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Ordinary Boston

I am not one to let news tragedies affect me and certainly not the ridiculous media coverage that accompanies them, but the Boston Marathon bombing really jarred me. I’ve never felt such hopelessness in humanity. I cried on and off the whole day. What you are about to read is a re-post from almost a year ago about my first experience with traveling out of the south as an adult. It’s about the city of Boston as a place that holds special importance to me. It is a place where I conquered multiple fears at once, where I ejected myself from my comfort zone, and where I took risks. It is just such a stunning place, and in light of recent events, I just want to share this piece again. Thanks for reading. 

Boston Copley

The Stoop

I attempt frugality. As well, I pride myself in my research abilities (most of the time). So, when looking for a place to stay in Boston, I luckily found a steal of a crash pad. The place my friend Ellen and I stayed was The Copley House in the Back Bay area of Boston. After my friend in the area convinced me that it was in a safe area and conveniently located in the center of the attractions, I eagerly made a booking.

Instead of a full-blown generic hotel, each room they offered was an individual and unique apartment. After checking in to the main office on Newton St., we drove to our unit around the corner on a different street. Key in hand, we pulled up and grabbed our bags out of the bed of the truck. As I used my key to turn the old rim dead bolt, I felt like I was in a movie scene yet again. You know, the one where I am a successful full-time writer entering her humble city dwelling.

I almost feel like I am cheating readers by making such a lackluster claim, but the apartment we shacked up in was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I am so glad we did not opt for a cookie cutter corporate hotel. Not only would we have spent a fortune, leaving us little money for gorging Lobster and drowning ourselves in Irish car bombs, but the whole experience would have been completely different; think way less traditional character and a lot more generic plastic key card. Read the rest of this entry

Ordinary Boston

I am not one to let news tragedies affect me and certainly not the ridiculous media coverage that accompanies them, but the Boston Marathon bombing really jarred me. I’ve never felt such hopelessness in humanity and for many reasons. I think I cried on and off the whole day. What you are about to read is a re-post from almost a year ago about my first experience with traveling out of the south as an adult. It’s about the city of Boston as a place that holds special importance to me. It is a place where I conquered multiple fears at once, where I ejected myself from my comfort zone, and where I took risks. It is just such a stunning place, and in light of recent events, I just want to share this piece again. Thanks for reading. 

Boston Copley

The Stoop

I attempt frugality. As well, I pride myself in my research abilities (most of the time). So, when looking for a place to stay in Boston, I luckily found a steal of a crash pad. The place we stayed was The Copley House in the Back Bay area of Boston. After my friend, convinced me it was in a safe area and conveniently located in the center of the attractions, I eagerly made a booking.

Instead of a full-blown generic hotel, each room they offered was an individual and unique apartment. After checking in to the main office on Newton St., we drove to our unit around the corner on a different street. Key in hand, we pulled up and grabbed our bags out of the bed of the truck. As I used my key to turn the old rim dead bolt, I felt like I was in a movie scene yet again. You know, one where I am Carrie Bradshaw the successful/chic writer entering her New York Boston apartment. I hate that I encompass that girly cliché, but alas, it is my chronic fantasy. And I am, in fact, a girl.

I almost feel like I am cheating readers by making such a lackluster claim, but the apartment we shacked up in was one of my favorite parts of the trip.I am so glad we did not opt for a Ramada Inn or some other cookie cutter corporate hotel. Not only would we have spent a fortune, leaving us little money for gorging Lobster and drowning ourselves in Irish car bombs, but the whole experience would have been completely different. Think way less traditional character and a lot more generic plastic key card.

We had the maximum amount of privacy. Hell, we barely even ran into any other guests staying in our building. We were tourists who didn’t have to look like tourists (at least until we spoke), and after a day of settling in we started to actually feel like we blended in. Before we knew it, we were eating clam “chowda” and drinking our pre-dinner cocktails at a tiny wooden dinner table by the window of our apartment that overlooked the street.

I particularly enjoyed morning coffee compliments of Dunkin’ Donuts (careful, they are hard to find if you don’t walk more than a foot). I’d enjoy my joe on The Stoop where I could take in the air and watch the Bostonians pass by and ignore me. I imagined what it would be like to be one of them. I assumed by the way most of them walked with such purpose and disconnect to anything other than their own path, that they grew up there. They went to school there and found their people there. City veterans, all of them. The Stoop was where I found excitement in their mundane.

I watched them briskly zip by in suits or saunter along walking their dogs, all while paying no attention to anything other than the gaps hiding in the brick sidewalk. At first, the detached demeanor of the people in the city had me disgruntled. For example, after a man bumped in to me in an old clothing boutique, I reflexively exclaimed, “Oh, I am so sorry!” as if it was my fault. Silence. I was invisible. This sort of thing just doesn’t occur in the South.

Like I said, at first this disconnect was unnerving, but the more I became immersed in the crowd, the flow of the city, and the collective feel of Boston, I began to enjoy their way. No one cares what you are doing, where you are walking, how you are walking, what you are wearing, or why you are even there. Everyone seemed dedicated to their own world and possessed no interest in invading another’s. It was a refreshing change from the over friendly, intrusive way of Southerners. The scope of the existing cultural polarity had really hit me, and it was just what I so desperately needed. It was more than lack of obligatory small talk. It was full opposition.

I could ramble on and on about the beautiful architecture of the old buildings and the rich historical scenery of Boston. Relishing in our field seats at Fenway Park was also well worth putting in to words. I could even elaborate on how wonderful the harbor is in person or the overwhelming beauty of viewing such a vast city from atop the Prudential Center, but I won’t. I wont, because sitting on that stoop at ground level with all of ordinary Boston surrounding me was, for me, more breath-taking than all of the main attractions. Just like the perfect air, I couldn’t inhale enough of ordinary Boston.

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I’ll See Your Air And Raise You a Jetty

Jetty

[Hampton Beach sure did rock my world. That pun was just embarrassing. Can I get my groove back already?]

Northeast air seduced me from the moment I stepped out of Logan Airport. There was a blunt and intense sensation hitting me almost immediately that I could not ignore. I… I could breathe. The air was positively intoxicating as opposed to the suffocating sauna-like air that radiates the South. Instead of dragging around choking on the heat, I was frolicking about in a humidity-free trance. I couldn’t help but wonder how I might bottle it up and bring it home with me.

Rarely have I experienced a place with days warm enough to sport a tank top and shorts and nights that require a sweater (fleece jacket in my case). I always watched films in which this phenomenon occurred. The actress runs wildly in a bikini during the day scenes, and come nightfall, is cozied up in a big long-sleeved poncho on a porch somewhere. It always confused me. Now, I had full understanding of the different weather outside of Louisiana’s inferno. It is safe to say I fell in love with this aspect of the North, and I also must say my hair was looking mighty lustrous minus all the frizz action.

The beach in New Hampshire, where we spent a day before storming the city of Boston, was unlike any beach I’d ever seen. Read the rest of this entry

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