Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not real!

at first glance, you think....hmmmmm....? but no, its not real! this is somewhere along the high line in new york... must be pretty annoying having so many people walk by your window every day. taking pictures. of everything and all... including the fake man. or, especially the fake man....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Woods! Closed!

it has been raining. all day. lots and lots of rain. had it been a little colder (as was expected earlier), then it would have been snow... but no, we got rain... :(((
so, i looked at some summer pictures, and found this one again, its somewhere around gloucester. yep... in the us of a the woods can be closed. hahahhahaha!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Apartment building

this is in new york, but actually in the netherlands you very often see people hang their blanket (from the bed) outside their window. i always find that strange... hanging it out like that will make it dirty, no?
as we live in a corner apartment, we have a lot of windows (the reason we decided to take it; so much light!), but all windows have an (insect) screen, so when you open the window, there is still the screen that cannot move. thats pretty common here, but i find it soooo weird! what if you want to throw something out of the window? ;) stick your head out, or just get the crumbs from the tablecloth? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

In line

these people are waiting to eat something in the center hall of the museum of fine arts in boston. we were there a few weeks back. its always amazing to see the restaurant being entirely full, and having people wait like this. its just in this gigantic open space that connects the different parts of the museum. somehow those eaters are part of the collection too, if only for just a while.....
we never ate there and do not have the desire to ever do so... :)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow man!!

this is a picture of tim in the snow after the blizzard. now 2 weeks ago. tim thought it funny to jump into some snow, and well... i took the picture when i almost entirely disappeared in it... :)
the piles of snow are still alongside the roads everywhere. not white at all anymore, and melted partially, but still, so much snow had fallen during that blizzard that its still lying around!
now its snowing again, the entire weekend we had mostly rain, and only now, when its dark, its finally sticking to the trees. so very pretty!
lets see if the coming week i can get into the blogging routine again. the past week i obviously was not....

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nice ad

i was lazy the past 2 days, and i still am... but here is another picture! this is from a while back, when we were in new york... (as you can see by the water tower up in the corner). i liked this ad, even though i do not like such shoes.... i think they are very american! such high heels you never see in the netherlands (or at least, thats what i think. maybe things have changed by now?), but here shoestores are filled with them. i love shoeshopping, and am often disappointed when i see a nice looking shoe, only to take it out of the box entirely, seeing that it has such an impossible heel on it....
ah well, probably better for me. saves me some money... :)

Monday, February 18, 2013

More snow!

well, this is from last weekend, after the blizzard.... normally there is a road between the 2 traffic cones, but not last weekend...... we got some more snow today, very strong winds, and its very cold! in fact, its so unpleasant that we decided to stay home. we baked bread, cooked, watched some soap series. nothing special... somehow its now 1 at night and really time for bed! hope this time i can sleep despite the crazy winds....

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Forgotten car

i showed you pictures of this place before. it was somewhere along the road in florida, dec 2011. several cars were standing around at various levels of decay.... 
here in boston we had some snow today, but nothing that remained on the ground. we do still have mountains of snow alongside the roads; they arent very pretty and white anymore, as you can imagine...

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Austin

on a wall in austin, texas, where we were last december. i thought this was a really cool graffiti.
in the subway today i saw a lot of men with "some flowers". normally you never see that. funny.... perhaps tomorrow all the valentine's candy is on sale? (the shops were full with chocolate etc). maybe i should check..... :D
as a valentine's gesture, the mayor of boston decided that parking was free today, so that everyone who wants to go out for dinner can do so without having to think about paying for parking.... although that didnt make parking in the center of boston any easier, i guess, especially since there are still huge piles of snow that are also taking up some spaces..... 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fallen angel

at the cemetery 2 weeks ago. when we just had a tiny bit of snow.... a little sad, no?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Removing snow

