Thursday, March 31, 2011

Old State House (Boston MA, March 2011)

Quincy Market (Boston MA, March 2011)

A historical building named after a mayor who order its construction. It's Boston's first public market.

Large food court inside!

Faneuil Hall -- Portrait of Peter Faneuil (Boston MA, March 2011)

Faneuil Hall -- Portrait of George Washington (Boston MA, March 2011)

Faneuil Hall Interiors

Faneuil Hall (Boston MA, March 2011)

"The Cradel of Liberty"

Note: Boston's Old Town Trolley Tours

I would highly recommend anyone to take the Old Town Trolley Tours that takes you to all the interesting sights around Boston if you are there for the first time. It's a hop-on/hop-off ride and the tickets (the ones we got) was for two days; it's an excellent and efficient means of moving from one place of interest to another, as well as to find out what there is to see.

I didn't take any pictures on this ride because I just wanted to just enjoy it, listen to the driver/guide, look at the sights as he talked about them. The oral commentary was so good, it seemed rude to be jumping from window to window trying to snap pics as the vehicle is moving.(Not to mention safety issues.)

Reflecting, on this trip, I didn't go around snapping photos of every single new thing that came along. I used to do that -- hang out of windows of moving vehicles, walk here and there trying to get the right angle. I guess this time I just wanted to be there. It just seemed more important to be in the moment than to bother over getting the right angle and snapping nice photos so I can look at them later.

Time flies when you are having fun. So it's important to keep remembering to savor the "now", while you're in it.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Boston Waterboat Arena, Boston MA (March 2011)

Walked around here with NEG after a Trolley tour of the city. The Old Town Trolley Tours took us around the city, passing by popular historical and cultural sites, so we could decide what we wanted to see more of later.

The boats here have people living in them, so they are all covered up and heated during this cold season.

Boston MA (March 2011) -- Pics in the city

I'm really awful at taking pics in a city.

I like the city of Boston -- I like how there's old and new structures together. It's not a very large or overwhelming city, it's still bigger than Singapore's central area.

1. Skyline of Boston from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Centre.

4. This kettle above a StarBucks actually does constantly spout steam.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Medford MA, Medford Square (March 2011)

Walked around and looked around on my own on a nice Sunday morning. This is pretty much the town center, with rows of shops, eateries and even a small cemetery.

There are a very few people around but it's not completely deserted. It's so nice and quiet.

Not much greenery since it's still the tail tip end of winter.

Medford MA (March 2011) - Photos taken on a morning walk

I like all their houses and church buildings - they have age and character. Not typical, not rubber-stamped.

Medford MA (10 March 2011) View from Hotel Room

So here I was in Medford, which is a just outside of Boston. I stayed at Hyatt Place Hotel which is a nice little hotel along I93 highway leading into Boston, in the town of Medford.

When I checked it, we found out that somehow they had booked me for two rooms (even though I only payed for a single.) The staff was so frustrated with the system when she tried to fix it that she ended up giving me a double room on the 8th floor. It was almost a suite -- two beds, a big HD TV, and a sitting area. Both NEG and I were amazed.

Not a bad hotel. People are friendly and nice but they seem to give information in half amounts. Like how they neglected to tell me I need to call to get the shuttle to come fetch me from the train station, and that the shuttle to the airport was for air crew only. No big deal -- I think I might want to stay there again when I return.

Monday, March 28, 2011

PAX East, Boston 11-13 March 2011 (II)

1. Child of Eden (Ubisoft) stage demo -- an intense and beautiful shooter for the Kinect.

2. Plants vs Zombies :D

3. Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO promo.

4. Guy in an octopus suit having a go with Dance game on the Kinect.

5. Little Sister from Bioshock accompanied by a masked guy in a sharp suit (I can't recall which game I've seen this character from right now.)

6. Freeplay Stage for Rock Band

7. Guy in Plants vs Zombies cone hat delighted to have try at the upcoming 3DS (yes it's out since 27 March). NEG and I were lucky to have been able to play the demos on the first day in the morning. After that, there was a very long queue to get to those 3DS demo units until the end of event. Zelda and Nintendogs were particularly impressive, and we became very excited about the release of the 3DS after that. Steel Diver, Pilot Wings and a couple of others were also available to try.

PAX East, Boston 11-13 March 2011

This trip took about 6 months of planning but it was worth it. I got to meet a forum friend (NEG), attended PAXeast with her and then toured around Boston after that.

PAXeast was awesome. It was crowded and happening but generally it was a very nice and seemingly friendly crowd. No one was shoving around and didn't see any ugly behavior. Devs were eager to show us their new and upcoming games and we got to try quite a few of the ones coming to Xbox Live, Nintendo 3DS and iPhone/iPad. (Sony is almost non-present, only showing SOCOM4 at their booth.)

NEG and I had a great time at PAXeast, looking at the exhibits, trying out games and watching other people play. I picked up a lot of pins and t-shirts and a black PAXeast hoodie that turned out to be the main piece of clothing to save my hide from the cold. (Nothing I had brought with me properly prepared me for the cold. Much as I think I can resist cold pretty well, I would not have done well being dressed inappropriately.)