Bouncing through Boston

In the evening of my first full day in Boston I met up with a couchsurfing host named Mike after wandering around Quincy Market in the rain. He was a nice guy with a nice place, clean and bright. He was a programmer of sorts, and his roommates were both programmers working on a pretty interesting project involving clocking workers in via GPS on their phone when they arrived to their job site.

That night we went to a dance club near MIT where other couchsurfers from the area were supposed to meet. I had a beer there and was ready for a scenery change, the sound system was excellent and the music fit, I wasn't dancing though. I wasn't feeling it at the moment and didn't want to rock my limbs with the false emotion you can always spot in a room like that. You can see it in the girls with their hands in their air swaying to a different beat while their eyes dart around for acceptance or shut completely to avoid everything. Guys bobbing their heads hardly to the beat, anchored only by the drink clenched in their fist that they sip every moment they exhaust the spot in the room they've been staring at with a contrived smile, masking their trance of discomfort. While I still dug the people being moved solely by the groove, I stepped outside.

Next door was a bar with the name Mystery of Science, I stepped into a scene where the sound of conversation took priority over that of the music, the menu on the wall was on a chalkboard designed to look like the periodic table, Cb being a cheeseburger and so on, we were near MIT after all. I pulled up a stool to the bar and grabbed a Left Hand Milk Stout, they had it on tap and I couldn't resist. I savored the beer and enjoyed the modest crowd of geeky guys and cute girls with flowers in their hair, I had a conversation about New York and Boston with an older guy next to me at the bar. I finished my beer and headed back to the dance club next door, shortly after heading back to Mike's place and calling it a night.

The next day I went all around Boston with Mike as he showed me spots and told historical stories about them, at one point we went up to the top of a hotel where we were able to look over the whole city just about. Later in the afternoon we met up with some friends and hopped a train for Haverhill, about an hour north of Boston. Natasha, my host from the first night, had a client who owned a brewery there and promised free drinks for her and any friends she could bring.

There were five of us, I sampled every beer they had to offer in between talking to the owner and the master brewer. Their coffee stout, as Mike put it, was like sticking your nose in a bag of coffee grounds. Their Pale Ale was also impressive, and the vibe their was great. I'm tempted to return one day and wash dishes for beer or some such.

We hopped the train back and headed for the local couchsurfing meetup at a bar called the Otherside. I stayed for a few minutes and then wandered away outside, seeing fenway in the distance and a crowd of Red Sox fans leaving I headed for it. The city was more alive that way, people shouting, drinking, laughing and eating. I walked around the stadium and saw a small crowd waiting by the buses screaming every time a ball player emerged begging for autographs.

I made my way back to the bar for a beer and met Philip, my third couchsurfing host for my third night in the city. Last call came early and I headed back with Philip and a group of others. Philip was from Belgium and got me excited about going, I'd recently had a beer from his hometown I discovered.

The next day we wandered Boston again with a girl visiting from Shanghai, China. The conversation lingered on the differences between Europe, Belgium, and America. I mostly listened, Americans cannot be easily pigeon holed to any type of behavior and I couldn't imagine other countries could either, but they spoke in firm generalities. "European girls are like this on the first date, Chinese girls do this, how are American girls?", questions that have no one answer.

We ended the night at an interesting bar with a wide beer selection. Stella, the Chinese girl, is not a big drinker at all, but followed my lead and ordered the OPA-OPA-IPA because "the name sounds funny". She didn't like it, many people don't like the bitterness that often comes with a good IPA, so she got a lemonade and I drank for two. Once again last call came earlier than one would think and the night came to a close.

This morning I packed my bag and parted ways with Philip for now. I'm unsure if couchsurfing will pull through for me tonight, I may bus it to New York, I may camp out a night in Boston, I may hitchhike towards Marthas Vineyard, or something unthought of yet. I still have a week until the hotdog eating contest in Coney Island, so time will tell.


  1. Sup Kenny,
    I can't get on facebook bc I'm behind a firewall at work, but I got your message. You're welcome to crash at my place Friday and Saturday night if you need to. Give me a call later this afternoon.


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