Wednesday, July 18, 2012


I'm in Boston this week. Its crowded, the traffic is extremely heavy but somewhat orderly, despite the many places where cars exiting and merging have to go past each other in not enough space. Many intersections have streams of traffic crossing each other while all moving forward, as people entering from the right lane try to exit in the left, and people entering from the left try to exit right, while people in the middle try to stay in the middle.  Its completely nuts, pretty much.

Following along with the GPS has been... interesting. I find that about a third of the time there's no street signs at intersections, you're just supposed to know the street.  Trying to get around here without a GPS or a -competent- navigator with a good map would be pretty much impossible. 

Also, like New York all the roads and streets are basically tree-lined tunnels, or building-lined tunnels. You can't see the horizon, or a vista of the city, or even the sun half the time. I've been here three days and I still can't point toward Boston from my hotel parking lot. Completely lost, depending 100% on TomTom to get me through. If a solar flare knocks out the satelites I'll have to hire a native guide.

Things I've seen.

Peabody Museum was kind of a let-down after all the build-up. Anybody who studies Anthropology knows that the Peabody has EVERYTHING in it. Caveman stuff from France, Medieval stuff, weapons, skeletons, clothing, fossils, tools... they have every damn thing in their collection.  What's on display? Indians.  Man, I can see more and better Indian stuff at the ROM any time than what they have on display here.  Saving grace, they had two really nice Alaskan kayaks from the ~1890s and a very nice lady to tell me all about it as well. 

The Stata Center.  Super famous building opened in 2004. Right now its surrounded in scaffolding, as the (no doubt very expensive) brick veneer is rotting off in quite a few places. Somebody got suckered!

Harvard Museum of Natural History was everything the Peabody wasn't. They have some extremely kewl dinosaurs, They have a Great Moa skeleton which is ~10ft tall. They have the entire head of a really big trilobite, about as big as my fist. They have a forty foot seamonster skeleton, its as big as a city bus and has a head that could swallow a kayak whole. And really big freakin' teeth. But best of all, they have a pickled Coelecanth. I remember when I was a kid I was right into dinosaurs. They found one of these things and it was in the paper and in a book I had. The one I saw in the museum is that one. So cool.

Today I visit the MIT Museum, tomorrow maybe the Boston Museum of Science. And buck traffic like a big ol' mountain goat.


The Phantom


Four Ayem said...


I have a question about an opinion you posted on about farmers mowing ditches in your area and being ticketed! I'm doing some environmental research and I would love to find out more about these incidents. I can explain more in an email, I'd rather not leave a big comment about my research on your blog. I couldn't find any contact information for you! Mine is Thank you! - Rosemary

The Phantom said...

Hi Rosemary. The ticket thing was from the Lanark County Landowner's Assoc. a few years ago. They had some Dept. of Fisheries dorks running around "protecting the watershed", who said cutting the weeds in ditches reduced the amount of fish food downstream.

I'm driving today and the email is flaky as hell, drop you a line later in the week.

btw there is no contact info for me because me being a shadowy figure no one ever actually sees. :) Makes it a little harder for people to SWAT me.