Middle Eastern food?

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:51 pm[personal profile] cos posting in [community profile] davis_square
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We were in Davis Square a couple of evenings ago when someone said they wanted Middle Eastern food. Other than Amsterdam Falafel, I couldn't think of anywhere right there. I know Sabur in Teele Sq, which is kind of Middle Eastern (and pretty fancy). Googling around didn't turn up anything else in Davis Square, though I found a Lebanese place on Mass Ave nearby which I don't remember trying. Anyone know of any Middle Eastern food in Davis Square, or others a short walk away that you like?

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Jul. 20th, 2017 02:14 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
We made it safely home yesterday, to be welcomed by oppressive and (to me at least) debilitating heat. Of course I'm also tired because of a short night last night, so I can't blame all of my tiredness on the heat. Our flight wasn't until 1 pm (and didn't actually take off until 2 pm) so we didn't arrive in DC until about 9:30 pm. The flight was uneventful apart from the guy in the aisle seat next to me, who kept his elbow fairly aggressively on the arm rest for much of the flight and also glared at us when we got up to go to the bathroom. (If you're sitting in the aisle seat you can expect to have people asking to get past you to go to the bathroom. I like aisle seats and I consider having to stand up to let people out to be part of the cost of doing business. One of the reasons I like aisle seats is because I tend to need to go to the bathroom more than many younger people.) I think he was also annoyed that I moved into the empty seat beside him so I could sit with S (where he had already put his computer before I moved), but as he did not tell us he had booked and paid for that seat, I had as much right to it as he did. (Because we didn't book at the same time S and I had window seats one in front of the other, but although the middle seat beside S wasn't available when I booked it was empty on the flight so I was able to move into it.)

After we landed there was a long delay while we waited for our checked bag to come through. I'm puzzled as to why it took so long as there weren't that many people waiting for bags (because so many people just take huge carry on bags?), but eventually it arrived. Not being fans of paying to do laundry (because it's free at home) we both took enough clothes with us to get through two weeks without wearing dirty clothes for too long. Therefore when we packed to come home, the bottom half of our shared suitcase was stuffed full of dirty clothes, including underwear. When we opened the bag there was a little note from TSA on top of the dirty clothes saying our bag had been randomly chosen for inspection. I hope they enjoyed looking through all our dirty laundry.

As we didn't get home until about 11:30 pm it was of course dark and I couldn't see the state of the yard. However, this morning I discovered that the protective black mesh around a couple of my fledgling trees had been either dislodged or in one case completely removed, I suppose blown off during a thunderstorm, and the leaves of the little trees had been fairly thoroughly eaten. I think there are enough leaves left that the trees will be fine, and today I've done repairs to discourage any further browsing by deer, but I was very sad to see what had happened.
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
Anyone else getting constant flyovers most days and (more annoying) 2-4 large, low, LOUD flyovers between 10:45 pm and midnight every night?

City of Somerville advises you to call Massport and also 311 to report your complaint: http://www.somervillema.gov/departments/programs/reporting-airplane-noise

Massport politely took my complaint and promised me a written report.  311 said "people should totally call us about issues, no one ever calls us!", politely took my complaint, and said that various elected officials (including Rosetti, Capuano and some third person I'm forgetting, possibly the mayor) have been trying to get this mitigated, but not necessarily to much effect.

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Jul. 18th, 2017 01:25 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
Yesterday was another day when I was extremely tired, which was unfortunate as we ended up having to babysit William all day. We had expected to have a quieter day at our motel with some meal prep over at the apartment in the afternoon, with the daughter and son in law back at work and William in daycare, but daughter rang us at about 7:30 am to say William was running a slight temperature and it would be better if he didn't go to daycare, so would we be able to spend the day with him? So we arrived over here at 9 am to take over.

William was clingy with his father when he tried to leave for work, but settled down after a few minutes and then seemed fine all day, although a bit quieter and less active than usual. During his nap he woke up crying a couple of times (as he had the day before as well) but went back to sleep fairly easily. When he woke up for the final time he was perfectly happy.

We thought he might be back at daycare today, but no, he had had a slightly unsettled night and was still running a temperature during the night, so he is home with us again today. However, his temperature was down this morning and he was barely clingy at all when his father left for work. We took him out to walk around the apartment complex and then to a small nearby park, and he was very active and happy, much improved over yesterday. I didn't go out with them yesterday but S said he was happy to sit quietly on her knee at the park for much of their time there yesterday whereas today he was investigating everything and climbing on everything climable. His day was made when a woman walking a couple of dogs came into the park. William absolutely loves dogs! And these were quite docile and strokable, although when they moved towards William he got a bit nervous (which is a good thing). Yesterday when S put him down for his nap he cried briefly before falling asleep, but today there was no crying, just sleep.

