I always leap at the chance to return to Boston, so I ended up giving a paper at the NEMLA conference (on Clive Barker and queer theory) this past weekend. I was smiling before I got out of Logan because it felt like home, as always. Riding on the T--not the most exciting thing, I know, but I really miss public transportation. And changing to the red line at Park St, I went downstairs to find a busker playing "Brown Eyed Girl" and everybody singing along. Ah, Boston.
After getting settled into the hotel, I set out for Cambridge and Somerville. My main target was McIntyre and Moore, still the best bookstore in the greater Boston area. Some interesting finds: medieval theatre of cruelty, early percussion, and a collection of Carnival plays by Hans Sachs. Of course as good as the shopping is the eavesdropping on the way there--riding the T provides a lot of interesting and hilarious conversations. I forgot what it was like to be surrounded by BU students nattering on about dorm hijinks. I have not missed backwards baseball caps!
My CT pals arrived amidst the terrible downpour (that I later found out had flooded the house my brother lives in on the banks of the Hudson), soaked to the skin and a little cranky -- who could blame them. But I was so cheered to see them all that I couldn't let my spirits be dampened: The Queen of Everything and Johnny 10X, and the Boojums: Perilous Cheryl and the Joey Zone. A great lunch at India Quality in Kenmore and soon everybody was in a much better frame of mind. A stop by Nuggets helped too--even though, for once, I didn't actually buy anything. We headed out to Simmons, where Cheryl will be starting her MLS soon, then back to the hotel for me to deliver my paper (seemed to go well, people asked for copies). Then off to Cambridge to rummage through the Coop before the cocktail hour beckoned. Not as much shopping as we could have done, but the conversations over lunch, drinks and dinner were the best part for me (even if two conferences in the space of a week left me exhausted rather earlier than usual).
I could have taken the shuttle Sunday morning, but that would mean giving up one more walk along the Charles, It's sad when the idea of being able to walk outside without collapsing from heat and humidity is so precious (still not adjusting to Houston weather). I had an early lunch at Legal Seafoods (lobster and crab ravioli and a big pot of Earl Grey) and bid Boston a wistful goodbye. Much too short a visit! Especially with friends--and I really thank them for making their way up to MA in that horrible rain to see me. Really. Thanks.