February 20th, 2004
For lunch today, I took a walk past the almost-completed, completely daft Stata Center on my way to Q Audio. The last time we drove past it, S0 asked me why they made it look like it was falling down. I really didn't have a good answer for that one, except that they could, and it looks kind of cool, especially when you're walking right past it. Still, I wonder how the exterior of this building is going to age in New England weather. This isn't LA or Barcelona, you know.
They've been reconstructing the street that fronts the Stata Center, Albany Street, and they've taken the approach of putting the bike lane between on the sidewalk, which is pretty wide. So if you're walking on the right-hand side, the sequence is cars, parking, curb, meters, trees, bike lane, then pedestrians. This should prevent horrible car-door/bicycle accents, but it's not clear to me if bicyclists and pedestrians are going to behave well in such close quarters.
My destination for this lunchtime ramble, Q Audio, is located in a little cubby of the Metropolitan Storage Warehouse, made famous by an old National Lampoon “Photo Funny“ in which the writing on the wall is clipped to RAGE WAREHOUSE — IRE PROOF. (Here are more photos of industrial Cambridge and other places near Boston.)
Q Audio is a small hi-fi store that sells high end stuff at low prices. They've got good prices on Grado headphones (the pair I'm using now combine airiness and detail with surprising bass) and I also picked up a new belt for my Acoustic Research ES-1 turntable. You could call it “minimalist,” since it plays only two speeds, 33 and 45, and to change betweeen them, you have to take off outer part of the platter and guide the belt around the other wheel. The plus side is that there's only moving part to the drive, so it should last a long time.