Posted by: baryonic | June 23, 2010

Massachusetts Meanderings

Before jetting off to Tel Aviv for six or so weeks, I spent a few days wandering Boston and surrounding environs, catching up with old friends, installing window flashing, and trying not to wilt in the (high for me) humidity.

I landed around 11 am on Tuesday, and was picked up by a friend from high school who’d graduated from MIT two years ago. She’s out in the suburbs, building a tiny house—a Weebee—on a flatbed trailer. We raided Home Depot for window-installing supplies (they told us it’d take a half day), then proceeded back to the construction site. It only took an hour to install the window, which looked pretty slick!

Building the Weebee

The surrounding trees and neighborhood were amazingly lush and verdant.  While California is lovely and dry and windswept, I was suddenly struck by how properly like summer it felt to be in the middle of Massachusett’s humidity in June.

Back yard

The highlight of Wednesday was dessert at Oishii in Boston, which was a gigantic sphere of frozen coconut milk containing coffee mouse, doused in chocolate, resting on top of a bed of yuzu ice cream and wreathed with blackberries. Fantastic.

Thursday I caught up with a number of fantastic friends, wound up at dinner with 20 more, and returned to the co-op at which I used to live. The illustrious Adele even gave me lavender caramels, which alas did not survive well the trip to Jerusalem.

Early on Friday morning, I drove out to Hampton, New Hampshire to visit my sophomore year roommate and her mother at a cabin owned by an uncle. The cabin has the dubious distinction of being across a bay from the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. Great place to build your summer cottage!

Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant

I didn’t get to go swimming, but it felt great to walk through the icy water of the Atlantic as we passed legions of New Englanders wearing very little. New Hampshire doesn’t have a helmet law, so you see lots of folks riding their motorcycles without head protection.

Live free and die

I then drove down to Wellesley in hopes of meeting with my undergraduate advisor, but he’d gone home so I drove a friend to the train station then continued on to my cousin’s house for dinner. I saw my grandmother’s cousin who emigrated from Poland seventy or so years ago, discovered how amazing salmon can be when combined with these planks, and played with my youngest cousin who was about to turn six. I didn’t know I had this family until seven years ago; it’s great to be able to choose to spend time with people you’re related to, rather than having them forced upon you.

Larisa and I met on Saturday morning to work on our prototype instant messenger client for MEET, then I returned back to pika for the evening meal. Sunday saw Geoff and I wandering Somerville, then driving up to Rockport and Newburyport, and getting back to Cambridge just in time for a MEET dinner.

On Monday, I met up with Katrine and Sarah to go sailing, but MIT’s sailing pavilion didn’t open until too late! I did get a photo of the new Lynx catboats moored by Memorial Drive.

Catboats at MIT

Kim and I, dripping with sweat, then loaded five suitcases into a taxi and sped off to Logan Airport for the first leg of our journey toward Jerusalem. Domo-kun (どもーくん) decided to join us, as well.

Preparing to depart

The next post will be about Jerusalem! Stay tuned…

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