Welcome, one and all, to the first installment of a five part series. I’m not a well traveled guy, true, but I tend to form strong opinions about books just by glancing at their covers, so I think I’m qualified to talk (at length) about a number of places I’ve seen, glimpsed, been through, and/or spotted from a distance. This week I’m taking on Boston. Pock the caaaaaar, you Yankee motherfucker!
The thing I remember most about Boston is the pizza; it was garbage. The crust was too flaky, the sauce was bland and discolored, and the toppings…to be honest, I don’t even think it had toppings.
When the airhead waitress brought it to the table (about an hour after we ordered it), I took one look at the thing and crossed myself; I knew I was in the presence of evil, and the thing to do was pray. Sure, I could have turned my nose up at the stuff, but it was midnight and I hadn’t had my dinner yet. It was either choke down this train wreck or starve. I chose the former because…well…I have a corpulent figure to keep up. I can’t afford to lose any poundage.
So, yeah; it was dinnertime.
I survived the first slice, if slice it may be called, and managed to get through the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth, but that was it; I’d had enough.
Looking back, I suppose the pizza wasn’t all that bad. I mean, I liked it a whole lot more than I like Republicans and Democrats right about now, but I’d have preferred something seasoned with less water.
The rest of the city was nice. At least, I was under the impression that it was. See, it was night when I blew into town, so I didn’t see the city so much as I saw the suggestion of a city; lights shining here and there, hulking buildings black against the August stars, planes flying overhead, so low you could see the pilots sleeping behind the wheel. The trip was one of those last minute affairs that pop up occasionally. One minute you’re relaxing with a brandy in your study, the next you’re racing through the night because dear old Aunt Delilah (who you could have sworn died three years ago) is back in the hospital with some strange malady brought on by being too fat, rich, and condescending. My destination was the college district, and I’m sure you can all imagine my absolute joy; every time I set foot on a college campus, I have flashbacks to the late sixties, buildings aflame, Yippies clashing with police, dead bodies lying here and there, and strange music and smells coming from open windows. Shiver.
I didn’t find any race riots or blood-soaked peace protests, thank God; what I did find was a quaint and charming section of historic Boston characterized by sloping streets, shady sidewalks, and archaic Brownstones. The traffic wasn’t nearly as bad as it had been in New York, but what Boston lacked in quantity it up for in quality; I came away seriously suspecting that every Bostonian is a maniac, and that the ones who aren’t are psychopaths. People from Massachusetts (affectionately called “Massholes” by everyone else in the country) are insane in general, but this was the gray, seething heart, the capital, the deepest, darkest ward in the asylum.
I arrived at my destination in one piece at around ten, and, long story short, ate some of the worst pizza I’ve ever had.
I hated Boston.
Then came my second visit.
Again, it was night when I invaded the city, but this time I got to do a little more driving around. Hell, I even stopped for pizza again, and, you know, it was good! It’s a place called Pizzeria Regina; it was in the food court in this bizarre mall-type joint smack dab in the middle of the city. That was nice.
As of this writing, I have yet to see Boston in the daylight, and I’m starting to get a little disgruntled. There it sits, a hundred miles to the east, perched upon the coast, beckoning like a topless mermaid sunbathing on the rocks. It’s so close, yet so far.
Maybe I’ll get back out there some time soon.