I was so delighted when I discovered that Brookline is hosting its own Winter Farmer’s Market this year. It is held at the Coolidge Corner Arcade on Sundays from 12-5 just around the corner from my house.
The market is testing with just a few select vendors, but I was so happy with the choices. Silverbrook Farm was such a great surprise with both micro beets and cranberries (photos at the bottom). And I was blown away by Clear Flour‘s awesome bread display (see below). It was like they transported their store to the arcade!
More photos posted over at flickr!
Now that I’m without a work subsidized T (subway) pass, I’ve been biking absolutely everywhere. Read: I’m a grad student and refuse to pay for a T ride in tiny Boston. This has been pretty obvious to my classmates as I show up to class, bars and other events on a bike*. The reactions have been intriguing. Some are surprised I ride to and from bars and others don’t understand why I will not ride the wrong way down a street. It has made me think a lot about bike safety and culture in Boston and professional life.
First a fun bit on safety. Helmets make my hair gross. I have to run into the bathroom once I get to school to fix my hair before class. Obviously once I start going for interviews, I’ll need to reevaluate transportation preference vs. looking professional. However a solution is currently in the works:
The technology is very impressive. I have a lot of questions regarding the safety of it, size and convenience. But it is promising to think the helmet as we know it may be changing.
I was also happy to read Jonathan Simmon’s piece in the “On Biking” column at Boston.com. Titled “How to Encourage Cyclists to Ride Safely,” Simmons approached how to make other bikers follow street laws and make the road safer for everyone from a behavioral science perspective. The ultimate recommendation was that of social sanctioning. Put crudely – people will follow by example. This is my current m.o. – I’ll sit at a red light to make a point that while it stinks to wait, I recognize that as a biker on the road in Massachusetts I need to follow traffic laws too. I’m not just showing other bikers, but also cars. I want other bikers to recognize that it’s in their own interest to stop at lights and to show cars that I’m respecting you, so you need to respect me on the road. It’s small but a start. This article makes me wonder what else I can do.
*Sometimes I end up with well done bike shop marketing in my basket like the awesome postcard above from UrbandAdventours.
It turned out pretty fantastically. I altered the pattern a bit to create the criss-cross straps in the back and had to take out a good 4 inches of the bodice to accommodate my very short torso. There are a few places that are not perfect, but I’m so happy with the final result.
As for the wedding I was wearing this too.. beyond spectacular. Tim & Kim out did themselves in not just their attention to detail and style, but also in making sure that every single person who came felt loved and happy to be there.
I was in charge of photographing the main event. It was a huge honor to be in charge of those photos, but also made me a nervous wreck! Thankfully I got a hold on my nerves and I think the pictures came out wonderfully. Thank goodness Tim’s friend Karen was also on camera duty. She managed to get all of the details of the wedding beautifully. Tim edited all the photos himself and made them even more beautiful.
Alternative title for this post: “The Day I Spent Lost in a Cemetery”
While Ian has had to start work this week, I still get to spend my days exploring Hong Kong. Since knowing I’d be visiting here, Ten Thousand Buddhas Monestary in the New Territories area of Hong Kong has been on the top of my to do list. While I knew that the site had little official signage in the village where it is located, I figured that a huge temple with thousands of gilded Buddhas couldn’t be that hard to find. After the final metro stop however I realized this was easier said than done. I followed a few what I assumed were tourists for a while and was so thankful when I ended up at an impressive looking gate and temple.
The guard didn’t seem to object my entering so my excitement grew as I approached what felt like thousands of steps to the gigantic fortress. (Side Note: I’ve found that the act first ask questions later method works well here. I’ve certainly been yelled at more than on other trips, but the photos have been worth it. However I’m still mad that the largest Muji I’ve ever been to wouldn’t let me document its splendor!) As I climbed the many many steps however I didn’t notice many Buddhas. Finally at the top I realized (due to seeing my actual objective over a hill) that I had just spent the last hour in a cemetery – walking around with what I thought were other tourists visitng their dead relatives ashes… Finally myself and two French women in the same predicament found out we had to walk all the way back down and up an entirely different set of steps to reach our ultimate goal.
It was worth the the extra trek.
The hike up was lined with life size Buddhas of every kind. In my overly heated exhausted state of mind they received amusing names: overly excited Buddha (above), high Buddha, suave Buddha, etc. I’ll post the full gamut on Flickr after I have time to edit them. The one below is a favorite.
All along the trail there were signs strongly encouraging tourists not to feed the monkeys. While some folks may have been excited by the idea of monkeys, I am not. I’ve heard and had too many horror stories of run ins with evil drink stealing monkeys in India. I was therefore so excited when upon my walk back down I realized that I had not run into a single one. Until…
It’s like the wicked witch released them! I trotted down the rest of the trail to safety – surely looking like a foolish girl afraid of monkeys.
Despite this is was a day well spent and one followed up with a much deserved bubble tea!
It’s been a long crazy few weeks since I’ve last had time to share my meanderings, but the time has been well spent. Ian has taken a new position with his company in Hong Kong! And while I’ll be staying in Boston to do my MBA, I’m here now helping him get settled in.
It is stunningly beautiful… and hot. Our relocation agent is fantastic! She took us to our first dim sum and gave us a driven tour of Hong Kong island. This experience of being taken care of and shown around is so different from our last vacation of biking around the west cost of Ireland and staying in hostels that it is comical. But we are still exploring as much as we can!
The food has been incredible. The noodles are beyond comparison and give me a sudden urge to watch Tampopo (although then I’ll just want to go to Japan.)
I’ve been itching to travel to someplace vast, epic, and greater than oneself. This sums that up.
Plans are in the works for a big trip to Hong Kong and China as Ian is moving there for work! This will be an entire new set of adventures. More on that to come.
Two of my best friends are getting married. While it may seem trivial, finding an outfit for this event seemed too daunting to be possible. He’s a graphic designer and my photography confidant, she’s my… design/biking/baking too many things to list soulmate. So instead of salivating over Anthropologie dresses, I decided to take my sewing skills to the next level and attempt a dress:
Very Easy Vogues’ V8725 Dress B
and for fabric? I searched and searched and finally came upon Spoonflower. How had I never discovered this amazing website – any print you could ever want. I first purchased four test patches. Three different colors of a pretty bike design and this: Coquita’s Cameras. It won by far. Did I mention I’m also doing the photography at the wedding? I’m going for a Miss Firzzle look I guess. (No worries I didn’t purchase really adorable camera earrings I found on Etsy.) I’m just putting the finishing touches on the dress now. You’ll have to wait for the wedding photos to see it!
So what was so important over the last few months that I neglected my duties here? Oh just getting into grad school! Hooray! It was a tough choice between schools and programs, but I’m so happy to say that I’ll be going to Boston University for the Public and Non Profit Management/MBA program. It is quite possibly the most perfect program for me – a full MBA plus a specialization in non profits and a strong international presence. What more could I ask for?
To celebrate my staying in Boston here’s a lovely time lapse video of the city:
And just for kicks a few others of places that have heavily influenced my life thus far:
Long hiatus! But I assure you it’s only because real life took over in very good ways. More on that later. For now, just when we are all getting back in shape – biking, running, climbing, frisbeeing – here’s a yummy yummy recipe for baguettes!
I’ve always dreamed of waking up and sitting down – still in my pjs – to fresh baked baguettes. The closest I’ve ever gotten was my semester in Switzerland. The daily free breakfast in our house was less than glamorous, but so perfect for me – fresh bread, hard boiled eggs and coffee, coffee, coffee!
After I got the baguette pan for Christmas, I was on the hunt for the perfect recipe. Finally I came upon Not Without Salt’s post on Baguettes from Artisan Breads Every Day by Peter Reinhart. Below is my tweaked recipe.
Makes four baguettes
Adapted from Artisan Breads Every Day, Peter Reinhart and Not Without Salt
5 1/2 cups unbleached bread flour
1 tbsp coarse kosher salt (or a little more)
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast! ( make sure it is instant, activating yeast just doesn’t work as well)
2 cups warm – hot water
Time: 20 mins to prep, 1 day to rise, 2 hours of rising on baking day, 40 minutes to bake
Day 1: Mix all ingredients in a bowl. I don’t have a stand mixer so by hand it was. Perhaps someday I will get one as a gift… maybe for my birthday… I really like this one in yellow pepper… but mixing with a wooden spoon worked just fine. The dough should become a rough ball – not too smooth. Let it rest for a few minuets and then knead until it is smooth. Time to let it rise! Put it in a bowl with room to grow and a tight covering on top (don’t want the dough to dry out – ew.) Put it in the fridge to rise.
Rising Time: These work best if you let them rise for 24 hours, but I’ve done as little as 12 and they are pretty awesome, just a little less flavorful. The longer the dough sits, the bigger the yeasty taste.
Day 2: Take out of the fridge at least 2 hours before baking. Remove as much dough as you want to make (1/4 for a baguette / dough saves for a few days.) The next section is tricky. Essentially you want to create air pockets and layers in the final bread. This is done by making the dough into a rectangle and folding it over on itself and sealing. I’ve found if the dough is too floured it’s hard to reseal. After doing this a few times (up to you, I usually do three folder overs) roll out the bread to the length of the pan (or a little longer as it will shorten as it rises.) Place the bread on the pan with any seams on the bottom and cover with a light damp cloth. Leave to rise for at least a hour and a half – I like to leave it for 2 hours.
