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Boston, Lost Downtown

Posted in Boston on November 29th 2008 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am in Boston.  On the flight from Minneapolis to Boston, I was sitting next to a Rhodes scholar.  We had a nice conversation about physics and string theory!  I arrived here earlier this evening, ostensibly to attend meetings at the Materials Research Society Symposia on Tuesday, 03 December. I sit on two advisory boards, and the MRS flies a number of librarians to the symposia to attend these meetings, and we given rooms in the Westin Copley. My room this time is the biggest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in – corner room, large king-size bed, and two huge windows looking out in two directions, including a spectacular 27th-floor view of the Charles River.

I like to take advantage of such “business” trips, and stretch out my stay a bit longer. I have no set plans to do anything in particular while I’m here, so tomorrow I’ll probably wander around and see what’s up in downtown Boston. On Wednesday morning, I’ll grab a train to Providence, and spend a few days with my friends David Stern and Susan Miller.

The weather in Boston is cool, around 5C.

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Boston Update 3

Posted in Boston on November 30th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: The Boston trip is over, ending today with two uneventful flights from Boston to Edmonton via Minneapolis. I found Boston’s Logan Airport to be very efficient, no time delays, and as is typical with Northwest Airlines, the flights were orderly and on time. I was happy to have no one sitting next to me on either flight, along with having an aisle seat both times.

I spent Wednesday afternoon and Thursday with my friends Stu and Susan, who live in Brookline. Wednesday night was pizza and a movie, the extended version of Planet Terror, which I found funnier and grosser second time around. On Thursday Stu and I did an extended wine run, as Stu had to retrieve cases of wine from a wine storage facility, and take them to The Country Club for a Saturday event. This was followed with a brief tour of Harvard, which included some time in the Widener Library and a brief walk around Hah-vahd Yahd.

In the evening, the three of us had dinner at Giacomo’s Restaurant (pronounced JAW-ka-mo, so I learned). The food was incredible – I had a dish of linguini with shrimp and scallops in a scampi sauce. Ensuring Sue was able to secure a cab ride home, Stu and I walked to the TD Banknorth Garden (no longer called The Fleet Center) to watch the Celtics play the Knicks. With the Celtics ahead 82-41 by the beginning of the fourth quarter, we decided to leave to beat the traffic; I had to get up at 05:00 anyway. The game was fun, my first NBA game ever, even if it was a cakewalk for the Celtics.

I returned to -15C temperatures and snow everywhere, but it is still good to be home.

Boston Update 2

Posted in Boston on November 26th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: I spent some time this morning at the conference, and then repaired to my hotel room to do some “work” work – answering e-mails, editing a column. Then, despite heaavy mist and light drizzle, I took the subway to see Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market, and walked around soaking (no pun intended) in the sights, sounds, and wonderful smells of many kinds of cuisine. I had dinner at the Salty Dog Seafood Grille & Bar, where I sampled the Seafood Fra Diavolo: shrimp, sea scallops, calamari, fish, and mussels, simmered in white wine, olive oil, garlic, spices. and tomato, served over linguine.  I also had a nice conversation with the server, talking about the Red Sox, Bruins, and about how friendly I am finding the locals in Boston to be towards strangers and visitors from elsewhere.

Tomorrow is the Library Advisory Board meeting at the conference in the morning. In the afternoon I hope to be able to check out Boston Common and the Public Gardens, as it is forecast to warm up to 10C with a few sunny breaks in the afternoon.

Boston Update 1

Posted in Boston on November 25th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: Slept in the nice king-size bed until 10:00 or so this morning, and then really didn’t get active for another hour.  Wandered about Copley Place and the Prudential Center malls, spending the majority of my time in Barnes & Noble (where else?)  I planned to buy some DVDs and books there, given the strength of the CAD vs USD these days, but was surprised to find that some of the DVDs I wanted to buy, like My So-Called Life, are $20 cheaper on  I had breakfast at Au Bon Pain.  It is sunny and pleasant here, and it is surreal walking around hearing Christmas music everywhere, including the soundtrack to A Charlie Brown Christmas in many places.  It just doesn’t feel like Christmas yet.

In Red Sox Nation

Posted in Boston, On The Road on November 24th 2007 by Randy Reichardt

.: I am in Boston, arrived about an hour ago.  Flights to Minneapolis and Boston were uneventful and efficient.  Northwest Airlines is a solid operation when all cylinders are firing; they make Air Canada look even more pathetic than it already is.   For now, I think I’m going to rest and then later this evening investigate what is near and about this hotel.  Being a lazy and uninspired accidental tourist, I’m open to suggestions.