Lazy Holiday Post

Hey readers!

Happy holidays :). I’m currently in San Jose hanging out with the family– jet-lagged certainly, but it’s so nice being around everyone again. It’s also surprisingly nice to be back in the US; it gives me empathy for those wishing for “home” independent of how wonderful the new location is and wherever family is.

I feel it is time to actually include some pictures of this blog, so the day before I left I did a biking tour of Cambridge. (I’ve gotten much better on my bike– taking pictures one-handed is much less problematic than I thought it’d be.) I also have some rowing and miscellaneous pictures I’ve never posted, so those are included at the end. (I’m all about the lazy photo dump post :)).

I hope everyone’s having a great break, and best wishes to you all!

Monica

We begin our tour leaving the back door of my apartment. I happen to literally live on a traffic island (traffic circle moat! Be jealous) so nothing too glamorous here.

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But I happen to live approximately 100ft from the Cam River, so I still do have the best location :).

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(At this point I’d urge you to guess what time I went out and took these. It is about 11:15am! The sun sets so ridiculously early here…)

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I forget how beautiful Cambridge is until I look over all of these pictures :). On the rare sunny day, all of the architecture, green spaces, and sky are on display. I head into the City Centre now!

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This is the main street in Cambridge– it turns into Bridge St. later, but I’m not sure what it’s called at this moment. In any case, I’m only taking it because it’s a one-way and I’m about to turn off onto King’s Parade, which is where you’ll see all of the tourists (for good reason).

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Round Church!

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This is a very short-distance shot of St. John’ College– sadly, I don’t head into the grounds of the hugest Colleges (that’d be St. John’s, Kings, and Trinity) but those are gorgeous as well.

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Passing St. John’s and heading to King’s Parade.

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We drift through another one of the shopping areas on the way. There is a LOT of high-end shopping available in Cambridge :).

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I’ve taken a turn off King’s Parade at this point to head into the Market– which is the traditional Market Square that the city is built around.

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… And I’m circling around again because I needed to go to Sainsbury’s (one of the grocery store chains here) and there was that problem with the one-way street in the beginning :). It’s so weird for me to be able to recognize where I was in the city from these pictures– I’m sure you have no idea, but hopefully they give a sense of the mixture of styles of the city.

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Side street leading to the river…

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Finally heading down King’s Parade!

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We’ve just passed Trinity College and are advancing on King’s College. My college is Lucy Cavendish, and has nowhere near the majesty of Cambridge’ most famous colleges. They’re beautiful.

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I think this might be Pembroke College, Cambridge’s oldest college. But I really need to take a tour of Cambridge to be sure :). (ps, if you live in Boston, make sure to take a Duck Tour sometime in your life! Surprisingly useful, especially for impromptu tours.)

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At this point I thought I should probably take one of those side streets to the river.

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Queen’s College is on the right.

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Mathematical Bridge! The myth is that it was originally constructed with no bolts or screws.

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And back to the City Centre…

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Traffic sucks here. It’s often faster to be on a bike. One of my favorite things to do, actually, is get myself behind a car on the one-way street and take off behind it at the same speed as it’s moving.

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Circling back to Market Square… this is the other side of it. (It’s hard to tell because I’m doing a lot of circling, but Cambridge is so small :)).

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Down one of the major shopping streets, Lion’s Yard.

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All right, we’re back to Cambridge’s main street (St. Andrew’s at this point, and two-way!)

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I’m turning off to show you the Grafton Centre (another shopping district) and because I had another errand to run…

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Green space leading up to the Grafton Center. On most weekends, there’s a trail of people connecting the two shopping districts, and in fact I had to be careful not to run over anyone this Sunday…

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Shopping Centre :). I last bought my prized ankle boots here… (I want to wear ankle boots forever…)

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And heading back in the direction of the City Centre…

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Parker’s Piece. This is the second-largest green area in Cambridge.

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If you keep on going down the road I’m riding on now, you’ll run into Mill Road, which has Cambridge’s best collection of ethnic food. And if you head in the same direction but cut across Parker’s Piece, you’ll run into the train station. And that about covers the main part of Cambridge!

And now playtime was over and I had to go to lab :). Back to the City Centre!

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Heading into Downing Site :). There are five entrances to this compound, and the night before I left I actually got stuck on the inside because they were all locked. Apparently, don’t stay in lab until 10pm on a Sunday night because you won’t be able to leave… (eventually some drunk-ish construction people came by and let me in).

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It’s a really lovely compound– Sidgewick Site is similarly pretty. Also, I really love their fire stairways.

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Parking the bike and heading in. (Fingers crossed no one steals my lights when I’m gone since I didn’t take them with me… though I did accidentally try to take an entire pair of scissors through security this time (fail). My intelligent response upon them being produced: “Oh, I was looking for those!” and copious apologies.)

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Our lab has our own kitchen. And a Christmas tree. We’re awesome.

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Tour of Cambridge is finished now :). Here are some of the dregs from my IPhoto and pictures hastily pulled from Facebook!

Bonfire night– the UK’s fireworks night! Also known as Gay Fawkes night, or Nov 5th.

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Lucy Cavendish new graduates and Masters students!

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This was a fun night– I presented at the Lucy BrainStemms student research presentation night. 8-minute summary of my undergraduate thesis aimed at public audiences!

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And Thanksgiving dinner :). Pictures are from Mary!

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Academic presentations– the first is a presentation from the Neuroscience Methods day, and the second is Prof. Ghahramani’s last Machine Learning lecture.

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And now all of the rowing pictures, on the ergs (off the water) and on the water :). We’ve got a long way to go, but so much fun :).

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