Last Friday after work I succumbed to spring fever (it was ~75 and sunny!) and rather than heading for the T and home, aimlessly strolled from my office in Cambridge down to the Charles, over the Longfellow bridge and along the esplanade, finally ending up by Hynes convention center. It was nice to see people out an about again, walking, running, riding and rollerblading. There even some boats out sailing (though I don’t particularly fancy sailing this time of year because the memory of that river being frozen is all too fresh).
Anyways, after that setup there’s a few things I noticed while waiting on Newbury street for Kristi to arrive for an ice cream rendezvous:
Newbury Street is lousy with girls walking down the street, one arm clutching a shopping bag and the other holding a phone talking to someone about how much of her daddy’s money she’s spending. I found it quite amusing that a group of dreadlocked semi-goth girls came walking down the street, making fun of the spoiled girls by all holding pretend conversations on pretend phones.
In a scene that tugged at my heartstrings, I watched this man discover that his bike had been mortally wounded while he was shopping. It was one of those chill cruiser bikes, like a 3 speed with metal fenders, and it had been chained to a sign with one of those “U” locks. Unfortunately, his ailing steed had either fallen or being pushed down, and then stomped on by some passing man or machine – but more likely man because it was on the street side of the signpost. So the man walks up to his prone bike, pauses for a second. He looks around, picks his bike up, releases the lock and drops the kickstand, then steps back. The rear wheel is grotesqely bent, and the fender and the tire are one. He consults with someone, hopefully a friend in this time of need, then after a what seemed like minutes of him inspecting the bike, proceeds to walk off down the street, wheeling his stricken transportation with the wheel dragging behind.
The whole time, it was like watching someone discover their pet had been killed – I wanted to run over and give him a hug.
I was amazed how noticeable the difference in air quality between the esplanade and by the convention center, over the mass pike – the river was cool and clear, but over the highway it reeked and my sinuses burned – and its not as if these locations are all that far apart. Of course I write this from Somerville which has the regions highest rates of asthma.