Monday, October 30, 2006

Opera Man Bye Bye

My girlfriend and I were talking about Carl Everett last night. (We both were totally pro-Carl when he arrived on the Red Sox scene.) In our discussion, she brought up the fact that Carl apparently threw a party for the team at the end of one season, and nobody showed up. She added, "You'd think at least Jose Offerman would've gone for the free food..."

I was in the so-called "North End" last night for the first time. And, like Stew Petersen, it lived up to its hype. Whenever I'm in Boston, I always have to ask, "Yeah, I know this is the Fenway Park-ish area, and this is the [insert college] area, and this is the Common area, but where's the city?" The North End's cramped streets with all the commerce packed in made me feel home? But that doesn't make sense because I've only lived in a major city for a little while. And I like all forms of human dwellification--everything has something for me. Even a wide open field with nothing for miles at least would be nice for sunset watching and stargazing and shutting the hell up for a second. But I'm just always wondering when I'll be in Boston and come across a hundred numbered streets in a row all completely filled with people and stores and crap like that. Seems like it's just not like that. More like a million little unique neighborhoods all spread out. Which is like Manhattan, only in Manhattan, there's no in between. If you're walking from NoHo to SoHo, you'll either be in one or the other or on Ho itself, to use the most basic of examples.

The point of this was that I really liked the North End. I give it four and a half Chans out of five.

I think a...way to wrap this all up is with a quote from my uncle, who I talked to on the phone the other day. I've never heard anyone say this before: "There are two places I don't go: New York...and Boston."

That girlfriend of yours should be a writer with Comedy Central. Great line, girlfriend!
As for your loony uncle, might I point out that he went to Fordham.
Uncle sounds cool! I'm an uncle too...with two great nephews and a "living in the city (NYC)" niece. I love it! Hi Mary Ann.
Amazingly, he forgot to say California. I have lived here for 5 years and he still hasn't come. He says he'll never come and that I better get out now before the earthquakes, mudslides, wildfires, etc kill us. He keeps telling me that we need to give it back to Mexico and move back to the east coast. Gotta love him. (Hi Aunt Mary-Ann!)
He did mention Fordham. He just said, you know, since then, he'll never go back. He said he flies over/drives around those cities. (Note: He also has spent much of his life, like, a half hour from Boston.)
"As for your loony uncle, might I point out that he went to Fordham."

You found a hidden message that I never intended. That uncle who never goes to New York attends his Fordham reunion every five years.
And Kara, I do indeed love that loony uncle.
But also, he took it out of context. Mom was just pointing out that for someone who says he never goes to a place, he certainly....attended college there quite a bit. But I also think he took it out of context ina jokey way, to show what that line can look line on it's own, and how you might not want to post it on a Fordham bulletin board, especially not before their big game with their rival: Bellevue!

Back to the subject at hand - Baaahhhhstin! New York City as a whole is approx. 7x larger than Boston (316 sq. miles vs. 48 sq. miles) and is the largest city in the country. Boston does have variety in every direction, but you won't find the North End to the north, Southie isn't to the south, and the Back Bay is the last place that you would expect it to be. The North End is known for its "Little Italy" feel, as I'm sure you picked up. (If you head to that area again, check out Galleria umberto on Hanover Street, the arancini are to die for.) If you are looking for a "Manhattan" feel, next time you visit the city head to Newbury Street. Start at the furthest end (near the Commons) and head towards Mass Ave. It's a goregous walk. Once you hit Mass Av., keep your eyes peeled for Little Steve's House of Pizza and Spike's Junk Yard Dogs. keep heading down Mass Ave and you'll run into Chinatown.

No, Bostson doesn't have numbered streets (though we do have a large collection of public alleys, I always forget to look for them in NYC - are there numbered public alleys there?). Boston is still very much a city of old fuddy duddys. Houses over 300 years old, noise ordinances, and no public transportation after 12:30am. If you want to see the "urban" side of the city, feel free to stop by my neck of the woods, Mission Hill. Or you could take a ride up to Dorchester, a very Queens-like area.

/end pro-Boston prose
Aunt Mary-Ann: Loony and lovable... that's a fair description for the old guy.
Not Laura: Newbury Street is actually one of the parts of Boston I know really well. And it's cool. But, to me, one of the parts where I say, Yeah, but where's the city? It seems to be just the one street. The side streets have stop signs! It's more like the one commerce-y street of a small town than one of many in a big city. (Although there are those streets that parallel it that are also pretty cool. I often park at the Common Garage and walk all the way up (down? along?) Newbury or one of the other ones to get to Fenway.

Anyway, thanks for the advice!

I love alleys! I first experienced them in Lincoln, NE. And other midwest towns have 'em. Not so much in NYC. But the Boston ones are great, and THOSE are what get numbered! They rule.

My girlfriend informed me recently that the T STOPS running. Cuz it's night! I never knew any public transportation within a city just stopped at a certain time. Crazy.

Oh, and we went to a different restaurant in Little Italy. Was good stuff

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