It was very hot the day I pulled into Boston. It had been thirteen years since I’d been to Boston. I remember the day I left, after a summer of working in real estate. I had just had my car booted (because of my roommate, ultimately) and had to pay five hundred dollars in ransom to get my car back, just days before I was to leave. After I got that handled, my last stop on my way out of town was to drop off some books at the library in Copley Square. I parked illegally, dropped the books off, and ran back to the car, having been gone for less than two minutes. A meter cop had just put a ticket on my windshield wiper and was now two cars down. I was both mad and kind of amused. I’d show her. I pulled out the ticket, threw it to the ground and blasted out of there, as if to say don't put your trash on my car.
As payback, I suppose, it took me a very long time to find a parking spot when I finally came back to town thirteen years later. Like, a very long time. I eventually just headed out on Beacon Street, finding a street spot for which I would soon pay some four dollars an hour. Going to the city? Bring money. In New York I paid fifteen dollars to drive across a bridge.
Boston is probably the most photogenic city I’ve visited. It really has an interesting layout, with a distinct old world feel. The very thing that motorists complain about is what makes it so appealing, I think. Streets wend and wind past brownstones, shaded by massive trees. The Boston Common (the main park) is part of what makes Boston so beautiful. I parked near the corner of the park, so my first stroll was across the common. It was spring and the daffodils and tulips were popping! What a gorgeous day I had to walk the streets, even if it was wicked hot.
As I walked along taking pictures, it dawned on me that Boston was the first city I ever extensively photographed. It was here that the urban photography tradition first began. I spent the summer in Boston in 2004, and that was the first year I had a digital camera. With no limit to how many pictures I could take, I decided to take my camera along on my urban walks, a practice I got into when I moved to Boston the first time, in 2002.
I have walked around Boston many times, so I didn’t spend a whole lot of time downtown. After I made it as far as Faniuel Hall, I started back. I noticed quite a few new skyscrapers. Boston is growing. It still has much the same feel to it though. It’s definitely not a car friendly city.
After I left the park I went out towards BU, where I spent a year of college. I walked around the campus, trying to find my old nook at the library, but they had changed things around, and now the whole area was open. Less of a nook. Somethings were still the same, like the cages that the grad students work in.
BU has a beautiful urban campus. It’s an old fashioned school, as far as most of the buildings go, and that’s part of what I liked about it. I reflected much on my life as I walked down Commonwealth Avenue back to my car. It’s been good, but it’s been rather busy. Lots of places I’ve lived could have been it, the place where I lived out my life and rooted in. But none of them have been. The thrills of living new places and meeting new people are accompanied by a vague sense of loss. A bittersweet tale, I suppose. Yet it is not without purpose. There is something in particular that I am after, and I can tell I am getting closer.
I got on the road around six thirty, which was still sort of rush hour, so it took me a long time to get out of town. I would be staying in the Boston area for a few days, but not right in the city. Even if I had a place to stay there, I’d be worried they might tow or boot my car. In New York I had to pay forty bucks to park my car overnight.
Before leaving town, I wanted to eat at Anna’s Taqueria, which was always one of our favorites back in the day. I went to a location I had never been to, (I think they closed the one we used to frequent) but the burritos were delicious as always.
It was great to see Boston again. It was here, at the end of 2002, when I decided to take a break from school and go travel. This was when my adventures really began. What a ride it’s been since then. I hope you are enjoying riding along, because I’ve been documenting everything as I’ve gone, and I’ve got many more adventures to come! Life is for living, is it not?