Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Boston, Ho!

Daughter Gillian took me to the Sagamore Bus Stop (Park and Ride, actually) bright and early in the morning so that I could make my way north once again to Boston.  The bus ride is very quick and painless - SO MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE than a commercial flight.  It pains me, a former flight attendant, to write that.  All the bus and train travel I did in my Eastern Seaboard Runaround was perfect.  No lines, no delays, no taking my shoes off in security (I really hate to walk barefoot where thousands or millions have walked barefoot before me; I wonder if they ever vacuum and sanitize that area of airport security?  {Have I now caused more people to have my airport security germ neurosis?})

Back to Boston!  I went downtown once again, this time to do the museum-ing.  Is that a verb?  My return was four days after the Boston Marathon, and I felt very, very safe.  On every street and street corner were Boston Police.  Every subway stop seemed to have two military police standing by.  Black-vested Homeland Security were visible anywhere I turned.  Bomb-sniffing canines were all over.

Off I went, to the Museum of Fine Arts.  I really like this museum.  If you find yourself in Boston with a few hours on your hands, go there!  When I paid for my ticket, the uniformed museum officer said to me, "You can check your backpack right over there."  Well, that was his mistake.  The operative word, I thought, was "can".  He should have said "will" or "need to" or "must".  I opted out on checking my backpack.

A couple of delightful hours into my museum-ing, I rounded a corner and was met by a large lady museum officer, and she BOOMED that I "MUST CHECK THAT BACKPACK!"  Wowee.  Unpleasant way to deal with the public.  I'll give her leaway given that the Marathon bombing was fresh in all security's mind.  But she proceeded to turn the other direction and yell the same thing to a fun grandparent couple who were accompanied by their grandkids.  The grandkids must have thought their grandparents were pegged as art thieves or graffiti artists on the make.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was next on my itinerary.  I walked in the general direction of where I thought the museum would be.  (No, I don't often use maps, and yes, I frequently get lost.)  There was a huge back-up of car traffic, honking angrily at the hold-up.  I found the museum, and as I purchased my ticket, I overheard someone explaining that Michelle Obama was across the street.  I guess it was her security detail that was causing the delay.

The Gardner Museum was beautiful in its architecture.  It had a really nice garden in the center court.  As for the art collections, I found them to be in clusters, with no visual aids on the walls (plaques) to give me the titles and the artists' names.  One could pick up a laminated paper in each area of a room which would give details of that wall, but really, that was like playing I Spy with the myriad paintings on the walls, plus...I don't like to handle anything that other hundreds of people have also handled that day.  I'm beginning to sound like a germ-scaredy-cat, but I really am not.  I don't think.

It was a LONG day of walking for me (and my backpack).  I took several modes of transportation to the hotel I was to overnight (partially, anyway) in, and headed up to my room.  This hotel is near Boston Logan Airport.  I found it online, and had no idea what to expect.  Happily, if one gets happy over non-cookie-cutter experiences, this hotel was originally a Jewish Community Center right on the beach.  My room had its original hardwood floor.  Here are the windows at the front door:
 And that's where I stayed, until 4:00 am...

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