Beantown. Days 3 & 4.

Spring 2009.

The next morning, I had a hearty hangover and a desperate need for something besides 7-11 Taquitos.

This was the first time I had ate outside of the 3 – 6a.m. window since arriving in Boston. Since I was eating at a more conventional time today, I noticed that Billy's - the diner next to 7-11 - was actually open.

I forget what I consumed, but it had pickles and it was tremendous. I was telling GW about this prior to grabbing another sandwich and he told me to bring him up one as well. I’m pretty sure he was happy with Billy’s as well.

We consumed our Billy's and then headed out.

First up today was a walk down Newbury street because GW wanted to go to the Puma store & I wanted to visit Johnny Cupcakes.

They say Newbury is the Rodeo Drive of Boston - which sounds just as awful to you as it does to me - but I really wanted to go to JC's.

I ended up buying an awesome green Johnny Cupcakes Boston shirt, but GW couldn’t find anything he wanted at the Puma store.

Personally, I was all for him picking up this Puma bike to ride down the terrifying Gottingen Street0 back in Halifax.

0 - This is the street I was warned about when I got to Nova Scotia. "Oh I understand you've been to the D, but you DON'T want to go down Gottingen in Halifax!"

The remainder of the stores were either out of our price range or out of our style range - so we continued on, all the while eying all the fantastic stylish girls.

We happened to walk past the fabled Nan Ling1.

1 - The Chinese food that seems to be the only food available post-bar in Beantown.

The third destination of the day (after breakfast & Jon Cupcakes) was MassArt College to meet my friend Kristen.

I basically looked up where Newbury Street was and where the college was - then knew we had to go diagonal between the two to connect.

Along the way was this very impressive domed church - the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

(Yes I realize that the first picture would be oh so much better without that stupid Boston Marathon ad at front.)

Past the church, we continued walking along and all of sudden I lost it and ran over to this corner.

GW was a bit confused until I informed him that this is a spot from a famous biking video - he stood amazed, shaking his head, thinking I saw a cute girl from my reaction...not a famous biking spot.

By the way: Cory Martinez, Animal video, Icepick to manual & Double Peg to 180.

(^I have no idea how to set Vimeo to an exact time, so the above spot is at 16 seconds in.)

I did note that Northeastern was along the way, so as we came across it, I knew we were going the right way.

(I also noted this because I love classic American institutions of learning. I actually wanted to walk around explore the campus, but we needed to keep moving.)

We met up with Kristen at MassArt shortly after the Northeastern University.

After some drinks in the cafeteria, we had to briefly head up to her office so she could drop off something. I think GW and I both noticed at about the same time: a giant canvas with a naked dude who was a dead ringer for Saddam Hussein.

"Oh yeah that guy. He was really creepy, I refused to draw him," informed Kristen.

I always wondered about nude models.

Anyway, I knew visiting Boston, that I wouldn't be able to get away with not checking in with Kristen.

Therefore I thought about it and thought I had a good plan.

Realize that I was not trying to turn this into a building tour, but we had to figure out something the 3 of us would enjoy doing - so I thought about this theater I knew of; that was easy to get into, was relatively clean so we wouldn't mess up our nice clothes and lastly, relatively chill so we could have a couple brews. It also helped that it was being torn down soon.

Unfortunately, as we were coming to the entrance, three girls were exiting the body sized square in the plywood board.

The first two girls made it fine, but the third girl is where the 'unfortunate circumstances' come into play. This girl was a little bigger and had zero eloquence. She emerged from the hole like the Kool Aid Man through a wall - except she didn't have the power to break the plywood.

Slowly she broke off little pieces as she moved her arm past, then one hip, then this body part, then that body part.

After a good 5 minutes, she found herself free from the plywood board like a dog free from one of those post-neuter lampshade neck collars.

