Boston Recap – Arrival, Freedom Trail, VT vs. BC
Some highlights of our Boston trip with some journal excerpts and pictures thrown in.
Flickr User: Some of this may be redundant.
P.R. Squared – Plane Ride and Project Runway
Usually on flights, I sleep a significant portion. This trip we flew JetBlue which features DirecTV. I was enamored with the fact that I had live Bravo on a Wednesday and that had its consequences.
Our plane threw a hitch into my usual flying routine. We had DirecTV on each seat and instead of sleeping I found myself watching two reruns of Project Runway. I kept text messaging Ann [ another Project Runway fan] before take-off.
“I’m watching Project Runway on a plane!!!” I declared.
In retrospect, I wish I slept instead. I arrived in Boston with that typical blah feeling when you’ve glazed over your intelligence with too much TV and advertisements.
Bill C generously picked us up at the airport and he drove us the dinner the first night as well as escorted me around Lowell on Saturday. Alas, there were some moments were Bill was… slightly inaccurate. The one I find most humourous was the first one.
When we arrived at the airport and got to the baggage claim, Sean messaged Bill to see where he was. Sean’s phone quickly beeped with a reply. It turns out Bill was just leaving his house. Sean read the message outloud to me, Bret and Phifer.
“Leaving now. Will be there in 45 minutes. It will take you that long to get your luggage.”
As Sean was reading that message, we were watching our luggage come towards us on the carousel! :)
Freedom Trail – Granary Cemetary
The Granary Cemetary (where Paul Revere, John Hancock and Ben Franklin’s parents are all buried) spurred a lot of thoughts. First off, I found the carvings on the tombstone very interesting:
Often there was no holds barred in regards to what the stone was marking– they’d carve a skull and sometimes crossbones right smack on top of the tombstone! [It left no question what lied beneath.]
There was a sign that explained that the different carvers of the day had different [...] techniques [that could be noticed in the carving]. I thought that was neat. The tombstones not only tell you about the person who lies underneath– but they tell you a bit about the artist as well.
Next, it had me think a bit about my burial plans.
I tell people my primary contender for my post mortum plans is to have my ashes spread on Pearis Mountain. I’m not certain of that route [...]
But– after looking at this cemetary, Pearis Mountain looks more promising. This cemetary is only 2 centuries old. A lot of the stones are illegible. Erosion is sneaking up on them– as more and more soil envelops the bottom halves of the stones. One stone was partially encompassed in a tree which had grown around it.
It seems to me Pearis Mountain will outlast any cemetary. It may not bear my name and the date of my birth and death– but will will embody my spirit.
I’m more certain of the Pearis Mountain route after my visit to Lowell. A number of my ancestors are buried in a cemetary in Lowell, but I did not visit it. Instead, I visited the buildings they built and inhabited, looked at the river they would have seen every day and, most importantly, I walked the streets they would have walked . I felt close to my family then and perhaps in a few generations, my progeny will capture a similiar feeling as well– walking the trail on my favorite mountain.
The U.S.S. Constitution had a lot of neat aspects.
Sean commented that it took a lot of rope to sustain a sailboat. Boy was he right! Lots and lots of ropes of all sizes donned the ship.
The U.S.S. Constitution also connected to a story Bill told us the day before. He told us about Tom McHale who saved the Massachussetts Bay Transportation Authority an estimated $126,000 a year simply by putting hair caps on the air intake pipes for the T trains. (It lets air in, but keeps the engine-damaging snow out).
The U.S.S. Constitution had the inverse with its cannons. Where Tom McHale used netting to cover the opening of the intake pipe, the U.S.S. Constitution had the netting covering the area around the cannon opening.
I’m not sure of the purpose– maybe it is just purely cosmetic. Or maybe, the netting is serving a similiar function as its cousins on the T. Perhaps it was intended to keep large outside debris out?
A few years ago, one of my co-workers went onsite at a mine and came back with the cutest calendar. The miners’ children had drawn different pictures with safety messages like, “Break the Rock, Daddy, Not Your Head!”
[The Naval Yard had a faded billboard] touting similiar safety measures– in specific wearing steel-toed boots. It depicted a sailor grabbing his foot and saying,
“Ouch! Not even a dog deserves this!!!”
Note: Bill isn’t the only one with inaccuracies this trip— my journal recollection was wrong. The sign actually reads, “OUCH! It shouldn’t happen to a dog!”
It’s amusing because there are some people who treat their dogs better than their neighbors. And there is evidence of that all around the area. We’ve past quite a number of dog specialty stores, gourmet treats, etc
A couple of journal comments on old businesses:
Bell in Hand Tavern
We briefly passed by the oldest tavern in the U.S. I believe it was established in the 1700s. In Blacksburgs, some bars barely last a year! [...]
There are a lot of businesses that are pretty old. Near Quincy Square we passed by a restaurant whose sign read, “Established Before You Were Born.”
Virginia Tech vs. Boston College
We met Bill and his cousin, Matty, for a quick tailgate and then headed off to the game.
Tech lost the Boston College game miserably. In fact the local paper used the verb “trounce” in describing the outcome.
Nonetheless I found something to cheer about. BC’s kicker, affectionately called “Sid Vicious” (because his last name is long and hard to pronounce), is a walk-on to the team. He was kicking field goals for fun when a coach saw him and invited him to join the team. Their regular kicker got in a bar fight so now it was time for Sid Vicious to show his stuff.
The Virginia Tech game was his first game ever and this boy shined! He kicked two field goals and two extra points– 8 points total. Not bad for his first game!!!
“Boston is Not a College Football Town”
Early in the week, Bill told us that Boston is not a college football town. In the two days after the game, we saw Bill’s statement was quite accurate.
The friendly inhabinants we met certainly proved that [statement]. Thursday night we lost the game. All day Friday and Saturday, friendly passers-by would note our shirts and say stuff like, “Have fun at the game!”, “Hope you win!” or “When’s the game?”
They had no idea it already occurred or that the results were so decisive! :)