We had a great whirlwind trip to Boston. Eldest daughter Abbie lives out there with her fiance. Aside: not with her fiance, dear reader, but with him like, "no other friends and family out there with them." She has her own place, about a mile from him. They live in Jamaica Plain.
Boston is a great town. I liked it far more than I thought I would.
Major gentrification has occurred over the past decade. The infamous Southie is now a haven for joggers and coffee shops. I couldn't believe it. We Ubered to Whitey Bulger's old address on the south edge of Southie, since I saw a Boston Herald article that said the area was evolving rapidly and real estate prices were climbing. I figured that area would be safe, then we'd venture into the heart of Southie and see some of that "working class" grit that made Southie infamous.
But no. We walked the entire length, south edge to north, then north to west, where we crossed back into downtown Boston. Nothing. 100% safe. A day later, I was chatting with a fireman Uber driver who confirmed what I saw, "There's not a single bad neighborhood in Southie any more. If you want to see cruddy neighborhoods, try Roxbury." That was disappointing, though Southie is a neat place to stroll through. Lots of neighborhood life to take in.
My favorite part of the trips were the Sam Adams tour (more on that Friday) and candlestick bowling in Somerville (suburb next to Cambridge). If you're in the Boston area, you gotta try candlestick bowling. It's a cross of real bowling and skeeball (two things I really enjoy). It's hard, though. I bowled a 72 and 62 (I was rushing a bit the second game b/c our lane time was going to expire).
A part I didn't enjoy: walking Harvard's campus. Kind of a dump, at least compared with what I thought it would be like. I expected manicured lawns and mansion-like buildings, Cambridge/Oxford style. Nope. The buildings were fine, but nothing impressive. The grounds were unkempt. The famed stretch of the Charles River where the Harvard crew team practices was downright ugly: weeds growing over the area, a crappy walking trail. Notre Dame's campus crushes Harvard's in terms of aesthetics (natural and architecture), as do many other campuses. Even the University of Michigan is far nicer.
Anyway, that's it for today. I'll be mentioning Boston throughout the week. It will also be featured in this week's Weekly Eudemon.