Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Subway entrance

this is the subway entrance to south station. i think there are 4 of these, even, for the train in each direction on either side of the street.
i also like the thingies in between for the many, many free magazines you can get. most of them i have never seen! often they are empty anyways, and in areas with lots of homeless people they are usually used as storage for their blankets... so, beware... :)

Sunny hours

i saw this in august on a small, old cemetery alongside the road. somewhere in vermont. i liked it, took a photo, and forgot to look whether it belonged to a grave, or anything... 
today i saw on the news what damage hurricane sandy did. a lot of power outages and downed trees in and around boston. but all that is nothing compared to the mess she left in new york, for example. as you can see here. we were really lucky!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

So far...

...we didnt need to be rescued! everything fine! as i wrote yesterday, the MBTA (i.e. the subway system) had a note on their site that they would operate as always during sandy.... so... they did, this morning. but then, at some point they decided to suspend all (all!!) service from 2 in the afternoon onwards.... glad we got up a little late, and found that out, so we just worked from home today. but imagine all those people that did get up on time, only to find out they had to rush home again before 2!! although judging from all the empty parking spaces near the subway station, many people already had decided to just stay home.
the winds and rain were pretty crazy at times! sometimes the wind was so strong i was sure i would see a tree go down, but around our apartment everything remained fine. pfew... :) lights were flickering sometimes so i was really afraid we would loose power. during the day i followed the nstar power outage map (you can view that here, where they list where and how many people are without power), and more and more places in and around boston lost power. at first it was just a small percentage of the customers, but s the day went on, more and more regions had power outages well above 50%, and 2 towns at some point were even out entirely! judging from the news many trees went down, and here and there there was some flooding in and around boston, but nothing major, luckily.
sandy herself lost some power, and now its very quiet around here. lets see of it stays that way...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wild sea!

as it has been all over the news, i dont have to explain that hurricane sandy might visit us sometime tomorrow night...
whereas saturday the weather was very nice (we went out without jackets) and sunny, today it was dark, rainy and quite stormy already. strong winds brought many (kite) surfers out to revere beach. here you see just 2 in the back, but there were many, many kite surfers out there! we just briefly ran up to the beach, but the wind was so strong and the rain was making my camera wet.. after the beach we went to the supermarket but no crazy empty shelves as i have seen now on several blogs. only all bottled water was sold out. 
while they shut down the subway system in new york, here in boston they expect to operate normally, although they are placing sandbags somewhere along the green line, as you can see here, to prevent flooding. they do suspend ferry services tomorrow. our apartment complex send out some "hurricane preparation letter" with very helpful tips, as for example: do not open the fridge/freezer too often when its not working anymore....
well, lets see. we have a flashlight (somewhere!), some candles, i just made a large pan of soup, baked 4 breads and an apple pie.... that should be enough, no?! also, i did most of the laundry and cleaned the kitchen. if disaster strikes, at least everything is clean.... also, i went to a halloween party yesterday, and sort of dressed up, something i already hated to do when still a kid..... hmm, i guess that actually has nothing to do with the hurricane, i just wanted to mention it.. ;)
anyways, if i not post, like i didnt for the past 2 days, it could be because we lost power, but it could also be my laziness (the reason i didnt post the past 2 days).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cat Power!

last night we went to a concert of cat power in the house of blues in boston!! i like her music and she just released a new cd.
we arrived early, too early.the only good thing about that was that we got a spot in the very front! but then the wait started; the band playing before the real concert was so terribly awful, it would have been better if there had been just silence. only at 10 cat power decided to show herself (the concert started at 8....grrrr). she came with a cup of tea (someone else had already put a chair and what seemed a bottle of liquor on the stage, but she didnt touch either during the concert), and lots of incense that she kept burning during the concert (beeeggghhh). it was (mostly) a good concert, i really liked it, and it was nice to be at the very front, for once, not having to stand on tiptoes as most of the world is taller than me. unfortunately, at some point we were afraid we would not catch the last subway train (we dont even know when the last is, i always assume its around midnight, but i just looked it up, its actually at 12.30), so we left while she was just finishing up.... :(
taking pictures was very difficult, as you can see, even when in the front. buuuhhh!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Grave post

