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Observations of a Morning Commuter

A few years ago I included a photographic journal of my daily commute (showing my neighborhood, North Station, and the walk down Massachusetts Avenue from Porter Square to Harvard). The path of my commute hasn’t changed over the past three years but the scenery sure has changed.

For one thing, my photos showed the remains of the old elevated expressway (photo above) that I used to walk under (now it’s a park under sweltering sunny skies). But the sights along Mass. Ave have largely remained the same – aside from the relocated houses and construction going on at my place of employment.

But one thing that constantly changes is the people. Just this morning I saw the following:

a) a man at Porter square with a t-shirt that said “Don’t let your friends derive drunk”…it was sponsored by M.A.D.D.: Mathematicians Against Drunk Derivation. Only in a college town.

b) a man I see fairly regularly who is actually a rather handsome late 40’s/early 50’s fellow with some salt and pepper at the temples. However, he’s CONSTANTLY wearing pleated highwaters. I’m serious….he has multiple pairs, but they all don’t hang lower than his ankle (while standing!). I can’t imagine how high they ride when he’s sitting. And pleated? Oy vey.

c) a billboard for the new Billy Bob Thornton movie, “Mr. Woodcock.” On the left is uber-hot Seann William Scott. In the middle is Mr. Thornton himself…wearing a tracksuit and holding two basketballs where is anatomical balls are located. To his right, is the lovely Susan Sarandon…dressed with a sash for “Corn Cob Queen, 1970.” Brilliant.

d) a man riding what appeared to be a home made bicycle where the pedals (at their lowest) at even high then the roof of an SUV. His head was nearly at the level of the roof of a bus. I’m not sure how he gets on or off this thing. Or what he does when he has to stop at a stop light, but I was definitely intrigued.

Oh, and before I forget, I should clarify about my comments yesterday. I know Somerville is still a city (in fact, it’s the densest city in Massachusetts). I’m not going to miss living in THE city (of Boston) as much as I’m going miss living in A city; meaning, his location in Somerville doesn’t have the attributes of urban living I’ve always had.

As a kid, I lived in a village…but everything was walkable (beach, library, post office, market, restaurants, bank, etc…). Since then, I’ve always lived in places where I could walk – even when I lived far from a major city in places like Newburport and Salem. So, it’s not just that I’m going to miss living in Boston (since I know it’s still only a few miles away). What I’m going to miss is being able to walk out my door to find amenities within close walking distance. I’m going to miss the energy that a “downtown” setting offers. Randy’s neighborhood (I mean, OUR neighborhood) is purely residential…for blocks and blocks and blocks in every direction. So that’s what’s going to take getting used to. But I’ll cope. And I’m still looking forward to it.

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