11.06.2010 - 11.06.2010 24 °C
I spent last night and the early hours of this morning in the North area of Boston. The Boston Celtics were hosting the LA Lakers in the fourth match of the seven match NBA Finals. Going into the game LA were up 2-1. A few of us from the hostel headed to the 'stadium' (TA Garden) to watch the game in the bars in the area. I've never watched basketball before and I had almost no idea what was going on besides the obvious fact that when the ball fell through the hoop something was scored - but it was fantastic. The atmosphere in the area was electric. The chant that was literally echoing around the street was "Beat LA, Beat LA ...". And they did, beat LA. The Celtics were down in the 2nd and 3rd Quarters, but pulled it out the bag in the final quarter to level the Series 2-2. With the horns being hooted and flags waved from cars, you would have thought they'd won the whole thing, not just one game from seven.
Today was my exploring day. I got up early for a run and did a four mile loop around the Charles River up to Cambridge and back again. Once back and presentable I hit the streets, first heading down fashionable Newbury Street with its many shops. Whoever said clothes at places like Abercrombie were cheaper over here lied. Big lies. They're not. At least they're not in the shops, maybe it'll be different in the malls. I stumbled across the Boston Public Library, which definitely beats the 'Library in a Bus' that's native to Bleasby.
It wasn't long before I arrived at Boston Common, the oldest parkland in the United States. After inhaling a burrito (Mexican street food is cheap, but I went veggie to be on the safe side), I found the start of the 'Freedon Trail'. The trail is a path that courses through the city and marks the key sites that formed a part of the history of the 1776 revolution. It ended up taking many many hours to walk it, considerably more than the two and a half that its advertised as taking (this was mostly because I kept mistaking random lines on the road for the trail and went in the opposite direction to where I should have been going ... I blame the dyslexia or one of my other afflictions). One detour worked out well as I stumbled across a large fruit and bread market that was buzzing with trade from local Bostonians. The trail culminated in a visit to the USS Constition - a ship (not a boat! Don't make the same mistake I did. The Americans are very precious about it not being a boat) which is the longest serving commissioned vessel in the US Navy and saw service in the middle nineteenth century. It remains operational, although it doesn't ever leave its moorings.
A leisurely stroll along the Cambridge side of the Charles River, looking over to Boston, as the sun was setting concluded a long and enjoyable day.
I hear there is some important sporting contest involving England tomorrow so I had better investigate what that's all about.
Time for the Empire to strike back ... mostly because if we lose it will be insufferable here.