Baking: Preheat oven to 450 F and place a roasting pan with at least 1” of water on the lower rack of the oven. Remove cloth cover from the baguettes and let them rise for another 15 minuets. Just before you put the bread into the oven score with a knife – only 1/2″. When I worked at a bakery in high school, the baker told me that this is where he put’s his signature. So feel free to get creative! I just like to do portion sizes- usually five scores so boring – but x’s might be cool!
Bake for 20 minuets – turn pan around and bake another 20 minutes until they are crusty and brown. A great way to tell if they are done is to tap on them – it should sound hollow and delicious.
Serve with peach jam or Nutella or soup.. or anything else…
I recently found a pile of books thought to be lost. Amongst them was a book of poetry by Sylvia Plath. I rediscovered my favorite poem by her and in searching for it online realized that a recording of her reading exists.
Lady, your room is lousy with flowers.
When you kick me out, that’s what I’ll remember,
Me, sitting here bored as a leopard
In your jungle of wine-bottle lamps,
Velvet pillows the color of blood pudding
And the white china flying fish from Italy.
I forget you, hearing the cut flowers
Sipping their liquids from assorted pots,
Pitchers and Coronation goblets
Like Monday drunkards. The milky berries
Bow down, a local constellation,
Toward their admirers in the tabletop:
Mobs of eyeballs looking up.
Are those petals of leaves you’ve paired with them—
Those green-striped ovals of silver tissue?
The red geraniums I know.
Friends, friends. They stink of armpits
And the involved maladies of autumn,
Musky as a lovebed the morning after.
My nostrils prickle with nostalgia.
Henna hags: cloth of your cloth.
They tow old water thick as fog.
The roses in the Toby jug
Gave up the ghost last night. High time.
Their yellow corsets were ready to split.
You snored, and I heard the petals unlatch,
Tapping and ticking like nervous fingers.
You should have junked them before they died.
Daybreak discovered the bureau lid
Littered with Chinese hands. Now I’m stared at
By chrysanthemums the size
Of Holofernes’ head, dipped in the same
Magenta as this fubsy sofa.
In the mirror their doubles back them up.
Listen: your tenant mice
Are rattling the cracker packets. Fine flour
Muffles their bird feet: they whistle for joy.
And you doze on, nose to the wall.
This mizzle fits me like a sad jacket.
How did we make it up to your attic?
You handed me gin in a glass bud vase.
We slept like stones. Lady, what am I doing
With a lung full of dust and a tongue of wood,
Knee-deep in the cold swamped by flowers?
Too long have I been sitting inside! Grad school apps are in, India program is done, holidays are over. Time to plan the next adventure. Looking for inspiration from the folks below:
John Muir Trail
All the munros in Scotland via The Creak of Boots
And to prove I’m not taking myself too seriously: Above the Sun – a climbing adventure of epic proportions… in Chicago.
(A wonderful hike up Lafayette Mt. in NH)
These videos do nothing to quell my wanderlust, but why need to? India next week and hopefully further travels this spring.
THIS and finally returning to volunteering at IINE has really turned this day around. Well done Sheldon Conch… well done.
via Door Sixteen
First Iphone tomorrow! I can’t wait to mess with Siri.
Read: Why Siri Why
Rainy days like today make me wish I were at a house overlooking the ocean. Maybe I’d spy a few of these guys.
I received this awesome card from my friends Kim and Tim for my birthday. Best birthday card ever. The adorable desk organizer is from The Utility Collective
This weather is probably going to give me a cold, but all three of these would be comforting on a sick day.
While on a much needed coffee run to Petsi Pies, I was blown away by the work of Dara Durost. Pesti Pies has a fantastic eye for local talent. Look at her work! I have such an affinity for photography of daily life. These have a fascinating stalker like quality to them, but I believe they are all self portraits? The series is online here: Seeing You Seeing Me.
Life has been a constant stream of meetings, calls to India and contract negotiations for the past few months. It is hard to take a time-out when work is so busy. I’m so happy to live in a place where art finds you even when you are not looking.
These cards posted by Adventure Cycling are genius. I often wish I had sticky notes with me to stick on lovely bikes (partially to find out how that did that or where they got a part…) But if I stopped to take a photo of and do a post on every beautiful bike I saw in Boston, there would be no room for anything else. That’s why I love so many bike blogs who post on lovely bikes! Especially these:
Chic Cyclist – Boston based and very witty. I love when I spy a bike she’s posted around town.
Lovely Bicycle – This site… damn. It has everything on anything you’d want to know about bicycles and the photos are fantastic. Also Boston based. I’ve used her site again and again to answer questions about my mixte.
Last weekend of studying. Then I think it’s high time for an adventure…
Have an adventure filled weekend.
There’s not much information on the bike itself. It is from a Taiwan company that is now out of business, but their slogan was awesome: Bring home the Beacon!
An ongoing project, I’ll give a step by step guide to my bike restoration as it happens.