......finding a new home for lutefisk lovers.

(ok we don't love it. or even like it. but we're supposed to.)

17 March 2011

A Birthday Outing in Boston (and by "outing" I mean "excursion")

In a city this old, you have lots and lots of people who have died.
And the guidebook says you have to see them all.

If I'm going to make it in this bucolic paradise, I'm going to have to get an urban fix on a regular basis. That means I have to get to know Boston.

So far, I know that if I get off the train and turn left I can get pizza (as referenced in my posts about the North End). Other than that, I can't seem to get a handle on this place; the geography of it wiggles around in my head. Navigating here is not as straightforward as it is in the midwest with your grid patterns and your numbered streets and your alphabetized avenues that all intersect so nicely. Instead, I'm dealing with streets that amble and frolic any which way they want; streets that may or may not intersect with other streets that at one point run parallel and at another point run perpendicular. AND these schizophrenic streets change their names every block or two and you never know which street name the map has chosen to use. GPS means nothing to these streets. It tells you to turn left in .2 miles on Court Street but you don't because it says State Street - so then the GPS gets mad and has to recalculate and you just keep not turning and getting further and further from where you are supposed to be - all with the aid of a GPS system.

I have a lightbulb (as Liam says)! THIS is why New Englanders use landmarks when giving directions!! Like the oft-repeated line "All you do is, go down there a ways and turn left about a mile before where the old barn used to be."

So I decide I just need to put a bunch of maps in my pocket and get out and walk. Make mistakes. Figure it out by feel.

Boston: Blog Chapter (or "chaptette") 1

My first stop will be a visit to the Old Corner Bookstore - best known for it's assumed appearance in the book Make Way for Ducklings. We all assume that this is the same bookstore passed by Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Oack, Pack and Quack as they head to Boston's Public Garden. The Old Corner Bookstore has been around since 1820 and it's building has been the home of an apothecary, a jewelry store and, of course, a variety of bookstores. Today, I will see what adventures it holds for me.

But, big surprise, I can't find it. I get lost, use 3 different maps to get back on track, then arrive at the exact location indicated on the map........but it's not here. Dammit to hell, Boston, don't (bleep!) with me!

Then, finally, I spy this tiny plaque:
Hurray! I DID find it! All by myself! Then I look in the window and see this:

And then I turn around and look across the street and see this:

Do I even need to say anything here? Is my rant implied? Should I fill you all in on the marketing strategies of the "The Big B's" (as they're known in the book industry) or can I assume that you know that we can blame the apocalypse on them?

Suck it, Borders. Oh, what's that? You ARE currently sucking it? Chapter 11 you say?
Well, karma's a bitch, isn't it?

Tune in next time for "Chaptette" 2: Ben Franklin and a donkey!


Debra said...

You will be pleased to know all the Border's are going out of business in MN!

Your post made me laugh! My mom is from MA, so I've been getting lost in Boston my whole life.

Kristin said...

No more Borders in MN??!! Well, as my friend, Shayne, would say, "See ya later, fu**ers!

Good to hear I'm not the only one getting lost!

Judy said...

Isn't this the movie " you've got mail?"

Cecilia said...

I'm a Mid-West transplant in Boston and year #1 was major culture shock! Boston is now home 25 years later. Let me know if I can ever help you navigate through the city!

(Your fellow BYW classmate)