Monday, June 20, 2005

Still Love That Dirty Water

Dear Boston,

I know I cheated on you this week. I assure you that it didn't mean anything, that city with bright lights and severe insomnia. I went to meet good writers and talk about baseball. It was just temporary.
But I wouldn't be lying if I said that New York didn't hold some appeal. New York is a supermodel; flashy, beautiful, but doesn't really have a lot going for it other than the exterior. Boston, you're the plain girl with a heart of gold who'd do anything for me. You're steadfast and reliable, but it's nice to have the glamour sometimes. So take the following suggestions not as requirements. I'll still love you for your confusing streets, uneven cobblestone sidewalks and rabid sports fans. I just want you to try and improve yourself. I want only the best for you.
You need more 24-hour establishments.
You're home to tons of colleges and lots of young single people live in the greater Boston area. So why can I only think of two locations that are open all day? (South Street Diner and IHOP.) Is it some zoning thing? Sometimes a girl just wants a spinach and feta omelet at 2am. It's not yours to question why. I demand, you supply. If I've been at the bar I don't want to work with a hot pan and sloshy eggs. I want to sit in a booth, holding my head up by the sheer force of will until some kind spirit presents me with a plate full of greasy food to soak up the tequila.
You need more trains.
Yes, Kristen and I had problems getting around NYC on Saturday morning. But the rest of the time it was easy. We didn't wait long, the stops were fairly clearly marked. Why is it that I wait forever for a red line train? Also, you should totally do one of those "poetry in motion" things that NYC and London do and post some poems so when I'm "standing by" I have something to read. Boston's been home to many poets-- get on it. I also want 24-hour train service. Not a bus, not a shuttle, but a real train. It doesn't have to run as frequently as it does during the day-- one every fifteen minutes would be fine. It'll be helpful when I need to get to the diner.
Drink specials. We need them.
I've mentioned this before in reference to the midwest-- I want to have the option of drinking myself to death on Long Island Iced Teas for about $40. Kristen and I ate dinner and had several rounds of drinks at the bar on Thursday. We expected the tab to be near $70, but it came to $35. Thirty. Five. Dollars. American. Yeah, I know you have "Happy Hours" but that's just cheap nachos. I want beer for cheap. This is 2005. We're all big kids and know when to stop drinking. Sure, maybe for the first week or so we'd all need our stomachs pumped after imbibing a little too much but the strong would survive and reap the benefits.
Cabs should be cheaper.
If you can't give us 24-hour trains, why can't we have cheap cab fare to get home? I don't want to venture far from home because it'll cost me to get back. Kristen and I went on a twenty minute cab ride and it cost $15 with tip. Also, I want Boston to be crawling with cabs. It always seems that I can never find one when I need one, but I'm always trying to avoid near-death experiences with them at all other times. Also, as a note to both cities, why is it cab drivers never know where I'm going? In London they need to know every alley and street in the city before a driver can be licensed to drive a cab. That is a beautiful thing, so as to avoid ten minutes with the cab driver calling the hotel for directions for the confused tourists.
More bookstores.
Let me say this: I am in love with the Strand. I think I'm going to make bimonthly pilgrimages to NYC just for the half-price review copies. Brookline Booksmith has pretty good deals on out of date editions of books, but nothing like the Strand has. There are many bookish types in Boston-- a bookstore like the Strand would do well.

Boston, I love you. You are indeed my home, as evidenced by the fact that I embraced a steel support beam in South Station after exiting the bus. I just want you to try a little harder for me sometimes. I'm not going anywhere, baby.

Hugs and kisses,

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