On one of the last nights of my first stint in NYC on what my friends dubbed "the hands and holes across America tour," I decided to stay in and consider which city would be my next stop. I turned on the television for inspiration. The 1968 version of The Boston Strangler starring Tony Curtis was on cable. Since I hadn't seen it before I tuned in and watched what turned out to be a historically inaccurate mess of a film with its only redeeming quality being Tony Curtis's best performance since his cross dressing turn as a musician hiding from the mob in the Marilyn Monroe vehicle Some Like it Hot.
However, it got me thinking about Boston and how I'd never been. By the time the strangler's inevitable capture happened I had purchased a ticket to Boston. I arrived in Boston around 10 a.m. on a Monday morning. I took a cab from Logan Airport to my Faneuil Hall hotel. My cabbie was the quintessential blue collar Irishmen with a face covered in alcohol-induced rosacea blossoms. Ten minutes into the ride he decided to make conversation.
"Where yuh comin' from?" He asked in an accent that sounded like a series of skid marks.
"Well, I'm from Chicago but I've been in New York for the last month."
"Ugh, God. Don't tell anyone here that." He said with a head shake and a snort followed by an adjustment in his seat.
"Why is that?", I asked, afraid of the answer.
"Well, Wrigley Field can't compare to Fenway and New Yorkers are assholes!"
I just stared out the window praying for my destination.
We finally reached my hotel and I leapt out of the cab grabbing all of my shit and paying in less than a minute.
Four hours, three uneventful massages and one handy later I decided to head out for dinner. I walked around for a bit admiring the cobblestone walkways and ye olde town square style of architecture.
I settled at a lively seafood establishment and saddled up to the bar between a couple of lively conversations. I always sit at the bar when travelling alone and usually make a couple friends along the way.
The bartender tossed a menu down without making a second of eye contact and went back to a conversation he was having with a guy two seats down. I didn't need a hug but a nod of the head would've been nice. Ten minutes later he came back and just stood there staring at me. Assuming he wanted my order I gave him one.
"Hi. I'll have the lobster roll and a pint of Fat Tire. Also, do you have any suggestions on places a visitor should check out?"
"Anywhere in Boston is a destination spot." And he walked away and put my order in.
I decided not to ask him if he could be more specific. Having heard me ask tourist advice the guy to my right turned his head to me.
"You from L.A?"
" I fuckin' hate the Cubs." He said with a stupid back and forth head motion.
I'm not a baseball fan but I didn't appreciate him casting aspersions on Chicago. Before I could respond he had already turned back to his friend and moved on to another topic altogether.
I then became aware of the conversation next to me. Two twenty-something girls were discussing the very public diss by Kanye West of Taylor Swift at the VMAs the night before.They were both in agreement that Kanye speaks the truth and Taylor Swift sucks. I'm not a fan of either but I still thought it was a shitty thing for someone to do on the public stage.
I was starting to notice a common denominator in all the Bostonians I had met. I quickly ate my lobster roll, drank my pint and got the hell out of there. For the rest of my time in Boston I kept my head down and just worked at making quite a bit of money.
In the cab on the way to the airport I just stared out the window thinking about Tony Curtis and how I wasn't at all surprised that at one point in time someone wanted to strangle everyone in this city.