Yep, I actually broke the hermetic code and went on a trip to “The City” yesterday. It was quite the adventure, and my devoted five no doubt can’t wait to
skip it entirely hear all about it!! So here is a play-by-play of sorts:
The adventure got off to a rocky start when the combined efforts of several incredible minds (translation: the internet, mom and me) had difficulty figuring out how exactly one gets to the train station so I could actually get to my destination. Fortunately hours of research and committee meetings made the five-minute trip to the station a success.
The train ride in was pleasant and uneventful. Since part of the purpose of this little adventure was to play with my camera a bit, I took several photos of the ride in. For these (and all the photographic evidence of this epic journey) check out this entry on my photo blog.
I arrived in South Station unscathed, and immediately started walking, pausing occasionally as something photo worthy caught my eye. I try not to walk and take pictures at the same time. Tends to be bad for the health. I had no specific path in mind, though eventually I wanted to find the specific Starbucks I was going to meet a friend at later on (the other purpose of the adventure). This in itself was a horrendous challenge, since it seemed that every other building was actually a Starbucks. In between taking pics, I managed to find the correct Starbucks. I had several hours before the scheduled meeting, so I now let the feet and the camera take me.
First I had to navigate the ravening horde of Environmental Activists that was conveniently located in this section of street. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for their mission, but I do have an issue with aggressive donations acquisition, and have my doubts about where the money is actually going even in the most honest charity. Managing to express my support without having to sign my life away, I proceed down the street, pausing to use my phone to help orient myself (yes, they have an app for that).
Apparently, the same aspect of my appearance that appealed to the Activist Horde, combined with me actually being stationary, gave a duo of young teens the courage to approach me and ask a favor. Seemed they wanted to sell some games and stuff at a local store, but one needs to be 18 to do so. So they asked me to be their token adult. I had no sense of pending evil, so I said I’d do it. I followed them to the store, we went in, I gave my ID proving that I am not a teen in an old man’s body, and all was going well until they asked what my relationship to my companions was. I would have been willing to go with I am their father, except I had my doubts about being believed because my two friends were actually black. So unfortunately the mission was a bust. My new friends said, “We need to find a black guy!” which made me laugh as I agreed with them.
I again began wandering, making several blocks before a kind gentleman offered me a pamphlet. I was quite honored to find that I was being given the choice between salvation and eternal damnation. I could even send my choice back to the address provided! Very generous folks in the city I tell ya!! Shortly after this the autofocus on my camera stopped working, making me wonder if I maybe I had made the wrong choice.
I continued going here and there as whim and the artistic eye dictated. Eventually I found myself a bit thirsty, and wouldn’t you know it I just so happened to be outside of Cheers! So in the spirit of photographic integrity (after all this was a photo journey of Boston) I decided to take a picture of the supreme Boston Beer (Sam Adams) in the famous Boston Bar. And of course I couldn’t simply let the beer go to waste on a mere photograph!! While there I was amused by the collection of smart phones in evidence (including my own) so I commented to the bartender: “How did we ever sit alone in a bar without phones?” to which he responded with “Yeah! Look at that guy over there just sitting drinking a beer!”
From there I made my way to the waterfront for more pics, and then meandered my way back towards my intended meeting spot. Along the way I encountered a chinese woman who may or may not have been begging. I am guessing she was asking me for more when she held her handful of change out to me. I made myself laugh when I said “No thank you!” to her as if she was offering the change to me.
I still had time before meeting my friend, so I wandered a bit more, finding a nice bar for more photo ops and more thirst quenching. Getting closer to meet time, I went back to Starbucks, and ordered myself a hot chocolate with no whip-cream. It was kind of disconcerting as the gentleman who was preparing my drink repeatedly chanted whip-cream as he made it. Not sure if I should have been concerned about that. I enjoyed my hot chocolate thoroughly. So much so that I decided to wear some of it to impress my friend who was going to arrive in about five minutes. After all we have not seen each other in years. Might as well make it memorable!
My friend arrived, and after a hug (manly of course!!) we went to dinner, where for a couple of hours we shared a very fine Smörgåsbord of good food, reminiscence, fun conversation, and future plans. We parted ways with another (manly) hug and promises of doing this again soon. Unfortunately thanks to the excellence of public transportation in this magnificent metropolis, I had a couple of hours to wait until I could get a train back home. So I let the feet carry me where they would again. I did want to make my way back towards South Station so I did not risk missing the train. Unfortunately, the average East Coast city is designed in such a way that only a cow with attention deficit disorder could possibly navigate them, so I found myself quickly all turned around. No worries. The city officials take this into account by conveniently placing maps here and there for the novice city goer. Maps that are conveniently nowhere near any street signs or notable reference points. Maps that conveniently do not even have a “You are here!”
Finally I remembered my smart phone (which is obviously smarter than me) and found myself back at South Station sitting in a bar. Go figure! I was somewhat surprised when the bartender said “Hello Steve!” at one point, considering I had never been there before and did not know him. But then I recalled the odd yet proven fact that at any given moment, any bar in the union will have a minimum of two Steve’s in attendance, so he of course was not greeting ME. The bar was attended by a few regulars, one of whom I swear was Stan Lee, so the wait for the train was a pleasant one. It was so comfortable there that my bag almost chose to stay! Another uneventful train ride had me back to the starting point, where except for a bit of difficulty figuring out how to actually WALK out of the train station parking lot and a brief visit at (you guessed it!) a local watering hole, I was soon home in bed, quite content with the day’s adventure (except for that blister on my big toe).