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I can’t believe that I’ve had three summers in Boston and I never went to the free Wednesday evening Hatch Shell concerts until a week before my departure.  One of the most striking scenes when I first moved to the city two years ago was from above the Charles River as I zoomed by on the Red Line over the Longfellow Bridge.  From there, I can see the Esplanade, the brick houses on Beacon Hill, the Prudential Tower, the iconic CITGO sign, and the sails billowing across the water.  I always felt that this spot right here was really the heart of the city, the center of the hubbub.  Probably because I pass by this everyday on my commute to work.  This picture doesn’t do it justice.

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I figured that the Shell would be packed with people, so I didn’t even bother trying to bring lawn chairs or a blanket.  I was right.  Everyone was out to enjoy the cooler evening air and Mozart played by the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.  The only open space left on the lawn was way in the back on the ground that was littered with cigarette butts.  It’s much nicer just to stand by the sides or wander closer to the river where you can still hear the wonderful music while watching the windsurfers fall off their boards.

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Water is hard to capture on film.  It looks almost like an enormous piece of blue, undulating satin with ripples ripening into other ripples.  We sat at the edge of the pier and dipped our feet in.  Juan likes to tell me stories about the water quality back in the days when the Charles was majorly polluted.  Nowadays, with an EPA grade of B+, we can fall into the water without worrying whether we’d need a shot.

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If I had known there were public lawn chairs on the pier, I would’ve came here everyday just to enjoy the sunset.  Even though I’m excited to be moving to San Francisco, it’s times like these that make me wish that I could’ve stayed in Boston for longer.  Two years is long enough to fall in love with a city, but not enough to exhaust all its possibilities.  Boston is the place where I held my first job and learned to be truly independent; it will always be special to me.  Maybe someday I’ll be able to live here again.


In high school, my English teacher had us freewrite for half an hour in our journals.  What came out was basically disjointed thoughts and rambling sentences, all mashed up together in a stream of consciousness with disregard for grammar and penmanship.  The idea was not to censor your ideas.  Strangely, it was really difficult for me to do that.  You’d think that an assignment with no-rules-anything-goes basis would be easy, but it’s not.  The lack of rules and direction is actually stressful.

Do you ever have flying dreams?  For most people they’re fun, soaring through the sky over epic landscapes.  Well, I get them too, except in my dreams I have to work to stay afloat.  I’m talking about actually having to pedal my legs or struggling to get airborne with a running start; otherwise, I plummet to my death.  I remember one dream where I had to manually wind up the propeller on a beanie to make it run, only to have it lose tension mid-flight.  There are also plenty of dreams where I am running away from evil-doers with a broomstick between my legs, struggling to get enough momentum to fly away.

Well, I don’t want to read too much into dreams, but my friend says they obviously show how I have trouble relaxing at something that should be freeing.  Maybe he’s right.  I mean, it’s been two years since college graduation and I still get nightmares about taking final exams.

I’d like to think that I’m a generally chill person, but I think I have a lot to learn when it comes to kicking back and enjoying myself.  Even something as simple as getting out of the house.  Without work these days, my plans are so unstructured.  While it’s nice to have time to enjoy the city, more often than not, I find myself sitting at home and making excuses for not going out.  It’s too hot; I don’t want to wait for the bus; I can go tomorrow, really.  Well, it’s high time that I give myself a kick in the butt and just do it.

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I’m not a morning person, but the best thing about waking up early is breakfast.  And the time to enjoy breakfast.  One day, I woke up three hours before I had to get to lab and just went to C3 cafe for coffee and a bagel.  Sitting in the empty cafe and watching the people outside cram into the T station, I felt wonderful that, just for once, I don’t have to be apart of that morning rush.  For once, I don’t need to not have work be the first thing on my mind.  Sometimes, it’s what keeps you sane.

I love waking up late on a Saturday morning and spending time in the kitchen.  Last week, we bought some rhubarb because neither of us had ever heard of it before.  Originally, I had wanted to make a strawberry rhubarb pie, but muffins would only take 15 minutes to whip up and make a perfect breakfast companion.  The other half of the batch were used to make drinks.  My favorite–mojitos.  The fresh taste of mint and the clinking of ice cubes is perfect for backyard lounging.

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This is my favorite picture of the morning.

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We mixed our drinks into milk jugs and poured them into glass jars.  Drink mixing is a sloppy business.

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I love the cheerfully red strawberry and rhubarb sauce; the left  The muffins were a little iffy to begin with since I had to use strawberry flavored yogurt instead of plain; but they didn’t turn out too sweet at all.  Maybe a little on the soft side because I added a little more rhubarb than the original recipe called for (they secrete liquid).  Definitely best eaten on the same day.