GW looked at us and said he wasn't going in. I hung my head as he walked over to a nearby set of stairs; Kristen asked why and wondered what was going on - but I knew there was no changing his mind. He told us to go ahead, but that he just wasn't going in - I made absolutely sure that he was ok with it and he didn't seem to care.

I wasn't dealing with a female here, so I took his "I'm fine" to actually mean he was "fine".

We went inside.

I felt bad because, again, I really didn't want to turn this into a building trip, but I figured this would be a good way to spend the afternoon in Beantown.

With GW in mind, I hustled through and saw everything about as fast as I could, snapping shots and quickly moving from area to area.

After about 15 minutes, Kristen & I took a group shot and we were outside a couple minutes later.

Two other guys showed up and went inside while we were inside (this place is the whore for all of the MassArt hipster kids). I still wonder what they thought when they heard me running on that balcony to make it into the timered picture - it was definitely the opposite of quiet.

Upon our exit, we went on our merry way and I again checked that it was alright that we went inside. I showed GW the pictures and he spouted, "oh, I didn't know it looked like that should have told me."

I can't even say anger grew inside of me; it was more so one of those things you just hear and laugh, while shaking your head.

I guess it does look pretty boring from the outside (to a person who isn't obsessive over buildings).

Another funny part was that apparently those two dudes we saw inside, walked over to the entrance and then looked at GW confusedly. They asked him if he was security or the building owner - to which he said, "Nope. I just don't want to go inside." They told him that it was pretty cool inside, but he was unfazed. They asked if they could go inside and he told the guys he could care less what they did.

I did wonder why those guys looked so confused when we ran into them.

We passed Northeastern again, returning to the Back Bay area.

We were en route to Prudential Tower for the observation deck. My friend Chris had recently posted some photos from up there, so I thought it looked fun and slotted it into our afternoon.

The 50th story observation deck provided a great view over the surrounding land of chowder.

We took our time on each side of the tower.

When we came to the above - with Fenway at center left - Kristen pointed out the CITGO sign and asked if I knew why it was named CITGO. I replied no and she informed me that people used to hit home runs out to it and they'd say C-IT-GO (see it go).

I took another look out the window and the highway-city block-highway conglomeration which separated the sign and Fenway. I know how rarely people even manage to hit balls out of stadiums, so I was about 99.78% sure Kristen's story was bullshit. The thing is that I usually follow the old adage Jay-Z lyric: don’t argue with fools, 'cause people from a distance can’t tell who is who; meaning that when someone says something foolish, I usually just nod and avoid telling them that I think they're mistaken.

Not GW though. "Bullshit!...that's bullshit! There's no way they can hit a ball that far!" Kristen looked at me and I think she was happy that she fooled me, until she realized that I wasn't fooled either. Thankfully GW gave me the benefit of the doubt and knew that I knew they couldn't hit the ball that far as well.

(By the way, I couldn't find how many balls have been hit out of Fenway - the only thing I could find was that some Yankee hit one out in 1957 and that was only the 3rd ever ever hit out of Fenway at the time.)

Another reason I wanted to go to The Pru, was Chris' other photos showing the restaurant one floor up from the observation deck.

I decided to play the chowderhead role and order a Sam Adams and a bowl of clam chowdahhh. As the waitress walked away, Kristen asked if I noticed the waitress mocking my pronunciation of chowdahhh. I told her that I did not and that it must be a chowderhead signal thing.

Anyway, the clam chowder was actually good (I'd never had clam chowder and I was therefore skeptical), and the Sam Adams are always good (especially on tap). Also, the prices were reasonable and the waitressing crew was friendly; so away from having to remove my hat, I was pretty happy with my dining experience.

Kristen had to be on her way to get to some party down in Tåunton (not at Tåunton, but in Tåunton), so we were quickly into the subway system and Kristen gave us brief instructions on how to get to Fenway. Her train appeared after about a literal minute, so she was hurried away.

GW & I hopped onto the train she dictated and thankfully appeared at Fenway within minutes.

We didn't have tickets because of their cost online...but we figured we could scalp some cheap ones at game time.