after sunday's apple picking, we passed by a cemetery and decided to check it out. i could see the older section in the back, and just wanted to skip the newer part until i saw the above unusual grave. this is the grave of erin elizabeth goddard. she was only 17 when she died in a car accident. this is all i could find about her, from the find a grave website: Miss Goddard was a senior at Westford Academy, where she was a cheerleader and captain of the Senior Girls Powder Puff Team. She also played on the academy softball team and was active in Students Against Driving Drunk. She once worked in the Lowell summer youth employment program at Westford Town Hall." the only other thing i could find is that the westford academy has a "erin elizabeth goddard memorial award", which is given to a graduating senior pursuing further study in english.
the note she holds in her hands says: "friends" erin goddard. my love for all them they may never see. but it does exist and i insist that they'll forever be a part of me." i wonder whether she wrote that, and whether that is her handwriting....  the stone, the note, everything makes me wonder about this girl.... [after a comment, which you can read below, from erin's mother, here is a link to a youtube video of erin. and indeed, she did wrote the note, and that is her handwriting]
after taking a few pictures, we went back to the car and i already felt a bit uncomfortable as there was once again a policecar driving around (i tell you, if you need police assistance, go to your local cemetery, thats probably where they are hanging out). he came driving by, and just like in the movies, he stopped, opened his window, making tim do the same. he then asked whether we knew her. tim said no, and i was afraid he would send us away/get mad/do whatever crazy unexpected thing cops do in bad movies. but he just started rambling that he knew the person mowing the grass at the cemetery, and that that person experienced some weird things, "ghosts and stuff, you know". and that it was very sad, such a young girl, and that there was another young girl a bit further..... :( he completely ruined my mood, and we just left after that, did not even check out the old section!
for a listing of the other taphophiles, go here!

Monday, October 22, 2012

How American!

while driving around boston (which is, i have to say it again, so very beautiful at this time of the year) i saw this house somewhere along the road. i think it was close to plymouth. the porch (i want a porch too!!), the chairs on it, so very american!! the size of the house, ofcourse. the power cable, haha. the flag. and the round banner-shaped flag, whatever that is; its beyond ugly anyways, and you see it adorning so many porches, windows, whatnot around here! and often rather faded by the sun.... still a pretty house... i guess i would just change the colors to something less patriotic, loose the flags, but mostly enjoy the space. i bet there is a big kitchen in it, too. a large back yard..... quite different from our small apartment....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

PYO apples

thats pick your own apples!! and as you can see here, thats what we did today, finally! there were golden and red delicious apple trees, mcintosh (dislike them very much, so we stayed away from those) and cortland trees. good we tried some while picking; the golden delicious turned out to be best. we both got a bag and although it seemed small we got a LOT of apples.... only after we were more or less done, we found the tree with the ladder, haha, but most branches were low enough to get the apples out without help. moreover, its almost end of season, and it seemed many of the best apples already had fallen down; we just had to pick them up.
and so... this afternoon i sliced and peeled and cut apple after apple after apple.... first for some fruit leather (thats in the ovem now, i wonder if it really will dry out as the recipe says), then a large pot of chunky apple sauce (not bad!), and... now we still have a lot of apples... dutch apple pie, maybe? we also have cranberries left from last weeks adventure, maybe some cranberry-apple cobbler? (i think cobbler is something really american, at least thats how it sounds to me...). hmmm, maybe an apple for lunch tomorrow?

Stop idling!!

today it was supposed to rain (or so said tim), but it didnt! during the night we had crazy rain, so much that some places around boston got a little flooded. here it was ok, but the rain did wake me up..  today, on the other hand, was gorgeous! it was 20-24 degrees C. can you believe it? ending october, and we could walk around without jacket. a perfect day to goto the cemetery behind our apartment, as they are at their best in fall, i think. 
look at this tree, isnt it beautiful?! i walked towards it to take a picture, and then i saw the police car. arrghh!! why are they always hanging out at the cemetery? to keep me safe? to protect the ghosts? to hide? to close secret deals? it really, really annoys me to see them at the cemetery, in a car. do they really need to make their rounds also there? this guy was not even driving around, he was just standing there, while his motor was running. thats my next frustration! why do i see police cars everywhere idling around?! why dont they just shut off their engine? this is what the massachusetts law says about idling (chapter 90, section 16a); 
" No person shall cause, suffer, allow or permit the unnecessary operation of the engine of a motor vehicle while said vehicle is stopped for a forseeable period of time in excess of 5 minutes. Whoever violates this will be punished by a fine of 100 dollars for the first offense, and 500 dollars for each succeeding offense." so... why do i literally everywhere, even the cemetery!, see police vehicles doing exactly that..? are they excused from the law? moreover, it costs extra gas, causes more pollution and is not good for your car.....

