Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Boston: Sad to Leave It

Proud of their B's (Photo by RA)
I could have simply called this post "Love the City, Hate the Fans" but that would be too easy.  Plus it's not entirely true.  Still, a true Noo Yawka could never...EVER...EVER love Boston.

But I do.  Sue me.

I love its food.  Its Music (although not its eponymous band, whose "More Than a Feeling" is beyond overplayed).  Its atmosphere, attractions, shopping, roads (well, that might be a stretch).

And yes, I can even tolerate their fans.

Carrie had to go to The Hub for business beginning on Sunday, so we drove up on Saturday.  I appreciated her kindness of inviting me to go along and it was my pleasure to be her chauffeur.

There's something about Boston that feels like a city, and yet it doesn't.  It feels very accessible.  But don't kid yourself.  People in Boston can be just as obnoxious as Philly and New York, but it's all good.  We seem to understand each other.

We arrived in Beantown before Noon on Saturday to visit the Samuel Adams brewery tour.  Of course, if you don't like beer, well then this isn't for you.  But if you like to see how a small brewery works, listen to funny tour guides (college kids who want to be comedians), and taste a few brews, then you're in the right place!

Oh, and don't be scared off by the legend of scary South Boston.  It's no worse than Coney Island Ave in Brooklyn (at least in the daylight)!

Heading back into the city, I decided it was time for me to finally check out the legendary Big Dig.  My impression of it was that it was perfectly fine, and the Ted Williams Tunnel is just that...a tunnel.  A solid line drive to Logan Airport (and certainly spacious as opposed to the Sumner and Callahan tunnels).  By the time this little drive was over I had completed a tour of the Big Dig, and was impressed, yet wondered what rush hour is like.

I didn't feel like finding out on this trip.

After checking into our digs near the Prudential Center, I had to deal with my least favorite part of visiting a big city: parking the car.  Oh, that's right...I was in Boston...pahking the cahr!

Little secret for y'all: Boston Common.  Twenty-two bucks for the weekend.  Safe and secure.  You may thank me now.

From there, we hit the ground, walking to Quincy Mahket...er...Market for some chowda (thanks, Paul Silverfarb!), and some Boston Brick Red Ale at the Bell in Hand (which says it's the oldest bar in the US...but others aren't so sure).  While we were settling up, a chap in a Dustin Pedroia T-shirt ambled to a stool next to me.

Now understand this.  I don't really hate Sawx fans.  I'll take them over M...well, other fans.  But I loathe Dustin Pedroia.  He's in rare territory - the kind that I would just throw at him if I was a pitcher.  That's actually high respect, and I think you need yo understand that.  But still...

So my new "friend" asked me if I was leaving because he wanted to see the TV.  After all...THE SAWX WERE ON!  I said yes, and told him I understand.  Before you knew it, we were chatting about his respect for Derek Jeter, and how I rooted for the Sox in '86.

Told ya.  I like talking to Red Sox fans.  Most of them.

Staying on sports for a moment, I'm thrilled to see the Bruins are Stanley Cup Champions.  The pride is evident everywhere.  I've never seen more B's hats, T-shirts, etc.  That's cool, but I'll play the skeptic: how long before it fades?  Boston is supposed to be a great hockey town.  I hope it stays that way.

Oh I'm not going to bore you with the rest of the travelogue.  We had fun - great dinner at Maggiano's, more chowder and shrimp at the Barking Crab, rode the T all over the city, and generally caused havoc everywhere we went.

Or not.

What the trip reminded me was how much I love to travel, and how I probably could get used to living in Boston (well, except for the Red Sox).

We failed to get into the Sports Museum of New England (which is inside the TD Bank Garden/North Station complex), due to they're confusing admission policy (too strange to explain) but that led us to downtown where I can say that I bought sneakers, and Carrie bought shoes!  Come on, how random is that?

Yet it's quite possible that my favorite moment was just strolling around the fountain near the First Church of Christ Scientist (again, random), eating ice cream and talking.  A gorgeous breeze was helping to cool down a hot night as kids played in the fountain, and families sat and enjoyed.  Those are always very special stolen moments, and it made me sad to think of leaving Carrie and heading back to New York on Monday.

Alas on Monday morning, all good things had to end.  Normally, the thought of hitting the road makes me smile.  However, driving home isn't always my favorite thing.  Leaving Boston, knowing I had three hours of road ahead of me to go to work wasn't pleasing at all.  It was downright depressing (though not that bad, lest we get maudlin).

Back to reality, knowing that we'd both like to be shipping up to Boston again.

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