Saturday, April 26, 2008

in which everywhere is like somewhere else

i woke up this morning at the same time as yesterday but had a much harder time getting my ass out of bed. i don't know if it was the heffeweizen gulped down self-conciously at great scott the night before or the intense amount of walking i'd done or if my drag assiness was just due to a general dread of another morning of networking with strangers whose benefit to my own professional development is dubious at best.

i had a pretty great date with myself out on the town in cambridge and allston last night. i started with a brisk walk from my hotel at copley down dartmouth to the river. from there, i strolled leisurely along the bank, avoiding the many runners and dog walkers, both by side stepping out of their paths and their eye contact. boston is a lot like san francisco where everyone wants to look you in the eye and say hello. in the elevator the other day, a couple of women were talking about how they liked to greet people on the elevator rather than be all awkward and not say anything at all. i kept quiet and stared at the floor indicator. i think my looking uncomfortable made them feel uncomfortable which amused me a little. i will choose who i talk to in the elevator, thank you very much. anyway, i crossed the river over the the harvard bridge and walked up mass. ave. to river street. most of mass ave on the north side of the river before river street is really boring MIT area until you get to what seems to be a thriving asian city block, not to be confused with the chinatown by South End. My theory is that there's a big asian community at MIT and harvard, though i only have anecdotal evidence to support this hunch.

it all seemed like a normal suburban neighborhood until i turned on river street and suddenly entered a shanty town. i passed a cool church with pretty stainglass windows that were just big blocks of color instead of depicting any kind of scene before arriving at my dining destination of choice. i had passed a couple of other feasible options that had been suggested to me (middle east, mainly) but none of them spoke to me.

river gods was exactly what i was looking for. kitsch goth decor and hamburgers with topping options like mushroom tapenade.

the chairs all looked like they were straight out of medieval times and the bar had a bunch of gargoyles looming overhead. i sat at the end of the bar and texted with a friend of adam's who is like the todd p of boston. i'd asked if it was too late to list me at great scott where he had recommended i go for this indie electro dj set, but when he asked how many people i needed i realized he didn't know i was as unpopular in boston as i am. well maybe not unpopular so much as undiscovered. he set me up and said he'd probably stop by around 1:30 a.m. unfortunately, i planned to be in my hotel hot tub by that point (when in reality, i didn't even make it that far).

i walked all the way to great scott nonetheless, over I-90 and through allston, which is like the williamsburg of boston except less fancy and more douche-y. i passed a bar called deep ellum which gave me great mirth (steven dubbed deep ellum the williamsburg of dallas, or actually, the other way around). oh, also of note, there is a latin restaurant in South End called Orinoco (which is funny if you are a fan of Enya--so many of us are, after all). i got lost on the way right when i crossed back over the river on Cambridge St because it's all one big highway cluster fuck. Honestly, i would be up shit creek if i didn't have GPS on my phone with how twisty this city's roads are. that is one major charm of boston, i have to admit. i love all the back alleys and surprises around the historic corners. and when i got to the bar and they asked me for $5 bucks, i got to say "i'm on the list." that was pretty fun, too. being on a list where you don't even live or know anybody feels great.

i rode the T back from the bar because my feet where squealing little piggies and i passed out. like i said at the beginning of this snoozerific post, i had to be down at breakfast at 8:30 a.m. or risk starving (it was a good thing i had enough time to eat breakfast because i couldn't find anything to eat again until 4pm). one of the girls who runs the event pulled me aside for an interview with the CEO of Jazzercise. she blew my mind and i will tell you all about her in person one day. ask me about her.

the rest of my day kind of sucked because i didn't pack enough warm stuff or comfortable shoes so i was freezing and my feet were killing me even though i had a ton of energy. i tried to go to union oyster house as my coworker had recommended, but it was closed due to the city of boston gas shut off, which i'm sorry but wtf? i went to durgin-park instead but they were serving a limited menu due to the same weird just-my-luck situation. so i had a roast beef sandwich instead of the traditional yankee pot roast i had in mind. also, the lobster roll was over $20. that's totally stupid. if i want to pay over $20 bucks, i'll have the lobster without the mayonnaise. i'm kind of annoyed with said coworker for sending me to this area of boston--falieul hall and quincy marketplace--because it was swimming with tourists, dirty children, old people, fat people, and the generally unattractive. disclaimer: i might have only been seeing it this way because my blood was turning to ice in my veins and my shoes were wearing my ankles down to pointy stumps. i persevered onward to the paul revere statue and old north church and continued along the freedom trail across the river on yet another bridge into charlestown until i reached the naval yards and then the bunker hill monument. i was told this would be something i should do but i honestly don't find american history to be enthralling in the least. what was more fascinating to me was how many duck tour buses passed me today. i should have counted but i think i would have run out of numbers.

david called me while i was following the red brick trail and after i told him that i didn't know the significance of bunker hill he googled it for me and recited a summary of events. he wouldn't do any more points of interest for me though because i had not paid him $14.50. neither of us know where he got this figure, but if we go into business together we might do tours of boston based on the movie good will hunting or the show alley mcbeal since the sex & the city tour in nyc is so successful. i can't think of any other movies that were based in boston. he spent the next 10 minutes trying to convince me to go to a gay bar instead of wandering around tourism hell while i tried to remind him that i am not, in fact, a gay man.

after i got back to my hotel, i slapped on the gd swimsuit i've taken with me all over the country (san fran nor chicago nor los angeles nor austin fulfilled my pool needs this year) determined to get some hot tub action. got into the westin whirlpool and wouldn't you know it, the foam was brown. brown. and it smelled like vagina. shudder. why god why?

i'm going to my second yoga class tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. even though i changed my train ticket to 11:15 so i could make it to nikki's going away party in the park tomorrow afternoon. i plan to step out of the class at 10:15 to get to the station by 10:45. i'm sure the instructor will be pissed about that, and i will be apologetic, but secretly i will be glad to escape before the inversions section of the routine. (4/27/08 update: did not go to yoga class. have a year to use it, but will gladly transfer it to you if you happen to be in the area before me.)

okay, and that's all there is to report about boston. oh wait i forgot to mention the custard eclair and capp i had at mike's pastry in North End and how there was a perpetual line wrapped around the block for the entire hour i sat in there (not out of choice--the waitress was crazed and since i didn't have any where to be i didn't pester her). okay. now i'm done. bye.

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