Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Close to Home

Can you travel in your own city?

I say yes. Definitely yes.

Travel happens the minute you go somewhere you've never been. Travel happens the minute you go somewhere you've never seen. Travel is opening your eyes.

I plan on sneaking in a lot of this kind of travel.

I've written before about my mental map of Boston, made up of roads, alleys, corners, buildings, and spectacular views. I've strung them all together like a tangled line of Christmas lights and they anchor me; they allow me to move through this city. I bounce off them, each one propelling me onwards.

Everyone has a different map. And I want to fill in some of the spots that are not so clear on mine.

Like the Fens. I know where Longwood is. I know where Fenway is. And I've used the flat stretches along Huntington to clock some fast sprints. I like racing up and down Huntington, scaring sleepy interns stumbling out of Brigham & Women's.

But how does it all fit together? How do so many different places just happen to connect to the misshapen, swampy piece of land known to us as the Fens?

And Southie. We all love a good Southie accent. E says I do a great Southie accent. When Whitey Bulgur was arrested, I had no idea who he was. I had to Wikipedia him (Wikipedia is not just a noun, but a verb too). And I sat in a cab, stuck in traffic on Storrow, listening to interviews with Southie residents ("Would you publicly criticize Whitey Bulgur?" "I wouldn't deeeeeah.").

I've been to Southie once. On the way to the ICA, I accidentally took a detour. It was St. Patrick's Day. What a day to get lost in Southie. It was... very green.

What else?  I've never walked the Freedom Trail and I really think I should take a water taxi to the airport at least once. Never been to Jamaica Plains, unless you count one run where I accidentally wound up at Jamaica Pond. There's Charlestown, with all of its contrasts and history and confused identity. And I've never had really good dim sum in Chinatown (I've only had really bad dim sum). While we're talking about food, I just found out there's rooftop dining in the North End. And there are all of those taquerias in East Boston....

There's a lot of traveling (and eating, and running, and living) to be done here.

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