ESPN Bottomline 2.0

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Best Time to Be in Boston

Friday was THE day to be in Boston.

There is a buzz in the city. The Boston Marathon is on Monday, bringing with it thousands of runners and enthusiasts from around the world. The Sox started a four-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, the Bruins are playing the Canadiens in the playoffs, two teams that need no help creating a buzz all on their own and there are happy people everywhere.

For Boston, it is one of the best weekends of the year.
After a slow start to the spring, the weather decided to cooperate. The temperature sat at 68-degrees all day (and barely got below 60 during the night), one of the very first real warm days of the year. I started my work for the day around noon and when I walked out of my apartment I, surprisingly, realized that the tree by my stoop was in full bloom, See:

I wore sandals and a short-sleeve black button down t-shirt out on assignment and did not regret it. Even the wind, my eternal enemy during New England springs (except for mud, which is thankfully absent in the city), was warm and light. I went up to the Boston Housing Court for some research, taking the green line from Kenmore to Haymarket. Even the North End, known more for its quaint urban charm than natural beauty, had a little bit of aura to it. People sat in front of the courthouse smoking, talking on their phones, basking in the sun. They were not a chipper lot, people at courthouses tend not to be (for obvious reasons) but there was a sense that “well, if I am going to be here, at least it’s nice out.”

Once I was done my natural inclination was just to hop back on the green line and come home. Then something struck me.

To go home was an affront. The world swayed and the gods of spring told me not to commit such a sacrilege. Compelled, I got off the T at Park Street. Much to my delight, I found the Commons to hopping. There were pretty girls laying on the grass, people walking their dogs and an odd person in a polar bear suit with a shopping cart holding a sign “will work for fish.” Check out my walk through the park below (or click here).

I stopped at my apartment for a hot second, then off to the Boston Marathon Expo at Hynes Convention Center. Now, I am not much of a runner anymore (my heyday was in middle school in Maine when we won a couple cross-country championships) but I find the Boston Marathon and all that it entails fascinating. (Stay posted to Sports Chutney on Sunday and Monday for a myriad of marathon coverage.) Once again, pretty girls, this time selling shoes and various other fitness-related sundries and a bonanza of marathon related activities. It even had a bar. I stopped by the American Liver Foundation Run for Research booth to see my man Andy Fintzel (more on that tomorrow) and had a nice chat about the marathon and all things Boston.

I escaped the Expo and got back on the green line at Copley, headed toward Fenway on a very crowded D train. Back at Kenmore I decided to continue my revelry of the Boston scene and detoured down Brookline Ave through Fenway, 15-minutes before first pitch. Now, I have been to a fair amount of major league ballparks but nothing beats the scene at Fenway before a Sox game on a Friday night with beautiful spring. Pretty girls, my favorite kind (decked out in Sox gear), ticket and program criers, drunkards and debauch and a large, green stadium teeming with a heart that pumps the lifeblood of Boston.

This I have seen before, just about everyday during the baseball season, so I did not dwell. I got back to my apartment, opened my windows to let in the still warm spring air and flipped on the Sox game on NESN and watched the hometown boys erase a 7-0 deficit to take a 10-8 win in what could be a turning point in the early season. A fitting end to a busy day, I’ll take it every time.

The rest of the weekend shapes up pretty well. The weather is not quite cooperating as well today, 60-degrees and overcast with a high probability of rain, but there is no shortage of things to do. Today we have a rare triple-decker treat: Two playoff games at the Garden (Celtics v. Bulls at 12:30 and Bruins v. Canadiens at 8:00) and a Sox game at 7:00.
If you have never been to Boston on Patriots Day weekend, you are missing out. It does not get much better than this.

1 comment:

  1. What a great treat, Dan
    teasing those of us who have to work indoors ;)
    The common is such a great place to "people watch" There is nothing better than the energy this time of year. Sports collide, Patriot Day re-enactments, and a host of pretty girls for you to view ..