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall colors!

fall colors are definitely here! so pretty! 
today it was mostly rainy, but its quite warm. i think the entire week it wasnt cold at all (i already dont remember anymore). tonight i made a pie with some fresh cranberries, and its so good... if i manage to get a decent picture (if i get one before its finished, its going fast.. ;) ), i will let you know the recipe! (got it from a dutch magazine, brought it with me when we moved to boston, and never got to actually making it).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Last chance

saw this sign in the everglades in florida. no way you could enter that road; it was blocked per this sign, but also by some real road blocks.
i like to look at this picture. good to get a warning sometimes, too bad they always come too late and you literally have to turn around. but well...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Curious headstone

this saturday we drove to carver to see the cranberry harvest. since we were a little too early, we stopped at a cemetery just before our destination, alongside the road. its the union cemetery, and if you look at it on google maps, you can see its surrounded by cranberry fields... :)
i noticed this stone because of the image on the top. it reminded me of the statue of liberty, and doesnt seem religious at all! this is the grave of peleg barrows, who lived into his 95th year! thats really old, considering he was born in 1708. all i could find about him was that his wife, hopestill darling barrows, is buried next to him (but i missed her grave); she died in 1793, being 83 years old. furthermore, peleg was one of 11 children! both his father and grandfather, who was born in 1639, were born in the usa. peleg served as a Private in Capt. Jon Bridgham's Company, Col. Cotton's Massachusetts regiment, and  he had 3 children.
but what about the image? the statue of lberty was way past his time, dedicated in 1886. but... lady liberty is representing libertas, the roman goddess of freedom, so then i tried to find something on the symbolism of lady liberty's crown. the crown represents the hope that liberty will spread across the 7 continents and 7 oceans, which are represented by the 7 rays of the statue's crown. but... thats not it; the crown (if that is what it is) on the grave has 8 rays! :( i do notice that the rays are not uniformly arranged; perhaps the mason started on the right, spacing them less, than on the left...?
perhaps it means something totally different! if you know, please enlighten me... !
here you can find the other taphophiles.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Harvesting cranberries

so... this saturday we went to plymouth to see how cranberries are harvested! i had no clue how they do that, so i was curious, and we were supposed to also go cranberry picking ourselves... all i know is; they are plentiful in supermarkets during the fall and early winter, and cheap! (especially when compared to the netherlands).
so.... above you see how they do 95% of the cranberry harvest: they flood the field where the plants are growing when they are ripe (6 to 8 inches of water above the vines), and then they move over them with the machines you see above. the only thing these machines do is creating movement, which is sufficient for the cranberries to leave the vines. as they have airpockets inside (you know that when you have ever cut into a raw cranberry; they are mostly empty inside!), they will float up. it was a beautiiful sight! see the pink glow? those are the cranberries coming right up after the machine. when they have done the entire field, its one sea of reddish pinkness, and then they are pumped out of the bog into a truck, ready for processing! i think one field takes about 1-2 hours in total, and gives you a truckload of cranberries!! those are then flashfrozen or processed into juices and such, as those wet harvested berries tend to rot within 2-3 days, and are more damaged than if you were to pick them dry (thats the other 5% of the cranberry harvest; the bags of fresh ones you see in the supermarket). we got to bite into a fresh cranberry; yegh! not tasty at all... so sour! (funny also that ive bought cranberries quite often, but never had the urge to bite into one before i turn them into cakes and pies).
we were supposed to get an entire tour of the farm, and speak with the farmers, but there were many, many people, and organization was a chaos... :( we also never got to pick our own cranberries, so "picking some fruit while in the us" is still on my list. but.... we did each get a pound of fresh cranberries, some of which i turned into this very tasty cake, and some dried cranberries, which i used in a whole-wheat bread, together with pecan nuts. yumyumyum!! we still have a LOT of fresh cranberries left, so i cant wait to make something else with them... luckily, they dont go bad that fast, apparently you can keep them in a cool dry place for at least 3 months!
here on flickr i posted some more pictures of the entire cranberry-harvesting-process.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Free.... wifi??

free wifi? at a church? is that how they get more people attending the mass (i had to check the spelling, i thought it was "mess") on sundays? while checking facebook? or do they mean a free wifi connection... directly to god?
this was in vermont, back in august.
(i get to the cranberry picking soon, i hope. now i just want to sleep...)

