Thursday, August 7, 2008

East Coast Tour '08: Boston Leg

New York was great. It was great to see everyone, and it was amazing to be in a city that I love. While there are still a lot of friends I want to see in New York, it would have to wait as I had to continue on my travels and head to Boston.

My trip to Boston started on a sour note. After stewing whether to take the Fung Wah bus or an Amtrak train ($15 versus $89), I decided to take the more expensive, but more comfortable decision. They both would take four hours, but I figured I could get some writing in on the train. So lucky me, when I arrived at Penn station I noticed mine was the only train late on the track. So after a ridiculously expensive burger, 4 innings of a Yankees game, and three chapters in my book later the train arrived, and I sluggishly railed it to Boston.

Arriving in town I hastily nabbed a cab and dropped my stuff off at my friends house, then met them out on the town. They took me to this cool hotel that just opened. It was an old jailhouse converted into a hotel, so black iron prison bars decorated the random corners of the building. It was a fun night of reuniting and revelry, capped with some late late night Wii bowling. I always have a good time with my friends in Boston. Oddly, I feel like I've gotten closer to them after college than when we were in college. My old wrestling friend in particular. I can remember on snowy day where I had a flight detoured into Boston, and I called him last minute at about 8AM. He was more than happy to come pick me up, he skipped work, and we spent the day touring about Boston. I think that's the test of a true friend, someone who will drop everything for an adventure. 

The next day my friend and I headed to Fenway Park to get some drinks and watch the game. I had never been to the park before, so it was cool to check it out. Aside from all of the Red Sox fans and Red Sox paraphernalia it was a pretty place. It was very cool to se how vastly different it was from Yankees Stadium. Boston certainly loves their baseball. The East Coast in general loves baseball, but it's much more universal in Boston. You can walk down the city streets, and at all times you will see someone with a Red Sox hat or shirt. Every single store window has at least one piece of news showing the most recent team headlines. You could walk twenty city blocks and catch the entire game, whether it's through TVs or Radios, because everyone in Boston is always playing the game. It's cool to see a city so taken by their sports teams. 

On Monday I walked a bit of the freedom trail. A brick lined path that goes about Boston and stops by various landmarks of the Revolutionary War. Paul Revere's House, the church where he hung the lantern warning the minute of the English attack, old cemeteries. After that I ventured out to check out the Museum of Fine Arts. I couldn’t remember the last time I saw it, but the entire place had this air of nostalgia hanging throughout the halls. My favorite pieces were from the Egyptian and Greek sections. I've always loved Greek Mythology, and being able to recognize the pieces always makes things more enjoyable. I wish I could visit the museum with an art history friend of mine. I do love artwork, but I feel like I don't appreciate it as much as I could, for my art history knowledge is not quite up to par (my par at least). After the Museum a friend of mine got out of work and we met up to get drinks. We walked about, then decided to try to drive back to the North End. Very quickly I remembered how much Boston's roadways suck. My friend told me how Boston was voted the "most walkable city," while I think it's just another way to say the "least drivable city." The story I heard was that a drunk Irishman rode on a donkey and randomly pointed out the ways the roads should go. Which is the only reason why there are no lane markers, and a giant horse-shoe shaped road that sends you directly back from the direction you were coming from. After some drinks another friend of mine met up with us, and we all headed to get dinner. Pizza of course. She brought her new boyfriend who I got to meet, which was very nice. It's always nice when your friends meet good people for significant others. It brings a smile to my face, it's just nice to know someone out there loves and respects them as they should be loved and respected. 

After dinner I headed back out into town to meet another friend for drinks. I was pretty exhausted, but being in town for such a brief period forced me to cram in as many visits as I could. Plus this was a friend from middle-school, which is always fun to see. It's so crazy to meet those you've known for so long, since you were both under 5 foot nothing. To see how you both have grown-up from when you were little. 

Tuesday, my last day in town, I walked the harbor walk all the way around to the new Institute of Contemporary Arts. It's a beautiful new building, perched right off the Boston Harbor. There is certainly a lot of contemporary art I don't like, but there was this exhibit by Anish Kapoor that was incredible. These tall finely polished sculptures that made these illusions as you walked about them. You couldn't tell if parts were convex or concave, and you couldn't tell where it began and where it ended. An amazing collection, and I highly recommend checking it out if you're in the area, or if you ever get to see his work. The other galleries were impressive, but my favorite part was the Kapoor exhibit by far. Once the museum gets more work in there I think it'll be an amazing addition to the cultural life of Boston. 

After heading back into town I hung out with my friend, and waited for an old high school buddy to meet me for some drinks and dinner. We had some great conversation over calzones and lemoncello shots. Having a fun time we extended the night. Walking the brick streets of the Northend, taking more lemoncello shots, popping into various bars, and waxing philosophic on relationships, morality, and cultural barriers. For a non-philosophy major I was very impressed with my friend's knowledge on the topic. It was a good night, and very good to see my old friend again. 

The next day I packed my gear and took off to New York, quickly grabbing an Italian sub from a place my friend recommended down the street. This time my train was on time, and I quickly arrived to New York. So here I am, spending the last few days here in the city. It's going to be a pretty crazy time. I have three big days of a music festival in front of me, and I've already spent a lot of energy on late nights. I'm looking forward to the music, but I'm sure my body is looking forward to a rest. Anyhow, I'll power through. Five more days...


Caitlin said...

You're sweet, C-Mad. Thanks, buddy.

Wes said...

Hey, I think you forgot the part where 2 girls were going to join the Wii bowling after the Liberty Hotel until a sweaty, bald friend of our scared the sh*t out of them