Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grocery Shopping around Greater Boston

I had a moment of insight yesterday about grocery shopping around the greater Boston area--mainly Medford and Watertown, between which I spend most of my time.

My favorite grocery store over is Russo's in Watertown on Pleasant Street. Much of their produce is super fresh from New England farms. The prices are generally lower than the Stop & Shop right next door. You can even buy Chinese green leafy vegetables like snow pea tendrils and yu choy there. In the back room where they keep leafy vegetables, they have racks full of slightly older produce for a GREAT discount. It's not unusual to walk home with 2 lbs of vine ripe tomatoes for just $1 or 4 lbs of bananas for $0.59 (great for banana bread), but you would have to expect to throw out a couple in the package or just cut out bad parts with a knife.

I try to get fish once a week, and it's become so expensive almost everywhere. There are still a couple of places to get very fresh fish for a relatively low price. The Chinese supermarket chain Super88 in Malden, Allston, and South Boston all have fresh fish (you can usually look at the clarity of the eyes and tell). Some are even live and swimming in tanks (like the tilapia and eel). They also carry a larger variety that are seldom or never seen at Stop & Shop. I rarely buy meat at the Super88, but the fish is definitely fresh -- probably not fresh enough for sushi, but great for grilling.

For sushi grade fish, stop by either the Korean grocery store in Union Square or the Japanese grocery store Kotobukiya in Porter Square -- some of the fish may be frozen -- but if they're labeled as sashimi or sushi, then they're safe to eat raw. Their prices vary, but sometimes I think they're even better than Wild Oats, Whole Foods, or even Stop and Shop.

Wild Oats and Whole Foods (and sometimes Stop&Shop) have sushi grade fish -- I would and had in the past made sushi with fish from these places. However, they are definitely NOT considered inexpensive.

The worst salmon I've ever bought came from Foodmaster -- I had to throw it out because it smelled awful -- and I eat fish the same day I buy it.

BJ's also has great prices on very fresh fish and seafood -- if you don't mind buying a large quantity. HOWEVER, fruits are generally not fresh at BJ's -- I often find rotten moldy pieces whenever I buy a case or bag.

The best and cheapest meat can be found at McKinnon's in Somerville's Davis Square. They also have some farm produce (though it cannot compete with Russo's in that area).

I hated Foodmaster until I tasted their fresh baked Italian and French breads. I think they really have the best fresh baked bread there -- surprisingly!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eventful weekend

I shot the last wedding of the season with Matt on Saturday. This morning, I tried to meet up with my clients at the gallery, but they didn't come, and so I stayed to help Marc out with his prep for the soft grand opening. Marc really did a great job on collecting some really wonderful and unique items in a very short time frame.

Ken and I each made three small watercolor paintings -- they were a really good exercise and I'm going to try to run them by Marc to see if he'd like to sell them. Mine are shown above.

We also went to see The Science of Sleep -- a good film overall but with a weak ending that is more depressing than Charlie Kaufman's other screenplays.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Got into another juried show!!! Woohoo!

I got accepted into another juried black and white photography show. This one is in Lowell at The Brush Gallery juried by Ron Rosenstock, who had studied under Minor White. When I dropped off the entries in person earlier this week, it was my second time ever visiting Lowell -- the first being the Dar Williams concert back in August. I was amazed at how beautiful Lowell is. The city really spent a lot of money reviving it. The art and culture there is really impressive.

The entry that was accepted was "View from Ladder" from the Anasazi Ruins series. When I took this image, it was a very significant moment for me, as I am deathly afraid of heights. This ladder was the top of a very long series of ladders that led to the cave dwellings of the Anasazis in what is now the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. I almost chickened out of climbing the ladders, but my husband Ken coached me through it. And so, if it weren't for all his encouragement, this image would never have come into being.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Fat

Where does fat go when a person goes on a diet and loses weight?

Last wedding of the season this weekend!

So, my wedding season is wrapping up for the year. I'm thrilled that
I'll get a break, finally!

This year has been the busiest year I've had since I became a photographer professionally. I have also made a lot of progress in my career in fine art too. While I'm a little sad that I had to give up my gallery, I'm also tremendously relieved that I will have more time to devote to really creating and marketing my own fine art. I found out this Monday that I was accepted into a black and white film photography show at artSPACE@16 in Malden, juried by large format, black and white photographer Paul Wainwright. I'm really thrilled because it's quite an honor.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I've been feeling very restless, running around so much that I had not had the time to sit down and reflect the happenings in my life. I realized that I hadn't posted a blog since July.

I'm looking forward to the end of wedding season, which would officially end after October 21st for me, but then the album rush starts... The Columbus weekend was pretty productive, as I got some client work done, as well as my own new fine art website.

Well, a lot has happened between July and now. For one thing, we spent two weeks traveling to Alaska and Seattle, and I think I shot about 10 weddings since then. I also read 4 more books, which brings the book count for this year to 12. They are NEVER LET ME GO, MORTGAGES FOR DUMMIES, SILK, and CLOUD ATLAS. I'm currently in the middle of FREAKONOMICS and GETTING THINGS DONE. I also have to read THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN for my book club next week.