Lots of progress while we were off in Buffalo. Now the walls are framed and the size of the structure is more apparent, especially the height off the ground. Notice the ladder needed to get up onto the floor and the branches hanging right down inside that will require trimming. And of course, you'll see the inspector on the job measuring to be certain everything is going right.
What a great weekend we spent in Buffalo. If only it had been 100 years ago we could have actually attended the Pan American Exposition. Instead we saw a number of fascinating exhibits, particularly one by the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society housed in a building on Forest Avenue. The artifacts remaining from the exhibits and buildings of the Exposition are quite amazing, including an original lamp post with between fifty and a hundred individual bulbs on the top, some movie footage of the opening parade from the Edison Motion Picture Company, and the smallest building in the fair. Most of the Exposition buildings were only temporary but this tiny gate house was purchased by a local family after the fair closed. It stayed on their property through a number of owners and uses (playhouse, garden house, etc.) and, after ninety-five years, was restored and donated to the Historical Society by the current owners. We also spent lots of time enjoying the garden and relaxing on the backyard deck, amused by Bob's garden hose battles with a very persistent squirrel who was trying to sneak off with pears from the tree next to the door. We sat out late into the evening, warmed by the neon glow of whipped cream. The only reason Peter and Bob were dressed up in their photo was because we were on the way to Rue Franklin for dinner. On Sunday we went walking along the lake front, happy we weren't in the bridge traffic coming back from Fort Erie. Trudy posed in the park across the canal from this abandoned building. I liked its' graffiti covering, complimenting the walls painted to spur on west side rowers in their races. As happens so often with Buffalo/Boston flights, our return plane was cancelled, and an otherwise relaxing extra evening ended with great excitement when the house alarm was accidentally set off. Yes, the police really do respond.
While we were in Paris, our apartment was just a block from Maison Kayser, touted by Gourmet as having the best baguette in Paris. And just last week our local donut shop here in Charlestown, one block from the house, was designated Simply the Best, in the recent Boston Magazine Best of Boston issue. How fortunate we are to have such prime locations for prime baked goods. Pictures of the two shops show their crucial difference. In Paris you walk to the boulangerie and line up to get inside. In Charlestown you drive and double-park on Bunker Hill Street while you run inside. But in both places you get the same sort of simply delicious, just yummy result. When I'm thinking maybe I won't bother with my next workout, I just imagine going without a Lori Ann's sugar raised doughnut, or passing up a Baguette Monge or Paline, not to mention the rhubarb tart, and I'm right out the door.
Hot, hot weather and then some heavy rain may have slowed things down a bit but the roof is on. Roofing materials and skylights have been delivered and the shower stall has been ordered so next week should see lots of activity. All building inspectors were happy with the work, including those visiting from upstate New York. It's going to be a grand space.
Not to worry - you have reached the right place. It's just a new look for the same old heyjud, thanks to some Photoshop exploration when my original picture of the Bunker Hill Monument just looked a little too blue sky and patriotic. That prompted further exploration of the new template selections and of course, the need to make something of my own. So what do you think of the new look?
Oops, looks like I've got to do some work on the archives but these changes are enough for now.
Lest my yesterday's remarks be interpreted as unpatriotic or uninterested in our country's history, examine this photo showing Navy crew replacing a sail on the USS Constitution in the Charlestown Navy Yard. I walk or drive by the Constitution every day but rarely see anyone up in the rigging. When I did I was without camera, so I rushed home and back, lucky to catch them still working. All the tourists around me continued to take photos of each other in front of Old Ironsides, missing the unique view above. If you look closely at the upper left corner of the photo, you'll notice the historically incorrect crane helping out the sailors. Imagine replacing a sail during battle back in 1812. My daily walk around the Navy Yard never fails to make me think a bit about history.
Last night we headed back down to Braintree to check progress on the addition. New skylight and windows are in, roof shingles are about done and tree trimming is complete. The first shot of the house shows how much more light there will be with the lower branches of the maple and all but the very topmost branches of the walnut gone. The walnut itself is staying though, on the advice of the treeman, who says there are all too few walnuts left. Besides showing the new construction, the second shot shows the canopy of the maple, still shading the house but from much higher up. The new Anderson sliding door will provide quite elegant access to the yet-to-be-built back deck. The final photo in the Frazier Forest, shows the inspectors/gardeners chairs, standing vacant now that Nancy and Dale are returning to upstate New York, hopefully to get a little rest after their 'vacation'.
Another trip to Braintree on Saturday shows the house wrapped with Tyvek in preparation for siding, a view up into the canopy of the maple and walnut trees, and the garden all cleaned up and looking great. And of course, it's always nice to get an onsite update from next door neighbor, Bill Frazier.
No more mornings driving Peter to work, at least for awhile. Closing of the City Square ramp to 93 has made a walk or T-ride more sensible than merging into traffic to cross the Charlestown Bridge. Even later when I walk across for coffee there's lots going on, for example, my favorite Passats being delivered to some lucky new owner somewhere. If you order a VW, at least in the Eastern half of the US, chances are good that your vehicle will come in to the Moran Terminal at the end of Chelsea Street in Charlestown. And if I see it on the delivery van when I'm crossing the bridge, hopefully I'll still be on foot, and not stuck behind it in traffic, cursing.
Lots of progress since we were last in Braintree. All the siding is on along with the roof trim. Inside everything is now framed, with an opening left to get the shower stall in, and the wiring is all done. A couple of the same old shots verify changes on the outside while the two inside views give an idea of what it will feel like to sit and look out the windows.
I finally made it up to Vermont on pizza night to see what all the excitement was about. The best 'Pizza on Earth' happens every Tuesday and Thursday in the pizza hut at Jay and Marcia's Bingham Brook Farm, where they also have a farm stand for their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) customers. When you drive in it's crowded and finding a parking place took all my Boston skills. The scene inside the separate small pizza hut is busy, busy with Jay keeping track of orders and everything in a high-tech way, perhaps a bit unexpected for Vermont. Most people get their pizzas to go but some apparently just can't wait , and simply walk out and settle down next to the fields to enjoy them. Being family has its perks though, and we got both of the night's special pizzas delivered right to the kitchen table.
Of course my Vermont visit didn't end with pizza night. The next day I spent some time with my two nephews, Remy and Jordan, building outdoor structures to mimic the virtual structures of computer games they play. All the time they talked about the buildings in game terms, assigning resources and then upgrading them with more imaginary types of warriors for fighting and defense.
The final evening of my Vermont visit, Marcia and Jay hosted a fabulous garden dinner party. Preparations began early on Saturday, with Jay working on the almost addictive salsa verde he served with the salmon (request the recipe from him at email@example.com), and Marcia getting ready to arrange table centerpieces of sunflowers and red peppers. When I say early I mean it. Notice the fresh bread stacked up on the table, already baked by Jay at the start of the day.
Grand plans included carrying the oak table from the dining room outside, and stringing lights and lanterns so the party could last into the evening. Once the party started , there was the usual pre-game warmup for a closely-contested match of boule . And serious boule it was, though all disputes were resolved in a friendly manner despite appearances. Not everyone got involved in the game, though towards the end of the match, the table area had been vacated, just waiting for dining to begin. And once we were sitting around the table, instead of feeling like it was outdoors, it felt almost like being in a private room, with light above but darkness all around. Good thing we strung up that second set of lights.