Sunday, July 26, 2009

Window Sill tomatoes

I learned growing up that placing green tomatoes on a window sill will induce reddening. So far it's work for me here in my north-facing kitchen window. The story is that I have twice discovered my tomato plants knocked over, the last time a few days ago this meant a few green tomatoes fell off their bushes. Oh, and check out the two red tomatoes I picked yesterday.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I saw Tall Ships

I saw the Tall Ships this past weekend. So, they were tall, and surrounded by lots of people, many of whom were standing in amazingly-long lines to board each one. I passed on the lines, just viewed from dry land. They were fun to see, interesting to read what was posted. I got the sense they were not exactly historic, but rather modern ships made in the tradition of tall sailing ships--not sure why, but they're pretty I say. This was part of a big to-do put on by Sail Boston, so if anything it was a beautiful day, a great event, and something fun/different to see in the harbor.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Urban Garden Update

Back in April I dared to plant, in containers, several of the following plants: 4 tomato plants, 6 pepper plants, 1 strawberry plant, 1 mint, 1 peppermint, and what has become a constant failure: basil. Basil hates me.

Despite the fact that Boston has been channeling Seattle (without the coffee or angst), my dainty plants have survived and have produced produce. I am pleased to present snappy pics from my own urban garden, beginning with my this season's 1st Local Spice Urban Garden tomato:

I suppose this stair is officially a 2nd means of egress, but it makes for a great place for my tomato plants to get sunlight. I don't have a south-facing location, so I've had to learn to play with angles and work the east/west light. So far my efforts have paid off, so far.

This is a red beefsteak plant. I thought it was going to die at first, and then I though it was dead, but no, it was really alive, and then it grew to over 5 feet tall, so far.

Mint! Yay! Mojitos! Anyone recommendations for what to do with the peppermint plant?

Peppers, specifically sweet green peppers, gypsy peppers, and red bell peppers. They're all taking their sweet time, but I have had some success so far. I had to pull them back onto my porch as they became popular with pesky slugs, etc..

Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July spent in Montreal

Boston, I love you, I do, but you bore the hell out of me. I can only take so many consecutive months of the stoic New England Puritan act before my liver and sanity say "son, get the hell out of town!"

So now that the weather has turned for the better and summertime is here, I packed my extended-weekend bag and headed north to the fair Ville de Montreal to enjoy the good times always had there. Apart from the food and booze-induced good times, the city is celebrating it's 30th Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, which turns out to be a largely free to event. So it was great to walk around the city and listen to some great music, too. Here are some snappy pics and captions:

The Farine Five Roses sign welcoming this weary traveler to the city. Let's say Montreal has the Farine sign, and Boston has the CITGO sign.

I rented a bicycle for a few hours using the city's new bike share service Bixi. This system rocks! There are bike racks throughout the city, pretty simple even for an idiot to use. Despite the obvious ease and enjoyment of this system, here's a note for the tourist like myself: the service puts a temporary change on either your credit or debit card of (at least for me) $214.00. I assume to make sure one will return the bike. This did not stop my bank from temporarily deducting this cash from my account, and charging me a fee because I didn't have that in my checking account at the time. Ugh. Here is someone else's pic (I stole it) of a Bixi bike rack and bikes:

That said, it was great to ride through the city, across the river the biosphere, around the parks, and I took this snappy pics of Habitat 67:

In true local spice foodie fashion, I got my poutine-eating on in true Montreal style:

A trip to Montreal is not complete without seeing the sights on Rue Sainte-Catherine. I went to a drag show at Mado, where the emcees where dressed appropriately for the USA's 4th of July (accompanied with commentary on the USA, :-0). So the show was great, def. something to see/experience when in town. See below:

So that's the touristy synopsis of my Montreal weekend. I"ll spare you the other gritty details. NOTE: If you're ever in Montreal, go ahead and do these things, but be sure to check out the museums, the library (great music collection, btw), and stroll around town. My favorite neighborhood is The Plateau, it's what every neighborhood in America wishes it could be.