Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thoughts on Boston

  • I could definitely live here. I love it. Some things to consider tho:
    • I've been here 3 days and the weather has been beautiful. I've heard the winters are pretty rough.
    • We're staying in the Back Bay, I'm also guessing we wouldn't be able to afford to actually live on this side of town
    • I'm not sure how often I can walk past all those shops on Newberry street without having a total meltdown about not being able to afford anything here
  • I love that there are towering skyscrapers next to 100+ year old churches
  • I love that this city is the literally where we became a nation. I'm so proud to be an American.
  • I've learned a great deal about the history and birth of our nation. Did you know there were only 5 deaths in the Boston Massacre? I always thought it was more. And did you know Paul Revere never finished his famous Midnight Ride? He was arrested. I guess I didn't pay enough attention in school.
  • I'm surprised at the number of French speaking people I have encountered. In St Louis I interact with Spanish speaking people all the time, and we have a large Bosnian community. If someone could tell me why all the French people are here I'd love to know. I've though about asking, but that brings me to my next point...
  • There is no Southern Hospitality here. You may know that I'm relatively friendly and out-going and will chat with servers and cashiers etc. Not here. Don't try it. And don't ask for directions. Apparently in Boston I am a RWP.
  • I'm not sure why Bostonians have only 25 letters in the alphabet. They are missing Rs. Really. "Get ya watah heah!" I've heard this all day long.
  • I don't know where all the fat people are. The only fat people I see are the tourists. It must be the sweltering heat. I've showered twice today, thinking of doing it again before retiring for the night.
  • In relation to the above statement, it must be the tourists keeping the North End in business. It's Boston's version of Little Italy (or The Hill if you're a St. Louisan). We had lunch at Villa Francesca and it was awesome. Then we went to Mike's Pastry for cannoli. Oh. My. God. I. Was. In. Heaven. Thanks to Cyndy at 110 Penned for the heads up. Yum. Really.
  • Ok. A somber note. I was trying to decide if I should post this, but figured what the hell. I've had a glass (or 2) of wine. I am surprised that a few pieces of etched glass could cause me to become so emotional. If you don't know, I'm talking about the Holocaust memorial (here's the photo source)
  • The memorial is 6 glass towers that you walk through. Each tower has 1 million numbers etched in the glass. Each number represents someone killed at one of the concentration camps. We passed by it on a tour earlier in the day, then walking back to our hotel we passed it again and I suggested going through it and taking a look. I didn't get passed the first tower of glass before the tears started and by the 6th I was a mess. I have no idea why it affected me so much (well, other than the obvious). I mean, I'm not Jewish, I don't have any Jewish relatives, or even German, Russian, Czechoslovakian... I don't have a personal connection to anyone that had been in one of the death camps. It had always seemed so distant, do you know what I mean? It was before I was born, it was in another country, what on earth does it have to do with me...? There aren't even any photos, just numbers and a few quotes. We had to stop so that I could compose myself before going on. Here's the website. You should look, I think it's important.
  • Whew. Thinking about it has gotten me all worked up again. Plus hubs is telling me to shut down the Mac and go to bed. I think I will. thanks for reading.
  • Oh crud I just realized it's Friday. Sorry. Pharmacy friday will be postponed... I'll try to get to it tomorrow! 'Night y'all!

21 comments:

spudballoo said...

Oh I've always ALWAYS wanted to go to Boston, it's one of the few places I that I really want to visit that I've not 'done' yet.

I'm jealous. Sounds wonderful, you wrote very beautifully about the holocaust. x

otin said...

I love the northern rudeness! I hate the Boston Red Sox, now get your butt home! LOL! Are you meeting OP?

Michel said...

SEE! I lOVED boston too! I also learned stuff about Paul Revere too! He apparently didn't say "the british are coming" either - because as the guy pointed out - we were all BRITISH at that time. Would have sounded stupid. He said, "the regulars are coming." Or something like that. I really wasn't listening.

Great pics

The Fragrant Muse said...

Funny how we romanticize our own history. I totally get the emotional breaking down at the holocaust memorial. Your reaction was a healthy, normal response to a human atrocity. You should worry if you were blase.

Pastor Sharon said...

That you stopped and paused and remembered, recognizing each number as a representation of a holy child of God who was murdered because of the group they were born into, that dear is embracing the heart of God.

I wonder sometimes if there will ever be a wall for those in Rwanda who saw the same fate for the sake of ethnic cleansing.

