Tag Archive for 'boston'


Darwin's Sandwich

Darwin's Sandwich

Weeks bridge

This is the Weeks Footbridge. The building in the insignia looks suspiciously like King’s College Chapel to me…

Weeks Footbridge

Weeks Footbridge


I’m a big fan of the b-side lounge, and the b-sidecar…



They also have excellent mac ‘n’ cheese. Yum

Provincetown II

I love the Cape so much we went out there for my second trip in a few weeks, this time by car. We saw (generally actually old and expensive) antiques, marshy coastal stuff,

Cape Cod National Seashore

Cape Cod National Seashore

and a beautiful sunset from Race Point.

Race Point sunset

Race Point sunset

How much the colour of the sunset is due to air pollution I don’t want to know… More photos here.

White Mountains

We just spent a lovely week in the White Mountains, a few hours north of Boston. We tented on the hard campground sites, ate granola bars and breakfast diner food, saw chipmunks,

got nuts?

got nuts?


one of many

one of many

great views,

toy train from a hilltop

toy train from a hilltop

and wierd fungi.

not quite sure

not quite sure

We also only drove someting a bit over 300 miles for the whole week. More photos here.


I had a nice day out in Provincetown last weekend. We caught the boat and had a liesurely day, with the only real effort being the obligatory climb up the Pilgrim Monument.



The rest of the photos are here.

Where to sleep near Harvard Sq

Walking home late one night last week I doscovered where the homeless people in Harvard Square sleep. This is the entrance to the Co-op (pronounced like a chicken coop), where you can buy books, coffee, and all sorts of touristy crap.

homeless sleeping at the harvard coop

homeless sleeping at the harvard coop


Boston being a blue state and all, I guess the state of this McCain sign isn’t all that surprising…

vandalised sign

vandalised sign


I made it to Boston, its wonderful to see my friends here again! The trip, not so much fun, though there were some nice views out the plane window at times…

somewhere over the USA

somewhere over the USA

More photos here.

A year in Boston, summarised

I finally found a simple way to export a time lapse movie of my time in Boston (thanks Frame by Frame). This was the view out my window during my year long stay (click image for movie).

view from my window

Balcony heaven

This was the view out the back of my house in Boston. I think I could count 30 or so balconies…

balcony view of balconies

Roller derby

We cruised out to Wilmington to see the roller derby on Saturday. Craziness.

girls at the roller derby

Dimick on a snowy night

snow by a street light

Hot Super-Earths: submitted

So any complaints from referees aside, I’ve submitted a paper today, which gives me something to show for my time here in Boston!


BU Hockey

These are the cute kids that played at halftime during the BU game I went to

kids on ice


pats lose! so long for the pursuit of perfection…



So walking out of the Sam Adams brewery tour, we were coaxed in the back door of the 2008 NEBSRA Winter Nationals. Free beer and loads of entertainment. (NEBSRA = New England Belt Sander Racing Association)

There’s a collection of videos here.


BU Hockey

“sasquatch! sieve! sasquatch! sieve! sasquatch! sieve!.” to understand that you’d have to go to a BU Hockey game… well worth it in my opinion.


Memorial Hall

memorial hall pillars

Aussie day

Australia day (try googling “invasion day“) was celebrated in proper tradition on Saturday, with footy on tv, at the Phoenix Landing, pies, and beer. Later Jill had a party with copious amounts of Australiana, like pav, koalas, coopers, and vegemite. Nice.

nz/australian invention

Food hall sign

read the small writing under hebrew national

Replacement MacBook Pro battery

So yesterday I wandered down to my local apple store (Cambridgeside Galleria in Boston) to see if I could get a replacement for my dead 11 month old battery. They have this “Genius Bar” where black belt OSX dudes give help on mac related problems. They were very busy, but I got an appointment for this morning.

So I wandered down there this morning to see what they could do. The guy fired up the system profiler and said something like “my goodness” when he saw the available charge and number of cycles. New FREE battery for Grant. I am within my 1 year warranty, and have applecare too so there were no worries. A mate of mine had his replaced the other day, with a 13 month old macbook and no applecare, so it’s worth a go…

See the mac page for a few more comments on how to avoid the problem with your new one.




Statue around Harvard

Frozen bubbles

This is ice…

frozen bubbles

Celtics v Raptors

they lost due to poor d-fense

The Charles

the Charles

Moonrise at sunset

I like this image. A smokestack belches steam or smoke into the hazy sunset, while a tv antenna and the moon look on.

moonrise at suset

Sunday football on the couch

the couch

Snow tyres

tyre marks in the snow


snow shovels can be fun too

On large servings of food.

