Beantown Diaries

I’m in Boston.

As I tweeted upon my arrival:

I’m in Boston, tweeps.  Hello Harvard Square.  Hello Newbury Street.  Hello stomping grounds of my misspent youth.

Whenever I’m in town, I always find myself remembering all the crazy shit I did when I lived just an hour, exactly, from this place.

What? What’s that you say?  You want me to regale you with crazy tales of my crazy exploits in crazy Beantown, Boston Mass, birthplace of the nation?  Just a hop skip and a jump from Lynn, Lynn, city of sin?

Well.  Have yourself a seat, little buckaroo, and I’ll dangle a couple tasty morsels of high school chicanery in your general di-rection.

Like the time I was waiting in Harvard Square for my best friend Kim.  I was fresh out of my first month and a half at Syracuse, on my way home for Thanksgiving break.  I was mohawked.  I was purple haired.  I was disillusioned youth-ed.  I was so punk rock.  I was going to hang out in Boston with my friend Kim for a day before heading home.  I was 100% rebel.  I was also going to Syracuse University on partial scholarship as an aerospace engineering major.

Right.  So in retrospect, I suppose the Boston street kid task force didn’t pick up on the whole engineering student vibe.  I tried telling them I really didn’t need any clean needles or a place to stay, thanks.  But the sandwich wasn’t half bad.

Then there was the time I totally ditched work the summer before I left for college and Kim and I headed down to Boston for a night on the town with some other friend of hers.  We went to a goth club and were gothy.  We emo’d all night long.  I met a boy named Derrick who I fancied.  He was very pale and full of angst.  WINNER!  I pined over him for a week or two, despite never seeing him again.  I remember walking back to my car, about 2 miles away.  Kim and our other friend were fast walkers, and sorta left me behind.  Drunk, you know.  So, I was walking down Comm(onwealth) Ave, at about 3am, essentially by myself.  I had my knife out, in my hand.  Ready.  Because I was not alone…and it was dark…and not well lit…and not a good part of town.  Plus, there’s the whole I’m-a-total-badass thing.

I also discovered Clannad that weekend.  Still, my favorite Irish band EVAR.  Maire Brennan is the shit.  Makes her sister Enya sound like a walrus needing an epinephrine shot.  (Total exaggeration there, in case you were wondering.  Enya is fab.  Just, her sister is More Fab.)

And of course there was the day I skipped school and Kim and I and a couple others (Kim was quite the bad influence on me, wasn’t she?  Wish I could find her 😛 ) We hung out on Newbury street generally being nuisances and having just a grand time being Not At School.  Being Not At School makes everything more fun.  It’s like…cinnamon.  With cherries on top, and a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Now I’m here to visit my new nephew.  See my baby brother as a father for the first time.  Meet my sister-in-law’s parents, who are visiting from Brazil.  That makes them my inlaws, right?  Right?  Because I kinda like them.  Can I keep ’em?  I foresee a trip to Brazil in my future.  Who knows, maybe I won’t come back.

Anything’s possible.


Just look at everything that started in this little colonial town.

But I do miss Portland.

And my dog.

native tourist

Today was my day to play tourist in Boston.  It’s kind of strange, being a tourist in a place that you sort of considered your home at one point.  Not that I lived here, but I lived close enough that it had some familiar places, ones I remember from my childhood.  I got to visit those places today.

I hopped on the Green Line from Boston College to Government Center.  On the way, I passed Boston University, and wondered what my life would’ve been like if I’d gone to BU instead of Syracuse.  Would I still be living here?  BU was high on my list; I did get accepted, but opted for Syracuse (aka hell) because it was further away from home.  I was in a big rush to get as far away as possible.  Apparently NY state wasn’t far enough either 😀

Once off the train, I walked around and got my bearings.  The station drops you off right at City Hall, which is right near the Old State Building and tons of history.  In fact the whole city is just dripping with it.  I took LOTS of pictures.  I was fascinated with how there was such a blend of old and new architecture; everything from the classic roman styles of the 1700’s, to the Art Nouveau styles of the 1800-1900’s, to the skyscrapers of today.  In one single shot I could encompass that entire spectrum – it was pretty cool.  Not to mention the fantastic details on some of the buildings, and of course all the neat old stuff.  So yeah, lots of pics.  Anyway…

I first went to Fanieul Hall, the place I loved to go to all the time.  It’s the Boston version of Pike Place in Seattle, without all the fish.  There’s even a Cheers bar there, where I stopped and had a pint of Sam Adams Boston Lager.  And I bought a mug.

Trucked around there for a while, bought some food here and there (no, no chowdah!) and got a little boat in a bottle kit with a replica of the Bounty (as in Mutiny on the…)  Then I decided it was time to do the most ultra-touristy thing I always wanted to do and never did when I lived around here:  Walk the Freedom Trail!  Actually I only did a little piece of it, the part that goes south from Fanieul Hall.  It includes the Old State House, the Old Meeting House, the First Public School Site, and the Kings’ Chapel and Burying Ground.  There were some tombstones there from the 1600’s!  Wow.  Hard to read tho 😀  I missed the Boston Massacre site (it’s easy to miss, since as I recall it was in the middle of an intersection), and all the stuff north of Fanieul Hall, such as Paul Revere’s House and the USS Constitution.  But still, it was fun, and I took tons of pics. 

Tomorrow I go home.  I don’t get back until 11pm or so, so I won’t see my puppy until the day after, which is my birthday, and also the day my license expires 😛  Good thing I’m waking up on Boston time now, I’ll have time to take care of that before work (hopefully).

Home sweet home

I flew to Boston today to spend Thanksgiving with my family – my brother and his wife, and my mom.  It was a rough flight; a disturbing red eye from pdx to ny, layover in ny for about 2 hours and then a short hop to boston.  I was not too keen on the idea that I had to have a layover just so I could take a 45 minute flight from ny to boston, but a funny thing happened.

I landed in ny about 40 minutes late, stepped out of the plane and into JFK international, one of two airports in new york.  NYC, my hometown.  A place I haven’t been to since 1998, well before September 11th and all its insanity.  I stepped foot in my hometown, and felt my heart break.  At the same time, it felt good to be home, even tho it was in an airport I don’t remember ever stepping foot in (I think we always went to LaGuardia) and I was only there for about half an hour.

So to start off my next blog post…I’m thankful I had a layover in NY today.