Boston = Culture

Last week I had the pleasure of traveling to Boston…again.  I have really come to see the city has my home more and more, and while Charlotte is and will always be my Hometown, Boston may be my home.   But anyways…Dad and I flew up on Wednesday to see a Sox game with Dan and Diesel.  A fall trip to Boston for a Sox game has become somewhat of a ritual for my dad, and it’s nice that we get to continue that since Dan is a freshman and all.  While the Sox may not be in the playoffs this year (still not mathematically eliminated yet though) Fenway is always a good time.  Shootin’ the breeze, enjoying a few beers and a hot dog or two on a warm fall night…I love it.  Seeing Dan was good too I’ll admit.  I love listening to his adjustment to BC, and his experiences take me back to my own just 4 years ago.  He is having difficulty figuring out how to get all of his reading done.  I’m sure he’ll figure it out soon enough that you don’t actually do all of the reading!  So this was day 1 of culture.

Thursday came early, and I had to make the trek from Revere where my dad’s hotel was all the way out to Chestnut Hill.  A long journey, especially during rush hour traffic.  But I would be rewarded with a beautiful New England day (although a bit warm).  I spent several hours hanging around the Chocolate Bar, the Eagles Nest, and Campus Ministry…all of my favorite haunts!  There were lots of good conversations with people I haven’t seen in a while, and its nice to see that even as time passes there is still much to talk about.  I hit a point in the afternoon where I felt like it was time to head on.  Being in the Eagle’s Nest for 4 hours is quite long enough.   So I hopped the B-line down to Packard’s Corner where I would be spending the night on Mara’s couch.  The cultural part of day 2 was coming.  The two of us cooked dinner before heading downtown.  Several months ago Mara had asked if I wanted to see Wicked.  We both have a taste for musicals, and she knew that my answer would be yes…it would simply be a matter of finding a mutually convenient time to see it.   We scooted down to the Opera House, and took our seats in the 4th row.  I had left Mara to the seat purchasing, and she had decided it would be best to spring for the front…I mean, how often do you get to do that?  Wicked was fantastic, as I had expected.  I remember seeing it two years ago when it was in Boston, and I had a similar impression as I left this time.  It is such a well done production that you leave the theater and simply want to see it again.  That was day 2.

Friday.  Woke up around 9:30 and made the brief walk to Dunkin for breakfast.  I love Dunkin Donuts.  It is a fantastic place full of deliciousness.  After my standard egg and cheese on a wheat bagel with a hot black coffee I packed up my things from Mara’s place to make the trip back out to BC for a lunch date with Colleen.  Spent several hours again in the Eagle’s Nest and again visited many more people from my BC life.  One of my favorite things to do while at BC was to wander into Fr. Don’s office and simply sit on his couch.  I didn’t even really need to have any reason for being there, but there would always be something going on with Padre.  So I went down to his office and was put to work helping the SOA group with their t-shirts.  About this time my mother showed up since after all this was parents’ weekend.  She and Dan were on their way to visit Newton and his dorm room.  I wasn’t going with him, because I had already seen it and who really goes to Newton?

Later that evening was the standard Pops on the Heights with the Boston Pops.  (culture!)  It was another good concert, but I don’t think it will ever be able to top sophomore year when John Williams conducted…you just really can’t do better than that.  But we enjoyed ourselves.  The woman who was the singer accompaniment in the second half was alright.  But then she became great when she improved a love song to Boston.  She invited suggestions from the audience as to what she should sing about.  Eventually she noticed that the Chorale was trying to say something.  She asked the rest of us to be quiet and the Chorale was able to get out “Mary Ann’s” as something she should sing about.  And so the woman improved a love song to Mary Ann…she might have been the only one in Conte Forum who did not know that Mary Ann’s was the BC dive bar!  We all had a good laugh, and I’m sure she did too once someone informed her of Mary Ann’s existence as BC’s watering hole.

Saturday was BC football. Tailgating was awesome!  As it usually is.  And that’s all I’m going to say about Saturday…

And Sunday I came home…back to my life in Charlotte as a student and employee of the YMCA.