this is the main street in our apartment complex, sunday afternoon. as mentioned, the snowplowing crew started their work when the snow just started coming down, they worked when the storm was at its height (the harsh wind blowing snow in your face wasnt the most fun part when we walked around friday night to "experience the storm"), they were still working when we went to sleep around 1 in the night.... i dont know whether they worked through the night, but i do know they were already working while we were just waking up.... they worked the entire saturday, sunday, and this evening i saw the bulldozer still being operated. our complex has 550 apartments, not small, but not huge either. imagine the amounts of snow and the huge amount of work being done so that we could just open the front door and walk around without sinking deep into the snow. one of the perks of apartment living, not having to shovel yourselves!! :) the least thing i could do was baking a cake for the crew, but then we broke the cake in 2 (it didnt want to come out of the bundt pan in one piece), so i baked another one..... not much work compared to what the shovellers did!
above they were removing the huge mountains of snow they had made the day before. it was loaded into the truck, and moved to the little snowfarm at the end of our complex; i guess that himalaya of snow will be there for quite a while, even though it was relatively warm today and yesterday (and even raining today). because of all the salt and other bad chemicals, the snow cannot just be dumped into the ocean, as was being done years ago. so... its piled up high, and being a pedestrian can be quite difficult... :) you have to check were you can cross the street, is there a gap on the other side too, or do i have to climb the snow? and as its melting, large, deep, muddy, salty puddles have formed. but no! im not complaining, the snow was great and now i get to wear my real snowboots that are meant to sink into the mess and still keep my feet dry!! 
ah, and, something really important; it was officially a blizzard. the national weather service said so. the past days this wasnt certain yet, so i am glad it is a fact now...... ;)

Cleared roads

no public transport this morning, and we were lazy anyways..... ..... later this morning the MBTA announced that they would resume a little bit of service from 2 this afternoon. however.... and i quote their message directly; "Unless necessary, customers are encouraged to stay home and use service sparingly." that little sentence just made me laugh all day. use it sparingly? are they checking whether you really need to take the subway or its just for fun...? ah well, as said, we were lazy, and just cleaned our apartment a bit, sorted stuff out, etc, and then went for another snow-walk. as you can see here, the main roads are clear again (after hours and hours of work), but for pedestrians that wasnt the case everywhere. here there was some sort of path to the right, but there was still enough snow left to make  for quite a tiring walk. at some places, the sidewalk wasnt cleared at all and we had to walk on the streets. not much fun, cars just sped by without even looking at us..... on  the news i saw that 1also in boston the main roads are mostly clear again, but the side streets, where people actually live and have parked their car, arent, so they still cant go anywhere.
we just wanted to have a walk on the cemetery but, although it was being plowed, turned out to be closed, and so we just went home again.... 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Epic blizzard

yep, thats me, enjoying the snow!!! never saw so much snow in my life, and i enjoyed it, very much!!
according to cnn, the blizzard was huge, but not as historic as they were reporting it could be before it happened. but to us, it was all those words. epic, historic, fun, amazing!! the only discomfort i experienced was a quite sleepless night. the wind was going crazy around our apartment, and i just could not sleep.... we did not loose power, nothing bad happened, so for us it was really only fun. while we got up, the snow-removal-team was already working hard again removing all snow (it took them the entire day). as public transport was suspended also today for the entire day, we just spent the entire day outside around our place. my goodness, there was so much snow!! just down the street is a park, and thats where we did some sledding as you can see above. there was no snow-removal in the park, and trudging through knee-deep (or deeper, at places) snow is really tiring, i found out! finally, finally, my winterjacket and boots were put to good use. i bought both after our first winter here in boston, and then never really needed them.... 
public transportation is suspended tomorrow as well, which is too bad, as i would have liked to go into boston and have a look at the city in white... but driving is allowed again (from 4pm on friday until 4pm today driving was not allowed, due to the weather. only emergency workers, snow removers etc were allowed on the road). i guess we will just stay around the house and enjoy the snow a little more before its gone again....

Snorkel parka!!

