Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Rainy Days In Boston

Boston, not a city I have seen much of.  I have been there twice for work.  The first time was a quick in and out, with tons of meetings. I was back recently for three and half days, and it rained non-stop for the first 24 hours, then it fogged in.  It cleared as I was heading the airport to return home.  It is an old and historic city, someday I will see it.  

This last trip my hotel room allegedly looked out at the Charles River and a couple of massive office towers.  I have to assume the river and building were there, between the pissing rain and the fog, the view was just a glimmer and legend.  

I did see the inside of the "Big Dig."  Boston buried all of cross town expressways in tunnels underground.  It cost a mountain of money, took years to complete, and I understand made quite a mess of traffic.  In the end they have created a massive underground traffic jam, to go complement the traffic jam on the surface.  I took a taxi to the airport, a man with a walker passed us - moving faster on the sidewalk than traffic was moving, I watched him disappear over the horizon as the taxi meter ticked on.  

For the engineering geeks, the most of the tunnels were created with "cut and cover", you dig a trench, build walls on the sides, build a roof over it, put a road in it and put the city back over the top of it. This is why the streets vibrate in places.  I am not sure if the underwater sections were done with TBMs, or if it was built with surface tubes, essentially a pipe laid on the bottom of the water and then the water pumped out. The Metro tunnel under the Potomac was built that way (few people know that and it freaks some people out to hear that they are essentially traveling through a garden hose on the river bottom.)  Pray that those pumps keep working.  

Someday I will go back, I wanted to see Harvard Square, but I didn't have hip boots or x-ray vision.  

What city have you been to and not seen? 


  1. The UK has a culture of envy where anyone and everyone who has a good job, house, nice car or whatever is seen as a target for abuse rather than someone to admire with something to aspire to. Consequently when my OH was travelling to far flung places for work this was seen as an undeserved privilege by the great unwashed!
    He went to so many cities where he saw nothing other than the inside of airport lounges, planes, trains, offices and hotel rooms, and what he could see or smell from his seat in a tuk tuk.
    Everyone assumes business travel is glamorous but it's usually exhausting, long hours, stressful and sometimes dangerous. I spoke to him by telephone one Saturday afternoon in Spring when he was in Mexico City. He was staying in his hotel room all day because there were riots outside, hundreds of protesters burning American flags and riot police. He was hoping to get out of the hotel to the airport to get home the next day. Needless to say, he saw nothing of Mexico City!

  2. I'd say London . Must have been a hundred times and still there is more, much more to see

  3. I have been to Rome a few times and have barely seen any of it! Jerry and I met in Boston, so I knew it well and loved it. The most European city in the US, I think. We left long before they buried the traffic jams and have only been back a couple of times since.

  4. Melbourne. We flew down there from Sydney and almost as soon as I stepped of the plane I became very ill. I remember the unusual mix of architecture as we taxied to the hotel and otherwise the inside of that room is all I experienced for a couple days before we flew back to Sydney.

  5. most of the large US cities - SFO, SEA, NYC, BOS, CHI, ATL, NOLA. foreign cities LON, PAR, ROMA. of course, I KNOW my own city! :)