A Travellerspoint blog

June 2010

Crabcakes and THE BEACH

We didn't have anything planned for today, so Owen randomly decided to pick up a Zip car and drive to the ocean.

I packed up all my stuff while he went to get it. I waited and waited out on the porch looking for my friend to come and get me in what I thought would be a tiny fuel-efficient toyota or something.

I almost decide to go back inside, when up pulls this giant burgundy square thing. It's Owen in a Scion. Today we are surfers I guess.

"It was all they had left," Owen says almost apologetically.

I wrote down some places where you can get the best crab cakes in Annapolis and it was "Annapolis Seafood" just a regular seafood market where normal people go. You pick your crab cake from under the glass, and they fry it for you and box it up right there. Amazing.

Then we went to some sort of park, I can't remember the name. But there was no swimming, so we ate our crab cakes and left.

Owen wouldn't park the car in any gated communities so we had to go find the public beach.

I saw on the map some green spots, so we drove there. We walked through some forest and came to a cute little point. But that became boring quickly. Some people were fishing there so we watched them for a while.

We went for a drive over that giant bridge to the other side of the bay, I think it's called the Chesapeake bridge. There was an insane-o line to get onto it and by the time we got on it, Owen admitted he was terrified of driving off of the edge. But it was your idea! Weirdo!

As soon as we got off the bridge, he pulled over and we took a break at the nearest restaurant to recover from the "horrifying" experience.

Heehee. Ohhhhhhhh Owen.

Soon it was time to go back to the airport, but we stopped at the ocean first for a quick dip. The water was soooooooo warm and wondrous

I didn't have a bathing suit so I just improvised with what I had. That was alright. Then, I ccaught my plane and made it back to Ottawa with no alarms and no surprises. Sigh. I drove back to Shawville without any incidents either. I picked up my car and STILL did not see Sylvain. I met his very nice roommates for the first time, however.

Me vs. crab cake

Me vs. crab cake


A fisherman with fish

A fisherman with fish


Bridge

Bridge


The bridge Owen was afraid of

The bridge Owen was afraid of


Me vs. the beach

Me vs. the beach

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Latinofest, mang

Todayyyyyyyy we walked in the staggering heat to the little strip mall to buy groceries and browse the Goodwill. American Goodwills are always awesome. Owen found the martini shaker he always wanted, and also a rice cooker. I picked up a sweet ipod case to go running with. You know the kind that straps to your arm. Right that.

Back at Owen's I concocted a rice salad (in the rice cooker) and some kidney bean curry while Owen fried up some softshell crabs. Not the best, I must say, but interesting to try once in your life.

"Oh how domestic" was the witty comment of the day, courtesy of Mr. Byrne.

Later on, there was Latinofest happening on the other side of the ghetto. Owen was afraid to walk there, but I think that he was glad he did after we got there.

A crazy latin band played music and everyone was dancing. It was awesome. We walked around until they were done and then took the bus back. We had to run to catch it woooooooo! That's how we ran to the bus, "Wooooooo!" and the bus driver waited for us. That's a hot travel tip for you. Don't be afraid to look like a retard when you are flagging down a bus.

Crabs with curry and rice salad

Crabs with curry and rice salad


Cross St. Market

Cross St. Market


Cross St. Market

Cross St. Market


The mall

The mall


The Goodwill

The Goodwill


Latinofest

Latinofest


Lots of spanish things

Lots of spanish things


Spanish band

Spanish band


People dancing

People dancing


Latinofest

Latinofest


Banged up truck

Banged up truck

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Two kinds of art

Owen went to work at some stupid hour, like 6 a.m. maybe???

I stayed in bed until 11 or so, when he decided to call and see how I was doing. Ohhhhh you know, I'm busy ... snoozing... Maybe I should get up and explore. I post my number on Couchsurfing in case anyone is up for a visit to the gallery. Turns out this dude Dave is. He calls me when I'm halfway done the first peoples' section of the gallery.

We go up to see the European art and marvel at a giant mosaic from Syria. There is also an incredible sculpture of a dead woman holding flowers.

Dave is a healthcare lawyer and a very serious person. He did not want to see the modern art. Snob!

We have a little rest in the sculpture garden, I even saw a real Oriole. But it looked like a robin to me...

Dave drives me over to Hampden(sp?) It's a place where the guy who made Pink Flamingos came from. Everything is gentrifying now, but it used to be an "edgy white trash hipster" place, says Dave.

