Catch-up

Holy crap I haven’t posted to my blog in a while.  I should probably catch you all up.  Let’s see, since we started HB2 in school I had a couple of weekends free to travel up to Boston.  One weekend I went up just for fun, and the following weekend I went up for Head of the Charles (HOCR).  I got to see my buddy CH, and honestly after spending so much time indoors studying for the HB1 exam it was nice to just be in Boston and walk around outside.  I met up with my old roommate ER for a drink (turned into pitcher after pitcher) and then grabbed some much-needed delicious brunch the following day at Grafton Street with SR.  So good.  Then during HOCR weekend I got to see my old crew buddies and watch on as some of them raced in the Alumni 8+ event in the HOCR before watching some more races and hitting up Border Cafe with the Westwood crew.  Plus I got to catch up with ER again and see JJ and ML.  All in all, it was good to see everyone.  And it was great to get out of Farmington for a couple of weekends.

And can we talk about this October snow storm?  What the hell?  Even after strategically parking my car for the night of the storm I still woke up the following morning to find a branch resting on it (but thankfully no damage).  But falling asleep that night was eerie because you could hear distant (and nearby) branches snapping off trees and crashing below.  Branches and trees are down all over the place, and the whole northeast half of Connecticut is pretty much entirely without power and heat.  There are only a handful of people in my class that have power.  Let me be the first to tell you that it’s pretty chilly sleeping at night.  Last night I had to dawn sweats, a hat, and socks to stay warm underneath my blanket and comforter.  But it wasn’t too, too bad.  I mean, we’ll survive.  Right now for electricity and internet (and heat) we all hang out at the health center (not like that’s anything new).  But hey, it’s the whole half of the state, so we’ll just have to be patient and wait for the CL&P crew to get us all back up and running.

And to think we probably got the worst storm of the season in October.

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Boston

Boston.  My city.  I miss it.  I’ve been getting insanely homesick and want to get back, visit my friends, and go out and have a good time.  Let’s just say life here in Farmington is, well, different and it’s definitely taking me some time to adjust.  I mean, I love my classmates, but still some of my best friends are back in Boston and I miss them.  And I miss the nights where CH and I would “have a drink on the Esplanade” and then wind up at Eastern Standard at 2:00am on a Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday or Thursday) night for $3 shift beers and some late night treats.  Hell, I miss just wasting away an entire Saturday bumming around downtown with CH.  I miss relaxing with the old roomies out on the porch as the sky turned that purple-orange-pink of a summer sunset.  I miss raging to the 80s cover band Fast Times with all my BC friends down by the Garden as the memories of the night began to blur together.  And I miss the city.  Sure, there are the “fun” parts like the T shutting down early, crazy Red Sox traffic, and stupid, cracked-out BU hipsters, but all in all I love Boston.  Over the six years that I spent there during school years, the summers in between, and my couple of years of employment after graduation, the city became my home.

I first left my hometown of Byram, NJ to go to college at BC.  I remember visiting the campus for the first time after I was accepted and I was instantly obsessed.  Coming from a small high school I hit a point where I wanted to (and needed to) reinvent myself, which is why I moved out of the state and wanted to go to a school where I didn’t know anybody.  I wanted a fresh start.  I literally wanted to leave everything (but not everyone) behind.  In fact, the song “Boston” by Augustana was like my personal anthem, particularly with lyrics like, “I think I’ll go to Boston / I think I’ll start a new life / I think I’ll start it over, where no one knows my name.”  I just needed to get out, I needed to challenge myself, and I needed room to grow and to figure out who I was (as cheesy as that sounds).  And together BC and Boston allowed me the freedom to become the person I am today.

I remember the moment when I fell head over heels in love with Boston.  It was sometime when I was at crew practice and I was out for some reason, so I was put in charge of filming the rest of the guys to check out their rowing technique.  But it was early, probably sometime around 6:00am when we reached the basin of the Charles River.  The sun was rising above the Prudential and Hancock buildings, and it was absolutely gorgeous.  The sun was so bright it was blinding through my sunglasses, and the shimmering yellow-gold-white reflection off the water was breathtaking.  Absolutely breathtaking.  At that moment I was in love.  The Boston skyline was so beautiful right at that moment, how could anyone not love it?

I already have plans to make it back for the weekend of the Head of the Charles to reunite with my old crew buddies and enjoy a weekend of freedom after my first exam.  And honestly I can’t wait.  It’s the light at the end of my seemingly long-ass tunnel.  I’m almost even contemplating going back the weekend before HOCR just to do everything non-crew related and actually be able to go out and visit everyone that I can.  But that’s still up in the air, because who knows what sort of celebratory festivities may be occurring that weekend after our first exam down here in CT.  But regardless, I’ll be back soon enough.

Oh Boston, how I miss you.

(And Flickr’s being stupid, so here’s the full-size picture of the sunrise I was talking about.)

Esplanade

What I feel like can be deemed as one of the “cliche” Boston places to go, the Charles River Esplanade is actually more or less ignored by tourists and occupied by Boston residents.  It’s beautiful, with grassy areas to throw down a towel and lay out, park benches to sit and people watch, and paths to walk about on.

