mardi 8 juin 2010


I went to Boston. I moved my bouncy bottom out of Bethlehem and went out to explore the world, and it felt nice. Really nice. I'm starting to like buses a lot. Not nearly as much as I like trains, but trains aren't the way to go in the US. They're expensive, and impractical, and slow. Buses are actually faster, most of the time, and a lot cheaper.
So I took the bus from Bethlehem to New York, and when I got to Port Authority bus station, as I was standing on the escalator and seeing crowds of people pass me by, I heard myself whisper to myself "why the hell am I not living here". It always happens when I'm in New York. I can't help it. Completely spontaneous, completely uncontrolable. A real question: indeed, why am I not living here? Strange. But okay! I'm okay not living in New York. I really am okay with it. Nevertheless, everytime I'm there, I sense the vibe, the sheer energy of that city, and I'm drawn to it. I was a bit disappointed to simplytransit through, until I realized the bus from New York to Boston was crossing all of Manhattan before reaching the highway!

We rode on Amsterdam avenue, from the very lower part of Manhattan all the way up to Harlem. I watched and watched and watched as the neighborhoods changed, as we passed by a Central Park entrance, as a lady all dressed up for church (red and white hat, red suit, red and white shoes) stopped at the crosswalk. When we reached the highway, I could still see the roofs of a burrough, which I realized was South Bronx when I saw a panel on a building " Save the South Bronx".
Then we were on our way to Boston.
Past New York, Connecticut, into Massachusetts, I started realizing what the big deal was about New England. The big deal is that New England is really pretty. Forests and lakes, and you can almost see the crispness of the air. I remembered that some friends I had met in Dublin who were American came from here. And I remembered their descriptions as I was staring through the bus window. This was different from Pennsylvania. It felt more... "North", just as DC feels more "South".
When I got to Boston, I took the subway, which also made me happy, because that's what public transportation does for me. And then, I met up with Olivia. We hadn't seen each other for two years (!) so we of course had a lot to talk about, a lot to catch up on. And, as we immediately bonded again, and felt no awkwardness, we realized that, well, we really were good friends.
We walked a lot, visiting the various neighborhoods, going to Cambridge and seeing Harvard, and going to the Samuel Adams brewery for some beer tasting. And I got to eat the chowda', and some of the best cannoli in the world (Mike's pastry, you should check it out if you're ever over there). Life was good that week-end.
Maybe it was because I was with Olivia, and because we met up with another friend who used to go to Royal Holloway, but I could sense the Britishness, and the Irishness of the environment. Maybe because, for the first time since I've been in the US living here, I walked into a bar that felt more like a pub, more like a place where you actually take your time to sit and relax and drink good beer, and eat something else besides chips. Maybe because the buildings were all red brick, or because of the accents, or because of the public parks and plazas... Boston felt new yet recognizable. It felt like the perfect place to catch my breath, gain perspective and chill. Exactly what I needed!

Jack Nicholson hanging out on a Boston wall

The Harvard Philosophy Department

Harvard bookstore

A funny dentist's window

George Washington in the Public gardens

Old church - newer building

2 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Thank you for taking us along for the ride and the week end.

Anonyme a dit…

LIKE! Always enjoy reading about your experience in the U.S. (Dani)