Though I only spent a few days there, I’d like to live in Boston. It’s a big city that manages to avoid feeling like one. New York feels like a cramped, seething, writhing mass of cranky people, which Boston has managed to avoid. Mainly, I think, by not cramming 13 million people onto an island.
And the people were, on average, polite and friendly. I was walking down the street, sneezed and someone said “Bless you.” I stopped in shock, blinked and continued walking. That’s not supposed to happen. Talking to a stranger in, say, New York, is usually the prelude to a mugging. Or panhandling at the least. This just seemed like an actual piece of politeness. Though, I’m still paranoid that she was just trying to distract me while her partner pickpocketed me. Luckily I don’t keep my wallet in my back pocket, so they were foiled.
My first day in Boston, we took a duck tour through the city. Duck Tours revolve around World War II era amphibious supply vehicles. We started out touring through most of downtown and then plunked right into the Charles River to continue the tour. It was a great way to get to know the city right off the bat.
While Emily was at work, I’d explore the city on my own, by foot, starting from the Museum of Science, picking a direction, and walking for an hour. I marched along the river on the Cambridge side, crossed the Harvard Bridge, marched on the Boston side and then crossed back again on the Longfellow Bridge. I walked to the aquarium, Faneuil Hall, Boston Common and just out and out tuckered myself out.
By Thursday, I had reached the point where I was able to successfully give directions to someone. Exciting, if only ’cause I have trouble giving directions where I actually live.
And in spite of all the things we managed to do, we barely even scratched the surface of what there is to do. We went to the aquarium (tiny adorable penguins waving their flippers as if they were trying to take up flying again), the Museum of Science (the lightning show, where giant Van de Graaff Generators cracked and sparked and little kids cheered) , ate at Faneuil Hall (good pizza; sigh) and got Italian food (spaghetti, calamari, red sauce; sigh) and pastries (God bless cannolis) in North End. This means, of course, that I need to go back. Repeatedly.
Expect more posts on Boston throughout the week.