Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Boston 1997 pt. 1

In spring of 1997 I returned to Boston, for a spring break tour of sorts. At the time I was hanging out with a guy named Ryan, a friend of Pat's.

Ryan worked for Applebee's with Pat as a cook, and happened to be dating the sister of a friend of mine from the 7th grade.

So when we met, and got to know each other, we got along fairly well. His name was Ryan C. and he ended up going to University at Buffalo for Math and ultimately graduating.

Ryan was slightly taller than I, with long Irish Red hair. To see him on site, you'd see him as a traditional Irish type character. He drank a lot, he smoked not excessively, and he lived well with a fridge full of beer.

Ryan even experimented with making his own beer in the basement. I thought it was disasterously strong, but everyone else that tried it seemed to enjoy it.

It is mostly because of him that I ended up reading James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young man, because I thought it might give me some insights into the irish culture. But that wasn't until much later.

In Boston, we must have visited every bar known to the city at the time, that hosted the Irish. From the Purple Shamrock, to the Black Rose, to Cheers, to a ridiculously expensive place called Kitty O'Sheas.

We even visited places I don't remember to date, and walked along the Charles River. It is easy to get lost on foot in the city, but I believe that was the same day we found our way to Beacon St. and Cheers.

The real Cheers bar isn't anything like the one they show in the television show which was actually filmed in Los Angeles. But the cast of characters, and professionalism of the bar tending staff is notable.

We played cards, with poker chips, but for no money, in the basement of a juice bar along the same street that day, and I kept thinking on how odd it was, that the juice bar had such a spacious basement, while cheers was such a small establishment.

Perhaps it says something for the anti-alcohol set in Boston, or perhaps it was just an anomaly of the style of the cafe.

One of the 2 nights we stayed there, we had Lobster at a place outside of the main city at a place that specialized in lobster. I couldn't recall why or how I ended up spending 70 dollars on the lobster, except that it seemed to be the best deal there, for a "whole" lobster, which I'd always wanted to try at the time.

At the Black Rose, we encountered a Spanish speaking gentlemen with a typical Salvador Dali moustache, and I could only assume he was actually from spain on some kind of travels.

We had rounds of drinks with him, while staring at the women, and hitting on the barmaids. Who of course, at the time would have nothing to do with us.

One of the cool things at the Black Rose, was the traditional Irish performance, by a band dressed in garb that reminded me of the irish festival I went to with a girl by the name of Phoenix that I dated once many years ago. She'd been a couple years older than me.

Phoenix had an anorexia of sorts, and I never could get that wrapped around me. It disturbed me deeply, and we ended up going our seperate ways amicably.

At the Purple Shamrock, we just kind of sat in and drank quietly, discussing the Chinese food we'd had in China Town earlier that day. I had had something that I can't recall, but I do remember dumplings, and the fact that they were so batter dipped and fried that I couldn't finish what they'd made us.

I was also still stunned from a chunk of ice that had fallen off of the top of a building on to my head. It hurt, but fortunately, I was only stunned. A police officer had offered to take me to the hospital, but I'd refused - knowing it would ruin our spring break.

At Kitty O'Sheas, the last bar that night, we talked to an older Marketing Director, who was visiting Boston from NYC. He actually gave me a business card and was talking about jobs, and possible work for me, because I knew computers.

When I got home, I half followed it up, but without the means to move to NYC at the time, and a bit of a fear of the unknown, I never took him up on it.

Prior to all of the night's bar hopping, we'd stopped at a comedy club in Market Square where we saw several performers for about eight dollars. It was a pretty good show, and a lot cleaner than most of the comedy I'd seen in the Buffalo / Rochester area at the time.

Now that I've seen a ton of comedy on television, I've kind of realized that its pick and choose. There are good nights to watch, and there are nights to change the station.