Thursday, January 26, 2012

Charles river

we had a nice walk on sunday, it was not too cold, although quite grey out, and the snow was still there (its raining, right now). we took the red line to central square in cambridge, and then walked by MIT, hit the charles river and walked on the cambridge side along the river, then crossed the longfellow bridge and were back in boston. i took a lot of photos while walking, one of them above.... on the right you see prudential, and to the left the hancock tower. i was very surprised to see the river is (partially) frozen. sure, we had a few very cold nights, but most days it has been rather mild. im sure the laws of physics can explain this all, but i cant... :) on july 4th we were in a canoe on this river, what a difference!
supposedly, the charles river is one of the cleanest urban rivers in the usa nowadays, but in the past it was extremely dirty; you were not allowed to swim in it, and if you happened to fall in, you would get a tetanus shot and antibiotics! this was common practice until mid-1990s! i do have to say, americans like to give you as many shots as possible (everyone gets the flu-shot, just 2 days ago they asked me if i didnt want a tetanus-shot, as i hadnt had one since childhood, and most (all?) teenagers get vaccinated against hepatitis B. when arriving here they didnt believe the note my physician wrote for me, namely that i received all required vaccinations, and thus they wanted to vaccinate me again against some childhood-disease. i refused and thus i was required to have my blood tested to prove i was indeed vaccinated. i still remember how furious i was then..).
anyways, you still are not allowed to swim in this river naked, as you can see here. you will get arrested and handcuffed... but perhaps those officers just secretly enjoyed that... (otherwise they would have given the man at least a towel, no?!)