It has been a Long Weekend of Action! (tm).
Friday, 7/4: Project Best Idea Ever 4.0.
This is maybe the most awesome thing I've done in Boston yet. Man Hall alumni, ring-led by Anthony Roldan and Andrew Coats, organized a flotilla of more than 20 inflatable rafts on the less toxic than previously! Charles River for the fireworks (which, for the uninitiated, are launched from a barge on the river between the Harvard/Mass Ave and Longfellow bridges, thus making the river itself an excellent viewing point). We assembled at Beef & Beer house in Somerville to receive our life vests and flags, MBTA'd it to the BU Bridge to pick up our rafts and head down to the BU boathouse (perhaps illegally crossing Storrow Drive in the process -- shh), where we inflated our watercraft, entered the river, and headed east. We paused at the Mass Ave bridge to wait for the stragglers to catch up and enjoy hot dogs, grilled on the water by Anthony and Coats with camping stoves jury-rigged to a canoe (!), before continuing to our anchor point at the edge of the restricted zone.
It was a beautiful evening on the water. Experiencing a sunset on the Charles is [HIGHLY RECOMMENDED] -- it set up this awesome orange glow on the water and over the MIT dome. The goings-on were sufficiently amplified that we could clearly hear the Boston Pops and the utterly inane radio announcers (who we mocked without pity). On the other hand, we could also hear Rascal Flats, so I guess it was sort of a mixed bag. The fireworks themselves were almost overwhelming in their sheer volume, both audibly and visibly. 22,000 pounds of explosives (per the Globe) puts on a hell of a show. I think the jellyfish/Pac-Man ghosts were my favorite, though the upside-down smiley faces were pretty awesome.
Afterwards, our exit was facilitated by a convenient dinghy dock at the Esplanade, where we deflated our rafts and dripped our way back to the Red Line. Somewhere on Beacon Street, a woman in the mold of a Boston Brahmin, observing our life jackets and oars and our direction of travel (away from the water), jovially asked us where the boat was -- I pointed to the folded raft my boat buddy Alorah was carrying and said "right here!" She laughed bemusedly. I grinned.
All in all, a brilliant success. I've never been prouder of our national pyromania. Beef and Beer folks deserve "mad props" for flawless execution.
Saturday was a bit less eventful, in that I woke up at 11, sat in my room all day, and posted journal articles to my tumblelog (kumokasumi_tmbl). Oops. George S. dragged me out of my apartment for dinner at Nine Tastes in Harvard Square, which was tasty.
Sunday, I headed up to Diesel in Somerville to check it out and chat with Chris Morse before he leaves town for a puzzle conference. It's probably my favorite coffeehouse yet -- large and well-lit, with ample seating (apparently it wasn't very crowded this morning) and well-executed decor. And good coffee! -- they serve Intelligentsia. How can you lose? Then I met up with spiraloflife, who also had a quiet Saturday and was in the mood for Action. We went to an Indian restaurant in JP for the lunch buffet and then hit up the Museum of Fine Arts (for free!) for the afternoon. (Colonial portraiture is kind of boring. American impressionists are more fun. Japanese art is pretty. The end!) Then, I came home, scribbled down some notes about CORe, and biked over to Harvard Square to meet up with cat_bird and her beau Simon for a showing of "Blade Runner: Final Cut" at the Brattle (awesome) followed by ice cream at Herrell's (not bad either).
Anyway, it's past my bedtime. Supposed to be warm this week -- ew. Tomorrow I get to sit at a microscope for most of the day, which at least means I can commune with my Zune without appearing antisocial. Hurrah!