Sunday, September 1, 2013

I dunno. A little of this and a little of that. I guess.

This will be a bunch of things written as I think of them. For instance, I was sitting in my car during lunch, basically waiting for the break to end. I glance up to my rear view mirror and see this young guy walking towards my car, preoccupied by his little hand held device. I waited and watched. Bam! He walks right into the rear end of my car. He never dropped his phone though. I couldn't believe someone could walk through a parking lot and never look up. He wasn't hurt and apologized profusely. You see a lot of this these days. And I'm sure I will be seeing more of this as the students are back. Every year at this time we see anywhere from 250,000 to 300,000 students come to Boston and the greater Boston area, which includes my own city, which is the home of Tufts University. Greater Boston is the home to some 100 colleges and universities. You see the U-Haul vans all over the place and no late August early September would be complete without stories of people driving these vehicles into the city and getting stuck under one of the bridges or overpasses, of which we have many because of the Charles River being the border between Cambridge and Boston, despite the many signs telling you not to take certain roads because of the bridges and overpasses and what their vehicle height limits are. On the other hand if you are an out of stator  I certainly sympathize with these folks. It can be a very confusing places to get around. I lived here all my life and if I can avoid it I will not take my car into town. It's only five miles away but I will take public transportation. It's much easier. Since I work in a neighboring city to Boston, Somerville, We see many of these students in the store where I work. They are not just from the U.S. but from all over the world. I know I go on and on about Boston but I confess until about 2005, I took everything about the area for granted. I got my first digital camera in 2005 and decided to check some places to take pictures in the area. The more I researched the more astounded I was about the prominence of this city and the many treasures and firsts that occurred here and we have some very heavy duty competition first of which is New York right down the road apiece. Now we are tiny compared to New York. New York City  has about 8.3 million people and Boston has about 630,000 and yet we have 100 colleges in the area and NYC has 81. Now don't get me wrong I am not knocking New York City though it is a sport around here mainly because of the sports rivalry. Is there a bigger rivalry in baseball than Yankees Red Sox? New York City has won 55 sports championships, a huge chunk of that is because of the Yankees 27 championships and that started way back when the Red Sox traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees. Boston has the second most championships at 34. So after years of indifference as to where I live I now really appreciate where I live. True it is expensive, crowded, congested and confusing area to get around and though they spent 15-22 billion (depending on who you listen to) dollars for the "Big Dig" which tore down the old, ugly central artery, which was a raised highway that cut the city in half, it became a couple of tunnels and the Zakim bridge along with a one and a half mile stretch of green open space. I don't know if this has eased the traffic congestion much but it certainly looks nicer.

I learned that the site of the first iron works in the country is in Saugus Ma. about 5 miles north from here. Who knew?

Anyway we are now getting the usual stories of trucks and U-Haul trucks and trailers cluttering up the streets of Boston and the surrounding cities including mine. You can see the beginning of their presence in my store and others in the area. About a quarter of a million people bring a lot of money into the area and adds to the diversity of the city and the area. In the last ten years alone in my cities center, which is not particularly big, a hotel has been built because of the close proximity to the main highway into town, a host of restaurants of differing cuisines have spring up from Mexican, several varieties of Asian, pastry shops, Wi-Fi coffee shops and two higher end places, one of which is a former bank which was broken into over the Memorial Day weekend in 1980. The robbers broke into the bank from the adjoining building, through the ceiling into the room with the safety deposit boxes. While this was going on a parade was passing by outside. It was one of the largest robberies in the country. All money totals are estimates. Actual cash was about 1.5 million, but amounts taken from the safety deposit boxes is only an estimate because who knows what people were hiding from the tax man or were stolen items. They estimate that the gold and jewelry total to be around 18 million. The bank is now an upscale Italian restaurant but they left the hole in the ceiling where the robbers broke in and the bank vault door. You can dine in that room. Oddly enough with all the local exploration I've done in the last 8 years I have never been to this restaurant and it's less than a mile from my front door. I will get there and get some pictures eventually. 

Two weeks until vacation and Arlene and I can hardly wait. We are both spent and can really use the time off. I was going to write about how we met but I think I'll save it for a future blog. It's not a real exciting story and won't be made into a made for TV movie. At this point it is 9:15 Sunday morning and the rain coming down in sheets along with thunder and lightning but I don't care. I'm home and have nothing more to do than housework and laundry. Well maybe. It's up for debate at this point. It's Sunday and I really don't want to do anything.
That's it for now.
I'm outta here.         


  1. Paul, I think the story of how you met Arlene would make a great Lifetime movie event, right up there with the Jodi Arias movie that was on a few weeks ago. :-)
    Before I moved here I lived close by the University of Illinois in Urbana/Champaign. The University students take over everything.
    Try to get a good picture of the Lighthouse in Martha's Vineyard the next time you visit there. I would love a picture of that.
    Enjoy your day off!

  2. Good post and the Bank Robbery now a restaurant , look forward to some photo's especial the ceiling and door. Hope to hear you story soon on how you met Arlene :)
    Enjoy your Day off .

  3. A little bit of this an that can sure add up. If the guy walked into your car texting, is that legal? I'm sure a law will happen to sue for damages.
    You have alot of history where you live. I wouldn't know what to write about here. Have a great day off!

  4. Thank you for the pics of the lighthouse Paul! Just what I wanted!

  5. That little bit was quite interesting. Love learning about your city. Will be looking forward to the "meeting" of you and Arlene. I'm sure it will be a great read.

  6. We are in SC for a couple of months and love it here at the ocean's edge. Soon you'll be relaxing at a favored place like we are. Never have explored a big city and now I can, thanks to you, with your descriptive narrative and photography.

  7. Blessings....
    enjoyed the photographs.....
    Lucky for that young man you didn't have spikes at the back of your car or else he'd be singing a different sound than am sorry.