Tuesday, August 6, 2013

eastern expedition: Boston

I've only come to such places before in dreams. They say that when college students land in Boston, few leave, and I've caught the Beantown bug a year early.

The people here are civil to an unearthly degree. So many times have strangers bestowed upon us what my mom calls "travel mercies." The inn that we're staying at has a framed cross-stitch of Hebrews 13:2: "Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." I think that this is woven into the actions of all the Bostonians I've met so far.

It's inspired my mom and me to be generous, too:

1) Last night, our taxi driver - a man with a silver beard and a heavy accent - had spent two hours in the taxi queue before picking us up from Logan Airport. He had waited well into the night in hopes of making $25, at least. Instead, we requested a distance that would only yield $8. His frustration was evident, so we pressed a twenty into his hand, wishing him the best before he whizzed off into the night.

2) The homeless people here are sophisticated - they write poetry, solve crosswords, and exhibit random acts of courtesy. One man held the door for all entrants into the McDonalds on the Boston Commons. The restaurant had a customers-only bathroom policy, so I promptly purchased an apple pie. I found a happier eater in the doorman.

3) As we explored the northern edge of Beacon Hill, we came across a woman in the center of the street, ambling up the slope to her flat. She must have been a centenarian, for she looked and moved like dandelion fluff. A truck was hurtling toward her, so my mom rushed to her side, nearly knocking her over, and urged her to come onto the sidewalk. "I can't walk there," she said. "I fall on the bricks." We relieved her of her grocery bags and embarked on a stroll in wonderful company. She divulged for us the secrets of Beacon Hill: here, a Kennedy was shot, and there lives the Secretary of State.
Where else would one encounter a "Little Free Library"?
It's a town of bookworms. Readers are ubiquitous - they're easily spotted on the T, perched on steps, lounging on the cedar benches outside Harvard Yard, and at breakfast. Here, people are immersed in books to the same degree that they rub noses with their iPhones at home.  

History lives! Every few paces, I come upon some extraordinary piece of it. A glance askance revealed Sam Adams's gravestone; another located a framed flyer published by Rachel Carson (APUSH applied). We meandered through the alleys that once sheltered slaves.

Larry Bird enjoys some of the best street music I've ever heard. Simon & Garfunkel fuse with the 2Cellos. Ah.
At every park, I encounter civilians sprawled out on blankets at free concerts. The air is thick with both music and moisture. Buskers, professional opera companies, and sexy sax men sing out for all to hear. A true treat - fleeting beauty that I couldn't photograph.

My old math teacher - a Boston native - would exclaim "I do it from the haht!" to illustrate the accent for us. You've captured my haht, Boston!

No comments:

Post a Comment