Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back to Boston 1989 (repost of a 2005 note)

****(A visitor's search showing on my visitor's log led me back to this old post. When I wrote this, both cousins were alive. Becky died a few years after, at age 49 , of esophageal cancer, and Dee, this past spring of 2009 of a massive heart attack. I miss them both deeply)



Of all the places I've lived, Boston and Honolulu rank highest in my estimation. Boston was a city of high energy and multiple universities, a city of the old and the new, a city of The Boston Pops and The Boston Symphony. The Charles River meandered along city's edge and, in summer, was filled with small sailboats, weaving the waters between Boston proper and Cambridge. If it hadn't been for the endless snow, the commutes of over an hour, sometimes in blizzard conditions, I don't think I would have ever left. The above photo is of sidewalk art, close to the Trolly kiosk at the Boston Commons, a popular gathering place for folk to sprawl on blankets in warm weather or wander down into Boston Gardens, where masses of flowers were planted each Spring. The Hari Krishnas usually danced near this spot, with a container out for money, hoping to recruit a new member.

Newberry Street reached up from the Commons, in the opposite direction of downtown proper. It was the home of ritzy shops and buildings edged in ivy, such as the one where my cousin Becky stands in this photo. She and I had traveled to Boston to help settle some financial matters for her older sister, the cousin closest to my age in the family. Ironically, my first husband's law firm was handling the matter and so I saw him for the fourth time after moving from Boston, not knowing that would also likely be our last visit together. I put him through law school during our marriage in the seventies and was by then a quite successful lawyer in Providence.

This is one of the many fabulous beaches north of Boston...Revere Beach. Becky and Dee are in this photo. Even in the warmest weather, however, the water remains icy cold. I swam off of our sailboat once when I lived there, but on most sailing days, we needed a jacket and jeans by afternoon's end.

Copley Plaza! You can see old buildings and new very well in this photo. That's me with Dee in this photo. Behind us is the infamous John Hancock tower, the object of much debate when it was built. An uproar was raised because of its very modern design, but the reasoning of the architects was that, with its reflective surface, it would mirror the old in the city and blend. The reason I'm sure they DIDN'T mention was that higher was better in terms of rental revenue. Midway after construction was underway, windows started flying from the building as it swayed with the wind. This sway was supposedly accounted for in the plans, but it didn't work. While new architects worked frantically for a solution, boards were placed over walkways anywhere near the building and the circumference around the landing area of these glass missiles was off limits entirely. The population was not happy.

Boston, a place of many mixed memories for me. When the trip was over, I didn't know that CFIDS was already a time bomb in my body and this would be the last trip I made over the next, as yet, indeterminate number of years

9 comments:

Geoff Sanderson said...

I love these fascinating glimpses into your turbulent past, P. And that pavement art - I thought it was yet another of the 'many faces of Pris'!
Now, if you could arrange to live in Boston in the summer, then south to Florida before the winter came on ..... perhaps when the third book has made your fortune?

Pris said...

Actually, that the Boston part would be ideal, but had I the money to choose another place, South Florida is getting too crowded for me. I want to live somewhere with woods and meadowland not so far away.

Dominque said...

Oh my gosh that made me home sick. Boston is my favorite city. I was stationed in Bedford, Massachusetts for several years and have relatives not far outside of Boston. Wow...did that bring back memories. I can almost smell the salty, sea water...

Thanks for sharing this page again!

mister jim said...

It's a neat city...
you can get to so much of it
just by walking or little
T-hops. Hard to drive to..
Cool that you lived there.
I should do a family vacation
staying there.

mister jim said...

Was easier before Alewife
filled up...

Jo said...

A thoroughly interesting post and a great bit of writing :-)

Pris said...

Thank you all for your appreciation. Jim, I worked first in Medfield, then Brockton, so commuted out of the city. Whenever I went downtown, unless we were going to an out of the way place for dinner, I took the trolly. In nice weather I biked down to the Commons. We lived first near Harvard Street in Brookline, then a bit further away out off of Commonwealth but still in Brighton. There, I could bike across a back bridge and ride easily to Harvard Square. I loved living there.

The first two comments were from the 1995 post, btw.

cfswarrior said...

This was great to read. I've never been to Boston (isn't that a song? No, it's "please come to Boston?"). I've always been intrigued with it though and would love to visit but I doubt that's in the cards for me.

I love your writing. It makes it come alive for me.

I was moved by the fact that all three of you had ticking time bombs but didn't know it...I bet you miss them both very much.

Thanks so much for your continued support. It means a lot. I'll let you know how the test goes...

I hope your eyes are getting better...

Terri

Pris said...

Thank YOU ,Terri. I'll be looking forward to hearing.

And yes, looking back at these photos now with Dee and Becky still alive and me sick. No, we didn't know and I'm glad we still had that innocence about what was to come.