Monday, August 12, 2013

far east movement, continued

happy times at Quincy Market!


I love the Irving House, with its carpeted stairs, the Bengali cook (with a pretty vermillion streak), and stacks of novels (free for the taking!). It was a hop and a skip away from Harvard's Memorial Hall, where we ambitious young ones convened for an information session. Mira Nair, speaking to us from the opening video, encouraged all applicants: "You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain." ~

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! This was the soundtrack to our week of college-touring. 

We located a natural foods shop called Life Alive, where dishes were dubbed "The Lover", "The Sufi Poet", or "Coconut Alive". The inside was crawling with green things, as was each plate. The food was inspiring - it left you radiant rather than indolent. Many people cringe at such hempy and nutritional-yeasty offerings, but the community of Cambridge was all for it! 
mushy nosh: "The Lover"
Smoothies in hand, Mom and I continued down Massachusetts Avenue. We strolled for over five miles. We intended to take a bus eventually, but we kept resetting our finish line. Stops at Berklee, NEC, and the Mary Baker Eddy library (APUSH applied, again!) filled out our afternoon. I meandered through New England Conservatory on my own, because my mom befriended the security guard in the lobby. I got lost in dark stairwell - all the exits were locked! - and found my way out again, led by the sound of a cello.
the Charles is the bluest river I've seen!
Stumbled upon the Borromeo String Quartet rehearsing in a closet-sized corner room


Mom and I spent so much time losing our way that we missed our rental car appointment. After a slightly harried, unforeseen trip to the airport to pick up another car (a lime-green shoebox), we began the journey to Williamstown, located in Massachusetts's farthest corner. We smuggled the free walnut cake from Irving House to sustain us, and thus began our most wearisome expedition yet - maneuvering the Mass. turnpike for three lightless hours. 
late-night arrival. Happy to see pillows
The roads were straight, but foreign. The highway was surrounded by scenic sights, I could tell, but night doused them in shadow (especially the lakes, which felt like abysses on both sides). Williamstown is situated at the end of the Mohawk Trail, a skinny road that twists past the Berkshires. Together we navigated, our glances never straying from the windshield. Our eyes were exhausted by the evening's travel, and our legs panged from the afternoon's. How happily we settled into our beds at the House on Main Street; thanking God for replenishing our patience, and anticipating the morning.
The House on Main Street
 The beauty of Williamstown is best conveyed by showing:
state-of-the-art facilities at Williams College, nestled in a village
nature's lace doilies
The image that lingers in my mind: Williamstown is a girl in a pristine lace frock, gamboling through a meadow. There's a whole spectrum of green on display, from jasper-hued mountains framing the town, to tea-colored grass blanketing each hill. Then, the white: the glowing early morning, the color of each carefully restored house, and the bowl of butter at breakfast.

We collected new acquaintances: a Virginia couple celebrating their 45th anniversary; a schoolteacher with very large eyes; a theatrical innkeeper-chef; a widow with a connection to California... My favorite guest was a 95-year-old man, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. The exchange of words gathered momentum as we fed ourselves eggs, grits, and Brazilian beans. Testy to begin, friends at fin.
conducting no one at Tanglewood :)

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