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Jul. 16th, 2017 07:54 pm[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
I was exhausted yesterday after our two busy days, but yesterday was also quite busy. In the morning we came over to daughter's at about 8:30 am because we were going berry picking at a nearby pick your own place. It was pretty hot at the farm with not much shade, but after I'd picked a couple of punnets I retired to the shade of the small tent over a minimal picnic area at the check in to watch the passing parade while everyone else kept picking for a while.

While William had his nap his parents went out for lunch and a movie, leaving us in charge for the afternoon. William slept for about three hours after his exciting morning. When he woke up we fed and entertained him for a while. After a while he went outside onto the balcony where his pool floater thing is kept and dragged it inside and over to the front door, obviously telling us he wanted to go to the pool. Luckily S had brought her bathers, so she and William got ready to swim and we all went out to the pool. However, when we tried to put William into the float he clung on to S, so she just held him in her arms for the whole time we were there.

I was so tired during the afternoon that I had a real struggle to stay awake while William was sleeping, but I perked up a bit later in the afternoon. Last night I slept very soundly in spite of being briefly woken up by people talking very loudly outside our room at around 2:30 am and again at 4:30 am, and although it's just as brutally hot today (close to 100F both days) I feel somewhat more energetic than yesterday.

This morning we got ourselves together and went for a walk at 6 am as breakfast isn't until 7 am on weekends. It was pleasantly cool when we set out but by the time we got back around 7 we could feel that it was starting to warm up. After breakfast we lazed around in our room for a while as we didn't have definite plans with the family. They had talked about taking us to San Francisco zoo, but as we had been berry picking yesterday I think they decided today should be quieter. We eventually set out to catch the bus over to their place about 9 am, but we didn't get there until after 10 as the bus we thought we were going to catch completely failed to arrive. Luckily the buses run every 20 minutes even on Sundays, so we didn't have to wait too horribly long.

We didn't do anything much apart from play with William before lunch. While he was napping after lunch his mother went out grocery shopping while we babysat the sleeping toddler, then when she came back she decided we should all go to a nearby shopping centre to get William a haircut and spend some time going in and out of air conditioned shops (as their apartment isn't airconditioned). William hated the haircutting experience (clippers are scary to a 15 month old) but he recovered with some icecream afterwards.

I've been used to enclosed shopping malls for so long that I really dislike the trend of demolishing them and putting in "town centre" style shopping areas instead. Going in and out of airconditioned shops sounds all very well, but the shops don't usually turn out to be very cool what with people going in and out all the time, you have to go out into the heat to go between shops, and unless the parking is shaded by trees your car is most likely out in the hot sun while you're there. (Ours was today.) So really our expedition today wasn't exactly cooling, although it was a diversion from being in the apartment.

Just as we walked in the door at 5:30 pm my daughter Skyped me from Perth. Unfortunately we and she both had noisy babies on hand so it was hard to hear each other, but it's always good to see River (and my daughter) on Skype. River is now starting to stand, and is a very mobile crawler. It's fun to see William and River notice each other on Skype. (This is the second time she's called while we've been at the apartment.)

Now we're back in our airconditioned room. Actually returning to our room at the end of the day is always an adventure because we never know what temperature it's going to be. We try to set the a/c to run at a moderate temperature while we're gone, but every day when we come back it's at a different temperature. One day it was 23C (75F) and another day it was only 15C (60F), while other days it's been around either 17C or 19C. It's obviously an old system and doesn't have a thermostat - we have to set it by turning dials - but my alarm clock has a thermometer so we always know what the temperature is.

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Jul. 15th, 2017 06:18 am[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
We've had a couple of fairly full days, with another coming up. On Thursday we set off not long after 7:30 am to walk all the way over to daughter's place, about 9.8 km/6 miles. We'd walked almost half the distance several times, but always needed to come back to the motel because the car was here and we had to take groceries to daughter's later in the day. On Thursday we didn't have the car as that was the day daughter drove over to Oakland to take her exam, so it was the perfect day to walk the whole way. Much of the route was along a very pleasant shared path, and the final third of the route was through the Stanford campus, also very pleasant. We arrived at about 9:45 am.