So the weekend I arrived here in Boston nearly a year ago, we went to R. F. O’Sullivan’s for burgers. Very good burgers indeed. I couldn’t even finish the chips on my plate… I finally went back there last night, and had exactly the same burger, totally devouring it and had two pints of the good ol’ UFO to go with. Being here has trained my stomach to new highs in food consumption… thanks America!


Snowy wire fence

I love the way snow settles on different things in different ways.

snow onna fence

Falling limbs

So picture this: You park your car under a tree, and overnight it snows. A huge branch gets more snow than it can handle, and falls, smashing in the back window of said car. Bummer. It continues to snow, filling up the back of your car with snow. People like me walk past one their way home and go, “man that sucks.”


Walking home last night

the CfA (or CAF as Dave would have it)

The view out my window this morning

view from my window


Did I mention we have cats in our house? This is Jezebel.

little sniffy

There’ snow business like…

The storm from the other day was amazing. Being a walker it didn’t affect anything I did, unless you count stomping through knee deep powder in Cambridge Common to take photos…


I took a bunch more photos, which are here.

stone in Harvard

Winter has arrived…

I walked home through at least six inches of powder this evening. It’s not quite as good as riding through it on a ski field, but still amazingly beautiful. Photos to follow tomorrow hopefully…

Here it’s called a “snow emergency,” but to me it’s just fun!


Crazy signs

I love all the crazy signs I see around the place…

mmmm fresh killed…

Harvard builds worlds biggest chilly bin

Well, they’re doing something with a lot of polystyrene…

I dunno

Laurie’s visit: Cape Cod

Hot on the heels of my previous trip to the Cape, I took Laurie out the for a drive last Sunday. Arriving somewhat late, the lady at the rental place gave me an upgrade and 10% off my car. Hello Chevy Impala SS with warmed leather seats and a somewhat decent rumble!

storm surf at cape cod

We stopped at my favourite breakfast place in Barnstable after a walk on the beach, and then went on to other beaches… There was a massive storm the night before, and there were bits of tree everywhere. The other sign of the storm, large waves, was still present, along with tonnes of surfers. We also saw whales much further out to sea, and other seashore wildlife.

horseshoe crab shell

We had an early dinner in Provincetown, and kind of saw the sunset up at Race Pt. We took our shiny car back to Boston…

mmmm big american car…

The rest of the photos are here.

Laurie’s visit: Driving around New England

So we went for a drive around New England… Going through New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Fun!

We started by heading west on the 2, happening past good ol’ Walden pond on a rainy morning. We stopped in for a look. I think it must be nicer in summer, when people go there to swim. There’s a replica of Thoreau’s cabin to look at, but not a lot else…

Carrying on west we stopped at The Clark for lunch and a walk around the galleries there. Throughout western Mass there were lots of wonderful fall colours.

view from a bridge

We then cut across a wee bit of Vermont and up to the bottom of Lake George in NY for the night. We stayed at the first of four excellent, typical, cheap hotels.

In the morning we caught some sunrise over the lake, and headed up beautiful 9N toward Ticonderoga. Somewhere along the way we hopped out for a walk though the foliage.

fall forest

We moved on up to Ticonderoga to find the fort closed for the season, so had lunch by the cute little waterfall in town instead. After lunch we headed up and out of New York in to Vermont, across some hills, and stopped in Barre for the night.

Saturday was rather yucky, so we spent most of it driving in the car. We went across to the White Mountains, going up through Franconia Notch, and up into Maine. Around there it feels very remote and rural, with lots of lakes and roads going through trees. It felt like somewhere we should have seen a moose or a bear, but we didn’t.

maine roads

With the weather still pretty average we headed toward Acadia, and stayed the night at a Super 8 in Bangor.

We cruised out to Acadia for the day on Sunday. It was sunny but pretty cold in the wind, so we went for a walk to the top of a large rock. The fall colours alongside a beautiful clear lake were rather nice.

Acadia by Jordan Pond

Back in the warmth of the car we drove around the one way circuit, and saw a moose! Some people were stopped somewhat badly in the road, but we forgave them when we saw why.


After the moose we nearly ran over several deer, it being near dusk. We popped up Cadillac Mt for a look at the sunset before having lobster for dinner in Bar Harbour, and moving out to Ellsworth for the night. Unfortunately our cheap motel didn’t have the baseball, so we caught some of the last World Series game on the radio. I was so tired from the epic game the night before I couldn’t last, and heard about the win the next morning…

NH beach

Monday was spent driving back to Boston, with a few sidesteps along the way to walk along the beach. We made it back at a respectable hour for some well needed sleep…

The rest of the photos are here.

Laurie’s visit: Blue Hills

So my dad has been visiting, one of the first things we did was go for a walk through the Blue Hills reservation. I’ve been there before and thought it would be nice to go again. It was rather beautiful with all the fall colours… even though I took us along a rather convoluted route to get there…

fall in the Blue Hills Reservation

The rest of the photos are here. Other photos from Laurie’s visit are here.

Red Sox World Series Parade

So fresh back from driving around New England I thought I was going to get some work done… but no. I couldn’t miss the Red Sox parade in town after their triumphant and decisive win over the Rockies. Thousands upon thousands of people turned up, among them drunken teenagers and rather quieter old gentlemen.

There were chants of “Yankees suck!” and the like. I think people need to get over the Yankees, they didn’t even make the ALCS. The sign saying “Jeter drinks wine cooler” was good however…

cheering the sox

The rest of the photos are here.

Cape Cod

Talk about your impromptu trips… Arriving home somewhat inebriated on Friday night, I booked a rental car for Sunday with vague plans of going somewhere, and sent a few invites. On Saturday I found that Fall isn’t really over yet, and decided Cape Cod would be a nice, near, new place to visit. Jill and Liz thought the same, so early Sunday we set off.

The car was a bit flasher than usual this time, with heated seats. Unfortunately the stereo was a little dated, not having an iPod jack. We managed to survive and overcome this deficiency by talking…

By the time we were on the Cape itself, it was getting a little ten o’clockish (as Pooh would say). We picked about the only place that looked open in Barnstable and wandered in for an excellent breakfast of eggs benedict. I’ve never been anywhere to eat where everyone got the same thing before.

Going in search of typical and interesting Cape Cod experiences, we first stopped at a beach. Being the time of year it is it was a little fresh out, and the water was pretty much as cold as it looked. We walked along it for a while anyway.

Jill and Liz at the beach

Next up was a more local experience, as we stopped at a road side barn sale. There was pretty much just junk for sale, and we pondered different means by which the purveyors of said junk had come to be in its possession. Perhaps by purchasing junk from the ubiquitous American “antique” shop? We didn’t think there was any way a person could acquire such a lamp collection by accident…

After passing a little lake in Nickerson State Park, we moved on to the Cape Cod National Seashore to tick off a lighthouse. We found it easily thanks to the excellent signage.

Lighthouse in national seashore

Continuing, and getting a little hungry, we went to the tip of the Cape to the lovely Provincetown. Being near the coast we had to have some seafood. I had fish and chips and a beer, yum. We walked off our late lunch by climbing to the top of the Pilgrim monument. The sign said a measly 112 steps, but I’m not sure that it explicitly said that most of the altitude is gained by walking up a big square spiral ramp.

BIG spiral ramp thing

The view from the top was nice, if a little breezy…

With the day nearly gone, we drove to the top end of the Cape for a quick photo before returning to the warmth of the car for the drive back to Boston.

Beach at the top of Cape Cod

We encountered some traffic at a few points, but nothing bad. Apparently the population of Provincetown grows from a few thousand, to something like 60,000 in summer, so I think we had it pretty easy. After a few glimpses of the sunset as we drove along random roads to avoid the traffic, we hit the highway proper.

The rest of the photos are here.

MIT Museum

With nothing planned today, I thought I’d go for a look at the MIT Museum. The museum has been in the news here lately, when they opened the Mark Epstein Innovation Gallery.

The “innovation gallery” is a room with some stuff related to current MIT research, like their City Car (which is really clever), and some submarine stuff. My favourite was a sensor thing that looked at a tray of beads, and then projected contours onto them from above. Nifty.

The museum proper has a bunch of different exhibits, on things as diverse as proteins and robotics. Being a techy geeky kind of guy, the robotics was very interesting. I had no idea they had build robots that could run, and even do flips! Another highlight was the art of Arthur Ganson, very cool clockwork like sculptures.

Well worth a visit if you’re in Cambridge.

Boston-Orlando road trip

Oh yeah. Hot on the heels of my Peruvian adventure, and having Pete and Mary visit, Halvar and I drove to Orlando to have a few beers with Jose for my birthday. And by Halvar and I, I mean I drove, and he took photos out the window.Starting on Thursday morning, we headed out to Canton, home of the Autodriveaway Co’s local office. The hope was to pick up a 2002 Taurus destined for Greensboro, NC. I’d been watching the National Carlist for several months in the hope that something would come up, and a few days before we were destined to leave, up popped the Taurus. It turned out that getting approved was quite simple. The ACT DMV people were quick and helpful in supplying me with a drivers record (as they were when I renewed my licence recently), the essential thing for aproval. Talking to the driveaway guy, it turns out that overseas folks are way easier to process, since he doesn’t have potential access to the same wealth of information that exists for Americans. Lucky us.