Floating cranberries!

yep, what you see here are floating cranberries! ready to get harvested.... we drove to plymouth today to get a tour and do some "cranberry picking". it was really interesting to see, and i took a LOT of photos... unfortunately there was not really a tour, and too many people... :( (what a waste of our 20 dollars!).
but more about all that i hope tomorrow, with some more pictures as well! good night!

Friday, October 12, 2012

A sculpture

this is a huge new sculpture in the decordova museum in lincoln, not too far from boston. i cant count how often we have been here by now; its such a great museum! there is a large sculpture park, and inside the museum are ever changing exhibitions of modern art. sometimes i dont like them at all, sometimes its ok, and sometimes its great! the sculpture park is always great; the grounds are so beautiful, even without the sculptures. it used to be free entrance with your bank of america card every first weekend in the month, but not anymore, unfortunately. but now its free every first wednesday of the month, and its always free if you come by bike (how nice is that?!).
the above sculpture is named lincoln, and was made specifically for the site by dewitt godfrey. here you can read more about it, and see it from another angle; i guess we have seen it 2 or 3 times now, and with the light and all i really had a hard time taking a picture i liked. i settled for this one because of the little boy; it also shows how huge it is! (you can walk through a few of the bubbles).
this was last saturday when the weather was really great. today it was quite chilly... and this weekends forecast does not look too good, colder weather is really coming our way...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photoshoots everywhere!

this past saturday we walked through the public garden in boston... it was very sunny and warm, and so there were many photoshoots going on. at least 2 or 3 weddings, an engagement.... etc etc. (and ofcourse the general tourists taking pictures of all the nice things/sculptures and whatnot thats to be seen in the public garden). i didnt know, but i learned that people even do photoshoots when they get engaged! then its in more casual clothes, but the poses are often far from casual (in my opinion).
anyways, this saturday the number of couples being photographed by at least 2 photographers (or more) was almost a bit annoying.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nameless markers

a few weeks back we were in bridgewater, approximately an hour from boston, and decided to check out some cemeteries there. the one above was in a very quiet area; on the one side there were large family homes, and it was not a through street. or... it actually was, but you were not permitted to drive on that road, as it was leading to the bridgewater state hospital; a state facility housing the criminally insane, and those whose sanity is being evaluated for the criminal justice system. surrounded by many wired fences, that complex seemed huge, and inaccessible (with a reason, i think so). we were driving around to find the above cemetery, but as several roads eventually led to the institute, we had to turn a few times (i didnt want to risk being chased by some policemen by playing the dumb tourist, ignoring the signs). there has been an institute at this location since 1855, and just like in many other facilities in the us, bad things have happened there (just read wikipedia!); for example, in 1910 they committed a man for a break-in, for which stands 2 years; but in 1967, this man was still inot released.... also in 1967 a documentary, titicut follies, came out, showing how inmates were (mis)treated in this hospital.
the above cemetery belongs to the hospital and has similar nameless, just numbered, markers as i have showed you once before. it was just a huge field with stones in long rows, some toppled over, not well maintained. to the left you see part of what might once have been a fence, but now it was just an open field. to the right you see part of a fence; this is a small, separate cemetery! named the "conant street smallpox cemetery" with a few graves much older, not related to the hospital (established in 1778).
as you can see, a dog was curious to see what we strangers were doing there! she came out running from the garden directly across the cemetery, as soon as we left the car. she was very cute, i have to admit as someone who is afraid of dogs. and just in the corner, to the right you see the owner of the dog. we talked briefly with her, and she said she had never known, after all these years of living there, that the small cemetery was named the smallpox cemetery. she also told us that the hospital cemetery was still active!! can you imagine that? still people are buried here as a number. in 2012! she said she would sometimes see that happen, from her window. she did not seem to be as surprised about that as me, saying "well, i guess those people were just paupers, inmates from the institute who had no money and nobody to claim the body. its good that they at least get a burial!" but why there? and why without a name? a matter of privacy? i really wonder about that. she mentioned that she would see a lady with a small child, every now and then, visiting one of the "graves", but that she hadnt seen her for a while. moreover, she told us that every now and then someone would escape from the prison, and living so nearby, they would be alerted; depending on how dangerous the person is, they would be advised to stay inside.....
for other taphophiles, go here! for an interesting blogpost about this cemetery and 1 particular grave, go here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Best shot...

