October 07, 2010

And Back!

Boston was a great trip. It's a fantastic city, especially if you're one of two things: a history nerd or a sports nerd. Seriously, it's a four sport city: I don't think I went more than two blocks without seeing a banner or sign for the Red Sox, Bruins, Patriots, or Celtics. And I mean in stores and on official public buildings, not just flapping from cars and draped over people.

As for history, it's one of the oldest towns in the Americas - which isn't saying much compared to the rest of the world, but credit where it's due. The American Revolution did start there, giving the place a 200+ year old Paul Revere fetish.

And its a college town, giving the living people a young fearlessness for new experiences: there's a huge variety of cultures, restaurants, and a lively arts community in Boston. Which is funny coming from the same town that was a living punchline for how delicate their sensibilities were. Seriously, this is the town that banned Christmas for twenty years.

Even so, there were down sides to the trip which were a bit disappointing. A little synopsis:

Nice: The Freedom Trail. Lots of stories in a bunch of the original buildings with graveyards, churches, and pubs all the way along it.
Bummer: Infrapatellar bursitis. That trail is about five kilometers long, and there weren't a lot of elevators in the seventeenth century.

Nice: Attending an NHL game in an NHL arena in the lower bowl. Probably the only time I'll be able to afford that is the pre-season. It was worth it.
Bummer: The home team lost, and they deserved to. Would have been funner to be in a happy crowd.

Nice: A Sam Adams Brewery tour that got us free beer and free glasses. Oh, and some information about how they make beer.
Bummer: They still spread the myth of different places on your tongue responding to different flavours. It's wrong! Stop it!

Nice: Lots of bars and restaurants with a huge variety of styles represented - we started with Italian and finished with Senegalese!
Bummer: The two bars we entered both carded us, and one refused to serve us because we weren't carrying passports. We're thirty-eight. Whats the point of this law again?

Nice: Museums. We hit the Fine Arts, the MIT, the Natural History, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner in the week. Some great collections in all three, my personal favourite being the geology exhibit in the Natural History Museum - I now want a table made of polished Kyanite.
Bummer: The Museum of Fine Arts had some great stuff (especially from Egypt), but three exhibitions were closed, a connecting hallway was shut adding some randomness to our day, and the people in blazers were pretty useless for help getting around.

Nice: The Iggies! We learned that fruit bats perform fellatio; remote controlled helicopters are the best way to collect whale snot; and there is mathematic proof businesses have a better chance of success if they promote people at random rather than by merit.
Bummer: You kidding? There are no down sides to the First Annual IgNobel Awards! This year, previous Iggy Award winner Andre Geim became the first double winner, adding a Nobel Award in physics to his bookshelf to go with his 2000 IgNobel win for levitating frogs with magnets. Decide for yourself which is more impressive.

Check the highlights from past years (including the best of Miss Sweetie Poo) here.

Glad to be back, but wouldn't have minded another week. On the other hand, we're already thinking about where to go next... Chicago? San Francisco? Montreal? The years (and finances) will tell!

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posted by Thursday at 7:58 am


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