Next we go for a beer at Brewer's Art and it's almost time for Owen to get off of work. So I text him and he says he has a groupon for this place, so I should just stay there.

Dave bought me a beer, so I offered to buy the second round. Oh look at that, his drink is twice the price of my draught. Not judging, but really? Whatever.

Later, I invite Dave to come have dinner with us but, even after a lengthy conversation about annoying "couple dates" and how he should not feel insulted because his couple friends didn't invite him to their couple barbecue, he still declines.

Hey Dave, maybe they aren't inviting you because you keep declining their invitations???

Anyway, I try and get Owen to get off the bus early and meet me down the street so that I could go for a walk, no dice. Owen is done taking orders for the day, he texts back. Well. Fine. So I go for a walk anyway. He shows up later at the restaurant, even after my walk, I still beat him there.

Then I have some deliciouso gnocchi and we catch the free tourist bus back home.

I think we also watched Waking Life, but I think I fell asleep in the middle of it.

Baltimore Museum of Art

Baltimore Museum of Art


Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden


Sculpture Garden

Sculpture Garden


Chandelier at Brewer's Art

Chandelier at Brewer's Art


Me at Brewer's Art

Me at Brewer's Art

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

The longest day in the world

I woke up bright and early on Friday morning at 4:15 a.m. I didn't even see Sylvain once, weird eh?! So, I left my car at his place and headed off to the airport on the bus, past the bums at the Salvation Army and the Shepherds of Good Hope. Why are they always up? Maybe if they did less crack, they'd be able to sleep better. Just a thought, I'm not judging. I saw a woman flipping out on a bench and her friends were just standing around like it was nothing. A couple of times, I admit flinching as I walked by a couple of men with crazy eyes who looked like they were trying to stare me down.

Anyway, the bus came soon and I got to the airport, breezed through security, not even a pat down this time. The lady even commented me on my choice of hair product. I think it was because I was standing behind an Asian guy. You never know what they might do, those crazy Japanese...

My tenant Melissa was there waiting for her plane to NYC with her girlfriends. I thought that was funny.

I slept for a little bit on the plane, but it was freaking freezing with the air conditioning. Turn it down Air Canada! This is the first time I've flown with them in a while and you really do get better service, I mean it.

I got off the plane in Washington at 9 a.m. It was easy finding my way to the Mall, since there is a big giant subway map and a big giant subway station that says THE MALL on it. Ha.

The festival I wanted to go to, Smithsonian Folklife, hadn't started yet, so I wandered around down to the Washington monument. People were lining up for something so I figured I might as well too. Lucky me, I got some of the last few tickets to the top. (That I would fit my schedule anyway).

It was already insanely hot and I never brought a water bottle for some unknown reason, but there were drinking taps all around so, I wasn't worried. I was more worried about my poor sunburned arms. I brought the maximum limit of sunscreen (100 ml) on the plane, and put probably half of it on.

So I walked and walked and walked. White House over there, I had my Jennyyyyyyy moment at the reflecting pools, saw Mr. Abe over there in his big chair, read some names at the Vietnam memorial and walked side by side with some cement soldiers at the Korean War memorial.

Soon, it was time to go back to Folklife. I watched a lady make soba noodles from scratch while I chowed down on sweet potatoes and lentils, made from scratch, by me.

The awesomest thing about this festival is tha they supplied ice cold water from giant tubs for anyone to drink. So I was all over that all day long. I went to go listen to some Indian sitar music, and promptly passed out, laying down over four chairs. Honestly, I don't care what I looked like I was freaking tired and that music was otherworldly. Sorry there's no video...

Next came loud and annoying Japanese dancers you know the ones with the fans. My brain was going to explode, so I left to sit under the trees and listen to some Mexican music. Which was lovely once again.

They said that if I went to go buy something in the shop, I'd get a free CD. Turns out that was a lie, but I got an awesome tiger mask from Haiti for $10.

When I got home, I noticed the cashier secretly stuck in one of the CDs when his boss wasn't looking. I must've looked really disappointed.

Then, it was time for my tour of the Washington monument. It was SUPER windy but refreshing on such a retardedly hot day. Later on, Owen told me there were heat advisories.

The coolest thing about the Washington monument is that there are intricately carved stones on the INSIDE because people used to walk up the stairs to the top of it. Now, we take the elevator and we have to slow down to see it.

