So it’s nearly 8 months down the track and I can finally talk a little bit about leaving Boston. I went to have a summer and to learn the city a little and I loved it. I wasn’t at all ready to leave, but the character of the place changes at the end of summer. Boston was settling back into business time and I didn’t have business to do. I felt like I was being very gently ushered along my way, as I had nothing to contribute to the city.
I really loved my summer in Boston and I would so have loved to have stayed there longer. At least another couple of years to well and truly find my niche in the city. I didn’t look too hard for work while I was there and maybe I should have – but I felt like my time was limited and I know that to apply for the appropriate visas for the USA, I have to be in Australia. And I was definitely not ready to go home.
Boston in summer is full of interesting things to do and an almost frantic outdoorsiness. The city and community groups and towns are all constantly organising free events and festivals and reasons to go and be in their spaces. With all the walking all over town, I also saw a bunch of flyers for all the activities in different neighbourhoods that weren’t easily google-able on a broad “cool free stuff in Boston” search.
I went to salsa, outdoor movies, a tonne of free concerts, including The Lemonheads and Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the 4th of July Boston Pops, a heap of different exercise-y things. And mostly got to be in the physical surrounds of Boston – on the rivers and in the laneways, on the beaches and the islands, in the parks and old buildings and restaurants – anywhere I wanted.
From the moment I first arrived I was comfortable .On the night of my arrival I went out my front door, and laid on the grass outside the Church of Christ Scientist on Mass Ave while eating a kebab. And other people were doing that too, wearing comfy relaxed clothing, listening to their own music and just watching the world go by. It was super-pleasant and the perfect introduction to Boston in summer.
I went through quite a few of the neighbourhoods of Boston and they all have their own character. The beaches and bays of Boston feel like they are a million miles away from anything as ridiculously large as a city, dreamy and slow and surprisingly open. No-one seemed surprised or concerned about a random woman popping out of the marshlands and strolling across a school campus in the middle of the day.
Even early mornings in the industrial areas along the Chelsea River were entertaining – mostly for the number of dicks drawn in the condensation on car windows, but overall the general lack of suspicion or concern about someone unfamiliar in a strange place at a strange time was almost surprising. But I guess any big city sees its share of odd and most of the time the odd is harmless. I just was expecting Boston to be a little more paranoid after the bombing, but it really didn’t seem to be.
I need to take another run at Boston. I liked it too much to be satisfied with only 3 months and only summer. I liked the people I met, I liked the vibe of the city and I loved, loved, loved the waterfronts – all of the quiet places and all of the loud places. Going to Boston for 3 months didn’t get it out of my system.
If anything, I just want more.