people could come up with? or mc donalds could name a T stop after itself? hmmmmpf, i think its not a good idea; we would have to replace our shower curtain that has a map of the subway system each time someone buys a new T stop!
i think they should start smaller; why not selling seats on the T? then you are guaranteed to always have a seat! the bigger the seat, the more you paid... ;) and ofcourse, you can customize your seat, as above. that just must have been a pilot experiment. it worked, nobody sat on them!

The extraordinary..

in the ordinary. that kind of photos i like a lot... like this one, for example. each time i see that pic, i have to laugh! picking up your dog's shit is perfectly normal here, as are perfect wedding photos, but the 2 dont usually go together.
above is funny too, with the tree rat! i didnt take this pic, however, it was tim. i saw him taking this pic, but i thought "ow, boring, just someone reading in the sun". hahahha, didnt look careful enough!
yesterday's post generated a lot of responses, that was interesting. i am still thinking about it. i guess this is the solution; everyone, especially those against "taking pictures of strangers" (or watching strangers, for that matter, in particular children) should watch minority report. that movie shows perfectly why people cannot be punished (or whatever) for something they have not (yet) done... it is entirely possible they never will! moreover, free will is not possible when your every move is regarded as potentially malicious. that brings us to 1984 from george orwell: we already have the security cameras.... lets leave it at that!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Frog pond

we walked by the frog pond this afternoon, in the boston common. it was hot, so all the kids were in the water, playing. it was such a beautiful sight!! last year at july 4th, we saw this for the first time, and i now see i placed this picture of it on my blog, exactly one year ago!
the fountain gave a pretty rainbow from one side, but from the side on this picture, i liked the pond even better.... but... as we were taking some pictures, a member of the staff, guarding the pond came up to tim saying it is "not cool" to take pictures of kids. they told him he was not allowed to take pictures, "especially of the children". he then asked to see the regulations for that, and the guy answered "do you really want that?" "well, yes" so then he was brought to another guy, who simply stated the same.  they then even said that he "could get into serious trouble". well, thats just sad.... do they also prohibit parents taking pictures? another kid might end up on their picture! and what about people without cameras, but also without kids, watching all those kids play, because it is such a lovely sight? can they get into serious trouble as well? should we perhaps all close our eyes while walking in public places? or, in order to let privacy prevail, we should close down all the parks and stay at home?
here once more the photographer's rights......
now we're at it. we went to this exhibition "kids are people too", inside the hotel commonwealth. in boston. it displayed photographs of kids from various photographers. some were staged, which i did not really like, but there were also photos from Harold Feinstein, which he took in New York during the 50s and 60s and they were simply marvellous.... click here to see some of his work. the exhibition is only until July 12th...!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Living proof

when we were walking around cambridge (from the mall to the cinema, how american!), we passed this parking lot with the sign "living proof. visitor". that was funny!
around that area are a lot of biotech companies located. so i thought that living proof might be one of them... and well.. it seems to be a startup that aims to apply innovations in science to address beauty challenges; they sell hair products... and this is their slogan:"science is beautiful. we are living proof" hahahaha. as a scientist... hmm... i should just refrain from giving my opinion... here you can read a little more about science and my friend sylvia's opinion, if youd like..
living proof is also a song by cat power! she is an american singer/songwriter and i found her by coincidence, when i was once bored and typing random things into google.. :D then i got her CDs, played them in the lab, and i liked it a lot, but the others not that much.. :)
and tims shirt says; "rock is dead. and paper killed it" but to understand that, you have to be an american, having played rock, paper, scissors....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ooh laundry..

