But let’s start at the beginning and set the stage for what was to come in trying to reach Boston…
The morning started smoothly enough, with a pain-free checkout and departure to see my friend from my last company and her husband and new son.
The nav took me flawlessly through more of those thin streets I don’t love and I parked across the street in a public garage. The doorman called up and showed me to the elevator and my friend was poking her head out her door for me to see.
The youngster is quite big already, seemingly much larger than 18 mos. Takes after his Dad, who is a tall man. The four of us went for a walk in Central Park and then it was supposed to be time for his mini-nap, but I think my visit threw off the schedule.
I took off as they were readying him for his third swimming lesson. On advice from my friend’s husband, I told the nav to avoid toll roads. This was supposed to provide a cheaper, nicer and cleaner drive.
Alas, such was not the case. A 3-hour drive turned into 5 and kept me constantly concerned I might actually miss my first national anthem in 26 games. I managed to squeak into the hotel garage with about 30 minutes to go and then waited not-so-patiently to get my room (needing to use the bathroom might have contributed).
I hurried back down and speed-walked to the stadium, making it about 3 minutes before the anthem. Phew.
The city: Boston, Massachusetts. What don’t you already know about Beantown? Seems like most of these northeastern cities have little to surprise you about their history.
Take Boston, founded in 1630. You probably know about the Tea Party, Bunker Hill, the Irish immigrants (including a clan with the name of Kennedy). But maybe there’s a nugget or two I can dig up.
For instance, did you know the city was originally called Trimountaine, after three big hills in the area (two of which were leveled for building)? Or that the modern name came from a similarly named city in England because a number of the American city’s leading citizens came from there? How about that granulated sugar was first invented there?
Boston’s origins were heavily grounded in religious dogma, with the Puritans holding sway for some time. Religious intolerance ruled the day in the Colonial era.
In the 1700’s, Boston could have been called “Disaster Town”, suffering an epidemic, an earthquake and a great fire (yet another city of that era). Later that century, there was some kind of domestic spat with England. You’ve probably read about it.
As with midwestern cities, Boston’s water access leapfrogged its growth. However, with the access being to the Atlantic Ocean, the range of products and trade supercharged the economic impact.
The 19th century in Boston was highlighted by many literary luminaries and thinkers, such as Hawthorne, Longfellow, Holmes (Oliver, not Sherlock) and Emerson (Ralph, not Lake and Palmer).
On the education front, you had Harvard (well, really in Cambridge) and MIT and Boston College. And in sports, the city represents well in the NFL (Patriots), NBA (Celtics), MLB (Red Sox) and NHL (Bruins). All of the teams have brought home championships.
The game: Boston Red Sox vs. Detroit Tigers. Boston has been terrible all year and they showed no change in the game today, making it three stinkers in a row and a two-game losing streak.
The game was so uninteresting, the sole moment of unabashed crowd excitement (besides singing “Sweet Caroline”) was when an inflated kitty floated over the outfield. In some weird way, it didn’t touch the ground, though it sank close in both center and right field before valiantly rising to take to the air once more. The crowd booed lustily when a stadium staffer grabbed it and removed it.
The loss drops the GNABRT to 17-9 with only 4 games left.
The tab: Ticket, $51.50; Meatballs in a cup, $8; Coke, $5.25; Total – $64.75
Miscellany of Day 59:
– I got my first taste of Central Park when I visited my friend on the Upper West Side and we went out for a walk with her husband and son. There was a race going on (perhaps charity?) and joggers and dog walkers everywhere.
One lady jogger in particular seemed to be everywhere we went. I suggested she was stalking us for a mugging later. My friends seemed to feel I would be the only one mugged. Mighty suspicious.
– As we called the elevator to leave, it moved up past the floor about halfway. It was one of those jobs where you have a door with a window in it to see the elevator behind it. My friend said that never happened before. Might suspicious.
– While my friend offered me a nice cinnamon raisin bagel and cream cheese, she neglected to tell me about anything else. When her husband brought out a plate of smoked salmon, she simply said she forgot. Mighty suspicious.
Tomorrow, I am going to try to do the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a 4 1/2 hour ride each way to Cooperstown, so I need to plan smartly. Given that it’s Sunday, I hope the traffic patterns will be more forgiving.