Thursday, November 29, 2012

Feeding pigeons...

signs usually say please dont feed the birds..... this one is a bit more explicit.... :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Looks like....

... this mourning lady at the grave of edwin lister is referred to as drew barrymore by the cemetery guides of sleepy hollow, new york. hahaha. i just found that somewhere on the internet. and well yes, now that i read that i think she does look a bit like drew barrymore (an actress), no?
this is a huge grave, here you can see it entirely, so i guess this person was rich. and i guess he was, this is what i could find; edwin lister was born in england, and came as a boy with his parents to the usa. in 1887 he became president of the company agricultural chemical works, his father's company where he started to work at a young age (they grounded cattle bones into fertilizer). he improved the machinery and whatnot, and later moved the business from sleepy hollow to newark, new jersey, together with his brother. in newark he eventually died after an illness of several months. 
normally, i would now link to taphophile tragics, but unfortunately, taphophile tragics is no longer....! i do hope to continue posting cemetery pictures every now and then. the main reason i often skip posting about the cemeteries i visit is that i get caught up into reading lots and lots of stuff about the cemetery, the history of the town or the particular person. and then at some point its so late that i am too tired and/or lazy to make it into a blog... :) (as happened tonight... its almost 1 now and i read about 3 different persons on the sleepy hollow cemetery. so very interesting! but with each story i thought.. "how will i ever make this into a short blog-post?" then i found drew barrymore.... ;) )

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Not tomorrow!

another sunny picture... but this was last saturday when we were in new york. i took this photo while we were in the roosevelt island tram, aboveground! this is actually in between the car accessroads to the bridge, and (i guess) a homeless man is enjoying the sun while lying on a subway ventilation grill, completely oblivious to all the cars racing on either side of him.... tomorrow some snow is expected! here in boston at least, i dont know about new york, but i assume it will be a bit colder there too than it was last weekend. 
we just got back from the cinema, and it was cold already. we saw life of pi, in 3d. just in the cinema closest to our apartment, not in the center of boston or anything. and this was the price for 2 tickets (including the 3d glasses); 32 dollars!! 32! nowadays, if time allows, we go to 3 different supermarkets as i kind of know where what is the cheapest, to save a dollar or 2. and then we spend 32 dollars on the movies... :) ah no, actually we get discount tickets through work, and then they are 7.50 each (thats really nice!). however, since it was a 3d movie, we each had to pay 4.50 extra; so thats still a total of 24 dollars... for a movie we both did not really like.... grrrrr! (we both have read the book, i was not that impressed, tim was. then i read a review in time magazine that convinced us to go see the movie.... but i guess a movie hardly ever is better than the book)

Monday, November 26, 2012

In Vermont...

..while it was still warm and green out, back in august.
now its cold! almost freezing today. we didnt do much interesting and i could not find any photo i wanted to show.... grrr (also not of the ones i took yesterday)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

But why?!

today it was black friday (the day just ended 5 minutes ago); the start of the christmas shopping season in the usa, and the day on which all stores give (or pretend to give) large discounts on their products. actually, it started already last night. when we drove home from the thanksgiving dinner, we passed a "big k market" (a department store, nothing special as far as i remember), where some 20 people were standing in line in front of the entrance. it was about 9. at home, i checked when the store would open; midnight!! i dont know how long they had been there already, but sitting outside, on thanksgiving (a seemingly very important holiday for americans) at 9 for a store to open at midnight just makes me wonder WHY?!
i think last year many stores opened "only" at 4 in the night, so i guess next year they might just be open on thanksgiving....  for us, it was our third black friday, and yet again we did not set foot in any store. i would have liked to observe the spectacle, but its hard to be present in such a huge crowd of people without being part of it, unless you can fly, no? tim found this video, and that actually made me happy i was not present, i would defenitely not have liked to be in such a shopping-crazy-crowd!
the sculpture was not made for black friday :) i saw it in new york, when we were there in june with my sister. its in the city hall park, until the end of this month, together with several other interesting works of art. the sculpture is named "memorial for unknown artist", by thomas schutte (here you can read more about it)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Plymouth rock

2 years ago we drove to provincetown on thanksgiving. halfway we stopped in plymouth, where the pilgrims in 1620 landed with the mayflower from europe. in this shrine lies the rock on which the pilgrims stepped to get ashore. or so they say. yes, there is indeed a rock, but according to wikipedia the rock was not mentioned in the journals that were kept by the pilgrims. the first written reference to the rock was 121 years later..... nowadays, only 1/3 of the top part of the rock is still intact.... and you are not supposed to chip off a piece as a souvenir, as happened in the past... :D
like last year, we celebrated thanksgiving with europeans only (almost!), with a real turkey from a real american oven (not mine).... (i didnt bring pumpkin pie, as i intended to, as i made that already last week and discovered its absolutely not tasty at all!)

