It’s hard to remember how annoyed I felt about that restless legs thing – I’ve been far too occupied and amused to bother thinking about foolish people lately. Picture this:
Boston, Chandler Inn, South End. Not the Hilton (where we stayed in DC), but clean and safe. Pop in at the bar downstairs for a drink after the Radcliffe conference on Thursday evening. Stop at the door. Ask doorman, “Are women allowed in here?” as my mind swam in some sort of anachronistic sense that in Boston they don’t let the women drink in public. “Sure,” he says, “more might come later.” Weird, but okay. Sit awkwardly at bar amongst sports fans and wonder what tenacity I possess to keep this up. Order a local beer (boring – Samuel Adams). Pull out shield of notebook and begin to take notes on travels thus far. Men ordering drinks next to me mostly don’t look at me, unless with a slight frown. Take note of stereotypical intonation patterns and abundance of white wines, light beers and martinis. Ooooooh, I get it (duh – bit slow). Confirm understanding that I’m in a gay bar with a nice young man, Anthony. He’s very warm and invites me to join them – I say I will in a moment after finishing a bit of writing. End up having a drink there with Anthony and other lovely guy, who then take pity on me and take me to a straight bar a block away, where we share quesadillas, Australian slang and many laughs before I climb into bed around 10:30pm. Noice.
Next night after the conference: in search of a light dinner and a drink. Revisit straight bar from night before, but too crowded to sit down, so move on. Head for Butcher Shop, recommended by random man on train earlier. No seats. Cross the street to Oysters, recommended by couple in first overcrowded bar as good venue next to the Butcher Shop. Get the only single seat at the bar. The menu has 40 regional choices of oysters. Ask for advice from obvious local next to me. Obvious local turns out to be Charlie, the owner of the restaurant as well as of the Butcher Shop across the street, as well as a fine dining establishment in Beacon Hill. Charlie and his friends graciously keep me company, ply me with expensive wine, insist on buying my dinner (beautiful oysters, calamari, buffalo shrimp, soft-shell crab, etc amen), and then whisk me off to meet his wife the fab chef in Beacon Hill over a Laphroaig. What a gentleman!! What a gorgeous way to spend my last night in Boston! I love Boston!! Thank you, Charlie!
Now in New York with my beloved and Graham and Janine having a lovely time in spite of the wet, chilly nor’easter. Bought a fleece, gloves and hat in Boston – lifesaving devices all. It’s real rain here too – like you really need an umbrella and everything. Crazy.