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22 June 2011

New York to Boston

Day 26: Wednesday, 15 June 2011
I set my alarm for 8:18am, and we were up and ready by 10:30. Tita M was waiting for a delivery - their new ping pong table was getting installed. She was gracious enough to offer to drive us into Manhattan to catch our bus, which I at first refused, but she persisted and it really was hard to refuse her offer. Ueli and I alternated showering and eating some fried egg and spam for breakfast, then I tried really hard to pack all my stuff into my two bag. It was a challenge, especially because of my sleeping bag! I really need either a smaller sleeping bag or a larger travel backpack - maybe I'll buy one in Boston. But at least all my stuff fits into the bags, for now. I just can't buy any more clothes (and I realized that I have only 1 pair of jeans for this whole summer! Yipes!).

So we said bye to Darren, Nate, and Brian, and then Tita M drove us to Manhattan, dropping us off at the Washington Bridge station, where we got the subway. Ueli's ticket didn't work so he had to ask the attendant to let him in. The subway was quick and easy (though we did have to wait like 4 minutes for it to arrive), taking us straight to Penn Station. Ueli was worried that we couldn't exit the subway with our big bags, but I made it work. We walked over to the MegaBus stop, and I gave some confused tourists directions. There was a small line of about 15 people already waiting for our bus to Boston, so I queued up behind them. The bus was scheduled to leave at 12:10 but didn't until around 12:35. Ueli and I sat in separate rows by ourselves, giving me enough space to splay out my towel and snacks, and the free wifi allowed me to browse on my laptop for the entire ride. The double-decker bus was smooth and quiet; it passed under several underpasses which seemed dangerously close to swiping off the top of the bus. I was in the third row of the top level. In front of me sat a hyper hipster with a pink pigtail and thick glasses. Across from me sat two older ladies who must be colleagues at some music institution because they just chatted about for most of the ride. Behind me sat Ueli, and behind him was a woman who chatted away really loudly on her phone. She spoke with a measured and professional voice, making sure to fully enunciate each word as she proclaimed her self-importance to the rest of the bus: "Thank you so much for sending that package, I really appreciate it."

I used the wifi on the bus to track our route - the bus went north, instead of taking the 95, taking the 287 to the 84 and going through Hartford, Connecticut. We bypassed Rhode Island altogether. There was some traffic as we headed into Boston, near Worcester. The air conditioning was colder than I liked, so I wrapped my torso and arms up in my towel. It was around 5:30 when we arrived in Boston - I feel like the bus could have taken a better route, because I don't think that New York to Boston is usually a nearly 5-hour drive.

We arrived in Boston and grabbed our bags. I had to double-backpack: Wearing one in front, the other on my back. Walking outside the station, I was accosted by a girl trying to collect signatures or something, but I was too exhausted to really respond. We walked through downtown Boston to the Green Line Station by Boston Common. We bought our one-way tickets and got on the next train (well, it's more of a tram/streetcar). It was a little confusing, because there are 4 different tracks for the green line, each going to a different destination, but I figured it out. We soon headed to the stop in Brighton, and Jonathan came down to meet us. We set our stuff down in his apartment, and then figured out what to do for the evening. The Boston Bruins were playing in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, so every bar and place with a TV was packed full of people (this is Boston, THE city for sports fans). We walked around, trying to get a seat at a bar & grill, but ended up at a Mediterranean restaurant that served mediocre pitas and green falafels (and that tried to charge me for bottled water)!

The three of us returned to Jonathan's place and began to watch the game. Soon Jonathan's friends Jeanette and Beth arrived, and we got to hang out for a little bit. I christened Jeanette as a "pickle receiver." The Bruins ended up scoring a decisive victory, 4-0, over Vancouver to win the Stanley Cup! This meant that we simply had to go out into the streets! We all walked down to Harvard Avenue and Brookline, where there was a big crowd of people amassing. As we walked, people were randomly screaming "YEAAAH GO BRUINS" and other celebratory exclamations. It was definitely a vibrant and crazy atmosphere. People were cheering, chanting, high-fiving, and screaming in the street. The police blocked the road off to traffic. It was much like the celebration for President Obama's election in 2008. We soon said bye to Jeanette and Beth, and we were off to bed ourselves.

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