To know that those who were killed just for being themselves, no matter what culture, ethnic tribe or group is beyond words. Those tears were healthy.

McGillicutty said...

Oh Bambs that's so moving! Boston is on my to go list, I didn't know they had that memorial there. I went to the battlefields of WWI and WWII in France and Belgium many years ago and it's a really humbling experience.

I hope(know) you took some great pics and can't wait to see them in TWO WEEKS BABY!!!!!!!!! I have missed you this week you little vacationer you!

Kitty said...

I had no idea there was a Holocaust memorial there, but that is a very, very cool way to present it so people get an idea of the sheer numbers of people who were murdered. I'm totally going to check that out! Your blog is edutainment!

Mango Girl said...

Wonderful post...I feel like I was right there in your backpack!

The Holocaust memorial; I got teary eyed reading that part. I wasn't even aware of this memorial. It is simple and beautiful.

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Fidgeting Gidget said...

I've always wanted to visit Boston! Old churches and history in general fascinate me, so I think it would be a perfect place for me to go.

I would probably get emotional at the memorial, too. I did when I was at the Vietnam wall in DC, and I most definitely did when I was at the Annex where Anne Frank hid in Amsterdam before getting captured and taken to the concentration camp. If you ever get a chance, you have to visit. I started crying when we opened the bookcase and walked into their hiding place and I could picture it being raided. I am like you--I have no personal ties to the Holocaust that I know of, but it always gets me!

And I love Kitty's comment about "edutainment"--it's totally true.

Cyndy said...

Wicked great post, Bambi! So glad you are loving your trip (and looking forward to virtual postcards upon your return)!

Would I steer a friend wrong? Cannolis on the North End is one of my favorite memories of Boston. We were there one summer many years ago, slowly walking the brick and cobbled streets when we came upon the bakeries. The owners were standing outside their doors, begging, inviting, you to stop in for a treat, competing playfully with their neighbors. It was so much fun!

And, OMG, you stopped at Villa Francesa, too?!? We ate there. Amazing, no? My husband and I shared a plethora of seafood for dinner there (when in Rome...), and it was the first place I ever ate calamari. Afterwards we went back our quaint B&B in Cambridge. We have only been there twice, but it is one of my favorite cities!

I do not recall the amazing Holocaust Museum you have so poignantly described. Our time in the city was limited because we were distracted by cool computer show, but I will keep it in mind for return visit. If I recall, there is also a Toy Museum on the bay side, too.

Ohhhh, I want to go back!

Little Ms Blogger said...

I love Boston. I loved living in Boston and it is probably the one regret I have.

I lived in a great brownstone along Beacon Street walking distance to downtown (okay a bit of a walk) and across the street from public transportation...

Don't listen to Otin. I'm a Red Sox fan and am very nice. He's misguided.

ttjenkins said...

I had the same reaction to that memorial. that's all I can say without getting all emotional still. I was amazed too that it had such an effect on me.

Amanda said...

I am from MA and love returning to Boston when I can.

The French are all from Canada. It's a popular summer destination for them.

Southern hospitality is a foreign concept to us. We don't like people to ask for directions because getting around Boston is too confusing to explain.

Enjoy!

Carbunkle Trumpet said...

The winters suck up there!

otin said...

If the red sox beat the yankees again like they did last night, I will tell you what sucks about Boston!! LOL!

Little Ms Blogger said...

Otin, as a kind & gentle Red Sox fan, I'll mail you some kleenex so you can wipe away the tears...

Jaime said...

LOVE boston. hate the red sox. but the town itself is great. i'm glad i didn't go to law school there. i would have failed out for sure!

B said...

Oh, I really want to go to Boston, now! I'd need to travel all over the US one day!

darsden said...

what a powerful and beautiful memorial thank you for sharing, I had no idea it existed.

Boomka said...

I am actually on my way to boston as I write this! But I am actually hoping for just the opposite of you. Everything in New York is so effen expensive that I kind almost expect to be blown away by the cheapness of other cities. We'll see if that is in fact the case this time.

Coolkayaker1 said...

I was born and raised 75 miles from Boston, and lived there, for 8 years, during undergrad and grad school in the Back Bay on Bay State Road, outside Kenmore Square. It is the best city--and I have lived in and visited many cities--in the world. You have mentioned many of Boston's best attributes. It is milder than most of New England in the winters because of the ocean. It is an absolute pleasure to bike along the Charles River. I will one day live near Boston again, and spend time there. Thanks for the memories.