After that, I made the trek to the other side of the mall, to see the capitol building. I didn't go in, but I did get yelled at by a cop. I started crossing the street at the traffic light like a normal person when he stuck out his hand and made me stop.

"What are you doing?"

"Our jobs, ma'am!"

"Uh... OK."

And then he let me through.

I asked a lady cop what she was doing there.

Silence.

"Is there someone special in the car?"

"A foreign dignitary"

"Oh yeah? Who would that be?"

Silence.

"You can't tell me?"

Silence.

"You could just say you're not allowed to say..."

I saw a neatly coiffed blonde lady get into the towncar and speed off with the rest of the motorcade, and that was it.

Whatever.

Soon it was time to find Owen at Komi, so I made my way to the subway. I got lost many times, but still managed only to be 15 minutes late.

The subway was also broken when I got there, adding to my lateness.

Anyway, Owen was waiting for me all clean and shaved and in a dry, fresh looking white shirt. I was immediately jealous.

I showed up with my backpack, sweaty hair and dirty clothes, ready to die. The ice water waiting for me on the table was the most delicious thing in the world.

I quickly got changed in the washroom and did my hair as best as I could. But there was no way I could match the upper middle class people who frequent this place. No matter, we were here for the amazing food and wine, not for a fashion show right?

Thirteen courses and five wines later, I think we were satiated. We had everything from small bites of sushi, brioche, tapas and at the end was a "make your own donair" sort of plate. Owen was impressed until I called it that.

I was impressed until I saw the main dish was a freaking donair...

Anyway, we just missed the MARC train back, so we took the Amtrack. They gave us sandwiches and put us in business class because the train was late. Then we went back to Baltimore, hurrah.

Me on the Metro

Me on the Metro


War memorial

War memorial


Me and war memorial

Me and war memorial


Lincoln monument

Lincoln monument


Me and reflecting pools

Me and reflecting pools


Washington monument

Washington monument


Vietnam memorial

Vietnam memorial


Mr. Lincoln

Mr. Lincoln


pools

pools


reflecting pools

reflecting pools


Korean War memorial

Korean War memorial


How to make soba noodles

How to make soba noodles


Making the soba

Making the soba


Indian music

Indian music


Indian music

Indian music


Japanese dancers

Japanese dancers


Mexican music

Mexican music


The roof

The roof


More Mexicans

More Mexicans


Mexican music

Mexican music


Violins

Violins


Mexicans

Mexicans


Mexicans

Mexicans


People on Segways, I don't care, they look dumb

People on Segways, I don't care, they look dumb


Washington monument

Washington monument


White House

White House


Reflecting pools

Reflecting pools


Capitol

Capitol


Festival

Festival


Capitol

Capitol


The motorcade

The motorcade


Greenhouse

Greenhouse


Garden

Garden


Owen and me at Komi with lollipop

Owen and me at Komi with lollipop


Me vs. beer before train

Me vs. beer before train


Me vs. Amtrak

Me vs. Amtrak

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in USA Comments (0)

It's way too hot for Iggy Pop

Sooooooo I was totally pumped for NXNE this year, the schedule was pretty awesome. The last few years, I had seen lots of people bar hopping on those little razor scooters with the rollerblade wheels, so this year, I vowed to use mine.

I brought it along, took it on the bus until I got to Yonge and Eglinton and then started pushing my merry way along.

Ding!

What did I just hear? Oh great, the washer fell off. Awesome. The scooter starts to collapse upon itself and slowly come to a halt while I'm blissfully gliding down the sidewalk, scraping its underbelly on the hard cement. Simultaneously, the heavens open up and I'm starting to get really wet. OMG what else could go wrong?

I'll tell you what, a little later.

I decide to walk down Yonge St. until I find someone who can help me out.

I hoist the scooter up on my shoulder. A smart ass waiting for the light to turn red behind me says: "Don't you think it'd be easier just to ride the thing?"

I don't even turn around to look at him and I grumble "NO, it's broken!"

"What's wrong with it?"

"It's broken!"

And I walk a lot faster than him and get away as quick as I can, grumbling under my breath.

I begin my search for a friendly sports or hardware store. This is indeed exactly what I find.

A nice little geek-boy named Dan allen keys my scooter apart at the Trek bicycle shop and tells me he's going to NXNE too, but he's going tomorrow to see De La Soul. Oh pity, I saw them 12 years ago when they were still cool and opening for 311 on their crazy Transistor tour. Nyah.

Anyway, he manages to find a washer and replaces it for me for free.