S was on a mission to find a good icecream place and had discovered a place called Creamistry not too far away in the Palo Alto shopping area (also tourist area). It wasn't open until midday, so we had an earlyish lunch (we'd had breakfast at 6 at the motel so eating lunch early wasn't hard), then left about 11:45 to walk to the icecream shop. By this time it was pretty warm so we were glad that at least some of the walk was through partly shaded areas. Creamistry serves icecream made by the liquid nitrogen method, so it's extra smooth and creamy. Last year when we were here in March for William's birth we had discovered this type of icecream in a shop beside Wholefoods and were hoping to go back there this time, but they aren't there any more so we were happy to find another source.

We sat in the front of the shop savouring our icecream very slowly while watching the passing parade (lots of geeky looking types), then wandered further up through the main shopping area before walking back to daughter's apartment to while away the afternoon and do food prep until the family came home. Daughter seemed reasonably happy with her exam efforts but will have to wait four weeks for her results.

Yesterday we went into San Francisco to meet up with S's two cousins (brother and sister) who live in Oakland. We caught a Caltrain train to 4th & King St station and they picked us up outside and proceeded to give us an extensive guided tour to several places I had been wanting to see. First we stopped off at a place called Rainbow Grocery which is a large organic grocery store, then we drove through the Haight Ashbury area (along Haight St), the Castro, and past Golden Gate Park and the Panhandle, then around past a house a few blocks from Golden Gate Park where one of the cousins used to live, with a stop at a Chinese shop to buy some coconut tarts recommended by one of the cousins. (They were very good.)

We went to the ocean to have lunch, then drove back with a loop through the museum area of Golden Gate Park and over to the Golden Gate Bridge through the Presidio. It was quite foggy at the beach, but we passed through some clear sunny areas between Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge. However, the bridge itself was shrouded in heavy mist so we could barely see it. One of the cousins had told us about micro climates in San Francisco, and yesterday we saw them first hand. Apparently it was around 90F here yesterday, while at the beach and at Golden Gate Bridge it was about 65F and in the parts of the city where it wasn't foggy it was maybe 75F.

While we were admiring what we could see of the bridge we saw some whales surfacing under the bridge. Apparently they come up to the bridge, turn around there, and return to the ocean. There was also a seal moving around close to where we were standing.

By this time it was late in the afternoon, so the cousins drove us via Lombard St and Fisherman's Wharf back to the Caltrain station for our trip back to the motel. We stopped off at Wholefoods for a quick dinner and arrived back here around 7:45 pm. I felt very privileged to have been given such a comprehensive tour of parts of San Francisco I hadn't seen before but had known about for years.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
I'm sensing a new civic engagement period underway--which I hope will persist. But it may be instructive to hear about previous periods of this as well.

Via Mike Connolly on twitter: https://twitter.com/MikeConnollyMA/status/885681479883395072


TL,DR + Event details: Historians, 60s activists, current activists will speak to activism in our area and in their eras. "There’s one more treat in store: In addition to panel discussions, there will be a free custom ice cream flavor from Toscanini’s made in honor of the 1960s." I have no idea what 60s ice cream is.

July 29
11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
lecture hall of the Cambridge Main Library
449 Broadway, Mid-Cambridge
Because of threatened rain tomorrow night, the Friday night part of ArtBeat, in Seven Hills Park, will instead take place Saturday night, after the regularly scheduled Saturday daytime ArtBeat events.

Full information here: http://somervilleartscouncil.org/artbeat/2017

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Jul. 13th, 2017 07:25 am[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
Yesterday, doing laundry for S's daughter, we had a very frustrating and annoying experience. The laundry requires you to use a credit card to pay; there's no cash option. S successfully paid for three loads of laundry with one of her cards, but when she went to pay for the same number of dryers, her card was declined after the first one. She tried her other card (we each have only two) and it was declined immediately. I went back to the apartment and got my cards; I successfully used one to pay for a second dryer, but it was declined when I came to the third. Luckily I was able to use my second card to pay for the third dryer, and also luckily, we didn't need to do any more laundry after that. However, we're puzzled about why this should have happened, as daughter says it's never happened to her. My first thought was that it might have been because S didn't notify her bank that she would be travelling in California, but she has been using the card all along to buy groceries with no problems and I *did* set a travel notice for my cards so why should one of mine have been declined?

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Jul. 13th, 2017 07:07 am[personal profile] maju
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
As always, we discover again that it's a small world. Yesterday evening when we were coming back to the motel on the bus, an older man (around our age) had transferred from a train to our bus to get to his hotel and was asking people for some directions/help in knowing when to get off the bus. We recognised his accent as English and asked him if he was English. I told him I was Australian and he said oh, he'd lived in Australia for five years, in Perth, back in the 1970s, and in fact, his children were born there.
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