when i woke up this morning and (of course) immediately looked outside there was no snow. and it wasnt snowing.... i have to say, i was a bit disappointment (my colleagues too, i found out later...). anyways, we got ready for work. just the morning, as it was already announced that public transport would be suspended in the afternoon. while we got to the lab, some snow started falling, but just tiny flocks....
above you see tim in the jacket we bought him yesterday at the local thriftstore. i guess its aptly named "snorkel parka", hahahahhaha! when we got home in the afternoon there was still not that much snow, and it wasnt much of a storm either. "is it coming, or what?" we were saying to each other....  i guess around 6 the snow started to come down faster, and the wind was picking up too. it got dark, we went to the gym, had dinner, blablablblablbla.... and i guess now we are in the real storm. we went for a "stroll" around our apartment complex around 9.30 this evening.... what a snow!! there was at least a foot of snow, and with the strong winds blowing it into your face.... tim was very happy with his snorkel parka, blocking most of it out! we made a round, and when coming back, all our footsteps had already been erased by more snow.... and while we were just hopping around, having fun, a snowplowing crew was working very hard to remove the snow (i guess if they dont keep up, it will be very hard to remove it all tomorrow). i felt so bad for them, some just boys, and many of them not even wearing a decent jacket..... they were also going through the streets with a huge bulldozer, uilding an enormous mountain of snow right in front of some apartments; when we walked by it was almost up to the second floor! (american second floor, in the netherlands that would be the first floor). im glad we are not living there, everytime they were throwing on more snow i would be afraid the mountain would collapse into our home....
so... im curious how the world will look tomorrow. i hope we wont loose power... according to the news many people did already, and here the lights flicker every now and then.... now its time for to sleep! good night!

Friday, February 8, 2013

It's coming......

so.... the weathermen are more and more sure that the snow is really coming tomorrow. and lots of it. flights have been cancelled, schools in boston are closed, the subway will stop running in the afternoon and apparently cars should be off the road by noon.... above a picture of the first snowstorm we experienced, on jan 12, 2011. this is the boston common, after a night of strong winds and lots of snow, clean-up had started long before we got out of bed, and when we arrived here, while it was still snowing, people were just having fun.....
tims wintercoat broke just this week (the zipper), so we went to the thrift store and got him a very decent jacket that surely will keep him warm and dry. we also went to the supermarket for some milk (but forgot the yoghurt). all salad was gone, almost all meat, most chips (it wasnt me!!), most fruit, and.. there was hardly any milk anymore... luckily tim found some, so we now have our milk, eggs and bread....
all the people from the news are going crazy and keep calling this storm epic, historic, huge.... and nothing has happened yet... i hope they still have some words left after the event. at cnn they were talking about the possibility of 38 inches of snow, if i calculated correctly, that would be 1 meter of snow!! really??! wow.... i hope we have enough milk...... 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A blizzard...?

yesyes, i was complaining about the little amount of snow we got last sunday as well as yesterday. and today all everyone could talk about is the huge amounts of snow we might get this friday/saturday. wherever i was, the question was the same; have you heard? the snow, friday?! well yes.... a snowstorm, a blizzard even, might visit us this friday, bringing huge amounts of snow. possibly "breaking all records", "potentially historic". superlative onto superlative... lets see.... i hope it will just b a lot of snow, but not a lot of mess... its good that its supposed to start friday evening so that we have the weekend to enjoy the snow or recover from it.
apparently, people already started preparing, bread isles at supermarkets are being emptied. i guess we are good. we havent seen the bread isle in many months!! one night tim had to do some work and i was so very bored.... but baking yet another cake would require us to spend every free hour we have in the gym, so i decided to try and bake a bread for a change. the dough was so very sticky! tim had no clue what i was doing, until i asked him at some point to please release me from "the dough".  i remember how he was laughing when he saw what i was doing, not knowing what exactly it was i was trying to make there... somehow that dough did become a bread, and i was soooooo very proud!! just somewhat later i got a sourdough starter (a truly amazing gift!!) from a friend, i bought all kinds of flours, seeds, nuts and this book. and well... since then we never bought bread again. i am not afraid of the dough anymore and tim does not have to release me from it... and (usually) every saturday we now have fresh bread, straight from the oven. a crispy-crunchy crust, some butter...... worth every bit of time and effort, yummm!! (above the sourdough bread with sunflower, sesame and flax-seeds we had last saturday). so yes, breadwise we are ready for the snowstorm.......

