Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Life in Boston

We’ve been back in Boston for a month now, and we’ve been really busy. A lot of our business has related to home maintenance, including one project I really enjoyed. A couple of years ago I built a new door to our roof deck, topping an aluminum frame with an insulated two-layer Plexiglas window. I was rather pleased with the result, and expected it to last a long time. Unfortunately, however, I made a summertime mistake. To keep the bedroom cool during hot weather, I taped down a sheet of opaque vinyl. Imagine my surprise when I removed the vinyl in the fall and discovered that the Plexiglas had developed a spiderweb of cracks. It turns out that I’m not the first person to make this mistake, and the two materials don’t get along well.

This year I cut up a big Mylar bag to tape over the roof door. It kept the bedroom cooler without worsening the Plexiglas problem, but I really had to replace the crackled window.

I went back to the plastics place and told them I’d messed up by telling them what material I wanted to buy, and this time I asked their advice about what I should get. They told me about polycarbonate, a strong, light and clear material used for fighter-jet canopies among other things. They recommended a heavy-duty sheet capable of supporting a huge snow load, and I ordered it. This stuff is great! I got really worried when I picked it up because it’s so light, but it’s plenty hard enough to cut through. Alla’s all excited because she can finally open the door effortlessly. I’m all excited because it’s got a ten-year guarantee.
Last view of old roof hatch
New hatch in place

On Sunday we headed out for pure entertainment. My college alumni association invited us to take an architectural tour by boat, and we had a great time. The guide worked for the Boston Architectural Center, and she had lots of interesting info to share. I hit it off with the boat captain too. He and I have both lived in Boston for a long time, and we had enough fun sharing stories that he invited me to stay on the boat as his guest for the sightseeing tour he would run next. I took lots of pictures, and put my favorite ones here.

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