New England is freezing, no doubt about that. When I left England it was spring and 17ºC. In Boston today it’s snowing and currently -8º. Spring arrives a little later on this side of the Atlantic. Everyone I’ve spoken to is fed up with winter and can’t wait for spring. For anyone raised in the mild southwest of England, -8 at lunchtime is very cold indeed. I’m going to pop to the shops soon wearing 86 layers, making my normally slim frame resemble the Michelin man. If you never hear from me again then I’m probably frozen to the ground in a Boston suburban street like someone frozen by the evil queen in Narnia. Tomorrow is meant to be a lot warmer so I’m looking forward to that.
I have a confession to make. Yesterday, while my wife was at work I decided to explore Boston a bit after I’d had lunch with her. It wasn’t as cold as today and I found myself heading towards Fenway Park. I ended up paying $16 for a tour of the venerable old stadium which was rather interesting. The thought of me watching a baseball game and enjoying it is disturbing but it was interesting seeing the history and the great views from the ground. Fenway Park was opened in 1912 (who said this blog wasn’t educational) and is owned by the owners of Liverpool FC and they’ve spent money doing it up like they plan to do to Anfield. I’ve decided that when I live here I’m going to go to one game, just to satisfy my curiosity. The tour left several big questions unanswered such as “Why is it called the World Series when only Americans play it?” and “Why do people pay big money to watch what is essentially the rounders British kids play at school?” Should I ever find the answers I shall enlighten you all.
Boston is an easy city to explore on foot, the only irritation being the disdain shown to pedestrians at crossings. Sometimes after you press the button it takes over two minutes for the four lanes of traffic to slow to a reluctant stop. Of course being a Brit I instinctively look the wrong way when crossing a road too. I wandered up to upmarket Newbury Street and checked out some of the foreign stores, including a suprising number of British High Street stores. Lush and Hotel Chocolat were apparent along with a number of British fashion stores. Naturally Hotel Chocolat was the only one I visited and the girl working there seemed very nice when she’d heard my accent. I think one of my future posts will be about the joys of having a British accent in America. It was a good day, I’m definitely warming to Boston with every visit.
I waited for my wife to finish work then got the train home with her. Public transport in Boston is centred around it’s subway system. The “T” has several lines which intersect and it’s quite reasonable in price but it’s no London Underground. The trains are ageing and not very regular off peak. You get the usual cast of strange characters that only exist on public transport anywhere in the world. I do like the way that the weekly ticket can also be used on buses and that buses from stations are actually timed to leave after a train arrives for a quick connection though. It’s great that I’ll be moving to a city with some kind of public transport as many US cities are not as fortunate as Boston. Maybe I’ll grow used to the strange smells and stainless steel seats in time.
This weekend sees my birthday, and my wife is taking me to a mystery destination. She still refuses to enlighten me about this visit but I’d hazard a guess that we are going north. I’m definitely intrigued and excited and I’ll let you know where it was when I get back!