Thanksgiving migration

i believe today most real americans traveled to someplace else in the usa to get where they want to be to celebrate thanksgiving, tomorrow! as you know, most americans stuff a turkey and then bake it in the oven for several hours. 
the above sign is somewhere close to plymouth, where the settlers first got off the mayflower into the new world in 1620, and the origin of the first thanksgiving, most likely (as you can read here). had never seen a turkey crossing sign before, so i took a picture while we drove by (i already missed the alligator sign in florida, and the "dont-pick-up-hitchhikers-this-is-an-active-prison-area" in new hampshire).
when i was back in europe in september, i was "shocked" by the small ovens people have there! after almost 3 years and lots of baking, i really got used to the big american oven (i guess its big because it has to fit an entire turkey once a year?!), and dont really see it as big anymore at all (unlike when we just got here), maybe i should bring one back to the netherlands.. (an oven, not a turkey!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

3 buildings

here 3 buildings in very different styles and shapes. i dont know what the tall one in the back houses. i think the one to the righ, with all the window a/cs is the court building, and the round one houses several stores that are all closed during the weekend (we found that out the very first time we were in boston and we were looking for a rental car agency. there is one here, but it turned out to be closed). this is opposite of the city hall, so i guess its more busy during weekdays when all government employees are around....

Monday, November 19, 2012

Red balloons

i totally didnt know what picture to post today. so i went to my november-folder of 2010, the first year we were in boston, and this is what i found... :)
this is close to the public garden in boston. i dont even remember taking this picture.....

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dancing cop

always fun to see a cop directing traffic. if you shoot multiple images and watch them after each other, it looks like a weird dance on the middle of the street, sometimes.. :)
going back and forth to new york in one day is really fun, but tiring too! we got up at 4.45am on saturday, caught the subway to boston, and then had the 6.30 bus to new york, delivering us to chinatown around 11 (traffic was a bit slow yesterday), we spent the day and got the 7pm bus back to boston, getting back home just after midnight..... then the downstairs neighbors had some loud party, so we stayed up and watched some series. 
as a result; today i did hardly anything. too tired... :)

NY today

still some autumn colors today in New York! we went for a day, from boston by bus, so now im tired....
it was real warm! at some point too warm for a jacket, can you believe it?!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Giant deer

when we were in toronto it was really cold! we didnt really find our way, and were frustrated that we had to pay for parking on a sunday (in boston its free on sundays, so sometimes we do a little crazy and goto the city by car....). besides, when we finally got a parking spot we could stay there only for 3 hours (stupid rules!!), on top of that we were so stupid to not change our watches yet to wintertime and so while walking through cold windy streets we suddenly didnt know whether we had to rush back to the car or not... do we have another hour, or....?
both me and tim were not impressed with toronto, but perhaps we didnt find the good part... we did find the shopping mall and i loved the deer they had placed there (there were several)! look how gigantic this one is! 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Golden skyscraper

im still impressed by skyscrapers, every now and then. this one was in toronto, where we went when we were in canada anyways to see the niagara falls. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Highway distractions

while we drove to (and from) niagara falls i took a lot of pictures while driving. there were a lot of funny city names, or names of real dutch cities (like amsterdam and rotterdam), or cities that we had no clue how to pronounce. perhaps i should once make a flickr-set of those. not all are entirely sharp as its not easy taking pictures of highway signs while driving past them with 65 miles/hour!
there are a lot of signs for local/chain eateries as well, as you can see here. denny's is a very cheap breakfast place where we sometimes like to go. then there are the trucks and buses which can have interesting advertisements too.... or just rush by with such crazy speed that they become a scary distraction....

