sovay: (Rotwang)
sovay ([personal profile] sovay) wrote2019-01-10 10:28 pm

And I wave my face like a flag in front of yours

Tonight in flânerie: I was obliged to seek out the FedEx on Summer Street, which both [personal profile] spatch and I assumed was in Fort Point until we looked it up and it turned out to be in South Boston, catty-corner to the pink chimneys of the former Edison Power Plant and right across the street from the gantry cranes of the Conley Terminal. So on the one hand I waited for a lot of buses on a bitter-black wind-chill night, desperately wishing FedEx had actually delivered my new work computer like the stickers on my door claimed to have tried and strongly suspecting they had just rung the wrong doorbells, since the UPS delivery this morning woke me no problem. On the other, I have discovered the location of New England's sole full-service container terminal. I knew it was in Boston: it's the reason the harbor-dredging is important. I had somehow not assimilated its name. I'd like to revisit it by day now that I know where it is, even though by night it was full of rippling black water and sodium-orange reflections and the T-square silhouettes of container cranes. I got a lot of night-reflections of the harbor walking from Fort Point to South Station, even more catching the 7 bus from South Station to City Point—at one point I saw fine squares of dusk-smoky light under the Congress Street Bridge and thought they were some skyscraper's many-windowed reflection until I realized they were the channel itself reflecting through the wooden grid of the pilings, rough-textured and translucent as ancient glass. I had to look up the name of the waterway that divides Fort Point from City Point; it turns out to be the Reserved Channel and as artificially created as anything between Dorchester Heights and Castle Island. "This city is ridiculous!" I find myself shouting to Rob. "We really are just Venice with more buses!" We walked by Durgin-Park, but could never have gotten a table: they were full up with a wait list encompassing old locals and students and families with kids. I hope they go out on a high and I hope their corporate owner regrets it for the rest of his natural life. In the meantime I am home, under some blankets on the couch, obsessively listening to Weakened Friends' "Blue Again." The frontwoman reminds me of Throwing Muses and Buffy Sainte-Marie. We're coming up on the centenary of the molasses flood. Even the dead glitter of the Seaport couldn't block out the haze-curve of the crescent moon. In an ideal world I would have stayed in this evening, but I like how this city I live in is full of things I didn't know.
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2019-01-11 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
When we came back from Japan, Wakanomori had to go there and sign papers for our stuff that we shipped back (not a full container's worth; just part of a container.
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

[personal profile] asakiyume 2019-01-11 04:09 am (UTC)(link)
Truth, and speaking of, you might like this incredible interactive shipping map that I saw on Twitter today.
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)

[personal profile] lemon_badgeress 2019-01-11 04:15 am (UTC)(link)
new work computer? has something happened to bertie owens???
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)

[personal profile] lemon_badgeress 2019-01-11 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
oh i am so glad.
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)

[personal profile] lemon_badgeress 2019-01-11 01:04 pm (UTC)(link)
I was shocked I had missed something that important! Somehow I’d gotten the idea that he was your sole computer for /everything/.
gwynnega: (Basil Rathbone)

[personal profile] gwynnega 2019-01-11 04:48 am (UTC)(link)
I'm fairly certain that some FedEx workers slap delivery notices on doors and scurry away without trying to reach the occupants. Anyway it sounds like you made the best of it.
alexxkay: (Default)

[personal profile] alexxkay 2019-01-11 06:02 am (UTC)(link)
Many delivery people lie. We have problems with packages left on our front stairs, despite of weather and neighborhood thieves, often without having even rung the bell. To add insult to injury, some Amazon delivery folk then mark the package down as "Handed directly to someone in the house" or "left in mail room" (which we don't heven have one of).
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)

[personal profile] julian 2019-01-11 04:59 am (UTC)(link)
I had to put air in my tires earlier and it froze my fingers because wow, was that windy and cold and *dark*.

(Also, <3 flaneurination.)
pameladean: (Default)

[personal profile] pameladean 2019-01-11 05:00 am (UTC)(link)
I once went to Durgin-Park with two guests from Minneapolis. We had asked for advice on what to order (mashed potatoes and the cod; both were amazing) but nobody gave away the joke. We were so shocked. David and I hadn't lived in the Boston area for long but had vaguely absorbed the notion that, while Boston was not New York City or anything, it was brusquer and more impatient than we were used to. Nothing had prepared us for Durgin-Park, though. One of my visitors was originally from the South and was sometimes teased about living life in the slow lane, which he thought was the best lane. He liked to take his time and ask questions about the dishes. The server was Not Having That. I felt like a terrible host. We ended up with no dessert and had to stop for ice cream on the way home (the horror).

We always meant to go back once we knew what the restaurant was famous for, but we never did. I am sorry its corporate owner is being so venal and stupid.

cmcmck: (Default)

[personal profile] cmcmck 2019-01-11 10:26 am (UTC)(link)
'flânerie' is a favourite word with us.

The Scot lived in Paris upon a day and we still talk of 'going for a flan' or 'flanning' :)
shewhomust: (ayesha)

[personal profile] shewhomust 2019-01-11 10:48 am (UTC)(link)
We really are just Venice with more buses!

And what more could you want?

But I'm sorry you had to go out on a cold night to see it. There is a conspiracy of silence about the limitations of the order-and-delivery model, because it suits businesses so well. Also because the person paying for it is the sender, but the person inconvenienced is the recipient. You shouldn't have to be wrangling a computer on the bus...
a_reasonable_man: (Default)

[personal profile] a_reasonable_man 2019-01-11 11:10 am (UTC)(link)
As always, I love your Boston travelogues. I confess to being more familiar with the Boston of 1855 than today. I should check out our shipping facility.

I know there was a struggle over putting container shipping in place in the 1950s. It was resisted, to various degrees, by the longshoremen unions in every major U.S. port. The story that was handed down to me--not one I've looked into as a historian--blamed the resistance of Boston longshoremen to container shipping in part for the decline of Boston as a major port. I'm sure the truth is much more complex. (Despite On the Waterfront having basis in fact, I overall have sympathy for the unions; organizing the longshoremen was a major achievement of the labor movement.)

I had a harrowing meal at Durgan Park many years ago, but that was no fault of the restaurant. I was dining with a group of Operation Rescue "pro-life" activists, who had worked up their appetite with a day of protesting outside Planned Parenthood. How I got into that situation is tale for another day, but having a woman pull a pink fetus doll out of her purse to show one while one is trying to eat a slab of rare roast beef is ... an experience.
Edited 2019-01-11 11:12 (UTC)
sami: (Default)

[personal profile] sami 2019-01-11 02:18 pm (UTC)(link)
This sounds like and adventure and I appreciate this post a lot.

Although now I want to go on an adventure and it is a bit late in the evening and I'm mildly sick so I really probably shouldn't.
choco_frosh: (Default)

[personal profile] choco_frosh 2019-01-11 05:31 pm (UTC)(link)
I believe there's going to be a molasses flood singing event...
julian: Picture of the sign for Julian Street. (Default)

[personal profile] julian 2019-01-13 05:38 pm (UTC)(link)
Is this the thing at Passim, or something else?
dramaticirony: From my game Return to the Stars. (Default)

pleasures of cities

[personal profile] dramaticirony 2019-01-11 05:46 pm (UTC)(link)
A tangent, but among the pleasures of *a* city that people might find interesting is that TIFF has a six film program starting tomorrow on the films of Dorothy Arzner. And while Toronto is a bit far for many of us to catch a film, TIFF did post a nice, lengthy appreciation of the director: