Assorted Cambridge Occurrences

I visited Cambridge (MA) from Saturday, October 24, through Monday, November 3. The leaves were changing, yet the weather was still warm enough that some days I could wear short sleeve shirts (at least the first two days after I arrived). A beautiful time of year.

Twice I went running along the Charles; once was inadvertently at sunset. Leaves, water, and light, oh my. Too bad I don't run with a camera.

On Tuesday morning, I thought about revising this statement ("a beautiful time of year") after getting turned around walking home after breakfast and ending up spending 40 minutes walking in a rainshower. Though not entirely unpleasant, it meant Cambridge probably didn't merit the praise I bestowed on it in the first paragraph.

That afternoon, however, I decided not to return to this post-in-progress to correct my initial impression. Perhaps because I'd just emerged from a shower, but while walking to campus, the sun was out, a cool wind blew, and the world felt clean, as if it had just emerged from the wash cycle and was now in the dry cycle.

I'd learn only later that I got a cold from wandering around in the rain. And then the weather in Cambridge turned cold as well. :(

Funnily, as I recovered from my 48-hour cold, the weather started getting warmer, cleaner, and nicer again.

One later evening, Di Yin and I ventured to Porter Square for some Cambodian food. We took the subway on the way back and noticed sculpted metal gloves, posed in various shapes and sizes, next to the escalator. They were fascinating to examine. I wish I had my camera--I don't think the pictures the sculptor provides (link above) do them justice (and I think I could've taken better pictures).

Later that evening, we had dessert accompanied by some leftover wine from a Harvard alumni event. I mention this because it was a very good quality red--I usually don't like reds--called Chateau Saint Maurice - Les Parcellaires from the Rhone region.

Over the course of the week, I stopped by two farmers markets. (I wanted to see markets in this area, and I knew when I returned to Cambridge around December that they'd all be closed.) The Harvard one was small and is not worth describing in any detail. I was in the mood to try cooking something new, so I bought a turnip (actually a variety grown only in this region).

The Harvard Square (well, Charles Square) one was larger. I liked it. It had a decent selection, including a wide variety of apples (not surprising given the location and time of year) and more unusual items such as beets, parsnips, and kohlrabi. There were also lots of gourds, squashes, and decorated vegetables, as appropriate for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Some produce vendors were no-spray. I also appreciated that some local shops such as Hi-Rise Bakery and Christina's ice cream were present at the market; from Hi-Rise, I bought a decent banana bread muffin. To accompany the muffin, I got some allen-something apple cider from a produce vendor. It was okay, not as thick as I prefer.

And those were the highlights from my week in Cambridge. Not much, I know. I was building up energy for my trip to Barcelona.

Interesting Articles: April-June 2008

* Real Noticias (WNYC's On The Media via NPR). Spanish-language news in the United States has more substance than English news. The Washington Post article, Switch to EspaƱol, that inspired this radio segment has a more detailed comparison of the differences between English and Spanish news broadcasts.
* Space Odyssey (WNYC's On The Media via NPR). A thoughtful, analytical piece about how our consumption of media has changed and how it connects to interpersonal relationships and society. It begins by focusing on the Japanese phenomenon of "immersion pods" and expands from there.

* Travels and Tribulations (WNYC's On The Media via NPR). An interview with the author of what sounds like an interesting new book, Do Travel Writers Go to Hell? The latter web site provides links to many reviews.

* Navigating Food Labels (NPR). Although I've read countless articles describing, commenting on, and criticizing the FDA's stance on various organic/natural/whatever food labels, I found this summary very concrete. It's likely to be handy as a reference.