A while back I watched this engaging little documentary on YouTube about old Boston called Boston The Way It Was. It featured the memories of people who had lived in Boston for the better part of a century. It was filmed in 1995, featuring people who were in their 80s, talking about the city.
I’m often struck by how little its all changed. They went to church on Sunday and then maybe lunch, followed by a walk by the seaside. Interestingly enough, that’s how I spent this Sunday and many other Saturdays. God, lunch, ocean and ice cream.
I was going to add “poop” because I visited the Deer Island Sewage treatment plant today as well, but may as well put the word “poop” far from the word “ice cream.”
So, like a proper Bostonian, I spent my morning at church and my afternoon on the seaside.
“Here’s to dear old Boston, The home of the bean and the cod, Where Lowells speak only to Cabots, And Cabots speak only to God.”
Quite. Yes. Pictures!!!!!!
My tenth anniversary of coming to Boston and starting my life over again has got me feeling a bit nostalgic.
It was in 2009 that I was working at my last job in media, the one that would finally drive me out of the journalism game and onto bigger and better things. There’s no reason to revisit what happened there but I do remember always sitting in the office and looking out at the people on the street outside of the office building and thinking — those people are free. Those people are free. They aren’t trapped inside all day long.
That’s exactly what I thought when I visited this really interesting initiative on Milk street called CIC. They provide office space and support for startups. They have office space for all sorts of companies and they try to create a community for the people there. I know I sound like an advertisement for them but it is a really interesting initiative.
But then there were the views. Oh the views. Magnificent. I stood at one of the windows and saw one of the most amazing views ever, one that stretched from the Prudential Center to the Charles River. It was really beautiful. I also realized it was nice to visit an office but I’d rather be free.
A dear from from very far away is visiting Boston for the next few weeks. Recently, her boyfriend decided to break up with her. She was quite upset about it, so I decided to cheer her up with the one thing I know that cheers me up every time — a long walk outside.
When I was out on Spectacle Island, I thought back to where I first heard that piece of advice. It was in the movie “The Queen” which I absolutely love. Prince Phillip, upon hearing of the death of Princess Diana takes “the boys” now men with families of their says he’s going to take them on a long walk outside. It seems kind of cold and dismissive but the more I think about it, it seems pragmatic and practical. And let’s face it, the man is 98 years old and in those 98 years, he’s experienced more than people would in five lifetimes. Who are we to argue with his practical ways?
Well, anyway, I love being outside. I always say — when you are outside, where is your limit? Well, you don’t have one. You are without limitations. Not to mention, the fresh air cleans your lungs and the walking fills you with endorphins. Well, that’s just the medical chemical psychological side of things. Walking outside feels good. Staying indoors does not.
I did get quite a few nice shots yesterday. I love Spectacle Island. I would like to live there — with Wifi, in the summer, with a dog. In the winter, maybe not so much!!!!!
Yeah, it’s a song lyric but my trip to Comic Con on Saturday showed me in fact that the theme of the event is come as you are.
This weird thing has happened as I’ve gotten older. I just want to do everything. I really want to go everywhere and try everything. I always heard about people going to Comic Con in San Diego but that’s a bit too far for me. When I realized there was on in Boston, I had to go.
In 2014 and 2016, I went to photograph the people there. And there were plenty to photograph. In 2018, I went to meet my hero, Wallace Shawn. I met Titus and Wallace Shawn. I mean there’s really no one else on my celeb list that I haven’t met. And Wallace Shawn, I was on my little Wallace Shawn cloud for a few days after that. Such a lovely, kind man who deserves every bit of success he’s had.
But back to 2019. In 2019, I didn’t see any celebs I wanted to meet. Sorry cast of Boys Meets World. I wasn’t that interested in meeting with you. So this year I went to photograph the interestingly attired attendees, of which there were many. I love to imagine the people at the event going back to their regular lives as employed citizens after donning a Superwoman costume or just wearing some kind of cat suit that makes you look like Spiderman. Anything is a come down after that.
Come as you are, to Comic Con!!!!!
Well, these are from my lovely sojourn in Philadelphia over labor day.
Did a large adult child get separated from her group because she was staring at a lioness?
Every summer, my job switches around. During the year, I work in a couple of different universities, but for the past two summers, I’ve worked at an exceedingly pleasant job in the woods of Brookline. No, I’m not kidding. We’re literally in a forrest.
But no matter. I got the job last summer and it was kind of a turning point for me. I was having some very serious doubts if I wanted to continue working as a teacher. When I took the job, I would get there an hour earlier than I needed to and sit and make lessons for the class. It was back to basics fun teaching again.
My students in the summer were some of the most pleasant people I have ever taught in my entire career. Most of them were teenagers, but teenagers who were cooler than I could ever hope to be. One of them showed me an Instagram with all dog posts, really funny dog posts. I learned a lot about their world.
This summer I returned to the extremely pleasant Brookline forrest to teach an equally interesting group of people. This crowd, I have to prepare for. They get all of my references. Their number one request in the class is to watch The Daily Show. Really impressive.
While teaching both of these groups, it struck me that the kids are all right. Actually they are really good. The young people, they get a bad rap now. Oh they just love their smart phones and their avocados and their lattes. They don’t think. They aren’t going to contribute anything.
I think this kind of thinking is just wrong. Last year I saw a video by a singer called Shawn Mendes, who was a baby when I was in my last years of college. LOL. He wrote a wonderful song called “Youth” about the incredible things young people are doing now. He included in his video Jack Andraka, who won the Intel Science Prize a few years back for coming up with a test for pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers out there. He did his work in a lab that his mom drove him to every day because he wasn’t old enough to drive. He’s not a typical science geek. His reaction to winning the Intel award was so exuberant that it actually went viral. Next to him in the video was Morgan Hurd, the 2017 all around world champion in gymnastics and a person who was more poised at 16 than I am at my age. These kids are really doing amazing things and its about time we stop writing them off as just people who stare at their phones. If Jack Andraka and Morgan Hurd are to inherit the earth, I think we’re in good hands.
Here are some pics I snapped of my most recent class enjoying some food at a deli. We had a thoroughly good time as well. Kids, you are all right. Actually you are very good:
I’ve taken to referring to Philadelphia as big Boston, because that’s what it reminds me of. Boston, but bigger with more boulevards.
When I visited the great city of Philadelphia recently we walked down this gorgeous thoroughfare called the Franklin Parkway. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted this art deco looking fountain. I knew I wanted to take pictures of it. But I also know the Riot Mom and she’s not much for just wandering around a fountain. To my surprise, she indulged me with the fountain admiration.
I got to run around and take pictures of the fountain, to my great delight. I had already framed everything in my mind, so I was all set when I got there. It was full of people too, so that made it that much better.
A little fountain action for this evening: