Sunday, September 26, 2004

"We Can Build A Beautiful City..."

Today I spent over four hours wandering around Boston, and I loved it. I got up around ten, ate lunch at eleven and set out. As I wandered around I saw so many amazing buildings, great architecture, and people. I also managed to locate my Bank, which is not as close as I thought it was when I opened an account there, and a Staples Express (A smaller version of the classic "big box store".

After a while, I was down by Interstate 93, and I couldn't believe the difference from when I was there in the sixth grade. I mammoth elevated freeway was gone, sure. But what lay in its wake was unbelievable. Thousands of mini construction sites, mind bogglingly stupid intersections, and jersy barriers. EVERYWHERE. The energy of the place was still evocative of the colassal construction which had dominated so much real estate. The buildings no longer make sense without the highway there to dictate their shapes and positions. The sensation is very weird, because they have pictures of the area before they started the project and the an artists rendering of the completed project. No longer are the cars whizzing by overhead... they are silently shuttled beneath the surface.

"We Can Build A Beautiful City, yes we can, yes we can. We can build a beautiful city. Call it out, and call it The City of Man"

While trying to find my bank, I found this wonderful little park, which had a specatular "cool you off right quick in the summertime" cascade. The fountain was like a gazebo but dozens of small jets of water created an arched roof, before hitting in the center, creating a torent of water falling straight to the ground. All in all, I think that park is the nicest most well kept one I have found--Dang, I need a digital camera so I can give you pictures!

Moving on, I walked through Quincy Market, not to shop, but just to see what it looked like down there. Once again stupidity of human beings was evident, as the fire alarm in the building was going off, but NO ONE was leaving. You know, when the British were being bombed by the Nazi's and the Air Raid sirens went off, you'd better bet they'd heed them, even if they didn't know if it was a real alarm or not.

Argh. So after that I went over towards the Aquarium, and the area seemed a little to overrun with tourists for my liking, so I decided to take the escalator down to the "Aquarium" station on the Blue Line, only to take it back up again. I know, I know, I'm a nerd, but I like riding escalators sometimes.

Nearby was a park with a fountain which consisted of water bubbling out of the center of a circular black marble table like thing, allowing water to cascade over the smooth black stone. On the base, the inscription read "The most important element in human life is faith. If God were to take away all His blessings and leave me but one gift I would ask for faith." --Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy. What a great and true statement. While I was there, the only other people around the stone fountain appeared to be a homeless, or at least very tired. Just then a pigeon landed on the black stone, and stood drinking from the water. After considering the cleanliness of the water and its possible adverse effects on the pigeon, I started thinking about how this park and all the others like it are for everyone. We are all tired from the constant pressings of the world around us. Sometimes it seems unbelievable, that we all manage to servive in our cities of stone and steel, the only soft things we encounter are the clothes on our backs and the beds in our homes. But that ugly pigeon helped the world slip away for just a second, and remind me of the soft beauty that still exists in the world.

"We don't need alabaster, we don't need chrome. We've got a special plaster, take my hand, I'll take you home. We see nations rise, in each others eyes'"

I then walked to the Haymarket, which was AMAZING. It was like being in an old fashioned market, with the freshest, cheapest fruit, vegetables, and meats I've ever seen. They had one pound packages of RIPE strawberries for ONE DOLLAR, or half a flat for three dollars. I bought a container, and ate them on the spot.

As I left the Market, I noticed six tall glass towers standing silently amid some trees, and I went to investigate these sculptures. It was a Holocoust Memorial.

A path went under neath each glass sheathed steel tower. And I felt tears begin to swell up in my eyes, because I saw that there were tiny, tiny six-digit numbers etched in the glass. Thousands of names to each panel, stretching towards the sky. Each number was a life. A human being whom God loved, who had a family, who had dreams. Six million six-digit numbers over six glass towers. It was like suddenly I understood the enormity, and I felt sick. When you stood under a tower, heat and smokey steam rose up the tower like a chimeney in the creamatoria, and you felt immediately uncomfortable standing there, the moist heat, the looming numbers, and when you bowed your head in reverance, you suddenly saw that there were hundreds of lights twinkling in the grate below you...the lights of the heavens, somehow traped behind a grate. The memorial was amazing, everything was evocative of emotion. The frailty of the glass reminded me of the frailty of life--how effortless it is to deliberatly end a life--or smash a pane of glass. When you put your eye up to the side of the glass, the numbers seemed to stetch out into infinity--all the things that could have been, had this tragedy been stopped.

"We can build a beautiful city, yes we can, yes we can. We can build, a beautiful city, call it out, and call it The City Of Man"

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