Monday, September 25, 2006

Beantown, Part 2

This is a long time coming. Hell, this trip was back in July, over the 4th holday. But I never finish anything in a decent amount of time so here it is, without further adieu. The second installation in the epic saga that was my journey to the heartland that birthed and mutilated the principles of our formerly excellent nation (and still somewhat excellent when compared to the Durkadurkastans).

The airport in Boston is straight up 70's. They haven't even tried to update the traffic flow around the place. You get on the rental bus and have about 17 stops before you start feeling that deja vu feeling all over again. Keep in mind this is all occurring while some 4 year old is staring you down for whatever reason and her infant sibling has fouled up the air with baby butt funk. Finally, we're at the rental station and are delighted to be the 14th or so customers in line. I suppose I should have been an asshole like the hip-hop gang banger that used the VIP line despite the fact that he wasn't a VIP member. He still got service before the other 12 of us that were in line already. But that's just not how I roll. Get the car, choice between a Chevy Whatever and a Subaru Something. US cars suck ass, give me the foreign jobby. Don't want to break down while we're in Hartford. Talk about hardcore gangstas?! You ain't seen shit til' 4 of em' wack ass ganstas walk out in front of moving traffic in downtown Hartford, Connecticut. Hartford be hard, bitches! No, seriously, I'm not kidding. But that's later in the trip. Hop in our rental ride and we up and out!

Welcome to Boston! That'll be three dollars.

See, to leave the airport, you have to use the Ted Williams tunnel. Yes, the one that caved in about 3 days after we left. Well, to enter the tunnel, you have to pay a $3 toll. Um, excuse me, but didn't I already throw my tax dollars into this hole? If I remember correctly, that was the largest public works project in history and it was largely funded with federal tax dollars. That's partially my money, ass. And you want three more of my dollars? Talk about squeezing blood from a stone.

Nice drive into town. In a tunnel. For a new project it looks like the airport, tiles and lighting making it look all 70's style. It's almost impossible to avoid imagining a movie-like scene happening to you where you come around the curve to find that water is rushing towards you at breakneck speed and you have no choice but to either drown or get shot out of a ventilation shaft a la Die Hardest (aka Die Hard With a Vengeance).

Getting around town was no easier. We were meeting my brother-in-law in town for lunch at his office in the financial district. We tried to follow his directions, but that went about as well as casting Keanu Reeves to play former president Jimmy Carter as Keanu is way too smart for that role. One wrong turn on an unmarked road in a construction area and we're left to luck to find our way to the right place as our map pretty much turned out to be useless with all of the rerouting. Apparently they're still working on the Big Dig but somehow the dig has ended up on the surface streets. Regardless, several blocks later, we figured out a way out of the quagmire because the street we were supposed to end up on after 3 or 4 turns turned out to be directly ahead on the right. "Where the hell is the parking deck he was talking about?" Oh, well, here's one that's kind of close. And twice as expensive! $30 max. after 4 hours. Super.

Meet up with the brother-in-law. Walk 4-5 blocks down to Faneuil Hall area for lunch at about 11:30. Too early for lunch everyone tells us(first 2 places, at least). Find a Tex-Mex place that seems surprised at our "early" arrival but still manages to seat us and feed us nachos and beer almost immediately to boot.

After lunch, we head out for the train while lil' bro heads back to work. But, he gave us his train pass so we only need to buy tokens for one of us. Head over across town to some museum that a high society lady put together back in the day. Nice place, but a little too dark to see some of the more interesting pieces. They had a Rembrandt and some other masterpiece stolen several years ago by some clever crooks that dressed as policemen, showed up at like 3 AM stating the alarm had gone off, tied up the security guards and cut the paintings from the frames and took off like the bandits they are. It was a nice museum and especially nice compared to the gallery style museums that I was accustomed to. And the fact that it was more of a personal collection than a wholly-planned exhibit made it so that you got to sample a little bit of a bunch of different styles. A seven-course feast for the eyes, so to speak.

Headed back into town, got suckered into visiting Filene's Basement where I then got suckered into buying a new blue sportcoat. My other one ended up with a hole in the sleeve somehow, either by cigarette or candle or something that burns. But hey, got a great deal on a Nautica sportcoat, if it's not a fake. Picked up a nice teapot as a gift for the brother-in-law and his wife to go with the Asian dinnerware we got them back at Christmas. Wifey didn't believe me that it'd match, but she underestimates my rather useful superpower of visual memory and my otherwise useless superpower of color matching.

Ended the day at a pretentious Italian restaurant. It was like eating out in Buckhead but with white people. Decent food, decent wine, indecent prices. And no one told me not to eat the green stuff out of the lobster's shell. It looked edible. Eww, nasty!

Overall, it was an exciting excursion into "not Atlanta." There aren't too many places that aren't more interesting than "the ATL" assuming that no more than 37 people were shot, raped, murdered or otherwise assaulted on a given day in Atlanta.

That's more than enough to read for now. Tune in likely sometime in November for the next installation. Maybe sooner, but that's just how I roll.