Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boston, Rain

JoeI'm attending a summer school in Boston for this coming week, and I just arrived in Boston this evening, after a week spent visiting my family in north Alabama. The past week has been fabulous—great food, visits with family I haven't seen in years, and lots of tennis and golf (a first for me) in 95°F heat—and frankly, Boston is going to have a hard time competing.

Boston got off to a strong start, though: it was 60°F and raining, and as I stood in the airport T station trying to figure out how to buy a 7 day pass, a traveler leaving the city handed me their pass, good for two more days. After an easy train ride to my hotel, I was beginning to fear it would be difficult to maintain my anti-metropolitan prejudices. If that had been the indicator of a trend, instead of the start of a roller coaster ride, it would have been difficult indeed.

Seeing my room brought me back to reality. I had forgotten that "good quality hostel" is a category quite a bit rougher than "no-frills hotel." Don;t get me wrong, it's clean and the staff are friendly, and I don't need a TV, but I'm old enough that I want my own bathroom. Sigh. And wireless internet in the rooms is only useful if it actually works. A week of only having internet in the lobby? This was looking grim. Feeling a little down, I set off in search of dinner (and shampoo).

After a bit of wandering (through the Boston Pride festival, which was just being shut down for the evening) I managed to find not only an open pharmacy, but then the best quick hamburger place I've ever been to (sorry, Krazy Jim's). My faith in humanity restored, I went back to the hostel for a shower, an episode of Community, and then dozed off to the sound of the strengthening rain storm.

I suppose the waning of the storm made the dripping sound more distinct; in any case, something woke me up before midnight, which was thankfully before the large and growing puddle of rainwater on my floor had made it to my luggage. The culprit appeared to be a rooftop drain pipe that ran down one corner of my room. It took a good 30 minutes for the befuddled night clerk to decide he had the authority to put me in a new, crappier room ("It's a triple, so you'll have plenty of space," he assured me, despite the fact that the only difference between the single and the triple was that they had crammed two more beds into the triple). Whatever. By one I was sound asleep again, and I woke this morning to dry floors.

OK, coffee break's over. Gotta run.

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