Sunday, August 20, 2006

Boston Attraction: The Longfellow Bridge

Last Wednesday after work, I decided to skip my regular walk around Cambridge and walk down by the water. Since I've come to Mass, I go to work and then I usually ride my bike or go walking after work to keep up with my exercise. But the days are getting shorter now, and I fear I only have a month or so left of outdoor exercising. I hate walking alone in the dark, and there's just no way I'm getting up early to ride or walk before work. So I'm trying to "explore" what I can now.

The Longfellow Bridge, also known to locals (per Wikipedia) as the Salt and Pepper Bridge, takes the Red Line, my line, over the Charles into Boston. Blogger is being tempermental today and not letting me post pictures, but it really is pretty amazing to come up out of the tunnel and see the city there ahead of you. I wonder if I'll be so enamored after I live here a while, or in the middle of winter when it's 20 below, but for now, I was excited and happily chattering with people and snapping pictures.

For the locals, it's just a commute. I think of all the things in New York City that I never notice and wonder what it's like to be a true tourist there. I'll always be an outsider in NYC, from New Jersey [pronounced with much disdain], but still, most of my comings and goings in New York are centered around meeting people for drinks or dinner or going shopping. I just go. I don't really notice. Because Boston is brand, shiny new for me, I get the added bonus of noticing.

On Wednesday, I took the Red Line to Charles/MGH and just did few laps across the bridge. The sun was setting so it was prime photo-op time with the Charles and the Pru Tower looking red and coppery. There were still a lot of sailboats out on the water and tons of runners. Whenever I see people running, I'm struck by the urge to run, to join them, but all of my attempts at running, thus far, have failed. Since 2000, one of my New Year's Resolutions has been to run a half-marathon before the next year. Number of half marathons run since 2000: 0. Number of 10Ks: 0. Number of 5Ks: 0. Maybe this year. :-)

I did a couple of passes and then hopped back on the train. It was dark, but I got off at Harvard anyway and walked the back roads home. This is usually my best thinking time. Sometimes I listen to my iPod, but most of the time, I just walk, and try and make sense of some of the ideas for writing in my heads. It's at these times that I think that I have something to say and where I'm witty and brilliant and ready to write a novel. But then I get back home and a few days pass and I'm sitting in front of the screen thinking, incredulously, "what was THAT THOUGHT I had?". I know it couldn't have been "The Longfellow Bridge is a bridge in Boston. It is big. It is long..." One of my writing "bibles" -- Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones -- tells me to keep with it. I have a bookcase filled with journals that I've filled. There has to be some kernel of brilliance somewhere in there. For now, I'm just keeping with it. Brilliance coming. Stay tuned.

Right now, though, it's time for Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs with the MG, which is in itself, kind of brilliant.

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