Light dusting

we have a tiny bit of snow this evening... actually it snowed almost the entire sunday as well, but this is what was on the ground when we went for a walk that day. so disappointing...!
and well... thats all there is to say regarding this pic! its weird knowing that there is someone out there with a set of keys to our apartment complex, most likely. we already had suspected that when we were informed of just the 2. so that it actually were 11 was mostly shocking because the management didnt tell us that right when they knew, and just kept on pretending nothing was wrong. apparently, there hadnt been a single burglary in the 6 years this place exists. until last october, when there were 2, with forced entry (interestingly, just in the month a new management took over, just saying....), and thus the 11 that happened 2 weeks ago as i told you yesterday. i always felt very safe here, had no problem leaving the door open on the 3rd floor to run back to the garage to get the rest of the groceries. or propping open our front door to enjoy the excessive airconditioning in our hallways during extremely hot summer days (yesyes, we are cheapos; its a neat way to safe on our electricity bill, hahahahaha). but... not anymore. the thieves did not even leave fingerprints, and really knew what they were doing.... whenever there is a sound in the hallway i think its someone trying our front door, and i always double-check whether tmi has really locked our door. in time that will pass again, i guess... and really, we have nothing but huge amounts of clothes and shoes. no tv, no fancy stereo, no laptops... i like to think "they" checked our apartment already and saw nothing worth stealing....

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Secret entrance.....

while walking to the subway, we saw this alternative entrance.... we thought of trying it, but then realized we already paid our fare by having a monthly ticket, so it wasnt really necessary. was really surprised though that there was no sign, or a police officer or whatever to protect you from falling down or so.... as is usually the case.
today we discovered that 11 break-ins have occurred in our apartment complex about 2 weeks ago. they all happened within one week, in 4 different buildings. in none of the cases there were signs of forced entry, and in some cases residents even found their apartments locked.... we had been informed already about 2 break-ins, and had been left in the dark as to how, what and why. it was suggested then that those residents had forgotten to lock their doors and we got a nice letter reminding us to always lock our doors, to not give away our keys or write our address on the keys. of course, we had questions already then. on top of that, last week we were suddenly informed that ALL locks to all 550 apartments were going to be changed, and still no answer why that would be necessary since they had labeled those 2 break-ins as "isolated cases".... but now we know. 11 break-ins. in some cases they even locked the door after they stole stuff, and then we have to believe to no one has or can have a key that fits on all our doors??! can you believe it?! its really quite scary and very weird to leave our apartment, double-checking whether we locked it but at the same time thinking that that does not matter anyways right now..... who knows, perhaps they already have been in our place! good thing that we dont have any ipads, iphones or other fancy electronics..... (apparently thats what got stolen).
during the "meeting" we had today with a police officer and the management team residents came up with the weirdest questions, suggestions and theories as to how this could have happened, and how this can be prevented in the future. yet nobody asked whether there might be a secret entrance somewhere......
im rather mad that the management kept us dumb and didnt inform us right away that 11 break-ins occurred, ALL without any signs of forced entry (and who knows, maybe even more?!), we only found that out because we attended that stupid meeting where we just went out of sheer curiosity, as we were wondering what the hell a police officer could tell us about 2 break-ins.....

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Signs, signs....

guess what happened? we can only imagine.... but for me, the sign says it all........ (and in the back, behind the "slow" sign, thats a church....)

Friday, February 1, 2013

VLA antenna

from the very large kettle the day before yesterday we goto the antennas in new mexico that we saw during our road trip. on the signs i had seen the (i thought) town of Vla, which i thought was very funny, since we also had just passed (or were about to pass, i forgot) "Pie town" (evidence of that some other time). "vla" is dutch for a dessert that many, many dutch have after dinner. its cooked ilk with custard, often sweetened with vanilla. its not something i miss from the netherlands. we did eat it every now and then, but when you open the package, you have to finish it all rather soon, as the consistence gets... well... yuckie pretty fast. if interested, i found a recipe here (a very nice blog with very dutch recipes, but with american products and measurements!!!
anyways... ofcourse there was no town named VLA. it was yet another acronym and stands for Very Large Array. its a radio astronomy observatory at an elevation of 6970 ft and has made key observations of black holes, for example. looking these antennas up on wikipedia, i just learned that there are 27 of them (!!) and each is very big (with a diameter of 25 meters). while we were driving past them we were in the middle of a snowstorm and could not see very far ahead. we perhaps saw 2 or 3. really too bad... as you can see on this picture, the VLA looks pretty cool! but even the few antennas we saw, while it was snowing in a perfectly silent world, the road ahead and behind us entirely empty....... felt pretty "outer space", even though they are of course man made......