Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sometimes, change is good

BOSTON, USA—I walked indoors moments ago, having arrived home from a trip into Harvard Square, where I'd gotten a "RAMONES" t-shirt and some vintage Omaha the Cat Dancer comic books. Dad, in his chair in the kitchen, turned around toward me and asked, "Hot enough for you?"
It's about 90 degrees out there and the dew point is near 70. And I'm loving it.
Yesterday, I walked all around Boston, to view the city after the Big Dig. I didn't recognize Causeway Street. With its elevated subway tracks that ran its entire length, from Haymarket to Lechmere, Causeway Street was always in perpetual darkness, just like some of the streets in Chicago's Loop district are. Now it's bright, it's airy, the huge Zakim bridge looms in the very near distance and the Fleet Center, while impressive, does not look anything like the old Boston Garden.
Of course, I received my first shock of the day when I discovered that North Station on the Green Line is underground. I whistled under my breath and thought, "I've been away too long!"
I walked through the North End, down the Greenway back to the Financial District, took the subway to Copley Square, then met a friend in the South End for drinks. I walked so much around Boston yesterday that I got blisters on the soles of my feet. But it was worth it.
And today I spent some time in Harvard Square, visiting old haunts such as The Garage and Grendel's Den.
No kidding, though: Boston just keeps getting better with every passing year. The city of 2008 is miles from the city of 1998 which itself was miles from the Boston of 1988. And in 2018, who knows? But sometimes change is good. For Boston—a bit of a dump if ever there was one during the '70s and '80s­—this couldn't be more true.

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