Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Saturday (part 1)

I got home on Friday night well past my bedtime and went into my fractious 5 year old act. I have become a creature of habit and if I stay up too late I have a hard time getting to sleep regardless of how tired I am. I was up and down all night, until finally at around 4:30, my usual rising time I gave up and made some coffee.

Mark Twain has been credited with saying, "If you don't like the weather in New England just wait and it will change". Friday had been a clear chilly day, perfect for wandering around gawking, Saturday, tropical storm Norman had decided to come up the coast and pay us a visit. The day promised to be an example of pure New England.

As nor'easter's go, on a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being "You call this rain" and 10 being, "Oh shit, we're all gonna die" it was probably a 6. A low 6. Sure it was raining and was pretty damned windy, but it wasn't that black sky, rain literally coming down in sheets, thunder and lightening, water rising up above the tops of your shoes type of day that makes you wonder if it will end, or if you will be washed out into the harbour. I don't want to down play the situation. It was nasty out. Horizontal rain, cold and raw with a miserable dark gray sky and while it could have been worse, it was far from ideal conditions for sight seeing.

After I had poured a sufficiency of coffee I poured down my throat, I sent Tater a text, not wanting to wake him if he was still asleep, asking him to call if he still wanted to go to the gym when he had achieved a sufficient state of caffeination himself.

RG called to tell me Gavin was doing poorly, having injured his back. My immediate reaction was to ask rather pointedly, "What did you do to him?" Somewhat to my surprise, Gavin's woes had been brought on by using a gas powered leaf blower earlier that week and not due to the, er, vigorous attentions of a certain blogger.

Tate called to say he was still recovering from his flight and the late hours and was going to use the hotel pool and call back when he was ready to face the world.

A little while later Tate called to say he was ready to face the day and by around 8:30-9:00 I met up with Tater in Government Center. Tate by the time I met him had wisely given up on the idea of an umbrella and we went off on what turned into a quest for plastic rain ponchos. And a quest is what it turned into by the way. I can't remember precisely, but I think it took 4 tries at different CVS's before we found adult sized rain poncho's.

We then wandered around and killed time before meeting the Niece. I called T. to see what he and C. were up to. They were opting for a quiet day and simply asked for directions to the YMCA on Huntington so C. could play raquetball.

I called Gavin to check in. He was still not feeling well and we headed back over to Government Center to pick up the Niece who had called from the entrance of the T.

So, there was the greeting, introduction and handing off of what turned out to be a very timely birthday present for the Niece. I had given her an Aran sweater, which she found herself in need of. She left Marblehead feeling adequately dressed for the day only to step off the train in Boston to be greeted with much colder weather. That actually became a theme of the day, major temperature fluctuations.

By this time middle aged bladder was calling. I voted, okay I dictated that we would run over to Faneuil Hall so I could make use of the facilities, justifying this with the fact that I had not as yet shown Tater the place.

As we made our way over City Hall Plaza the rain started to let up. Tater said that he was game to try going over to the North End to check out the Old North Church and the Revere House. We entered Faneuil Hall and started working our way through the series of buildings in search of a rest room.

As we moved from building to building the rain began to pick up again and with each successive building the rain picked up a little more. By the time we reached Atlantic Avenue the rain was once again horizontal. Even Tater's willingness to brave the elements gave out and we decided to head to the MFA. We made our way back through the market and as we got to the end of Quincy Market my phone went off. It was Gavin calling to say he was feeling better and wondering where we were. As it would happen, we were in front of Gavin's hotel and before we knew it I was meeting a handsome fellow who turned out to be him. Gavin introduced himself around and then we headed off to the T and took the train to the museum.

It is a quick ride from Government Center to the Museum on the E line and before we knew it we were at the museum.

After we got tickets we headed to the current exhibit of Japanese art, "Drama and Desire, Japanese Paintings from the Floating World" which is an exhibit of depictions of theater, courtesans and erotica. It is actually a beautiful exhibit and Tate almost got thrown out for taking pictures. Though in fairness, you are suppose to be able to take pictures as long as you are not doing flash photography and Tate was using his iPhone so there was no flash involved. I can only assume that the guard was being officious because she could be.

Once we had got our fill of Japanese art, we decided to just wander and wound up in the American wing. One of the first rooms we came to was the Copley room which is all portraiture by John Singleton Copley of Revolutionary Era Bostonians. Tate made the amazing discovery of a portrait of one of the founding drag queens. Really, none of these folks were going to be finalists in a beauty contest, but this horsey babe even had a mustache. A good deal of irreverence was expended at the expense of these portraits and Gavin had joined in and seemed to be enjoying himself.

We worked our way through a few galleries, but by the time we got to the Sargent portraits, Tate was ready for a break and by then Gavin was starting to feel poorly again.

It was decided to head out for something to eat after I suggested we could get something for lunch for a reasonable sum outside the museum. We went a short way down Huntington and stopped at an Au Bon Pain. It was soup weather and for a chain, they do serve good soup.

Gavin decided to pass on food and by the time we had finished lunch, Gavin said he thought he should head back to his hotel and take a lie down. Tate decided that he would go back over to the waterfront as well and the Niece and I decided to head off to the Gardner Museum, since she had never made it over there.

to be continued