Monday, July 26, 2010

Three Downtowns

A side street down near the port.
Centre ville, Trois-Rivières.

Outside metro Atwater, Montréal.

Boston Financial District

Am back from a 10-day trip to the States. 

The top photo was taken one evening before my departure; the middle one, while waiting to connect with the rideshare to Boston; the bottom one, on the way to South Station for the bus back to Canada.
Three different cities, all close to my heart. From the familiar old wooden three-deckers in Massachusetts to the equally familiar brick facades with the winding metal staircases of T-R and Montréal, memories and nowness collide.

My daughter's computer crashed and died mid-week so the blog took a little hiatus. We did get to Mystic Lake one hot and humid afternoon (along with about 200 other people on the little sandy beach and surrounding woods). The water was brown, the bottom muddy and an occasional weed would wrap around your leg if you swam into certain areas. I remember it being cleaner, clearer and far more swimmable in the past. This, and other local beaches there are sometimes closed during especially hot days now because of a too-high bacteria count.  We lucked out, though, that this particular day was not one of them.

The highlight of the trip was, of course, being with the l'il bubs again--and, a stop at Trader Joe's. This is a discount grocery store where you can find the most amazing food products at extremely low prices. (I noted that the maple syrup imported from Quebec was half the price we pay for it here where it's actually produced.)   I came back with blue agave, Mesquite honey, Mexican vanilla, ghee and Dr. Bronner's Hemp Tea-Tree Pure Castile soap; and from the little Tibetan shop: prayer flags for outside the house and meditation incense. Oh and three books, the perfect traveling companions, reading 210 pages of one of them en route through Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.

One afternoon we went, all six of us, to see the animated "Despicable Me" in 3D.  There's a scene in the movie where the characters ride down a roller coaster.  It was so realistic I had to put my head down, because I suddenly got dizzy. The kids loved the film. Worth seeing, with or without the 3D.

Anyway, it's good to be back. The compelling pull of one's accustomed routine ... or something like that.  The cherry tomatoes and chard have tripled in my absence, bugs have attacked and eaten into the kale, the basil thinks it's a tree, the lettuce are screaming to be picked and the raspberries have finally arrived. Several items in the fridge have escaped my mate's notice and quietly expired or turned moldy, and Lida the window plant was gasping for water.  But all's well. When I left, we were in the throes of a heat wave. Now the mornings and evenings are chilly, almost like Fall.  Refreshing ...

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