Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Petra in the USA: Boston revisited

I spent my birthday (Oct. 15 – yes I’m slow posting) strolling around Boston, visiting old haunts and old friends. The capitol building looks stately and picturesque, people in colonial-era costume loaf around the common offering tours of Historic Boston, and I even saw the neighborhood peregrine falcon looping around, lazily reminding all pigeons and squirrels in the immediate vicinity of the imminence of their impending mortality.

I swung by my old workplace since I had some time, surprising the heck out of my friends and former colleagues, most of whom didn’t know I was in the country. By purse chance there was a big meeting on that weekend, so I got to check in with some people who I hadn’t realized were in the neighborhood either.

After some shopping for some singularly American items, I finished off the day with Megan and Jessie, who have entered that truly delightful old-married-couple state which close platonic friendships such as theirs sometimes reach. They have a collection of doilies and teacups. The collection is currently ironic, but many of the most sincere hobbies begin that way, so keep an eye on them…

All this was happening about a month prior to Nov. 4, and the bar where we stopped was running a little election of their own. The bartender had created two election season cocktails: The Maverick (a Southern-style drink involving Johnny Walker Red and served in a highball glass) and The Change We Need (a martini endowed with a deep turquoise hue courtesy of Blue Curaçao). Both were to be offered up til election day. Promiently displayed over the bar was a blackboard tracking the drink orders as they came in. As of our visit, The Change We Need was leading by 8 orders over The Maverick. Predictive? I think so.

I did face one disappointment on my personal tour of Boston and environs. Walking past my favorite local pizza joint late in the afternoon, that tiny, priceless epicenter of energy and community spirit endlessly disgorging mouth-watering aromas of cheese, grease, and, well, cheese – I saw to my dismay and shock – shock, I tell you! – that Dial-A-Pizza has raise the price of their pick-up-special for an extra large cheese from $5 to $7. Dial-a-Pizza, how could you? This is not the change we need! But if you just give me… just one bite… of your pizza… I could probably forgive you…

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