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Boston Trip (cont.)

Sunday was mostly sitting around on my ass while my sister cleaned the house. I finished Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey. It was a decent mystery story, but I would have liked it much more if I were a young girl going through her horse phase. The writing style would appeal to a less critical reader, and the story is charming and compelling without requiring too much thought. I left it behind at my sister’s.

After I finished that book, I moved on to the $3 scifi paperback I picked up at the used book store, The Atom Conspiracy – it is dated, sexist, and people get shot. I am enjoying it very much.

I slept in a bit on Monday, and then walked down to the Boston Museum of Science because they are having a Star Wars special exhibit in the same space where they had the Lord of the Rings exhibit. I was very glad that I was there on a weekday because I actually got to have some time to play with the legos and computer games instead of being mobbed by excited children… though there were still plenty around. They had the real speeder from the first movie and the old Darth Vader costume. There was Leia’s white dress and the C-3PO costume. Those actors were all incredibly skinny. They had a cute video section on some of the ships – I especially recommend seeing the Imperial Cruiser construction.

If you go, there’s not really much need for the audio tour. I ended up not listening to mine most of the time because almost every station had some for of audio available already – and I had a limited amount of time to get through it all before my IMAX ticket because they weren’t allowing re-entry even on a slow weekday.

So, yeah… there was a Fighter Pilot IMAX movie. And I figured that this would surely take advantage of the IMAX medium better than many of the nature documentaries… because there’d be more swooshing through the air. And my interested had absolutely nothing to do with my new fandom with lots of military flyboys… nope, not at all. The human interest component of the narrative grated on my nerves a bit, but it was a fun movie with lots of fast flying and things blowing up.

Immediately afterward, I had a ticket for another component of the Star Wars exhibit: the Millennium Falcon simulation. I am not sure it was worth the money.

That night, the three of us went out to eat at Elephant Walk, a French/Cambodian restaurant. Everything was amazing and tasty, but I think the winner for the evening was my sister’s grilled trout that had been marinated in garlic, lime, and jalapeno peppers. They have a special celiac menu printed up as well, though most of their food would accommodate it very well.

I had randomly run into a mawrtyr earlier in the week, and we arranged to meet for lunch in Harvard Square.

So that morning, my brother-in-law was kind enough to drop me in Central Square again that morning. This time, I headed a bit away from Harvard Square for breakfast, and I ended up at La Luna Cafe for a bagel and hot tea. Then I went about looking for the sex toy shop that my sister had recommended in Central Square, but it was raining and I couldn’t make breakfast last much past 10am, so I didn’t see it and it might still have been closed at that hour.

So I hopped on the T to go one stop and went to Harvard to explore the Harvard museums.

There were some pretty paintings in the Sert Gallery, but they mostly seemed to lack personality. The most interesting ones were a pair of paintings of telephone wires and scenery that were full of urban decay, desolation, and beauty.

The Fogg Museum was much better then their website would indicate. Mainly because the architecture of the building was wonderful all by itself – stone arches surrounding an interior courtyard and all the exhibition space on the periphery facing in. On the first floor there were some Dutch Masters and religious pieces… the most interesting of which were exhibited in such a way as to show the construction techniques of medieval painters.

Upstairs had a wonderfully diverse collection including Rodin, Gaugin, Picasso (some really nice Picasso pieces showing his range, but not so much the stuff that shows up in art books)… eh, well – here is a link to the catalog of the permanent collections. Good stuff.

Then I met up with the Mawrtyr for lunch. We went to Darwi’s Cafe. Oddly, I think this was the first only place I’d seen with a pride flag on the door. Did I miss the queer-friendly businesses? Or does it just go without saying that everyone is queer-friendly? Anyway, tasty sandwich,good soup, and hot apple cider. Then we went to the Busch-Reisinger galleries behind the Fogg museum – because there used to be an exhibition of Bryn Mawr College dorm furniture (and when I was googling for the image, I found this auction – look at item number 390!).

My friend then got me into the Harvard Natural History museum for free. It’s an old fashioned museum that has densely packed collections instead of sparse galleries that are full of interactive bells and whistles. And they have some amazing things in their mineral collections and assembled fossil skeletons. And they also had a tremendous number of taxidermied birds.

The museum I didn’t have time to see was the Sackler and their big Degas exhibition… no matter – I’m not really all that fond of Degas.

Then it was making my way back home, changing into dry clothing… and sleep.

Breaking News: There are a lot of little coffee shops in Boston

Trip to Boston – was wonderful
point a: I had managed to secure a fairly cheap ticket
point b: I got a call asking me to move my 2:30 shuttle to 3:30 because I was the only person on the 2:30 one. My flight wasn’t until 5:30, so I said yes a paid half price.

