These Streets

I always wondered what it would feel like to get older.  When I was 10 years old, I used to sit in bed and wonder — what will my life be like when I’m 30???  Or, gasp, 40????

Well, now I know and it’s nothing at all like I expected.  I always say the future is, um, weird.  No flying cars or talking refrigerators.  But there’s something deeper to it.

I’ve walked the streets of New York since I was a little kid.  My favorite building in New York is the Chrysler Building.  My one fantasy in life has been to go inside the spire of the building.  It is a structure that has long fascinated me.

In 2007, when I started this blog, I was working in the Graybar building, right next to the Chrysler Building.  One day, the air conditioning went out in the building and they opened all the windows.  I looked out of the windows at all the buildings and there was an incredible view of the Chrysler Building.  It was almost like I could reach out and touch it.

What happens when thirteen years go by after that???  You walk by that same building but now you are walking around with a student you taught when he was 16 and you are telling him about this, still walking these street.  And the Chrysler Building is still so beautiful:

new york city chrysler building spire 2new york city chrysler building spire

Color World

This is an exhibit at the Peabody Essex museum of the works of a painter named Hans Hoffman I went to over the holiday.  These pictures were taken with a little Olympus tough camera, not my big camera.

Yeah, it’s abstract art, and not everyone likes that, but those brush strokes though.  Those brush strokes:

Crazy Weird Futuristic Beehive

So I journeyed to New York some days ago, no matter how many days exactly.  I went to see a tornado of a human being named Arturo, who is 33% my child and his lovely girlfriend Juliana.  They had come to visit from Florida, so Juliana could feel what life in the North Pole is really like.  Just kidding.  Kind of.

Arturo and Juliana had seen a lot of New York, so we went to a place none of us had been yet and well, didn’t exist until really recently — Hudson Yards.  Well, it did exist a space but wasn’t exactly a desirable location.

Recently though, this thing has been built over there called The Vessel.  It looks like a futuristic beehive.  And I need to photograph any futuristic beehive.

The beehive has a mall next to it, filled with tons of the most expensivest shit.  We went in to go to Shake Shack and for Arturo to horrify the New Yorkers with his boisterousness.  Love it.

Anyway, here’s the Beehive with a few with the High Line, the replacement for  overgrown railroad tracks.  Ah New York.  There’s no other constant but change there:

I Love Hiatus Week

I was going to write about how much I love Boston, but I guess that’s obvious to anyone who has been reading this blog for the past decade or so.

No, today I’m going to talk about my love of hiatus week.  I work at a university in this city of Boston, a university of Boston, if you will.  This was a particularly intense semester, with a ton of work to do.  The second week of December, it suddenly ends.  The semester ends and we prepare ourselves for Christmas and such.

For me, it’s a week to catch up on sleep, laundry, cooking, visiting the people that I have abandoned because of work and general relaxation.  I’m not on vacation yet.  Just hiatus.  And it’s great.  I might get in a ski trip or two, or three…  in there as well.

As a part of hiatus week, I had to do some Christmas shopping.  It was rain/snowing/whatever that day and I had grabbed my camera, in case anything interesting crossed the camera’s path.  And it did.  I walked around Copley square, near the Prudential to the John Hancock building or I guess its 200 Clarendon or whatever they call it now.  To me it will always be the Hancock building.

Got some photos as well.  Funny how interesting life is when you are running around LIKE MAD.  Pictures:

Release the Santas!!!!!!!

It’s late December, yet again, and that means just one thing — the Santa speedo run is upon us!!!!!

I’ve been going to this event since 2012 because, because it super hilarious and weird and combines everything I love about Boston into one event — strange costumes, questionable weather and sports.  Every year I’ve gone, something funny or weird has happened.  The first year I went, there was a guy with quite a hairy chest, wearing a very small bathing suit and he had written on his chest, in magic marker — this sweater available in a medium.  Another year a guy in a tiny red bathing suit came running up to me and hugged me.  I thought — what’s your name???  Besides, where was he going to put a phone into his Speedo???  I guess that’s a question we don’t have to answer today.

The event always follows the same pattern.  The runners gather in a bar in Back Bay, get liquored up, exit the bar for paparazzi photos and general hyping up.  Then some kind of start signal is given.  Then they promenade up Boylston to Newbury and then of course, back to the bar.  The whole thing is over in 20 minutes, 20 minutes in which I have taken about 300 pictures.

Boston, I love you.  Keep the Santas running forever!!!!!!!

Where Lowells speak only to Cabots, And Cabots speak only to God.

There’a video on YouTube that I particularly love featuring two very aged Boston Brahmins sitting in the Boston Athenæum, discussing whatever it is that Brahmins discuss, I don’t know maybe the Harvard-Yale game of 1896 or something like that.  I love the video because they speak in this pseudo-British prep school mid Atlantic accent.  They are both wearing conservative tweed suits and I’m not surprised that they filmed this video at the Athenæum.  I mean I’m sure this is where these two Brahmins actually live.  I don’t mean Beacon Hill.  I mean in the Athenæum.

I love this video too because as I reflect back on ten years of living here, I remember how I actually thought people talked in Boston, but to be honest, I’ve never actually met anyone here who speaks with this accent.  I’ve never actually met a Brahmin either.

Before I moved here, I thought that people like that comprised all of Boston.  Well, taking that out further, I thought this was a city of memberships, clubs, secret handshakes and exclusivity.  If you didn’t have your Brahmin accent and your Harvard diploma, away with you.  But what I found here is the opposite.  Everything is pretty much open to everyone.  When I started going skiing, I wanted to find ski trips to go on, so I typed “Boston” and “ski” into the internet and found my ski club.  I thought there was some kind of membership interview, aka would another bunch of people find you cool enough, but no.  It was just open membership.  You pay the fee, you go on the trip.

I’ve found a lot of things like that in Boston.  But this place still surprises me.  A couple of days ago, I went to Beacon Hill with a friend.  I don’t spend a lot of time up there.  I have no business up there.  All of my stuff is in Downtown Crossing or Brookline.  A friend said there are decorations to see up there, but what I found was again what I love about Boston.

The houses on Beacon Hill were really elaborately decorated and people were hanging out in front of their houses, giving out candy.  People were talking to everybody.  People were hanging out with their dogs and generally having a good time.  The atmosphere was really nice.

Maybe I did finally meet a real life Beacon Hill Brahmin because there was a guy wearing twill pants with little skeletons embroidered on them.  That’s an old money rich people thing.  New money is flashy and paints everything in gold.  Old money wears pants embroidered with foxes or lobsters or something.  The guy with the skeletons on his pants, that money came from rum, whaling or cotton plantations.  That’s not hedge fund money, that’s for sure.  But he was out on the street, hanging out candy with decorations on his house, just like everyone else.

Everyone was cool enough to join the Beacon Hill Halloween celebration.  No interview needed.  Just come on down and join.