Rhode Island, Ocean State (license plate tagline): With a potential twelve states to visit along the way, we wasted no time in getting down to Rhode Island for some breakfast/lunch. We ended up at the “Liberty diner” for some good honest cooked breakfast. The name inspired the thing we needed to do in each state, which was something to do with something patriotic. Eating at a place with liberty in the name counts. Having ticked off Rhode Is. we headed on to Connecticut.

Connecticut, Consitution State: I’m not sure how patriotic it was, but we stopped at Hammonassett Beach in Connecticut for a look (I didn’t know there was an extra ‘c’ in Connecticut!). There were lots of reasonably large, very tanned people lounging around as it they had nothing better to do, which I suspect they didn’t. Having ticked off Connecticut we headed on to New York.

New York, The Empire State: We didn’t really do anything in New York. We’ve both been there so it wasn’t in need of a ticking off. We were in Pennsylvania before we knew it.

Pennsylvania, visitPA. com (what? that’s crap!): PA got the full patriotic treatment from us, since we drove across a fair chunk of it, and stayed the night at a campground. We stopped for a stretch at a lake the first evening, where a hot air balloon flew right over us. It had an American flag on the basket, which was pretty patriotic. The lake was pretty too…

A lake in PA

We stayed the night at a nice campground, and went for a walk the next morning. It was a pretty small park, so hunters could only use bows and arrows, black powder, and shotguns. Thankfully noone tried them out on us, despite our ignoring the signs instructing us to wear bright orange. We drove on to Gettysburg. There is this whole route one can drive around that takes hours, and goes past dozens of battlefield and historic sites. We stopped at a couple, but there were too many and we had other states to visit. Having thoroughly done Pennsylvania, we moved on to Maryland.

A nation united?

Maryland, ?: Our visit to Maryland was brief, but we made sure to stop at the welcome center and admire the state flag. Having not really ticked off Maryland, we managed to get a bit of West Virginia, since we’d long ago decided it was going to be a bit much of pain to go through Delaware.

West Virginia, Wild, Wonderful: We were only in West Virginia for a while, but stopped by the Shenandoah river for a bit of a walk. We also caught a covered bridge along the way. West Virginia done, we moved onto Virginia proper.

Rail tracks near the Shenandoah river in West Virginia

Virginia, ?: We arrived into Virginia later in the evening, and proceeded to find a campsite to stay at. Somewhere along the way we stopped at pub for a beer and some pub food. The girl couldn’t really understand me, and exclaimed something like “You’re accent’s different!”, as if that were a highly improbable thing. It was well dark when we arrived at the campsite, and we were tired so we set up and went to bed. The next morning we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a nice bit of road through forest on the edge of the Appalachian mountains. There weren’t any really good looking breakfast places around, so we dropped into a Food Lion for some donuts and turnovers. Virginia done, we moved on to North Carolina.

North Carolina, First in Flight: After driving down the parkway, we arrived in North Carolina, and headed to Greensboro to drop off our car. We drove all the way to the owners house, a suburban mansion somewhere in the ‘burbs. Though the house was nice, it looked just like all the others, as is so commonly the way in these places. He was kind enough to drop us out the airport, where we picked up our rental. Greensboro was about halfway, 900 miles from Boston. With our new iPod compatible rental, we cruised on down towards Charleston.

South Carolina, Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places: The first thing we caught in SC was Dizzy Gillespie’s birthplace, in the little town of Cheraw. We felt it important that we eat some southern food, so stopped for a bbq buffet. The ribs were marinated in vinegar and other things, very nice. Nearer Charleston, we hunted out a campsite, but not after driving around the national park past several map marked campsites. Eventually we happened to spot an unlit sign, and pulled off for another great nights sleep. We awoke to a misty forest in the morning, with an irresistible fenced off tower to climb for a nice view of the local forest.

View from the top of the tower

From the campsite we drove on down toward Charleston, taking a detour to see some swamp dwelling wildlife. At some pont we found a confederate flag on the side of the road (the one on the car roof of the General Lee). Going into Charleston we went over a HUGE bridge that disappeared into the fog. We stopped at the ubiquitous Huddle House for some food, just to be sure we were being patriotic, and then headed on to Savannah, Georgia, which also had a pretty large bridge leading into it.

Georgia, ?: The first thing to do in Savannah was head out to the Crab Shack for some seafood. We ordered the massive seafood platter for two, a margarita, and soaked up the atmosphere. After our feed we said hello to the alligators, but it was getting late so we headed off.