BOY were we wrong. The cheapest we could find was a guy selling them for $75 each and that was after about 15 scalpers offering $100-$150 per seat tickets - we definitely weren't in the midwest anymore.

I was sour that I wouldn't be able to see a new ballpark or see my Orioles (especially since I had just caught that Markakis hit a grand slam while we were trying to buy tickets); but I wasn't willing to pay those outrageous costs, as well, also unwilling to try and convince GW to pay his portion.

No Sawx-O's for us. The Red Sawx gods were getting their retribution for my mocking of Varitek the night before.

Maybe we should have stopped this guy selling tickets on a Segway.

Still haven't seen a Segway in a real city...

Anyway, we hung our heads in disappointment and walked back to the hotel.

Walking along, I freaked out again when I found the above spot. GW was confused again, but this time for a different reason - "there's places like this everywhere, what's so special about this?" I thought about trying to explain that the rail was the perfect angle, that it's hard to find ledges out from handrails (marble too), the stairs were smooth, &c. &c, but decided against it.

Anyway, Lino Gonzalez @ 0:30.

Continuing on, we went to the liquor store we knew about, which was located across from the Trinity Church near our hotel. I had found a new 40 called Private Stock the day previous and was beside myself. Now that I had consumed that one last night, I was ready to pick up a case of 40's for tonight. The girl at the counter informed me that I would get no discount for buying a case and I had no qualms; ring it up baby!

I was beside myself with joy.

Back at the hotel, I cracked the first 40 of the case after having one of GW's cold PBR's beforehand. I was pretty faded after that, so we descended upon the town.

We walked for what seemed like forever. It was a Friday night too, so either there are really distinct bar districts or there aren't that many bars. Thankfully, after about an hour of walking, we finally found a place that was actually pretty good (don't let the above picture fool you, that was at the end of the night).

The place was some sort of dark tavern with college aged kids. I was distracted heavily by the wood ceiling supports which were all tagged up with chalk - this caused me to spend the majority of the time looking around for chalk.

Some girls did approach us though. GW wasn't happy about his girl and they were quickly vanquished - although I was still beside myself that my girl told me I was adorable.

Adorable, eh? Adorable. Huh.

I like!

We found that bar quite late into the night, so therefore we couldn't consume that much beer. Coupled with the long walk back to the hotel, it was a recipe for feeling okay in the morning.

Packing up our stuff, we bid adieu to our fantastic hotel - The Chandlah Inn.

(Sorry about the crooked picture - I was lugging my two clothing bags + a box of eleven 40's.)

For a place that was slightly more than a $100 AND located very close to downtown, you couldn't beat the Chandler.

As you can see, it was old school in the size of the rooms; but I absolutely loved the character of it. I would highly recommend it and will definitely stay their again.

Outside of Boston, I wasn't that hungry, but I was angered that I hadn't had Qdoba or D'Angelos yet, so I stopped in Saugus to eat in gluttony.

Since I have to rough it out here in NFLD without any amenities, I was making sure that I enjoyed at least some American fast food.

We left Boston on Saturday because there just happened to be a ton of people from Nova Scotia school in Halifax that night. GW joked about making me drive the whole way, but I actually did all of the 10 hours since it was easy after the first hour.

The night was spectacular and it was great to see the old comrades again.

GW & I spent Sunday recovering until going out again and then I left on Monday. When I got on the night ferry, I found that I was on the new one just purchased from the Norweigans.


I got off the ferry around 7:30 a.m. and drove the 2 hours to work - late for a day where I was ridiculously tired the entire remainder.

I've got to thank GW, Kristen, the Nova Scotian friends for coming out and my other friend for showing me Tåunton.

Lastly, I need to thank Citizens Bank for being the only open bank with currency exchange when I forgot to convert my copious amount of Canadian currency.

Good times in Beantown.

GW mentioned another trip while drunk in Moncton...hopefully that will happen.


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