A little more than 24 hours in Boston

Posted on
Sep 2, 2009
Posted in: 24 hours, City Guide

I was in Boston ages ago. I’m getting around to this post now because …

  • Fall is coming and New England seems a nice place to be this time of year.
  • It was my husband’s suggestion and I thought it might be a nice change of pace to actually heed his advice.
  • I am a lazy ass.
  • Our next trip is three weeks away, and I needed something to write about.
  • Boston has, for a variety of reason, been on my brain. (But that’s another story.)

So please ignore the fact that these photos are obviously from early spring. And also that there are huge gaps in my memory about this trip. And that I look kind of exhausted and freaked out in most of the photos. I had about 500 Jewish in-laws surrounding me, some of whom were not in any mood to ignore the fact that I am Catholic.

Anywho, back in April we went to Boston for Rand’s third-cousin’s Bat Mitzvah (no, I could not make that up). Rand also had some business to take care of. A statement which, upon reading, sounds distinctly mobster-esque.

I like Boston. It feels familiar – a phenomenon that can only be explained by a childhood spent watching Cheers. Because really, there’s nothing else that ties me to that town. I feel welcome there, as though I’ve just walked through the door for the thousandth time and everyone’s shouted my name. Then Woody asks me a question and I have a clever reply. Also, I’m George Wendt.

Speaking of …

The theme song will now be stuck in your head all day. Youre welcome.

The theme song will now be stuck in your head all day. You're welcome.

There’s actually more than one Cheers in Boston. The original, The Bull and Finch, is located on Beacon Hill and was used for all the external shots of the show. We didn’t go in because it’s sadly super touristy and apparently not all that great. Besides, as long as I see it from the outside, my disbelief remains willfully suspended. Oh, and then there’s the other Cheers location in Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market:

Thats right - there are CUTOUTS of Kelsey Grammar and Rhea Pearlman. JOY!

That's right - there are CUTOUTS of Kelsey Grammar and Rhea Pearlman. JOY!

It’s an actual replica of a bar from the show, which is much less depressing because it was created to be touristy. It has a LARGER-THAN-LIFE FRASIER CRANE out front. Take a moment to reflect on how awesome that is. The Bull and Finch, on the other hand, once had its heyday, and then slowly became more touristy. It now offers menu items like Ma Clavin’s Bahston Clam Chowda and Sam’s Turkey Wrap.

And now I am depressed.

Fortunately, the rest of Quincy Market is pretty neat. I strongly suggest going, especially if, like me, you are a sucker for markets.

Notice how everyone looks cold? Remember that. It will come up again later.

Notice how everyone looks cold? Remember that. It will come up again later.

I am a sucker for well-labeled candy. Unlabeled candy, no so much.

I am also a sucker for well-labeled candy. Unlabeled candy, no so much.

And then there was this display of butter-soaked, cheesy pretzels, which seemed to be fighting with itself:

Pretzels: the healthy choice (some restrictions apply)

Pretzels: the healthy choice (some restrictions apply)

Okay, fine. These pictures aren’t very compelling. I can’t be 100% all the time, folks. They don’t pay me for this crap. Now, what was I complaining about? Oh, yeah. It was cold. Which is why we didn’t do very much. We tried to go to the aquarium, but it was about to close. We’d been to the Boston Common (which I recommend, especially if you like old graves and American history) and decided to skip it a second time. And neither of us felt like doing the entire Freedom Trail, which I’ve heard is worth it. We did pass by the old statehouse, though …

Its history! Just sitting there in the middle of an intersection!

It's history! Just sitting there in the middle of an intersection!

And some statues.

Honey, I feel your pain. Pigeons suck.

Honey, I feel your pain. Pigeons suck.

And then we saw a sign for a Neil Simon play that flashed, “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish, & I’m in therapy.” Rand and I thought that was particularly funny. I tried snapping a picture, but the screen kept changing too quickly, and this came out:

Rather prophetic, no?

Rather prophetic, no?

Which brings me to the point of our trip to Boston: to ride around in a cab, screaming “THE JEWISH ARE COMING! THE JEWISH ARE COMING!” out the window. Right? Err, apparently not (and I suspect my husband will say the following upon reading this: “Jesus Christ, Geraldine.”).

The point of our trip was to visit family and celebrate his little cousin’s Bat Mitzvah (which I kept calling “a Jewish Confirmation”. Sigh. I really need to stop talking). And while there were moments that I felt a little intimidated by scores of people who genuinely believe we’re related (aww …) it was really quite nice.

For one thing, Rand’s cousins are kind of adorable (Note the sundresses. The weather went up 30 degrees in one day):

This was after services in the morning.

Only three of us are drunk! Guess which.

And it’s always nice to see where someone you love is coming from …

My grandparents-in-law.

Rand's grandparents.

Rand with our hosts.

My hubby with our hosts.

Rand-Hannah

... and with the lady of the hour.

Plus, I’m Italian. That means I can appreciate a good party, even if there’s (tragically) no bacon involved:

I mainly posted this because both of them will be mortified.

I mainly posted this because both of them will be mortified.

Bow-chicka-chicka-wow.

Bow-chicka-chicka-wow.

We left the next afternoon. It was in the 80s – a stark contrast to when we arrived, and total pain-in-the-ass circumstances under which to pack (coat, sweater, … shorts?). But nevermind that. Because the sunshine gave me the opportunity to take two photos, both of which I am quite proud.

Exhibit a: I was trying to take a photo of the fountain, when this little girl ran in the shot.

I know Im not supposed to take photos of other peoples kids, but I wasnt trying to, so I think its okay.

Philip says I shouldn't take photos kids I don't know, but I wasn't trying to, so I think it's okay.

And Exhibit b, which pretty much speaks for itself:

Thats what Im talking about!

This is how folks from Jersey tan. I KNOW - I love it, too.

Like I said – sometimes it’s worth it, just to know where the people you love are coming from.

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