Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beantown on a Broomstick, Part the First

I just got back from Boston, where I spent the past week celebrating my birthday (okay, fine, that was mercenary, whatever) with my brother, his wife (they live there) and my parents (they drove up). My brother's apartment isn't quite big enough to accommodate five people comfortably, so he booked me a room at the Samuel Sewall Inn, a quaint little bed-and-breakfast around the corner from his place. And it was adorable. It was darling. It was... named after one of the judges of the Salem witch trials:

Holy shit! This is a trap!

Upon calming down and doing some research, I discovered that after the trials, Sewall recanted everything and became a women's rights activist. Knowing this made me feel a little safer sleeping there.

First up on my family's itinerary was a Red Sox game at Fenway Park. I was not terribly excited at this prospect, as I am not a baseball fan. Whatsoever. I mean, I know a couple of my Loyal Strifemongers believe that baseball is a metaphor for life, and I hate to break this to them, but they're wrong. Hockey is a metaphor for life: The rules are incomprehensible, and everyone gets hurt. That said, I've never had an experience quite like watching a Red Sox game. The energy at the park is intense enough to measure on the Richter Scale, and halfway through the eighth inning, everyone jumps up and sings "Sweet Caroline" at the top of their lungs. For, like, no discernible reason. It was surreal. Or possibly Postmodern. I'm not sure which. I'd had a few beers by that point.

Once my parents headed back to Texas, I decided to have an adventure and hopped a ferry to Salem, where my buddy N. agreed to show me the sights. He's lived in the Salem area for most of his life and is decidedly over the tourist kitch, but he was very accommodating when I demanded to see the statue of Samantha Stevens and then dragged him through the Witch Museum. And oh, ye Gods, the Witch Museum. It was like walking into a Dennis Wheatley novel, and I had no choice but to buy a commemorative T-shirt. Oh, and also we almost got kicked out, because N. turned on one of the talking displays in the Witches: Evolving Perceptions exhibit ("I am a midwife! You might call me a Pagan.") before the museum employee who was trying to lead a guided tour could get to it. So that was entertaining.

My brother and sister-in-law both had to work the next day, so I figured out how to navigate the subway system and went to meet (get ready) Famous Pagan Artist Thalia Took! Squeeeee! And she was lovely and funny and snarky and I would've totally proposed to her except for that whole "I'm a big homo" thing, which is really just a technicality but still kind of a deal-breaker. Anyway, we drank iced hot chocolates and wandered around Harvard Square, looking for the law office of Dewey, Cheetham & Howe (we didn't find it) and having a platonically gay old time. Thalia also explained the importance of paying for subway rides, which, coming from a city with nigh nonexistent mass transit, hadn't really occurred to me. I apparently owe Boston a lot of money.

Someone remind me to send a check.

More to come.


Brother Christopher said...

sounds fabulous. Somehow when I was younger, I missed those parts of Boston. I only saw the Christian Science Mother church, and the boston commons, where they happened to be having a Shakespear festival the weekend I was there. Everynight, shakespeare in the park. Truly a delight.

Yvonne Rathbone said...

I totally nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award. That's wicked sick.

Thalia Took said...

Goodness! I merited a squeeeee!

And awwwww, that's sweet of you, Evn. Alas, I am not the marrying type.

I think technically you owe the green line what, a buck seventy? I mean I'm all for sticking it to The Man, but I think you have a ways to go.

knottybynature said...

I'm glad you had fun! :)

I wonder if they video-tape people jumping the little turn-stys so they can send you a ticket like they do Beltway 8 when you don't realize it's not free - you have to have a multi-pass or whatever the heck it's called stuck to your window.

Are you going to post a picture of your shirt? :D

"iced hot chocolates"....paradoxical goodness.

Anne Johnson said...

Oh, if only all cities were as easy to navigate as Boston! Their subway rocks! Wish I could have joined you. Would also like to meet Thalia.

Siobhan said...

a ballgame at a good ballpark has a vibe that has NOTHING to do with baseball -- and Fenway is a GREAT park.

man, I WORKED in Harvard Square and couldn't find Dewey Cheatham and Howe, LOL!

Love the hockey analogy.

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...

The Red Sox totally demolish the foolish theory that the United States has no official state religion.

The Red Sox are the state religion of Massachusetts. Also of Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. The way we test for infiltrators is by checking for Yankee memorabilia; wear one of those, and it doesn't matter where you were born, you are "from away," and we know it. (So many in Connecticut and even Massachusetts have fallen into heresy in recent decades. It is truly sad to see the faith of our forefathers disrespected this way.)

It is not necessary to understand or to care about baseball in order to practice the state religion, which is entirely a matter of acceptance of the creed: the Red Sox should win, and of the sole practice of rooting for exactly two teams: the Red Sox, and whoever is playing against the Yankees.

"Sweet Caroline" is, of course, the official anthem of all the New England States.

Finally, my word captcha on this comment is "snerst." I mention this to you because I am certain it must hold occult significance, and I can trust you with a secret of this level of power and importance, as you are now an initiate of Our Ways.

zemkat said...

Did you make out with Laurie?

Thalia Took said...

Actually I think Laurie Cabot's been in court the last couple days.

treecat said...

ha I saw the Dewey Cheatem and Howe office and took a picture. :-P

you missed the monument to ether!

Anonymous said...

You're a lucky man! On all bits of this great little trip.

iWitch. *snorfle*