‘gators at the Crab Shack

We were hoping to drop by Okefenokee swamp for a look at some real size alligators, but a ring ahead told us that there had been a fire earlier in the year, which rendered the boardwalk and observation tower unusable. We instead headed along the coast, and stopped at a much smaller reserve. This place was still pretty impressive, we saw some baby alligators, and then a real size one hiding in the algae choked water. We were approached by a seemingly deaf and blind armadillo, which didn’t run away until it was close enough to hear my camera taking pictures of it. We also saw storks, herons, large spiders, and squillions of mosquitoes and other bitey insects.

Upon leaving the park we found another gem, the Smallest Church in America. A little non-denominational shack, we couldn’t resist a photo stop. That done, we headed on down toward Florida.

Florida, Sunshine State: Time was getting on by the time we reached Jacksonville, so we made sure we got a little confused and crossed the river five times on three separate bridges. They were rather nicely lit up in blue, with one sporting a particularly large American flag in lights. We headed on down to Canaveral to meet Jose, arriving about 11:30, just in time for the purchase of some $4 “Icehouse” beers to celebrate my birthday.

The next morning was time to head for the airport. We could see the famous NASA space shuttle building as we drove along. In a photo Jose showed us, the doors were open halfway up, which is enough for the space shuttle to get out. Massive. Arriving at the airport we almost had a disaster, no petrol station! Thankfully my guess of going down some random road turned one up in ten minutes, thus saving us a threefold increase in the cost of gas that rental companies impose. The car had around 900 miles on it, making the trip a grand total of over 1800 miles.

We flew back to Boston, safe in the knowledge that we could claim a bunch of states, without really having done anything in any of them. The rest of the photos are here.

More visitors!

Straight on the back of my Peruvian adventure I had some visitors. My uncle Pete dropped by via San Franciso on his way back to Australia from England, the most direct route obviously…

We went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which is excellent. They have a collection of glass flowers that is absolutely incredible. I went in expecting them to look like glass flowers, but no. They look like what they’re supposed to, and are beautifully detailed and accurate. It took the makers something like 40 years to put the collection together, but it looks like it was worth it… The museum also has an amazing display of rocks and minerals, as well as a comprehensive set of animals. Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The next day we walked the Freedom Trail. This is the essential thing to do in Boston if you like American history.

The day after that we rented a car a cruised up into New England. We didn’t mean to at the outset, but we ended up at the top of Mt Washington on a wonderful clear day.

The view from Mt Washington on a clear day… still a bit hazy really

We got back rather late in the evening, but it was a worthwhile trip… more photos here.

Peru: Jungle

The last place we visited on our tour was the Jungle. We flew to Puerto Moldonado, bussed down the road, and then went up the river for an hour or so by boat. The change in climate was huge, though not too different from a Boston summer. It was perhaps a little more humid if you can imagine that. The ride up the river was excellent, and not only for the rice dish we had that was wrapped in leaves. I had mine and half of another… mmmm

I was amazed by how lush and full of life the area was. After arriving at the amazing and beautiful lodge we went for a walk. It was dark, and our guide Elder found all sorts of wildlife along the trail. The highlight was probably seeing a sloth. Unfortunately my photo of it is rather average, so here’s one of a tarantula instead.

It was huge

Apparently if one gets bitten by one of these, a remedy is to kill the spider, and rub the mashed up abdomen on the bite. Our guide had done it once and it seemed to work… not one for the faint hearted.

We got up unbelievably early the next day to look at some parrots. They got to a clay lick each morning to eat clay. Mmmm clay. We saw several different kinds of parrots and some macaws. We headed back for some breakfast. I was befriended by the local monkey, here I’m sitting in his lap before breakfast.

Which one is the monkey?

After breakfast and a break, we went out to a farm to check out the local produce. It looked incredibly tropical, with large leaved trees everywhere.

Farm trees

To cool off after our farm visit, we had a little swim in the river. The same river we saw caiman in that evening, though I think we were noisy enough to be safe. It was probably more dangerous to pee in the water… We played soccer on the beach in the sun for a while, the perfect thing to do since we were all taking some form of Doxycycline for malaria.

On the way back we spotted a Harpy eagle, a rather rare and magnificent bird. Rather more so than my photos suggest anyway…

Harpy eagle inna tree

In the evening we headed out to a lagoon to look at some more wildlife, and a beautiful sunset.

In the jungle…

We topped off the evening by catching a few pirhana, spotting a few caiman, eating a few last exotic fruit, and sleeping soundly under our netted beds. The next day we caught the boat back down the river, flew to Lima, and the tour was over.

The rest of the jungle photos are here.