this is in melrose, where we live. we biked there on sunday, while it was raining a little. i am so glad we have our own washing machine! while a normality in the netherlands, here most apartments do not come with a washer. often you have to goto the basement, with quarters you have been collecting the entire week to be able to wash (8 quarters per wash or so!). in our previous apartment we actually had a washer in the basement, but it was so dirty that we went to the laudromat down the street......
ah well, lets not get started on the washing machines here.. :) good night!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Beach scene

this was a while back already; end of may, when there finally was a warm day without rain. everyone was out on the beach in revere.... 
these children were very cute, especially the girl. she was very busy removing water from the sea with her red bucket. her mom was more interested in her phone, and had her picture taken with it.. :) (she is now checking whether she is satisfied)

Charles river

yes, we were in a canoe on the charles river yesterday! the weather was great... so that was really nice.. many boats were there, too, already in place for the fireworks later that day. the river banks were full with people as well, entire families on blankets, waiting the entire day for the fireworks that only started at 10.30 that evening.
i still dont understand the concept. americans go and sit all day in the hot sun to have the best spot to see the fireworks, but as soon as it is done, they all run out as fast as possible, not taking one moment to contemplate.... well, what should they contemplate.. something, anything! nope, all they think of is getting out of there as soon as possible... :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Independence day

we went to see the july 4th fireworks! on the .... bridge (the one that takes the red line from cambridge to boston). and above what i saw.... loads and loads of people... and then some firework... :)
ah well... an excellent day. it was very hot! in a canoe on the charles river in the afternoon; i was in the middle so did not have to paddle... :) neither did i have to carry the canoe to the water. after that a BBQ in the sun on a roof terrace in the blazing sun. hahaha, celebrating independence day with.... mostly dutch people! its been long since i have been surrounded by so many dutch...
and now im real tired. good night!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Real Texan

this man was one of the few walking beings we saw in downtown dallas, when we were in texas. it didnt happen to us, but i heard from several people that walking in dallas is an anomaly. if you do so, it can very well happen that a cop comes up to you to ask whether everything is OK, whether your car is broke down or whether you lost your way... :)
here are some more photos from texas, also from the wedding celebration, which was the reason we went there...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Distorted Obey

have you ever seen Obey? i think it was the ica museum in boston who was selling obey tshirts and all, and from that moment on, i have seen obey at many places. every time i think; "ah, obey". it reminds me of communism propaganda, but i didnt look into it.... although it always made me wonder "now what is this? who is that? and.... why?" luckily, there is the internet to tell me everything and now im looking at pictures and reading about fairey since almost an hour (i wanted to go to sleep, actually!)
well, obey has been around since 1989, and is a creation of shepard fairey. originally an image of andre the giant (a french professional wrestler and actor) that fairey eventually altered stylistically and semantically into the obey giant. he created it at the rhode island school of design, in providence (it has a nice museum that we visited a few months ago!). it got distributed by the "skater community" and started to show up in many cities, all across the USA, and eventually the world. but why? at that time Fairey declared the campaign to be "an experiment in phenomenology". and directly stolen from wikipedia: "it is intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings".
in fact, i discovered fairey made a lot of very interesting posters. look at this one for example! exactly how i feel about american cops.... or america's finest cop. as the ICA writes on their website when they displayed his first solo exhibition: "The content of Fairey's work is a call to action about hierarchies and abuses of power, politics and the commodification of culture" yup, i agree!
and look, also this famous hope poster of obama is his!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Some milk?

a collection of milk bottles was standing somewhere on the street in chinatown. im just wondering why... to show the huge variety of milk they have here? this is just a small subset. fat free milk, skim milk, 2% fat milk, hmmm.. there are a whole lot more.. but i dont know, as i never drink milk. i do drink buttermilk, and from that they have only one, sometimes 2, varieties. and yes, it took me a while to figure out that buttermilk is what we dutch call "karnemelk". actually, its not entirely the same. sometimes i miss the dutch karnemelk, just like i miss the cheese, a lot, at the moment. and biking around. and people that just act normal, and say what they think... ;) instead of fake politeness...
hmm, but let me not get into that. and certainly; not everyone is like that, just like the netherlands is not perfect... ;)