Anorexic rabbit....

or... what else comes to mind when seeing this sculpture...?
this sculpture is in the utrecht, the netherlands, and i have biked past it many, many times. ah yes, the scary rabbit again. until someone told me he always called it the anorexic rabbit. from then on thats what i thought as well. its right next to the bike path, across "het neude", a square lined with a lot of cafes. once i looked up why this statue was there, and found out its called "thinker on a rock", and... that the artist was inspired by.... the thinker from rodin! i totally saw that when i read that, but all those times i passed it really never crossed my mind..... the sculpture is there since 2002. the city council asked the people of utrecht what they wanted to see on the above location; they could choose from several things, among others this rabbit, or a fountain, etc. apparently, hardly anyone choose the rabbit, but the jury appointed by the city council did, and so the rabbit it was.... (so much for letting the public speak!). many were unhappy, its not even from a dutch artist, and neither is it "original"; there are 2 other casts made from this sculpture, both located in the usa (one in  st. louis and one in washington; i would like to see one here!). but... people have grown to like the rabbit, and it sometimes gets some carrots, or some clothing during winter.
the sculpture is from the british barry flanagan, and most of his sculptures are of skinny rabbits, in some pose or another. this is, according to wikipedia, because in the 1980s, "he perceived the image of a hare unveiling itself" before him and has used it since.....
i saw on google-doodles that rodin was born 172 years ago today....., and remembered i still hadnt posted the above-picture... :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Christian eggs....?

yes, this is an egg carton. the one you get in the shop, with eggs in it. when i took the last ones today, i suddenly saw these eggs are christian... the psalm in the carton says; "this is the day which the lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it." hmm... suddenly i felt bad we had used up a dozen eggs without knowing they are christian. yuk! but i presume it was a heavenly sign i discovered it on a sunday... no?
its also a different brand than we usually have, and i wondered where we got those eggs from. now i finally remember; from Aldi! this is a supermarket originally from germany, and it surprises me they sell christian eggs. i really wonder whether the german aldi eggs are christian too.... wikipedia tells me aldi is already in the usa since the 70s, so they had some time for religious change, i guess...
i find it really weird to see christian verses on stuff i buy. i once showed you they do it at in-n-out burger in california (although they there only refer the verse, and do not print the actual text). same with forever21, a clothing store for young people. i recently saw that their shopping bags refer to a verse as well! but i doubt that the clothes they sell at forever21 are suitable for church....
then there are some other companies that let religious beliefs have a major impact on their business model as well, here in the usa. i have been trying to come up with a dutch or european company that does that too, but i really cannot think of one. from that (haha, i could not even remember at first where bought those eggs, but well.... from that i conclude that this is something typical american... and i find it very odd!
ah, the last 4 christian eggs were used for my very first pumpkin pie, very american too. and i have to say that it is definitely not my favorite pie.... (luckily the homemade crust and the whipped cream we flavored with some brandy made up for it, a little...)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Today's afternoon

we passed the city hall this afternoon (which i showed before, here its to the left), and this is city hall plaza. a huge empty space, sometimes occupied by the circus, or other events (then it looks less weird, i have to say. its really so huge, and often empty!). today somehow there were a lot of cars (i wonder why?!), and in the very back you see the entrance to the subway. 
we went to haymarket (just behind the city hall), to get some very cheap fruit and vegetables. i know that previous time i showed you a picture of haymarket i mentioned we never go there, but nowadays we sometimes do! it is actually really, really cheap and if you look carefully, you can get good stuff! you just need a big bag to carry it all back home. ah, and cash, plus a good memory in order to remember at which stand the fruit or vegetables looked the best for the lowest price (every time it does happen that at the next stand those oranges were even a bit cheaper than where we just bought them).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Where's this?

yes.... niagara falls. we went there the past weekend, finally! it was quite a drive, some 8 hours, on a mostly booooring highway (and we had to pay a lot of toll, in total perhaps 20 dollars). we both had never been there. first we watched them from the american site (as you can see above). we went to the information booth along the highway. we got some booklets, but there was absolutely nothing about the canadian side! not even the roads were marked (and canada is right across). as the man behind the counter said; "well, yes, guess which side we are trying to promote here, huh". we also discovered our tomtom is for the usa only, it was blank as soon as we crossed the border, haha.
as you can see, there are a lot of hotels with a view of the falls. and the ones you see here are just a few. there is basically an entire entertainment circus built along the falls. casinos, shops, hotels, restaurants. very touristy, nothing outstanding... really, it was so cool to see the falls! yes, ive seen pictures, but seeing and hearing it in real is so different! but i think it would be nicer if you would first have to walk through a forest or something, and then they suddenly appear...(imagine the explorers that discovered these falls!). now it was walking through a forest of signs for how to pay for parking, where your hotel is, or where you should eat. beeehhhhh.... on saturday it was pretty crowded, but we stayed another night (as driving 8+  hours on 2 consecutive days would be a bit too much), and on sunday the little entertainment town was dead. yes, all the restaurants were open, only hardly anyone was there... 
anyways, we really enjoyed seeing the falls for real. i took a lot of pictures, but none does them justice. you should go there in person! (and ignore the "ballentent" as we dutch would call that circus of hotels and casinos around it)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Frozen bananas?

