Archive | 3:00 pm

Changes

19 Nov

The more things change … I returned to my old second home, Star Market/Shaw’s on Comm Ave., last week and was shocked to learn that the whole place had been remodeled! It was only in April that I moved, and while I now do my weekly grocery shopping in other Star Market locations, I find it hard to believe that I haven’t been back to this one in a long enough time that it gave the store a chance to totally change and look completely different. And don’t get me wrong: It looks great! I really enjoyed walking up and down the aisles discovering where all the foods had moved to. Yes, I know it’s totally lame to be excited about a supermarket’s new look, but I spent a lot of time here during the first 11 years of my Boston residency, so I considered this a big deal.

The more they stay the same … Alright, I finally have to post something about this: My new next-door neighbor plays an instrument. A guitar. Or at least I think it’s a guitar. It sort of sounds more like a banjo. But it’s an instrument nevertheless. And he plays it a lot. Like, every night. However, things are different now. For one thing, a guitar (even one that sounds sort of like a banjo) is not nearly as bad as a violin. Or a flute, for that matter. Secondly, it’s not like it’s soooo loud that it interferes with my TV-watching like the playing did in my old place. And finally — also most importantly — I’ve met my neighbor and he’s a nice guy. So if I was ever that annoyed by his playing, I’m sure he’d stop, even though I know he doesn’t have somewhere else to go. So I’m going to keep a positive, tolerant, flexible attitude about this. Still, it’s totally amusing to me that I’ve moved next to another instrument player. What luck I have.

Ah well. As the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Out of Town Goes Out of Town

19 Nov

Well, this sucks. When you think of Harvard Square, chances are good you think of Out-of-Town News, that iconic newsstand located right in the heart of the square. For more than 50 years, it’s been right there at the top of the escalator after getting off the T. With the store closing later this month, the Square loses not just a landmark but also more of its character. It’s true, I’m not a big fan of Cambridge, and I like Harvard Square a lot less now than I did when I was in college, but I know a loss when I see it. I never took that newsstand for granted and can remember (though not in any specific terms) countless times when I stood there browsing the new issues, often buying them too. I’ll miss Out-of-Town News — much more than the nearby Crate & Barrel, which is also closing — and I’m sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

Expressway

19 Nov

On the way home from work last night, I finally started reading Esquire‘s November issue, which — aside from being the Halle Berry as Sexiest Woman Alive issue — was the Endorsement issue. And it got me thinking about what I endorse. Here’s a very simple one: When the T goes express, particularly outbound. Sure, I like my commute, mostly because I get a lot of reading time in and I always get a seat in the morning (going home, not so much). But who doesn’t like a shorter T ride, right?

To be more specific, going express inbound — from Packards Corner to B.U. Central, for example — is good, especially when you’re on a crowded train. But consider the destination. I’m not really in that much of a rush to get to work. On the other hand, when you’re on an outbound train, and the driver comes on the PA to announce that you’ll be going express from Washington Street all the way out to Boston College — well, that’s just a great thing. It’s like the driver knows you’ve had a rough day and you’re eager for some peace and quiet, a good dinner, and some good TV. All the riff raff gets off the train (grumbling, usually) and it’s like the whole vehicle is all mine (or close to all mine). I can grab a seat, or stretch out on a couple seats. And then it’s like the driver has hit the warp speed button so he/she can get me home likkity-split, and we get to the end of the line in no time. So yeah, that’s what I endorse: an express ride home on the T.