Owen would call this the "pretty girl discount". I call it the "Louise is the coolest and impresses everyone with her musical knowledge discount".

Anywho, thanks to Dan, I make my way to Yonge and Dundas, my yearly pilgrimage to the altar of Canadian indie music. Sigh.

It is still raining a bit, so I break out the umbrella and dance around like an idiot to a bunch of fun bands. Soon, the sun comes out and here is another crappy thing. Just as I was beginning to feel really awesome and happy about overcoming the broken scooter, it gets REALLY HOT. Like so hot I don't want to move. UGH!

I go and share some shade with a lonely photographer in the Bacardi lounge area place. They are handing out free pink lemonade for a while, it was pretty nice. Compared to the reaction I got two years ago. (See NXNE 2008, when Louise gets kicked out of the Virgin Mobile lounge)

OK, so things start majorly sucking when I look down at my poor arm. I had badly burned it in the sun on the drive down yesterday, forgetting to put sunscreen on. This time, I put sunscreen on, but apparently it wasn't good enough. I am a TOTAL lobster, and in lots of pain, probably also on the edge of sunstroke. I didn't think of wearing a hat, when I left the house it was grey and rainy, I was lucky I brought the little sunscreen stick that I had.

I decide just to totally forget the whole thing, go and hang out in the park with some pink wine and chocolate covered cashews. Literally, yes, that is what I did.

I found a beautiful little sanctuary called the "Bell Trinity Square" or something to that effect, there was a labyrinth in the centre of it and people hanging out all around.

I decide I'm not going to go see Iggy Pop after all, so I ask this nice young lady if I can use her phone to text Damita to tell him not to meet me at 11 p.m. I'll be back at Craig's place by 2, I told him instead.

She and her friends turn out to be a journalism students, just graduating. So we hang out for a bit and it is nice. They are also getting hammered in the park, but I think they are a lot more drunk than I am. We end up splitting up at the concert later.

Daniel Wesley is playing a show at the Supermarket and I decide he is more important than the Mr. king of punk. I know I know, maybe it was foolish in hindsight, but whatever, as it turned out, the crowd at Iggy Pop was completely insane.

If I had not been lugging around a scooter AND an umbrella, I might have had fun. The mosh pit was insane, normally I love this stuff, but people were tripping over the scooter one after the other and everyone else was yelling at me to leave. So I dragged my crap out of there and headed off to see Mr. Wesley.

I think it was the right decision. Daniel Wesley is like, the next Sublime, I danced and I danced and there was a 5 foot radius of empty space around me probably because I was being such an idiot.

After the show, these two drunk guys buy my scooter for $5. Wow, really? Yes, please, take this cursed instrument.

Then, I hop the subway back to Craig's house and promptly pass out on the sofa. Damita calls me about a half hour later and I buzz him up.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Indian food and swearing Peanuts characters

Well, this morning I was planning on getting up early and tackling the day. I had a retainer to pick up in Ottawa, and I also had to take pictures of my new condo so that I can put it up for rent before I headed out to Toronto.

Damita was on the way to Ottawa for me, so I picked him up and then we completed all of those crazy errands with him in tow.

We went down the #7 all the way to Toronto, it's my favourite way, it reminds me of my motorcycle. The Smart Car has no cruise control so it kind of makes your leg cramp up. We switched drivers in Peterborough and then had a picnic by the road. Most of the food I brought was gross, but I had ice cream anyway, so it's not like I was starving or something.

We met my mom and dad for dinner at Bombay Palace on Jarvis St. which was pretty delicious, then we saw Lindsey's play, Dog Sees God. It was pretty hilarious and thought-provoking etc.

It was about Charlie Brown and the Peanuts after they grow up and go to high school. There are lots of swears and sexual innuendos. I heard someone crying at the end of it even, way in the back.

If you're in Toronto, I'd recommend seeing it, check out: http://www.wix.com/fbntheatre/flybynighttheatre

Lindsey is Lucy, Charlie Brown's friend who has turned into a pyromaniac and handcuffs herself for fun while she's in prison.

Then, mom wanted to try out my new car, and then we headed over to Craig's house to sleep.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Video tour of Shawville, Quebec

Here I am taking you on a tour of Shawville.

I'll be working here at The Equity as "Interim Editor" for up to six months while the real editor is on medical leave.

If anyone wants to visit, it's a beautiful place for a bike ride along the river, or just watching the stars at night.

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)