Tag Archives: traveling

Ye Olde Bostontownne

One of the things that makes Boston so attractive to me is its age. I’m always drawn to old things, ancient things that have a history that goes back to the before. Ancient Roman coins, 19th century novels, and 17th century cities: they spark something inside me.

I can imagine the people that have walked down roads that have been in place since before there was a United States and back. It doesn’t matter that they’ve been paved over a dozen times since they were first laid down, the roads are still there, beneath the blacktop and the yellow painted lines. God alone knows how many feet have walked those paths, at first just to walk cows to pasture and now so cars can rush through five times as fast.

We saw the first subway built in the United States, which stretched all of five blocks, if that. And I thought about the first people to ride it and wondered if there were the people who cursed this newfangled underground train system. Or if they were all aflutter over being the first in the country to have such a thing, a point of pride to point of to visitors, just as it is now.

There are buildings built on top of buildings, buildings that have supplanted older buildings, history stacked on history. Little cemeteries tucked into little corners between buildings, little pockets of forgotten stories engraved on stone tablets, the dead of those first settlers to arrive.

It’s a city that has embraced its past, enhanced it, built up around it and become embedded with old tales and memories.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Thinking and Pondering: Science, History, Analysis and Over-Think

Boston: In Summary

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.

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things

Boston Borne

It’s been a good long while since I’ve last gone anywhere new. Hell, it’s been a long time since I’ve traveled more than a state away, new or not. So I’m looking forward to going to Boston.

That might be an understatement of sorts.

I should specify that I am looking forward to the experience of seeing Boston and seeing a new city, while I am extremely ecstatic about my overall trip. There is a subtle difference there.

I’ve only been to a few cities and I’m curious about how I’ll feel about this one.  I’d like to add more…city-experience to my bank of knowledge, cause right now it’s very limited. I’ve lived in New York and visited Los Angeles several times and they’re two very different beasts, with Los Angeles disappointing me more than anything: too sprawled, not enough skyscrapers (for some reason, people living on fault lines don’t tend to build so high up), and, in spite of everything movies have taught me about Los Angeles, there is not an explosion every five seconds. Although I did see a car chase there. A very slow car chase.

So I’d like to see how Boston stacks up to New York and L.A. and I want very much to like it. For various reasons.

I’m going in with no expectations, no preconceived notions, no hastily jumped-to conclusions; just a blank slate, a tabula rasa (look I said the same thing, but in Latin).

I’ll be sure to write up the whole experience when I get back next weekend.

And I’ll be there tomorrow at 10:30, assuming things go smoothly.

Excitement!

Dylan Charles

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Filed under Day-to-Day: What's Going On, Events, Releases and New Things