Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

A Boston ramble

There are two large cities other than Portland I can imagine living in: Seattle and Boston.

Seattle almost happened in 2000. I considered either it or Portland as my post-Hermiston, Oregon move; I spent a week in Seattle that April to research local newspapers where maybe I could apply for work. My deciding thought, though, was I haven't enjoyed Portland enough! It helped that I had a fair amount of family both in and near Portland. I moved into my first place here on January 1st, 2001. Very easy to remember.

Eleven years. Portland's been a pretty good fit.

But I do wonder where else would be a good fit. Don't want to live in suburbs again or in as isolated a place as Hermiston; I need walkable trips. San Francisco is an amazing town, but I seriously doubt I could ever afford the city. New York: too big and crowded, unless I'm as far out as the suburbs and there's that not-in-the-'burbs thing again. L.A.? Dad once said "Los Angeles would probably run you over," and I replied "Yes, perhaps literally!" And I go back to thinking of Seattle and, especially lately, Boston. Which I know is pricey, though not at the ZOMG levels I've heard happen in S.F.

My Boston feeling happens from having been there twice. 1998 and 2008. 1998: I'd gone east to make up, to an extent, for not going east the summer before to pay respects in person to my best friend, lost. Mike Pearl. He'd been killed in summer 1997 by a drunk driver. That driver took a complicated summer for me and threw a tragedy into it for good measure. For those complicated reasons, I did not get to Virginia for Mike's funeral. In 1998, I did finally get back east, first to Virginia to see friends of mine and Mike's, then to Boston, to see Mike's girlfriend T----- (for my own reasons, I feel odd about mentioning her so I won't spell out her name. I'll be deferential). I brain-farted one of my all-time biggest brain farts once I was in Boston, where I set down my camera bag somewhere in Boston Logan and never picked it up. So. Having my first in-person visit with one of the most important people in my late friend's life, nervous about how that would go, and beginning this by practically (and metaphorically) losing an arm with the loss of the camera stuff -- equipment and film -- and yeah, I was not in a great headspace.

And by that day's end, on a slope below the Bunker Hill Monument overlooking the Charles River and soaking in summer warmth, I told T----- and her friend E----- "I'm glad I came here." Boston had worked its magic on me.

I didn't get back to Boston until 2008, flying in and out of Logan again to go to a convention, spend time with friends in Upstate New York (including a side trip to Burlington, VT), and do other visiting and tourist trips in and around Boston and Salem. My Boston time in 2008 was self-guided, and just a dip into what I could've seen. (I stayed in a reaaaaaaally nice Financial District hotel, too; it was one of my big splurges on that trip. I'm glad I was able to afford that; I was exhausted by that night and not up for searching for a cheaper place.)

Two visits. I need to do more. Helps that lots of friends are scattered through the Boston area. I'll likely never move there, but I can visit there.

I could claim that living in Portland means I'm visiting Boston, but Leverage never pretended all that hard that Portland's streets really looked like Boston's streets.

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