After this weekend, Boston is officially on my list of awesome cities. (This list also includes Burlington, VT, and Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, for those of you playing along at home.)
I can't quite come up with an adequate way to summarize this weekend, so I will just give most of a narrative.
A major theme is really nice conversations with mlt23
. Saturday morning we wandered along the Charles River, talking about college and life and jobs and growing up. We made it all the way to Beacon Hill, which is quiet and beautiful and where we got briefly lost (and I stalked a pigeon for a few feet, until it startled) and then found ourselves again, and Boston Gardens. The Gardens had a number of buskers, but the best was an older man with a magical musical cart, decked out in largely neon green festivity, with a sign saying "Peace Wave Machine". His hat had gauges on it, measuring who knows what--cheerfulness, maybe. He played only happy songs.
We walked back along Beacon Street, and I got to marvel (another theme) at Boston architecture, so different from any other city that I know: the brownstones crowded close together, and what profiles they present as they march down the street ahead of you.
That afternoon, we went to the International Antiquarian Book Fair, where I fit in perfectly with the multitudes of tweed- and hat-wearing people. I say people; I mean men, because very few of the women were wearing tweed. Still, it made me slightly smugly proud to find that I pass as male so very easily in a crowd of rare book dealers.
The books were gorgeous, and expensive; I found a Dante that I didn't think my rare book room owned, and wrote the details down on the business card of the relevant stall. (When I brought this evidence of my busman's holiday sheepishly into work today, my boss accepted it as completely normal.)
In the evening, I got to see an a cappella concert, possibly now that I think of it my first with all-male groups. One was the Dear Abbeys, some of whose music I own, so I was expecting it to be really good, and it was. The crowd in the hall wasn't my favorite part, but endurable for the music--and now I know why the youtube videos of a cappella songs are so loud. (Or rather, I've experienced it live; still not completely sure why it happens.)
The next day, I took the T all! by! myself! to meet up with jesstherobot
and hang out. We talked about, what, writing and college and physics and stuff (clearly I should have written this up earlier) and wandered and drank tea. I got to see Pandemonium, and I bought a book, too, Abraham's An Autumn War
By the time that I had to get back to the bus station, I didn't want to leave. Fortunately(?), the bus I had been wanting to get on was full by the time mlt23
and I got there. The next one was an hour and a half later, so we went to get tea. While we attempted to find the best place, I spotted someone in a vest and nice hat, with a chain snaking into his pocket. With only a moment's hesitation (am I that person? yes, I am) I went up to him. "Excuse me," I said, "do you have a pocketwatch?" He glanced down. "No, I have a wallet," he said, with regret. "But I own a pocketwatch--I'm just not wearing it."
So that was Boston. (I got on the next bus; it dropped me off in Amherst, and I took the five-college bus back, arriving at eight-fifteen not having eaten dinner. Happily, my friends had claimed a plate for me and put it in my fridge, so I got some food.)
I realized on the bus back that this is the first time I'd planned and executed a trip entirely by myself, including "this is where I will go to buy food and I will find food and be able to eat for the rest of the weekend" (complicated by only having a fridge and microwave to work with, but it worked out really well!).
And by this point I might even be caught up on homework, due to an annoying but productive couple of days. And next week is Thanksgiving.
Someday I will definitely be going back to Boston.
The more novels I write (and rewrite), the less the multiples-of-10k milestones mean to me. But hey, I hit one!
--also, Ideomancer is hiring
slush readers and I work there and it's awesome and you should be awesome too and apply. That is all.