So then, when I was offered a chance to upgrade for $35, I felt perfectly justified whooping with joy and calling it a bargain.

YAY! The highest class was business class, but I was in seat 2A. Yep, I had a random upgrade and *still* ended up in a window seat.

We flew over populated areas low enough (or on a cloudless enough day) that I could watch all the pretty lights the whole way.

We got to chose assorted pretzels and chips from a little basket, and drink orders were taken while we were still taxiing on the runway.

AND there was a little wall between my seat and the person next to me, so there was no physical contact… with the added bonus of having the seat belt fit without me having to ask for an extender.

I was dropped off at Central Square because it was on my brother-in-law’s way to work, and then I walked to Harvard Square.

On the way, I had breakfast at Dado Tea. The tea was excellent, and they had lovely benches where I could sit by a fountain and be warmed by the sunlight filtering through the window glass. The scone, however, was spongy and tasteless and not particularly scone-like at all.

Stopping into a lovely used book store that smelled like fresh wood, I ended up with not only the couple maps I had wanted, but also a random old science fiction paperback as well.

I walked by 2-4 gaming stores. I tell ya, Boston has more gaming stores and comic book stores than any other city I have ever been in (that I have noticed).

I wandered around and looked in fancy stores with stuff I didn’t need and just treated it all as entertainment. There was a Tibetan store that had some lovely jewelry that was affordable, but I couldn’t quite justify buying any of it as I haven’t worn any jewelry at all in several years.

At the Harvard Book Store, I found an even better map (which I have already torn and might need to go back to get another) and a remaindered copy of a Josephine Tey book I hadn’t read yet.

Randomly walking around the square, I ran into someone I had known from college. So we’ll make plans to meet up for lunch/tea sometime next week.

By the time I decided to sit down a bit and stop walking for a while, I went looking for another good teashop. The first place that looked promising was a Peet’s Coffee, but while I will admit that it seemed a haven for coffee lovers, it was too busy, too crowded, and way too coffee-ish for me to stay. Then I ended up at Burdick’s – they had a nice tea selection, but looking around a bit let me know that what I clearly wanted way hot chocolate, instead. OH, man – incredible hot chocolate. It was a bit more bitter than I could take, but each table had a sugar bowl – and when I sprinkled sugar on top, the hot chocolate was so thick and luscious that the sugar didn’t even fall through to the bottom – just floated and liquidised on top… and then sipping it would coat my tongue in bitter liquid, and my upper lip would have sugar crystals – amazing.

Walked around a bit more, listened to buskers, and went home. Buses are oddly confusing because some stops have route maps, some just have route numbers, and others just have a signpost with a T telling you that some bus might stop there some time, but specifics are for wimps. 🙂 All in all, I think I walked 4-5 miles. And, for all you hear about Boston drivers, everyone was surprisingly friendly to the pedestrians. I had drivers stop and wave me to cross even if I were still completely on the sidewalk and just looking vaguely interested in crossing that street. Huh.

I met RubyNye! Sexy, lovely woman! We spent a lot of time talking about her insane commitments to writing some 8 stories in a few months. And I’m not telling you anything about them because most of them were for secret exchanges – but I can say that they all sound fairly brilliant.

We started out at the Someday Cafe, which is everything I think a coffee/tea shop should be (lots of choices in loose leaf tea, eclectic comfy furniture, friendly banter behind the counter, and music just a touch louder than a restaurant). Then dinner at some diner-type place in Harvard Square with green in the name. And then back to Davis Square for more tea at the Diesel Cafe, which was larger and trendier – with sharp edges, an industrial feel, and lots of game (board games and pool tables)… the scenery might have been better at Diesel, but I hold to the first cafe as the epitome of a comfy teahouse.

And we made plans to get together again on Wednesday… possibly for a Harry Potter viewing.

So my family – haven’t seen too much of them, but we are getting on well. The plan is to spend all day today bonding.

Yay – bread products

In ten minutes there will be freshly baked bread coming out of my oven – and then there will be freshly roasted eggplants and fresh tomatoes going inside.

Yeah, so the bread came in a tube – shuttup.

ETA: MMMMmmmm… tasty sammich all gone.

Bad news: No sooner have a gotten rid of the squirrels than I find I have mice.

Good News: My silly, fluffy thinks-she’s-a-person cat *caught* a mouse. Of all the cats my family has had, she’s the first to ever catch a mouse. I’ve been coddling her all day and calling her a mighty hunter.

Okay, so she didn’t kill it, but she got it worn down and paralysed with fear, so it was easy for me to trap it. YAY!


I have no idea how I am going to pack for a nine day trip in my suitcase – I’ve managed seven days, but that was a bit of a stretch… and I wasn’t seeing anyone I knew.