Monday, August 15, 2011

Harbor Town

We went for a walk along the waterfront yesterday. It was a dark day, spitting rain, which kept the crowds away. I like clouds or even drizzle better than bright sunshine, so I was fine. And we both had umbrellas in case of a downpour; we rarely bother to carry them.

It's possible to live in Boston and forget for weeks, or months, that we're a harbor town. When I worked in South Boston, I never got tired of crossing the channel bridge and seeing the sea. (Okay, I'm romanticizing: it was hell in winter, when you were practically blown backwards with every step, and the CityMart on the other side began to seem like a cozy haven at the end of the world. Yeah, I dreaded it, but it was never boring, anyhow.) Our offices had huge plate-glass windows filled with ocean views, oil tankers and container ships plodding back and forth, tugboats, fishing boats, and all the activity that never stops surprising you when your life is usually centered inland.

As usual, my husband and I tried to imagine the harbor as it was in the 19th century, when it was jammed full of wooden sailing ships, a forest of masts rising high in the air. Although we've been to Tall Ships events, we still can't envision traffic jams in Boston Harbor.

The closest we can get on a typical day is this:

We found ourselves in the North End, naturally, which was in the middle of a feast. We heard a couple of brass bands playing, "O Sole Mio" and Sousa classics. The street food looked good; no line at all for a Mike's cannoli.

We added a dollar to the streamers on the Madonna banner:

And we were soon rewarded by being invited to jump the line outside Regina's because we were the only twosome. The pizza was perfect, as always. And we even remembered to bring the leftovers on our walk home.

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