Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Boston and Cambridge: Mass. Psychosis

I am back in my home village, New York, NY for a few weeks. Got some work to do, but basically showing the smaller version of myself (AKA the Prodigal Son) my old stomping grounds, and taking Fumie around to places where Chinese food is good and cheap. Fumie will fly to Tokyo in a week... that means a lot of Chinese food is coming up. We spent the first two days of our trip in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where I once spent ten years living and playing music and making tapes for the teaching of African languages for the Boston University Language center before moving to Hungary in 1989.It was a bit of a shock to find myself rolling down the street in Allston-Brighton where I used to live in a ramshackle tripple decker full of BC law students.
Since my sis was driving, it was a spur of the moment, unplanned trip, but I got to show Aron some of the best of the Boston area, such as the burgers at Charlies Kitchen in Harvard square, one of the last bits of Harvard square that has not been gentrified into a twee yuppie shopping mall.
It hasn't changed a bit... double cheeburger plate, US $5.00. You can't get anything for lunch at that price in Budapest anymore... this is the place where the Goofy Sufi master Emil Dede and I used to go to feed Vlado, an aging and homeless Macedonian shepherd we found living in the heating system of Harvard University. Vlado was from Emil's home town, and we were trying to arrange to get him a passport and send him back to his family in Yugoslavia. I used to walk up and down Memorial drive in Cambridge playing the macedonian gaida bagpipes to find him - he would crawl out of some heating grate when he heard us coming. Charlies was the only place that would serve him.
We also had to do the ritual lobster feast, and hit the Barking Crab on the waterfront in downtown Boston. Boiled lobster, steamer clams, fried haddock. Things I can only dream about on the Budapest Metro beneath Moszkva ter...
I have to admit, I learned about this place from watching "Man Vs. Food" on the travel channel, but it was worth it - more food than I can eat, and when that is applied to New England fried clams this is a good thing. Saw a few of my old friends, walked down some of my old streets and stomping grounds... the more it changes, the more it stays the same.Drove back to NY and met Fumie at the airport... and after braving the airline food on Continental from Europe she had to be immdeiately revived using this:

2 comments:

Joel said...

Hah. Another path crossed. My daughter is living in Cambridge and teaching high school in Boston's Chinatown. She did her student teaching at Brighton HS, where we trudged through the snow and found the one high-security entrance to visit her classroom.

徐若瑄Vivian said...
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