Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day Trip to Boston

Our trip started at 12:30 on Saturday afternoon. The Concord Trailways bus is intended to serve as a feeder to Logan International, but also stops at South Station Bus Terminal in downtown Boston. It was a comfortable ride with free pretzels, bottled water and earphones for the movie. The movie was awful so it was too easy to fall asleep on the road which made the ride seem much shorter than its 2 hours.

Since arrival in "Beantown" was early in the day, Samantha and I planned to do a little walking before our evening engagement. As the bus pulled into South Station, we spied a street with an archway that read "Welcome to Chinatown". Oh, this is going to be like San Francisco, I thought. As we walked through the gate it was obvious that Boston Chinatown does not have tourists in mind. The streets are narrow and businesses are not all painted-up, but rather dull looking, more like for local Chinese. Main street was mostly restaurants and shops with the ubiquitous golden brown ducks and chickens on display in the windows. Although the "town" extended for several blocks in each direction, the outlying business were for commerce other than eating, gathering, socializing, and shopping.

After getting good and lost we thought we might get back on track and head toward the South Piers, our original destination. We asked a colorful man on the sidewalk where the Saint Charles River and South Piers might be. He was wearing a colorful vest made from what looked like his mother's 1950's chintz bedspread.... it was gay pride day in Boston. His reply was, "You stupid bastards are going the wrong way!" If you can imagine this being said in a funny way, he went on to explain we had to backtrack to South Station and go behind the station to find what we were looking for.

Once back at the station it was easy to find our way. As I had discovered on the Internet, we entered an insurance building that no one would suspect you could just walk in to and asked if this is the building with the observation deck on the 14th floor. "Yes" was the answer and the lone desk attendant signed us in, looked at our driver's licenses and scanned her card for access to the elevator which whisked us up to the deck. These are views of the Saint Charles River,

and where the river meets Boston Harbor. Across the water is Logan International and we watched airliners come and go for awhile.

After an expensive drink at the nearby Continental Hotel, we sauntered across the river to the piers along the waterfront. Dinner was in a very nice restaurant called 606 Congress in the Boston Renaissance Waterfront Hotel. There are still lots of people spending sums of money on drinking and dining out. I figure my reason to be there was to report back to you that the recession has not affected everyone.

Next on the agenda was what we came to town for, an evening concert by Diana Krall, who sings standards, 60's & 70's tunes and plays a mean jazz style piano accompanied by her combo of bass, bass guitar, & drums. This evening she even had an orchestra backup to make the music that much richer. In case you didn't know, Diana's husband is Elvis Costello.

There are myriad things to do in Boston. Its our "big city". We counted 8 theaters in the theatre district near South Station. They have lots of live shows like in New York, so if you come to Portland, Boston would be a nice side-trip.


  1. Hi Daniel, I'm not even going to tell you what I was doing when I tried to post a comment before. So, Boston. When we were there, I fell in love with the city - but we managed to not go anywhere you've described - it's a big city. I knew you would find your soul's home when spring came, winter is only the price you must pay (there's always a price). Is Samantha an old friend or a new acquisition? Surprisingly, I know who both Diana Krall and Elvis Costello are. When I figure out how to sync my i-pod on iTunes again, I plan to pick up her albumn. SF was wonderful - the ballgame was fun, the weather was cool but sunny and, I think, we missed gay pride day by one (or two) days (or was it gay pride week? I've forgotten). We thought it would be very gay indeed in SF but we had to come home. We saw a Georgia O'Keefe/Ansel Adams show at MoMa - his photos, her paintings of the exact same things. It was wonderful. Also a show by a photographer that I wasn't familar with, Robert Franks, that we both loved. They had three wonderful Maplethorpe's as well. Went to the roof-top for a coffee and, to borrow Gary's phrase, it was in the top ten of iced coffee I've ever had. I love your "colorful man" story - colorful in so many ways. We are off on Friday for the house at the beach. I'll catch you up on the news when we get back. Irene

  2. Nice and interesting sharing :)

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