I’m doing what I planned to do here: hang out with friends, chill, catch up on non-science reading, and see one of my favorites cities (by that I mean greater Boston). Yesterday I took a long walk with my oldest friends Tim and Betsy (10,800 steps; Betsy had a pedometer on her iPhone)—from Lechmere to the North End. On the way I took this photo of the light playing on the waters of Boston Harbor.
Purple irises (my favorite flower) were blooming along the roadside:
If you live in Boston, you’ll know that there’s a Saturday produce market at the Haymarket downtown. When I was a poor grad student, I used to come here at the end of the day, when the produce mongers would try to unload their remaining fruit and veg at rock-bottom prices:
Peppers that remind me, like they did Edward Weston, of nude bodies.
It’s cherry season already:
On Friday I took my pals to an upscale Oaxacan place, the Olé Mexican Grill. I’d never been there, and it was terrific. For the first course we had margaritas, cider, and a huge stone crock of freshly made guacamole with warm tortilla chips (the latter continually replenished). I ate so much guac that I couldn’t finish my main course. And I was so busy nomming it that I didn’t think of taking the obligatory picture till the stuff was almost gone:
My friend Betsy’s course: four fish tacos with different salsas:
Tim’s course: duck en mole:
My course: chile rellenos filled with sauteed spinach, cheese, raisins, and pine nuts, served with a generous portion of fried plantains and a pyramid of rice. It was terrific (I took one pepper home with me). I recommend this restaurant highly if you’re in Cambridge/Somerville. It isn’t really cheap, but it’s well worth it. And don’t forget to get the guacamole.
The Olé has the advantage of being only one block from Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, where we repaired for dessert. Betsy had Chocolate Mocha Explosion, Tim the chocolate/banana (it tasted like a banana split), and I had my perennial favorite, burnt sugar (foreground). I won’t rest until every reader who goes to Boston visits Christina’s and tries this flavor—the world’s best.
Today is Betsy’s birthday, so last night a group of us, including her and Tim’s two daughters and their boyfriends, went to a Spanish tapas place in Brookline, Taberna de Hiro. Great food, good wine at reasonable prices, and a good Spanish cider (I’m currently on a cider kick). Here’s one of the dishes I eshewed: anchovies and olives. I cannot abide the malodorous anchovy (and yes, I know that Spanish anchovies are different).
Postprandial table talk; left to right: Betsy, Tim, Vinicius, Rebecca, and Jeanie.