Nev’s New England Trip 2010 | Part 2

Posted: August 2, 2010 in New England Trip 2010

Day 5: An hour and a half long drive to Yale today (the tradition is to visit nearby colleges wherever we are on the road so that when I go collegehunting I don’t have to worry about exterior aesthetics). Yale has a nice looking campus, but not my favorite: it doesn’t stand out, unlike Harvard’s traditional buildings swirled with modern flair, MIT’s conceptual architecture, or RISD’s lively streets regularly trampled on by parades of students holding drawing boards and sticks of graphite. Nevertheless, it was lively and bustling; my most vivid memory was a street lined with stands owned by local students. Most of them were selling either Thai or Mexican food, but there was some Indian, American, and Vietamese sprinkled within. One pro of opening a food stand on the street? The free advertising: when you start cooking, the rich aroma of the spicy food can instantly claim streetgoers that were intent on reaching their destination without stopping. And once you get a line of people waiting, the bystanders are automatically attracted: “That food must be good; let’s check it out!”

Afterwards, I walked to the hall where musicians at Yale performed. It was empty, except for several students hauling a plastic wheelbarrow of dinner rolls up some stairs. Follow them, and you enter the cafeteria, in which only the students are allowed to enter. It’s a vast hallway with large silver carts lined up on either side with salads, soups, and sandwiches.

I also went to the library, one of those huge archives in which they check your bags before you leave. There was a garden in the center that was a perfect example of the sanctuaries storybooks describe: empty, sunny, lush, and filled with birdsong. The plants are not tidily kept, but overgrown — in a good way. There’s nothing bad about being surrounded by softly scented flowers.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that people travel here as a “tourist” site (though I suppose it’s what we did), and I found it amusing to see a Chinese-speaking student giving a tour to a group of Chinese people. I don’t know if the tours are free or not (if you could just pull a student over?), but it definitely proves that knowing another language or two could mean the ka-CHING! of the cash register.

Day 6: Went to Narraganssett, Rhode Island: the beach again! It was during the early evening, since I had spent most of the day dozing off in bed and reading books. Took many photos of seagulls for sketching studies and basically let it top off my lowkey day by sitting on the sand and letting myself be hypnotized by the waves.

Day 7: Return to Boston! We quickly stopped by at Quincy for lunch at China Pearl, the best place for Dim Sum out of Chinatown, and I absolutely adore Dim Sum. I could live on xia jiao for years, or as the plain English translation on the menu tells me, shrimp dumplings. It might sound as simple as its name, but it’s really delicious, thanks to the wrapping: a thin, sticky layer made from rice.

85762410, Adrianna Tan /Flickr 

After stopping by our friend’s house, Doubletree Suites was sort of a surprise to us. With the same price as the considerably cramped Hampton in [remote] North Smithfield, Rhode Island, it practically had three rooms: a bedroom, a spacious bathroom, and a living room (with a sofa that could be pulled out into a mattress). I’m not stopping to advertise, but a shout-out to anyone visiting Boston, or nearby Concord, Waltham, or Newton.

 

Day 8: The day that we left Boston — but not so fast. The flight would be at 7 PM, so we had the whole of morning, noon, and early afternoon to enjoy ourselves. We drove to the Minuteman National Historic Park and walked on the Battleroad Trail, where the first shots of freedom were fired. It was fun, listening to the park ranger be our entertaining American history textbook  as we stood on the bridge where 95 redcoats had fled from the 400 opposing them. At the store, I bought a ballpoint pen in the guise of a white feather quill and off we went.

Despite whatever my mom and I said, my dad insisted on visiting the Samuel Adams beer factory. We had heard that it was a popular site…but we hadn’t guessed how popular. The place was packed, and people were crowded together, waiting for tours hours away. Unfortunately, my dad couldn’t go on one because it would be far past departing time for our plane. Still, we got to see a chart of the general process and glance at the waist-high trophies the company had won.

We skipped dinner, planning to have it on the drive back home from the airport. But I have some good, self-explanatory advice on this last note of today’s post:

Don’t watch Food Network when you’re hungry.

nevermoraven

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