I went down this past Saturday with my buddy CH and again on Sunday with KA to get out of our apartments and try to beat the heat by catching a breeze coming off the river.  Sunday in particular was absolutely gorgeous.  Hot as all hell, but gorgeous.  KA and I chilled out and caught some rays just out behind the Hatch Shell.  We people-watched as marathon runners went jogging by and couples walked their dogs (wet from swimming and carrying a tennis ball).  And I would bet most people around there aren’t tourists because, well, it’s not a touristy area or thing to do.  The Boston Common and Boston Public Garden are, on the other hand, chock full o’ tourists anytime of the year on the weekends.  But the esplanade is different.  It’s a little harder to find, and if you’re cruising on Newbury Street as a tourist then you’d be unfamiliar with which cross streets would get you to a walking bridge to cross over Storrow Drive to the park.  So the esplanade can really be a perfect little downtown escape from the Duck Tours and Faneuil Hall performances.

I’m sure you’ll probably be able to find me down there on several occasions during my upcoming funemployment.

Kicks

So the other day I got a Facebook invite from my buddy CH about some alumni event down in the South End at 28 Degrees.  Being a Tuesday night, I didn’t have much else going on, so I decided that I’d tag along and join him.  It was a good time (turned into a long night) as we toured around from 28 Degrees to Noche right next door, then over to Lolita for some delicious margaritas (they have one with St. Germain, talk dirty), and then finally hopped on the T to end the night with some $3 shift beers at Eastern Standard.  You know, your average run-of-the-mill Tuesday evening bar crawl.  Well, regardless of the 90-something-degree weather, I rocked my favorite pair of Levi’s 514’s, my $7 t-shirt from Target, and my sick new Original Penguin kicks.  I have to say I was turning heads with these Moby Hi high-tops in black with greed plaid canvas.  Yeah, that’s what’s up.  These shoes definitely made me stand out (in a good way).  I was obsessed with them all night long.  You can ask CH I didn’t shut up about them.

And I just found out they have them in blue, they’re on sale, and they’re having a sale on their sale and (to top it off) free shipping.  I may just have to buy them.

Fourth

Well, yesterday was the Fourth of July.  I was fortunate enough to celebrate America and freedom all weekend long by going out with my buddy CH and company on Friday night, celebrating JM’s birthday Saturday night, attending a little cookout / hangout at Glazer, and then doing a little party-hopping on America’s birthday.  I went down to the Esplanade along the Charles River for a bit to see my friends KM, JI, and others, then headed over to chill with CH for a bit, then off to my friend BJ’s roof deck in Back Bay to have a couple of drinks and watch the fireworks.

Happy birthday, America.  You’re one fine lady at the age of 235.

Victory

Amazing.

That’s all I can really say about last night.  The city of Boston was on fire last night as the Bruins came to secure the Stanley Cup in Game 7 with a final score of 4-0.

I’m not going to lie, I was extremely nervous and superstitious going into the game.  I didn’t want to jinx it in anyway whatsoever.  I didn’t entertain the thought of possibly winning in my own head.  There was an unspoken fear going into the game amongst Bruins fans that we were going to get destroyed (again) at Rogers Stadium back in Vancouver.  The Bruins had lost each and every game of the series held there.  The team and the fans knew that they really needed to step it up, but still I was afraid we weren’t going to be able to pull it off.

I went down to Kenmore to watch the game with my buddy CH and enjoy some gin and tonics (with a splash of St. Germain, of course).  I was running late and was following the Bruins on Twitter through most of the intense (and surprisingly very quick) first period.  The entire T ride to Kenmore seemed to take forever as I constantly refreshed my Twitter feed and then nervously reading every Tweet from @NHLBruins.  I was glad, however, that I wasn’t watching the game at a bar.  Personally, bars for games like this make me nervous because people are drunk, there’s always that one tool of a fan of the opposing team antagonizing Boston fans, and then a fight erupts.  So to I was happy I was on my way to my buddy’s apartment where I’d be able to relax (or at least try to) on a comfy leather sofa and pour my own drinks just the way I like them.

The moment I got to CH’s place the goals started coming.  Marchand assisted Bergeron’s first goal of the night toward the end of the first period.  And then Marchand and Bergeron scored another pair of goals in the second period to bring the score up to 3-0.  I was finally able to calm down, although I’m not going to lie the gin was definitely helping with that.  Only at the end of the second period was I beginning to actually entertain the possibility of the Bruins actually winning the Stanley Cup.  And then as time ticked away in the third period, Marchand silenced the Canucks fans with yet another goal with less than three minutes to go.

The clock ran to 0:00 and the buzzer rang in victory for the Boston Bruins.  Boos from the Canucks fans were the sound of pure joy here in Boston.  The whole city erupted, from North Station to Kenmore to Fenway.

Of course, today the whole city is hungover today (myself included, as I rolled into work at 11:00am sporting my Oakleys and sipping an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts), but at least it’s justified.  It’s the first Stanley Cup win for the Bruins since 1972 which is definitely reason enough to have celebrated late into the Wednesday night.

Congrats, boys.  Enjoy it.  You guys deserve it.

And for awesome pictures from the game (from where I got the pictures for this post), be sure to check out the gallery on the Bruins site here.