yuk! saw these this weekend! cannot be tasty at all, i think.....
meanwhile, its really cold here. but the snow turned into heavy rain (this morning), and its all gone now. but the forecast says around 18 degrees celsius this sunday or monday! i dont get the weather...

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

First snow!

here a crappy picture i took out of the window from our apartment this evening! look at all that snow!! and its still coming down..... its a bit windy, but not by far as windy as it was during sandy last monday. but its quite cold!
i keep reading about new york/new jersey/connecticut where sandy left a real mess. houses are destroyed, and many people are still (!) without power. this new small storm must be shitty there... when we drove through the state of new york, we were warned on the highway that there were fuel shortages in the hudson valley. we didnt notice anything, but i have seen the lines for gas stations on tv.... (here you can read more about the damage sandy caused in staten island, or here about the rockaways)

Blue sky!

behind all those clouds there is a very blue sky!
we watched the outcome of the elections tonight. sort of. the enormous tv was on mute and we played some game. of all the people present, only 2 (out of 11, i think) were real americans and allowed to vote! i learned that when you vote, you get a sticker that says "i voted". and real americans really wear that sticker. i find that very interesting, and cute too! like when you did you did some task well, at school.... also, cnn said obama was "the winner", as if it literally was a race, and obama was fastest (shouldnt it be "elected"?). here you can see how much money each candidate raised and spent on the elections. its really incredible. imagine what could have been done with all that money.... (instead of all those negative ads about each other)!
anyways..., now its really late and obama still did not give his speech, maybe its time for bed and watch it later.....

Monday, November 5, 2012

Amsterdam, NY

we went somewhere this weekend and the stupid hotel didnt have internet, grrr... :((( or rather, having internet would cost additional money and so as real dutch we didnt do that. we did watch some tv, until i fell asleep; elections, elections, elections!!! (they are tomorrow!)
anyways, to get where we went, we passed amsterdam, in the state of new york. so of course i had to take a picture of that. 
it was very cold where we went (and we had a teeny tiny bit of snow!). i was hoping in boston it would be less cold, just like when we left (which was just 2 days ago, it somehow feels much longer), but now its bloddy cold here too! we even put on an extra blanket. both very tired, so even though its just 10 (winterime), it feels like 12.... (and it would be 11 in summertime; we had some stupid trouble with that this weekend, haha!)
good night!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Autumn yellow

i took this picture last weekend at the cemetery. this tree is just so magnificent! especially in fall, i think...
by now most leaves are probably gone. its getting colder again too, and this weekend we change the clock; an hour extra! and shorter days again.... beehhhh

Mobile devices

this was in the getty museum in los angeles where we were back in may. actually tim say these girls first, immersed in their phones... hmmm. now i look at it i wonder whether the blond one really is looking at her phone, but the other one defenitely is! :) 
here in boston in the subway most people are on their phones too. i think at least 50% of the passengers spends the entire ride tapping on the thing. then there are some with e-readers (or whatever you call them), and then there are just a few that have a real book or magazine... i just read that newsweek will go digital only from the new year onwards!! im glad i discontinued my subscription, because i dont have an e-reader or a fancy phone... so how would i ever be able to read their articles on the train or while im in the gym..?!
sometimes i wonder whether i dont miss something, without a fancy phone. but then i try a game on tims phone and i am just horrible at it (and dont enjoy it), or the other day i needed to retrieve a specific email while using his phone; it drove me crazy as i mistyped my password i dont know how many times on the little screen. so i guess no 800 dollar new iphone for me... i use a very simple prepaid without camera, without T9, and unfortunately usually without very good sound (i.e. when someone calls me i usually dont hear what they are saying, so i prefer not to pick up and send texts instead). am i getting old...?