Friday, September 3, 2010

Seen (and Heard) Around Town

Yesterday I heard the distant sound of bongos as I crossed Commonwealth Avenue. Coming closer, I found a whole impromptu band of college students, spilling off a park bench and onto the ground, with guitars, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica, and percussion. They were quite good, improvising tunes that fell somewhere between bluegrass and Cajun, with a strong bongo beat.

It was another hot, miserably humid day, but they didn't seem to notice.

Today, heading into the Public Garden I passed a pair of newlyweds and their happy photographer. There was a bevy of bridesmaids in purple halter dresses, too. I'm not sure why the bride on the left kept hitching up her skirt but, hey, it's her day.

The swan boats were closed today. This confused me; the hurricane wasn't supposed to blow in until late afternoon and even so, it's not like we get whitecaps on the Lagoon. But an MDC policemen pointed out that the swans are actually missing from the boats.

"Took them almost all day yesterday to pry them off," he said.  "A big job, as you can imagine." This was supposed to prevent strong winds from catching them and knocking them to pieces.

The Public Garden is sporting some late-season flowers are big as your face. I don't know what these are, but they look like hibiscus on steroids:

If I were to pluck one and stick it on top of your head, it would be large enough to shade your face. And everyone would coo about how you look like an Edwardian flower fairy. Lucky for you that picking flowers in the Public Garden automatically gets one fed to the swans.

I was pleased to see that some things never change in the North End. I hadn't been there in awhile:

But there she was: a nice old Italian lady in a sweater, hanging out her window, nodding at passersby and watching the big traffic jam on her street. They still exist. As do the traffic jams.

I had some wonderful-as-usual pizza at Galleria Umberto, but I was too busy to take a photo.

Finally, I took a long walk by the waterfront, thinking it would be cooler and less humid. Not. But I saw all the yachts and sailboats up from Cape and the islands, all battened down and hoping for a safer harbor up here.

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