It is better to live in a corner of a roof than in a house shared with a contentious woman.
As I mentioned a couple days ago, Ian and I betook ourselves off to Boston Friday afternoon for a much-deserved rest. We caught a 2:00 train in to South Station, arriving at our hotel across from Faneuil Hall in time to take a nice soaky bath in the enormous deep bathtub. This left me very happy, because you couldn’t drown a cat in our bathtub here in Worcester. At 5:00 we went to dinner at McCormick & Schmick’s, where we treated ourselves to an appetizer of fried mozzerella, delicious entrees that you would pay $20 for in a nice restaurant (I had Atlantic salmon stuffed with brie, shrimp, and something else delicious), and a wonderful dessert (a chocolate box filled with strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and cream). This took a deliciously long time, and we left the restaurant comfortably full.
Then we walked to the BCA Plaza Theatre at the Boston Center for the Arts where we saw Othello, put on by Boston Theatre Works. I knew the basic story, but had never read or seen the play in its entirety. The actor who played Iago was fantastic — you hated him, yet you understood him. You agonized as you saw his trap closing around Othello and Desdemona, you prayed Othello would trust his innocent wife but you knew he would not. The theater was a black box theater, so the whole performance felt very close and interactive. All the actors did fabulously, but Iago and Othello stood out particularly — of course.
The set was a black floor, spinning panels painted black on one side and red on the other all in a row (all facing the same direction they formed a wall with many doors), a painting of a blue sky with wispy clouds in it behind the spinning wall sections, and a low square black platform about six inches tall. All the main characters were dressed in white or black modern-day clothes; lighting was white, red, or a more natural orange color. At one highly emotional point they shone red light on the white clouds and it made a very powerful visual image. At the beginning of the play all the wall sections were spun parallel to one another so we could clearly see the blue sky background. As the play filled with plots and distrust, the walls were spun so as to block the sky first with a black side, but then ultimately with the red sides all facing out at the very end. It was very powerful, yet simple, set and lighting design.
We enjoyed the play immensely, even though it took much longer than we expected. Exiting the theater at 11:15, we made an executive decision that we would not risk the half-hour to 45 minute walk back. Instead, we took a taxi (how cosmopolitan of us!) back to the hotel. I never regretted the $12 fare. It was well worth it to get back and sleep.
The next morning we lazed around again — bounced on the bed, read books, played cribbage, and I took another longer bath. Eventually, however, our hunger got the best of us, so we checked out and began our first search for food. This search took us to the Italian part of town, but none of the cafes we found there appealed to us. Several pubs offered breakfast, but greasy pub fare sounded desperately heavy. Eventually we ended up back at Quincy Market, purchasing turnovers. I love breakfast pastries; probably they will be the death of me. I can only hope to go out eating a French croissant. Anyway, after that we went to the Bromfield Pen Shop near the Boston Common. I bought a bottle of much-needed blue ink, as well as a new fountain pen to commemorate the trip. It is a silver Pilot Knight pen, and it has a wonderfully smooth movement across the paper, almost like you’re not touching the paper at all.
After that happy purchase, we walked along the Charles River (which had frozen in places in little wavelets from the wind, while it was just sheets of ice in others) to the Museum of Science. We planned to spend three or so hours there before walking back to South Station for the 4:30 train to Worcester.
Unfortunately, the MoS proved most disappointing. Admission was $15 per person, which we considered exorbitant; and the entire place swarmed with screeching elementary-age children. Now, my last museum experience was in London, where they ask politely for a donation but you can see most everything for free if you like. And somehow I never saw many children at any of my museum visits. Frankly, it seemed like a science-themed entertainment complex for young children, with exhibits on Star Wars and the Tour de France. We conferred and decided to get the heck out of there; even outside would be better than that.
After much wandering we settled on going to the Boston Public Library, in which we got totally lost. Along the way, we looked for deli type places to eat lunch (a turnover is nice, but not very lasting under hours of walking) but they were all closed or outrageously crowded. Eventually we did find our way out of the research part of the Boston Public Library and into the normal area, where we sat for an hour or so in the warmth and read books. I randomly picked a book titled Lili off the shelf and read about a hundred pages of it. Then we went back to a cafe we had seen before, but which was too busy at the time: the Parish Cafe and Bar. Apparently we stumbled upon a classic Best of Boston place to eat; one entire wall was covered with framed press-clippings and eatery awards. Even at 3:15 it was packed to the gills with fashionable people between 25 and 35 years old, drinking Guinness or cocktails and eating $10 sandwiches. I ordered the Rialto, which was “Paper-thin Proscuitto, fresh Mozzarella, basil-pesto and a garlic-oil rub served on white bread. Baked to a golden brown and served around assorted greens, sundried tomatoes and a pine-nut dressing.” How do they make these descriptions up?! In any case, it was heavenly.
And thence to the rather confusing Back Bay Station to eventually discover our train came in on Track 5. We had to sit facing backwards because the train was so full, which gives me an uneasy, motion-sick feeling most times so I closed my eyes…I slept from Wellesley Farms to Grafton, and when I woke up I had a horrible crick in my neck. The walk back to the apartment remained the same as it ever was. We put everything in order and that ends the tale of the Trip to Boston.
Except for one thing. The wind. Oh my, the wind. It blew us into the station in Worcester and we prayed we would find it lessened in Boston. But Boston being on the water, the wind accosted us even more fiercely there than here. Every time you read “walked,” you should have mentally added, “froze in the bitter icy wind which cut through layers like a hot wire through cheese.” So when we “walked to the theater” in our nice clothes, that
means we struggled through biting winds that froze any unprotected skin, eked tears from our eyes, and flattened our clothes against our bodies. It persisted and chilled us in the most agonizing way, so the 15° weather felt so much colder that the idea of walking back after the play (for instance) made us want to weep. Similarly, in our “wandering around Boston,” we primarily sought somewhere indoors, warm and out of the wind, to rest our tired legs and warm our icy fingers. I cannot express how tired we were of wind by the time we got back to Worcester, or how glad I am to be out of it right now.
I appreciate having a home.