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Personal update…

So I realize that this hasn’t been much of a space where I write about my life and more of a space where I place thoughts that I randomly have about what is going on in the world around me.   And as I move forward I think that this space will continue to be a place where I write about things that I am thinking about as well as things that are going on in my life.  And so with that…

Last weekend, Labor day weekend, I flew up to Boston.  It was part move my brother into the freshmen dorms at BC and part visit my friends who were also in Boston.  At least that was the rationalization.  But in the end it turned out to be 95% hang out with my friends and 5% help my brother move in.  (Which I am sure he was grateful for!)  It was really good to see everyone while I was there, and even better to be back in the Alumni Stadium atmosphere that is BC Football.

One of the things that I did last weekend that was unusual for me was lack of planning.  I knew where I was sleeping, and I knew who all was going to be in that apartment, but I made almost no plans to meet up with other people around BC.  The process became a more natural process of running into people while tailgating or randomly seeing people at Cityside after the game.  The only real plan I had going into last weekend was to meet with Fr. Don to grab the things I had left behind for Daniel and to sleep on Lizz’s air mattress.

Thinking back on the experience, it was the right decision.  I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and got to reconnect with a lot of friends without stressing out over who I was going to see next.  But at the same time I am sad that I missed seeing some of my undergraduate friends…which is okay since I will be back up there in 2 weeks for parents’ weekend.

An odd thing happened to me while I was in Boston.  I realized how much I missed having roommates and living with my friends.  While there were many (many) stressful times with roommates, and especially friends who were roommates, there is a certain loneliness that comes with living back at home without those supports around.  (And to my parents who I know read this, I am grateful that you allow me to live at home and I love you!)  I also really miss Boston.  Fundamentally as a city it was phenomenal to live in.  The T, as much  as it sucks, could get you where you wanted to go.  There was never any real worry about transportation, and I could be downtown in less than an hour without having to worry about parking or driving after going out.   I feel confident in saying that I will live in a city with a subway when I finally find a place to settle down.

This week has been a mix of work, Spanish, running, and fun.

Work: I usually work 2-6pm at the YMCA After School, but today was special since it was a teacher work day in the school system.  I’m guessing that it was because of Rosh Hashanah, but since its a public school system I don’t think it was officially for that reason.   And we got to run a full day of After School Camp.

Spanish:  I have been attending classes at PDS for a few weeks now.  It is a great 90 minutes of class where I have to speak and comprehend Spanish.  I am picking up a lot of useful things and getting in a lot of practice.  One of the things that I really apprecaite is that Sr. Barron isn’t forcing me to do any of the real work.  I do the reading and the worksheets, but with regards to vocab that the class is learning I am allowed to create my own vocab lists.  So instead of a list built around some reading we’re doing or some unit we’re doing, I’ve built a vocab list around “Church” vocabulary which will be presumably more useful to me in a few months than what the Spanish 3 or 4 class is working on.  But who knows?

Running: I started back running this week.  It has been about 4 months since my last serious run, and that was the Boston Marathon.  Monday was a decent run and I happened to be at the park at the same time as PDXC so I ran a bit of their workout to start.  Thursday was a follow up run, and I started thinking about how many thousands of miles I’ve run at the park where I run…its hard to fathom.  I have really missed the trails this summer, and I am looking forward to getting into a routine over the course of the next few months.

Fun is self explanatory, and it happens almost anywhere I go!

Tomorrow I am off to Milwaukee to visit Tony and other JVIs who are in the region.  (Thank you Jim for your travel pass…you have allowed me to do so many things over the past 10+ years that I would not have been able to afford to do)  I am looking forward to hanging out with other JVs this weekend and to come away from the weekend feeling reconnected to the JVC mission and people that I felt such a strong connection to after Orientation.  (Not that I don’t feel connected now, but as with anything time=distance and I could use a booster shot.)

(This also was not proofread, but I am sure Diesel will find the spelling errors and missed trains of thought)