Beemer (dr_tectonic) wrote,

Amherst & Boston

I had a two-day work meeting in Amherst two weeks ago. From Denver, it's easier to fly into Boston (direct flights at better times) and drive there than it is to fly to anyplace closer like Hartford, so three of us from work flew in on Monday (Halloween) and carpooled together.

We stayed at a hotel right on campus, which made for an easy walk to the meeting. It was also attached to the student center, which had a big food court with a lot of variety, so that was nice for lunches. Not much to report on the meeting itself; just a lot of discussion and presentations to sort out who's doing what for the project.

My big takeaway from the meeting is that eduroam is great. It made the wifi just magically work for both my laptop and my phone without having to fuss with anything.

On Thursday, we drove back to Boston. Linda & Rachel flew home, while Melissa & I had both opted to stay over the weekend, so I dropped her at her AirBnB then met Jerry at the airport.

We stayed at the Marriott right behind the Boston Public Library, which is a good location, just a block from Copley Square. It turned out to be a nice hotel in a neat old building built in the late 1800s. Thursday evening We did a little looking at architecture in Copley Square and along Newbury Street, then got dinner at B.Good.

Friday we wandered around the BPL & looked at the amazing art (including the gallery with all the John Singer Sargent paintings on the 3rd floor). Then we met up with Kevbot & hung out for a while, which was lovely & delightful. He had to run off mid-afternoon, so then we went to the Mapparium. For dinner we went over to Cambridge & met Pete (quirkstreet) & his hubby Alan for dinner at Mary Chung's. Peking Ravs & excellent company, yay!

On Saturday I showed Jerry all my old haunts. We visited Tep & I gave him a haus tour. It was before noon on a weekend, so there was a lot of unconsciousness going on and we didn't get to see everything (e.g., 32, 33, or 42), but we saw most of the haus. Many things are different, and many things are just the same as they ever were.

After that, we walked over the Harvard Bridge saw some of the 'Tvte. Killian Court, Lobby 7, the MIT chapel, etc. Then we walked up Mass Ave & met Charles (tirinian) for ice cream at Tosci's.

Amusingly, we ran into one of my co-workers (Nate H.) there. He was in town for a salsa dancing event of some kind, and we'd already run into him at the baggage claim on Thursday because he was on the same flight as Jerry. And then of course we ran into him again on Monday because he was on the same flight home as us.

We stopped by the MIT Museum on the way back, because it's free for alumni. Saw some neat art. Then we made our way back across campus to Kendall Square, looking at weird MIT architecture along the way, and took the T back home.

It was a lovely day for walking around; it was sunny and clear, though fairly cold. (I always forget how penetrating the thick damp air is in coastal places. But layers and a good hoodie were sufficient to be comfortable.) The funny thing about wandering MIT campus is that I was reminding of lots of things, but it didn't really take me back to those days. I didn't have any problem sets due or any exams to study for, and I think without that, nothing is going to take me back to feeling like I did as an undergrad.

Had dinner at Luke's Lobster, which was right across from the hotel and a good way to get the requisite seafood consumption in. I was pleased with it; it's a chain, but they did good lobster rolls & the like, and I think I was more pleased than I would have been with expensive fish at Legal Seafood.

Sunday morning after a nice long sleep (hooray for the end of daylight savings!) we went to Bats & Sarah's, as they were kind enough to host a Coffee Hour for us. Many folks showed up: Omri & Emily, Morton & Sarah, and Big Bird & Jen, all with their kids; plus T-Stop and Amie (both solo). We hung out and had a good time and around 4 we said "well, if we're meeting people at Brezhnev's like we said we would, we should probably go do that." It's at a new location (a proper storefront in Chinatown) rather than the old converted gas station, and has a new name, but still serves the same food. Morton & Sarah met us there, as did Stinkee & his wife & kid. We had scallion pancakes, and shanghai chow mein with szechuan pickles ("worms"), and ling gao ("slugs"), and a bunch of other things and it was all as good as I remembered it.We had made plans to go visit T-Stop & Jessie & Violet afterwards, but found ourselves too pooped to do any more socializing, so we headed back to the hotel and spent the evening packing and getting downtime.

We flew home Monday. It was a smooth trip, and we got home by about 3:30 to kitties who were aloof for all of five minutes before cuddling up in our laps. We were tired, but since 6:30 was too early to go to bed, we went and saw Dr. Strange. In 3-D, and I have to say it's one of the very few movies I've seen where that was a significant plus. I enjoyed it quite a bit. There are a lot of amazing visuals, and it's really worth seeing with maximum spectacle.

It was a great trip, but it's nice to be home.

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