Tuesday, June 23, 2009

First Night in Boston

Sometimes you can just feel that a place, a town or a city or even a village, is alive. It is living and breathing with the help of the thousands, perhaps millions in Boston's own case, of people who pass through, eat, drink, sell, buy and generally just live around the place. The great thing about our hostel location here is that it is out of the central city area in a city of it's own, Everett. It's not touristy, seems quite residential and yet busy too with the roads being kept busy and last night was no exception. It is alive but then Boston itself is in another league as we found later on.

The journey over was fairly hard, especially when you consider that there was very little sleep got by either of us the night before we set off from Shannon - 4 or 5 hours sleep really isn't enough to get by on and Donal fell asleep in the hostel last evening which left me wondering whether to wake him or not. I didn't, I was too busy sitting on my own bed wondering what the next five weeks would bring. It's a longer time now than it seemed weeks and weeks ago when the planning of this whole thing was still underway. Five weeks then was the amount of time you completed an essay in! Still, as I wondered I thought of home, all of a few hours into the trip and I was thinking of home , it was time for me to get off my arse and onto the web to chronicle the first few hours of this trip. It's funny how that clears the mind. It's funny also how steak clears the mind.

I woke Donal eventually as I was getting hungry and knew where to get a decent 20oz t-bone steak. I knew he'd be ok with being woken up for that. And he was. It was still dull when we left for Whiskey's, across from the Prudential Centre in the Back Bay (look it up you lazy rat, what am I, google?!). The subway was pretty quiet at this time, around 8pm, but even for a Monday night there was a fierce buzz in Whiskeys as people drank after work aor came to eat. There was a "ball game" on the TV too so people were glued to that as I think the Red Sox were playing (Boston's team). It didn't really matter to us as we were busty eating cow, and lots of it, but not before we tucked into a fine salad too. It came to $37 dollars between us, two 20oz steaks, salads and one glass of pepsi. I reckon that was a good deal for what we got - now convert that to euro's and begin to feel jealous.

It wasn't all food though, as I said earlier Boston was awake, a Monday night and the place was simmering nicely with the bubbles of life hopping near the top of the pot but not overflowing onto the stove. It was only Monday after all. We arrived in Copley Square subway station, or T station as they say here, and climbed the stairs to a scene anyone would be startled by. The John Hopkins Tower slanted off to our left about 60 stories high, the Prudential Tower stretched to the sky over the magnificently grand and beautifully lit Boston Public Library. The street lights were dim, it was like something out of a film. But a good film. And then that is the USA isn't it? A cultural behemoth, a place you recognise without ever being there and when you are there you feel a faint sense of recognition but at the same time you gasp at the scale, something TV cannot really show that well. This was one of those moments.

There was more though as when we walked around a little after the steak, we crossed Harvard bridge, all the while looking back at the skyline of the Boston Back Bay region while to our left along the river was MIT and it's grand and opulent buildings, lit subtly while piano music drifted out of a window. Well actually that was because there was a music class going on but it did fit the mood nicely.

I didn't have a camera on me at the time bu those sort of views really don't leave your head all that easily. That's what really matters I suppose although today the camera is coming with me!

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