Tuesday, June 9, 2009

summer in the city

Now that the cold winds of winter are officially behind us, I need to reconnect with my city and remind myself why the hell I continue to live here. Thus, my epic Sunday afternoon tour of Cambridge. I forgot to bring a real camera with me, so documentation was limited to some snaps with my phone. And no, I don't have one of those fancy iphones, where you can watch a movie and sign up for online photography classes while waiting for the bus . . . so please forgive the crap-ass quality of this photo collage. In real life, Cambridge is much less blurry.

Behold, Boston in all its summertime splendor! This is the money shot right here -- the picture that makes tourists and locals alike sigh with admiration. Just remember, kids -- that booming metropolis still has an over-priced, urine-soaked, 19th-century subway system and anyplace remotely fun (or booze-filled) closes before 2am.

Growing up, I used to play a game whenever we went for long car rides called "Where Would I Sleep If I Was Homeless". Popular choices were: thicket of bushes on a traffic island, fire escapes, old / abandoned barns / houses, trees (both under and in the branches, depending on the tree), abandoned train-cars . . . you get the idea. Needless to say, this "clearing full of ducks" or "DuckCamp!" totally would have made the list. Not only is it surrounded by leafy-groundcover, it comes complete with feathered-companions, perfect for snuggling with on chilly nights.

One of the things I love about Cambridge is that there's always something wacky going on. Every cultural group / college / religious cult seems to sponsor their own street festival. And if there's one thing I love, its giant crowds and fried food stands. Behold, two examples from Sunday alone. First, We have the Dragon Boat Festival on the Charles, featuring a family-friendly street fair on the shady river banks by Harvard.

Now here, we find the . . . . well, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure what this is called. "Portuguese Jesus Parade?" As a proud resident of East Cambridge with some family roots in this hood, I know that my mother was forced to march in these Portuguese Saints Day parades as a small child. Please note the lack of spectators / concern for traffic. There was one, lonely cop blocking off part of Cambridge Street, while drivers on all four sides of the intersection honked at those little girls in bridal dresses and the elderly brass band.

Oh, Boston. How could I ever leave you?

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