or should i say... not the worst shot...?
wayne, from vancouver, was so kind to let me know there would be a festival of activist street bands in cambridge this weekend (i was completely unaware of this, so that was nice!!). it was a several locations, and we went to harvard square this sunday. but as opposed to saturday, it was so grey out, and really chilly.... and... all the pictures i took were bad. not sharp, boring... or whatever. while we listened to real nice music (played by an italian band, all dressed in lots and lots of pink!), and i saw a guy with a huge boot (you know, the ones you wear when it rains) on his head. and lots of other crazy stuff. and i hardly took pictures. i just watched, its all in my head (!!), and the pictures i did take.. buuhhh...
i guess the musicians were quite busy. not a lot of time for eating (although there really was a lot of food around!), as you can see here...

Yep, autumn....

as you can see, autumn really started! trees are turning so colorful and pretty before they will be bare again.... and the weather is a little crazy. saturday it was warm, i would say hot, even! just last weekend i had put away all my summerdresses and stuff.... but... the early evening we got rain and it cooled down quickly, and so today it was pretty chilly again! (around 15 C). and now its raining like crazy... 
lets see if i can do better with my blog the coming days. recently im not so much in the mood, didnt take a whole lot of pictures either, and never really looked at the ones i did take. and then, im indecisive on which one to post (nothing new there), and certainly too lazy to write something (although perhaps you're bored by the writing, i actually like it myself, so i should just do it, haha!). i blame it on the weather. or perhaps the kitchen (im spending more and more time there). or... maybe netflix. we are too lazy! just hanging on the couch watching some movie or series... (last night/this morning we finally watched the documentary jiro dreams of sushi, which was quite interesting... but still didnt awaken any interest in sushi in me.....)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hanging green

this was during our roadtrip in florida, december last year. those trees, with all that green hanging down, just magical. of course, my english is too limited to have an official description for "that green"....
pretty, huh?!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Walking home

this is the path we take from the subway (to the right in the back) to our apartment. currently the weather is not that great. a lot of rain and fog.., as you can see. but not very cold. it feels weird to leave the house without a coat, but then when you are walking its actually too warm!!
i hope the weekend will be nicer, but often we have quite a few of these days in a row... (its a long weekend too, monday is a national holiday (for most people))

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Presidential debate

tonight was the first presidential debate between obama and romney. i was so very curious and really wanted to see it! im not that interested in politics, but now that we are living in the us and the elections are getting closer, i start to get interested. living here on a simple visa of course does not give me any right; im not allowed to vote; only real americans are (i.e. also on a green card voting is not one of your rights, at least not for national elections; local elections depend on the state you live in).
as we dont have a tv, and its more fun to watch the debate with (at least one) real american, we were going to watch it in a friend's apartment. jeeejjj! that would be fun! as superhealthy people (when did that happen?!), we first went home to go to the gym and have a healthy homemade meal (im into soups now, even though i never liked soup!), with homemade bread made in my beautiful birthday present (a heavy cast-iron pan, which also doubles as weight to train my arms...). unfortunately already in the gym, before dinner (so it wasnt my cooking!!), i didnt feel good... and it didnt get better... :( so i had to stay home while tim went to watch the debate with everyone else. at least, as opposed to the olympics, i found youtube live-streamed the event, so i could watch it too.
bbuuuuugghhh! let me just say i was bored, most likely because i had to listen to all that mumbling by myself, without getting immediate comments/explanations from a real american... ;) 
above is somewhere in massachusetts. i dont know what kind of building it was (i remember i thought it was some sort of public building, like an office or something...), but i thought it was funny to see 2 different opinions there.... 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Last year

last year october 2nd was on a sunday, and we were in new york, where i took this photo! as you can see, the weather was really nice and sunny. this is at coney island, and i liked to see this just married couple walk around. i thought it was so spontaneous! until... i saw the photographers.. beeh, ofcourse it was a weddingshoot and they were directed to walk around casually... then to sit somewhere (on a quite inconvenient place for us normal people who wanted to pass but didnt want to disturb the shoot. until it took so long that we eventually just walked past them), etc etc....
this year? a bit chilly and quit some rain. beehhhh... 
but a nice day anyways. good night!