Monday, December 12, 2011

That Ain't Pittsburgh: Stranger in a Familiar Land

Occasionally, I'll be asked if I miss Boston. My answer is always the same: I don't miss anything about the city. But I miss everything about the friends I made there." (Maybe I don't say it as eloquently as that, but when I do say a version of that, it is what I am actually trying to get across.) Which means, every now and then, I'll get a sudden urge to pop in, say hello, do some dancing, and after a few days, get back to Pittsburgh.

I took a gamble deciding to make one of these such trips over the first weekend in December, when temperatures should be horrible, forcing you to be inside. But it was gorgeous the entire time, which allowed me to go on a few walks to seek out any murals, graffiti, street art, or things in general.

Friday after I got into town, I walked from Mullen's place in the Fens down to my old office building in Back Bay to meet a friend for lunch. Along the way and along the way back to meet Mullen, I saw some neat stuff.

This will always be one of my favorite statues. I can't help it. It's ridiculous.

Friday night I met my former boss (and current friend!) for dinner at The Lower Depths. This was one of my favorite bars in Boston, especially during the last couple years I lived there. It's in Kenmore Square, but it's not totally douchey or sucky. The same awesome bartender has been there for years and the beers and food have stayed awesome.

I ordered this beer on sight. I saw an empty can of it on the table down from us. Without knowing at all about what kind of beer it was, I needed it. And I loved it.

After a raucous night of drinking and dancing at Great Scott (followed by pizza boats, of course), we awoke the next morning and hazily made our way to Kendall Square for some breakfast from The Friendly Toast. Jack got a milkshake that had a full can of Red Bull in it. And it was delicious. Outside of the restaurant, I saw one of the few murals of the weekend.

Being worn out from the night before, Lindsay, Mullen and I decided to spend our afternoon at a movie. While Mullen and I walked from her place up to the Coolidge Corner Theatre, we saw these geese very, very slowly crossing a main road. It was great. I really appreciated the amusement I got out of watching these geese.

On Sunday, I spent a fair amount of time walking around both by myself and with a friend. Here are a few things I saw during those walks. (Oh, how odd it felt to walk around those streets. I knew exactly where I was going, and everything felt familiar, but I felt like everyone knew my dirty little secret: I'd abandoned that place and those streets. It's like thety knew I didn't belong there. Like I was from somewhere a little less prestigious in name.)

It was a nice little trip, but I'm glad to be back in Pittsburgh. I missed the grit and I missed the color. I missed my cats and I missed my routine and friends. I missed my bike.

But, now that I've been away a few days, I really miss the crap out of the people there. Including the following people, who all helped to make my weekend in Boston a fun and wonderful return.

Mullen, me, and Linds - at The Lower Depths, before dancing and dancing and dancing at Great Scott.

My former boss and always friend, Stephen. I had the worst job interview of my life with him, but he still gave me a job, and in return, I gave (and continue to give him) mixtapes (well, mix CDs).

Mullen, Jack, Brian and me. Jack and Brian both came in from out of town, and that was very exciting and very touching. I will never be able to express adequately how much I miss the days when these people were part of my daily existence. But, they're still there. In a little pocket of the country that's only 80 minutes away by plane.

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