Being in Boston, Chapter 1

Photo of pumpkins carved with Boston images

“Oh, I love that dirty water…Boston you’re my home.”

No, that’s not me waxing lyrical with a popular sports anthem; that’s what a mom and her two daughters were singing as springer spaniel Molly (more on her later) and I took our evening constitutional through the brownstones of Boston tonight.

I haven’t taken many photos of my first three days in the city, because, well, I’ve been busy trying to get from point A to B. As my southern friends will no doubt nod sagely upon hearing, everyone moves faster up here. I’m ok with it, honestly, but today I did have to stop myself from striding along, head down as I rushed off to an apartment showing, and look up. When I did, I found a super-cool photo-to-be (there wasn’t time to take a picture of it) that I’ll share later.

My days have been filled with trying to figure out a new role in a new company. I am superwicked excited about my new gig with From the Top. If you are reading this and you don’t know what From the Top is, allow me to welcome you to the club. FTT is a non-profit organization that celebrates the power of music in the hands of extraordinary young people.  Through a radio show that you can hear on some local NPR stations (or the FTT ap or the FTT website), young musicians are given a platform to showcase both their tremendous talent and their unique stories/personalities. If you’ve ever thought that musicians should get the same kudos as athletes, this show is up your alley. The FTT staff speak with loving pride of “the kids” who, in addition to performing on the show, also receive leadership training on how to take their music to the community. These kids literally have the future of classical music in their hands, and they are so very, very impressive. Anyone who thinks the future is bleak just needs to listen to them, and your faith might be restored. And I get to help them. What a riot – I can’t wait to get started.

My evenings have been filled with racing the sunset (darn you Daylight Savings, even though I love the light mornings) to try to see apartments. Now THIS is quite the thing to try to figure out. Boston, I am discovering, is a city with many different vibes. Here, where I am staying with a generous friend for my few weeks of training, I am deep in the heart of the Back Bay, in a cozy brownstone with a view of the Old John Hancock tower, which has a beacon that flashes red or blue depending on the weather:

Steady blue – clear view
Flashing blue – clouds due
Steady red – rain ahead
Flashing red – snow instead
Flashing red/blue – the Sox have won the World Series!

Alas, I’m not really the type to live in the urban downtown, so I’m searching on the outskirts of the city, where Sadie can have some room to stretch her legs and I can see some sky. I’ve become slightly smitten with Roslindale, which, according to most, is where the cool kids hang out now that Jamaica Plain, or JP, is filling up. Roslindale had a little quasi-urban European vibe to it, though I only saw it at night. I will see it again this weekend. And today, I visited a place in Watertown, a suburb of Boston in the other direction, which couldn’t have been more different. Two-story houses, big old trees, and a drive along the Charles that took my breath away in the fading sun.

The drive back in to the city was slightly epic. I felt as I used to when I came to Boston as a kid; the skyline and streaming traffic both awed and scared me. As I drove, I pondered the very real fact that such a drive could be what I see every single day, and I have to admit I just laughed aloud. I guess that’s when it hit me that this move is a pretty big deal; I always idly imagined that someday I’d get a job in the big city, but now, I wonder if I ever believed it. Because I feel a bit like saying “is this for real? Am I really making this happen?”

Apparently so.

What a ride. I feel full. Full of excitement and anticipation for what I will learn and accomplish at From the Top. Full of excellent gourmet pizza from a yummy nearby restaurant that delivered. Full of conflicting ideas of where I want to live. Full of gratitude for my friends back in Arkansas who are taking care of my dog, for my new colleagues who are helping me figure out essentials like where the nearest gas station is/how to retrieve a package from the post office, and and my currently-traveling Boston friend who is letting me squat in her house and love on her dog. And mostly, full of awe that this is happening.

I’m at day 3 of 15, and Boston, you’re not my home yet, but I think I’m falling for you.

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