Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bridge over the River Cam

I've had a great time here in Cambridge, visiting my friend Jake Bryant at Harvard. I got in late Friday night/Saturday morning, and went to a seminar/forum put on by the Law School Saturday morning, then walked around for a while, before biking into downtown Boston for a few hours. I got a bit lost on the way back, but the recreational paths on either side of the Charles are just phenomenally wonderful. I had in my mind that it's great to be a walking city, but nothing actually compares with being in it, or walking around it, especially just coming off two months in Houston. And it was a ton of fun to see so many of the buildings that had been referenced in my American Architecture class live and in person.

Sunday, I heard the silver-tongued Peter Gomes preach at the Harvard Memorial Church, and went back into town again, following the Freedom Trail around the old core of Boston. On the way back to Harvard, I swung by Trinity Church, the paradigmatic Henry Hobson Richardson Romanesque church.

Going to classes with Jake Monday and walking around Cambridge all day, I was really astonished at the callous near-hostility that pedestrians have for traffic signals. I thought I was as brazen a jaywalker as any, but apparently not. And Tuesday, I braved the Chinatown bus down to Philadelphia, which was a lot less of an adventure than I had feared it would be. (Though to be sure, this was not exactly your standard intercity operation: it was cash only, no questions asked, no ID required, no reserved seating and the few terse announcements that were made both at check-in and during the trip were in heavily-accented English.) But it got me from Boston to Philadelphia for $25, and in just under 6 hours.

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