Saturday, June 21, 2008

Dear Boston

Dear Boston,
Thank you for hosting the 17th International Workshop on Vascular Anomalies.  I am thrilled to be here.  I will always remember this meeting as the jumping off place for what will hopefully define my career as a pediatric interventional radiologist.  Thank you for investing in the Charles Street Jail and transforming it into a boutique hotel to which I will gladly return.  The Liberty Hotel has been a wonderful home base in Beacon Hill.  Every staff member calls me "Doctor Braswell," the toiletries are delightful in the granite-tiled shower, and the mini-bar is well stocked (well, it was).  The flat screen doesn't hurt, either.

Dear Boston,
Thank you for the sailboats and wind surfers on the Charles River, the gaslights and cobblestones on Charles St., the swan boats at the Public Gardens, and the infinite rows of brownstones.  Thank you for selling me my first (first!) copy of the Oxford American today so that I would not have to stare into space while eating alone a slice of whole wheat crust Daily Special pizza at the Upper Crust.  Who would have thought I would have to come here to buy Arkansas literature? Thank you for my long walks and sore calves.  

Dear Boston,
You hosted me a couple of times before.  When I was a little kid in the eighties, you probably thought I was barefoot and straight out of Walker Percy's Mississippi.  You weren't completely wrong.  You told me "We don't carry Dr. Pepper in these pahts" without a hint of irony.  You showed me for the first time what real wind and cold are.  I didn't forget.  When I was a college student tagging along with my roommate and her family for the MIT family weekend, you laid the Freedom Trail out before my feet, and I loved knowing why history matters and stays and doesn't fundamentally change.

Dear Boston,
Thank you for hosting the St. Louis Cardinals during the weekend I am in town.  What luck!  I am very interested in your sports culture and have read all the Globe's coverage of the Celtics championships last week.  A city that loves their teams is a place I can love.  I took great pains to plan a potential outing at the country's oldest ball field.  I scouted internet bargains, asked questions, and walked to Fenway to see for myself.  The Cards were trouncing your Sox and it was well into the game, so I knew my scalper was going to be easy to find and ready to sell.  I couldn't find him or anyone else, though, so I walked and loitered outside the bars and caught TV snippets and shopped for baseball caps.  I turned back.  On my way, the only guy left selling tickets gave me a deal.  I retraced my steps again and found the gate, made small talk with the attendant, smelled the hot dogs, felt the roar of the crowd.  

Dear Boston,
Your ticket man robbed me and sold me a bogus ticket.

Dear Boston,
I will never forget that.  I might never forgive it.  Please find your crumpled ticket in the green trash receptacle on Newbury Street amongst the coffee-stained newspapers.  Thanks for nothing.  When I bring my son to your ball park, I will not let him know that such things happen in the name of the greatest game on earth.  Let's just keep it a secret, shall we?

1 comment:

Jess said...

A bogus ticket!!!! Why doesn't that suprise me. I'm glad you had such a great time in Boston...it is a great city.