Tag Archives: Boston

a decorative dusting of snow

I commuted into Boston again today, for a long day of running subjects on a bunch of different experiments. We are trying to get as much data as we can before a couple of upcoming conference deadlines, and also before our subject pool leaves town for winter break for a month.

I haven’t been taking many photos of late, largely due to being busy and often rushing around. This morning, I arrived and parked with enough time to get coffee from my favorite independent coffee house. On my way, my eye was caught a few times by patterns made by the very, very light dusting of snow that had fallen that morning. Most of the ground and surfaces were bare, but the the tiny dry snow flakes (more like little grains of ice-sand, really) had been blown around, and caught here and there in cracks and crevices.


I liked the way the snow filled in the cracks of these bricks in the sidewalk.


Here, I thought it was cool the way the snow had caught in some sort of fallen plant stems, which seem to have been arranged by a little whirlwind around a parking meter post.

Also seen were students attempting to have a snowball fight from the deeper piles of dusty snow that had caught along the curb. It was really not the sort of snow that you can make snowballs out of, so really people were just throwing poofy clouds of snow at each other. It was very cute. (I didn’t get any good photos. It did make me smile, though.)

No Wake

Yesterday’s photo of a wake, and the sailing going on in that wake, reminded me of some photos I took several years ago. One fine spring day in 2012, I went for a walk with a good friend along a path by the Charles River in Boston. I had my camera along with me, and ended up with quite a few photos that I liked. (I’m not sure why I never got around to posting any of them. Probably due to my general hoarding tendencies.)

Death and Taxes

“…in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” –Benjamin Franklin, 1726

April 15th is known in the US as tax day, the day when tax returns for individuals are due. It is a date that leads to much crankiness and frustration.

The Boston Marathon is always held on the third Monday of April. Marathon Monday is traditionally festive occasion for the state of Massachusetts. Last year was a year when the two dates coincided: tax day and marathon day.


Flowers in Copley Square, from a late summer day several years ago.

With the anniversary the bombing of last year upon us, I find myself thinking back to that day, and the crazy week that followed. I wasn’t in Boston, but my close ties to the city, updates from my school, my colleagues, and my friends, kept me feeling tethered.

I was out with the kids that Marathon Monday, it being a state holiday and the first day of school vacation. Phoebe was recovering from a stomach bug, so we didn’t go far from home. We were parked at the music school before Phoebe’s and my violin lesson when I got text alerts from BU with notification of the explosions, and warnings to stay away from Copley. I couldn’t really process the news, and didn’t want to worry the kids. As the afternoon and evening wore on, I found more detailed reports of deaths and injuries. Like so many, I worried about the safety of my friends, and realized that my friends and family would worry about the safety of me and my family. It was very unsettling to learn that one of the dead was a BU grad student. (I, too, am a BU grad student.) I found myself wondering about the other BU grad students I know. Were they safe? The news that one of the people killed was a little kid left me feeling shattered. Even though I was many miles away, and my family and I were safe, it all just felt so horribly close and personal.


The view from Storrow Drive at dusk, from 2010.

That week, I remember reflecting on my fondness for the city, and spent probably too much time hunting for photos I’d taken there. (Naturally, I have hundreds of photos of Boston, if not thousands.) I am not a Boston native, but I have lived outside Boston for over 18 years. I spend a lot of time in the city. It feels like home.

Today I got caught up in memories, reading stories and articles of the many lives that were so deeply affected by the bombings. I was distracted and contemplative, and managed to get a time mixed up for something I’d committed to, which made me very cranky and off-kilter.

The day ended up rainy and stormy, which actually quite fit my melancholy mood. And probably also the cranky moods of so many faced with the frustrations of tax day.


Under my umbrella this afternoon, waiting to get the kids off the school bus.

fall, falling, fallen

Here are a few photos I took this afternoon in Boston.


Bay State Road in its full fall glory.


A group of students standing among the fallen leaves while a fire alarm went off in their building.


A BU brownstone residence, wearing fashionable fall colors.


