Monday, May 19, 2014

Graduation Day in Boston

I took a class at Grub Street (writers' organization) on Saturday.  It was a beautiful late-spring day, too nice, really to sit inside, but we were. 

When the class was over and I ventured outside onto Boston's Boylston St., the world was there.  Serious numbers of people. My significant other met me, and we scooted into the Four Seasons' Bristol Lounge, where  the upper 1% in fancy evening clothes were waiting, drinking and dining.  Cars pulling up, lots of activity, quite a few foreign voices, people ordering champagne and who-could-even-guess-how-much-it-costs seafood platters.  We had coffee and shared an order of Boston Cream Pie (delicious) that arrived with a berry sherbet and some fresh blackberries.  Ah, the good life. Four people in suits came in, ordered large cokes, paid immediately, drank them down so fast they must have been burping all evening and left...all in the space of a few minutes.  We left the hotel and saw even more dressed-to-the-nines swells in the lobby.

In the public garden, even more people.    Trying to get out of downtown in an automobile was a huge hassle.  I am still clueless, blaming the nice weather.  We pick up a friend at UMASS, and head for Cambridge.  Wanting to avoid downtown and knowing the Longfellow Bridge is closed, we decide to take the Pike.  Yikes!  Why is the traffic backed up for a mile getting off the Pike?

The light dawns.  People are in town for various college graduations.  Boston is not well-marked, and the Pike has no-cash lanes for those with responders and of course all the graduates' relatives are in the wrong lane.  Well, you know.  Our restaurant was a little off the beaten track  unless  you went to MIT and they always graduate late, so we were all right.  The trickiest part of the evening was that when we existed the parking garage and tried to tell the GPS we wanted an address is East Boston, it became clueless.  We were driving down a main street in Cambridge, and it kept telling us we were "off road," and then it gave wrong directions, and finally we got on the expressway and went thru the tunnel into East Boston, and SOMEWHERE UNDER THE HARBOR, it figured things out.  Most mysterious.

You'd think maybe the mini-adventures would have been over and you would have been wrong.  The GPS knew where we were, but it didn't know how to get us on I-93 South after exiting the Sumner Tunnel.  It sent us over the bridge north to Sullivan Square and very elegantly and mysteriously brought us back across the Zakim bridge to I-93 South.  We knew the way from there.

When I worked in Cambridge, I always took the train into town when Harvard graduated, because 10,000 clueless drivers from out of town was well, scary.  Very scary.  It was daunting on Saturday, too, with Tufts and BU and others graduating.

One MBTA station is closed for remodeling, the Bridge is under construction and one of the tunnels was just repaired after having been closed for a couple months.  Anyone who suffered thru 10+ years of the Big Dig does not want more aggravations.  Nope.  Send your kids to college somewhere else.  Or tell them you hate the graduation speaker and boycott.                                

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