Saturday, January 8, 2011

Boston, Day Three: 1.1.11

Boston, Day Three

Our third day started poorly: I realized I'd lost my beloved, hand-knit Qunicy hat in the previous day's festivities. (A call and subsequent email to Club Passim yielded no results.) Soon after we started walking, but too far to turn back to the hotel, I realized my camera battery was near death, which meant no photographs. (I made due with my cell phone camera which is a poor substitute.) George was hungry, but no place we passed was acceptable to him. Finally, we ended up at the Faneuil Hill Marketplace, which was way too crowded on a Saturday which also happened to be a holiday. Reading between the lines, you may understand that I was a little grumpy and that George as getting on my nerves.

From the Faneuil Hill Marketplace, we had a short walk to the New England Aquarium, though I took a detour to photograph the Custom House since it was the subject of a blog post over at The Postman Loves Me. Originally, I'd wanted to to the Boston Harborwalk tour since I'd downloaded the audio files prior to our trip, but with only one iPod, it didn't work very well, and I abandoned the effort once we got to the aquarium. (Not that George would want to listen; he is very anti-tour, anti-structure.)

turtle The New England Aquarium seems to be a very responsible and conscientious organization dedicated to the animals and their habitats. (As a side note, they are also recognized for their efforts to promote diversity in their employee and volunteer selection practices.) Of course, I have mixed feelings about zoos and aquariums, which you can read more about in this post. I also was very enraged when some idiot saw a lobster and said something about the creature being tonight's dinner. We saw a woman crying being consoled by her boyfriend, and I imagined all the reasons she could be so upset. Although many scenarios are possible, I imagined she was crying for all the fish, birds, and ocean creatures who were living a life in captivity. At the same time, despite my intellectual reservations about animals in zoos and aquariums, I can't help but experience joy at seeing the animals healthy and safe. In fact, my reactions were much like the reactions of the five- and six- year old girls who were also visiting the aquarium that day.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Not Vegan!

Not Vegan!
Products that have omega-3 are usually not vegan, since the primary source of omega-3 is fish oil. This is true of Tropicana's "Healthy Heart with Omega-3" orange juice.

George was selecting juice for us and put this in the cart until I intervened. Most people would probably assume that juice is vegan, but this isn't even vegetarian!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Boston, Day Two: New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve

Our second day (first full day) in Boston was very busy! Before we left, I purchased a Boston CityPass for each of us, which included admission to the Prudential Skywalk Observatory, the New England Aquarium, the Science Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Natural History Museum or the JFK Library. We used four of the five tickets, so it was a fairly good deal, though I'm not sure we would have done the Prudential Skywalk if it hadn't been in the package. In any case, since we had tickets, we thought we'd use them, and it seemed a good way to begin the day. Our walk to the Prudential took us by Copley Square, and the Boston Public Library had an exhibit of vintage Boston-related postcards. Seeing those was fun! Actually, that was more fun than the Skywalk. The audio tour device I was given didn't work, and when I got a replacement, that didn't work, either. I gave up on it. Hearing about the buildings and areas we were viewing probably would have made the attraction more fulfilling.

Ready for NYEVendors around Copley Square and Boston Common were setting up for the evening's First Night festivities. Many children already had hats and noise-makers purchased from the stalls. I coveted both, but George wouldn't let me purchase anything from the vendors. Look how fun and colorful and tempting the wares were!

Next up for us was Cambridge. We visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which was mostly disturbing to me, though I did love the glass flowers exhibit as well as the mineral room. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology is adjacent to HMNH, so we went there as well. I enjoyed this much more, as it had many current pieces of Native American art as well as older artifacts, including some Choctaw.

We had some time to visit the Harvard Coop Bookstore, but the Harvard Bookstore was closed when we went by. It was about 5:30 by this time. The Ellis Paul New Year's Eve concert at Club Passim didn't begin until 10:00, so we circled Harvard Square again and again and again. Finally, we stopped at a bar and had a few drinks - as well as delicious french fries - while we waited for the show.

Ellis Paul's annual New Year's Eve concert was the reason I planned a trip to Boston in the middle of winter! I've always wanted to go to one, and it did not disappoint. Ellis' band included Don ConosentiRadoslav Lorkovic, and Glen ?. In addition to performing Ellis Paul standards, the group performed a set of covers: Walking After Midnight/Change (Patsy Cline/Sam Baker), Take on Me (A-Ha), Footloose (Kenny Loggins), and I Want You to Want Me (Cheap Trick). Ellis said, "We intended to do these as a parodies, but it's clear [from the audience reaction] that we are rockin' out these songs." At midnight, we all got a glass of champagne, and Ellis sang Auld Lang Syne.

Ellis Paul NYE Show - Club PassimBesides having the band, the NYE show was different from other Ellis Paul shows because there were fewer song introductions. One reason may be that most of us in the audience are die-hard fans and have seen Ellis Paul perform multiple times; another might be the time constraints.

My high expectations from almost ten years of wanting to attend Ellis Paul's New Year's Eve show were met. The banter among the band members was funny, the songs were amazing, the energy level high, and the crowd respectful (except for one heckler, who may have been a plant). The only thing I personally didn't like was that Snow in Austin was the final song of the show - it's not one of my favorites, perhaps because it mentions dead armadillos - but I also would have rather left having heard a higher energy song. I am already wanting to attend the 2011 show; I'm guessing tickets will go on sale in October, so you can join us at Club Passim for New Year's Eve, too!

1.1.11, 1:05 a.m.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Boston, Day One

We spent most of the first day of our trip driving to Boston. Once we arrived, we were hungry and found a nearby vegan restaurant, My Thai Vegan, in Chinatown. I recommend the chocolate cake, which was so delicious, I ate it before I could take a photo!

gate to chinatown

my thai vegan cafe

my dinner

george's dinner

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011 Book Challenge

Lauren's post "TBR Challenge 2011" introduced me to the "to be read" challenge sponsored by the Book Addicts! group on Goodreads. (My book montage on the blog's sidebar comes from Goodreads.) For the challenge, members choose twelve books and two alternates to read during 2011. These must be books published before 2010, in other words, books that have been on the to-read list for quite some time. I decided to join, and I picked the following books:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

Because they are mysteries, the books I'm choosing as alternates are:

Hopefully, I will be more successful reading in 2011 than I was in 2010 - I didn't even finish 25 books last year!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kiwi's Blogger Follower Swap #3

I am participating in another blog swap facilitated by swap-bot and hosted by "kiwivandal." While I usually use swap-bot for postcard exchanges, sometimes I do blog swaps, too. It's fun to see new and different ideas! My partners' blogs are:
For my partners who are here because of the swap, welcome - or feel free to visit my vintage postcard blog, The Postman Loves Me.
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