A sculpture I’ve never noticed before. (It was on a route I don’t typically walk.)

I had this goal of finding photos each month taken on the same date in a previous year, but my available November 3rd photos of years past fell short of my expectations. (The only 2 I really liked are ones I already posted, and that’s not as much fun.) So instead I am sharing some largely unplanned photos from today. Now I need to get to work lest I fall behind on my work goals.

a parking space with a view (friday foto finder: rooftop)

One of our favorite places to go in the Boston area is the Boston Museum of Science. We started getting a membership a few years back, which has resulted in more frequent visits to the museum. The museum has a parking garage, something important to consider when driving into Boston. The lower levels are typically a bit cramped, as parking garages tend to be, and empty spaces are few and tight. But the rooftop level usually has plenty of empty spaces, and a gorgeous view, to boot.


July, 2012


January, 2012. (This one you may recognize as the purple from my 6 unrelated photos post.)


September, 2012


July, 2012

We went to the Museum of Science again this weekend, and headed up to the rooftop to park, as usual. There were some others up there, too, apparently also enjoying the view.


August, 2013

These guys were remarkable patient with me as I got out my camera.

This week’s (fine, last week’s) friday foto challenge was to share photos on the theme of rooftop. I may have more interesting and exotic rooftops in my photo library, but this is one rooftop that turns up in my photos again and again.

To see others rooftops, and see what theme is up next, pay a visit to the fff blog. Won’t you play along, too?

I am weary

The past few weeks have knocked the wind out of me. I hardly know where to begin, there is so much to say. The biggest news, at least for my family, was that John’s father died. It was not unexpected. It was not fast. It was also not easy.

Just over 2 weeks ago, we got the call that John’s father was not expected to survive the night. As you might imagine, there was much travel, and rearranging of plans. John was able to travel to New York to be with his parents for his father’s last few days. I stayed home with the kids. Things were complicated by Theo having a fever one day, then getting pink eye the next, which meant missed school for him, missed work time for me, and more trauma than I would have expected dealing with the medication. (This was Theo’s first sick visit to the doctor, which itself was remarkable.) Phoebe managed to pick up her first case of poison ivy, a bad one, including welts on her face around both eyes. This led to a doctor’s trip and missed school for her, too. Then there was the funeral. Phoebe ended up missing a whole week of school. This week is her school vacation. And did I mention the stomach bug that hit Phoebe Sunday night?

These were the weeks that I was supposed to be working intensively to make a last push to try to finish my degree. Time is limited before my subject pool, the BU undergrads, is taken away by finals and the end of the term. I have now lost 2 full weeks of work time. The only day that was not taken up by sick kids or travel or memorial services and time with extended family was one that I spent shopping for something to wear to the funeral.

My days are eaten up. My energy is eaten up. My motivation and momentum for my research have all but left the building. I have been trying to push through, in the windows of time that open up here and there.

But next comes a terrorist attack in Boston, and the wind is knocked out of me again. I was not there, but I am shocked and grieving. 3 dead and over 170 injured in a blast at Copley Square, a place I know well. The news that one of the dead was a child of 8 hit hard. The news that another was a BU grad student hit hard again. The realization that my friends and family from far away might be worried about my family hit me again. We could have been there.

I am steady in times of crisis. Strong and reliable, I keep pushing through. I know that I have to keep going until the crisis time is over. But I am strained and drained. I am edgy and touchy. I am slipping.

This is not the worst crisis I can imagine. This is not even the worst crisis I or my family have lived through. I remind myself every day how lucky I am to have John and my children here with me, safe and (largely) healthy. My mother and my sister and her family are safe and well. I have financial stability, a home, and wonderful friends. I am very, very lucky. But I admit that I am tired, and I just wish I could have a few days to catch my breath. At this point, I’d settle for one.

departure

My mother left today after an all-too-short week-long visit. Phoebe, Theo and I saw her off to the airport in Boston. There is a really cool wall of multi-angled mirrors in Terminal C of Logan Airport. Here are the 3 of us, on our way back to the parking garage after my mother headed through security.