The View from Boylston and Tremont

I have been scouting for a place where we can try downtown Boston life, a one-month rental in September and October, when the leaves will be turning. For now, I’m enjoying the cool air and hipster music in Starbucks at Boylston and Tremont Streets, across from the Boston Common. A kid surfs across Boylston on a skateboard. The pedestrians are more ethnically diverse and less physically fit than their Denver counterparts. There are more tourists here, gawking and shooting photos from duckboat and trolley tours. I hear more French spoken in Boston than Denver.

In the hopscotch game of my life, Boston may be the next move. I grew up in Wayland, Massachusets, a western suburb, or “sub-bub,” as WBZ Radio’s eruidite DJ Carl DeSuze used to mockingly call them. Boston and other inner cities were places we surburanites fled from and ventured back into only for cultural events, nervously skittering through the seedy theater district hoping not to get mugged. While I was gone for 24 years in Wyoming and Denver, they’ve cleaned the place up considerably. I remember the Green Line buses as creaking, urine-smelling heaps, but yesterday’s ride to Boston Univeristy took place on a modern, AC-functioning trolley worthy of Denver’s slick Light Rail system. We’ve gotten used to high-rise downtown life in Denver, and from what I’ve seen the past few days in Boston, the scene here is pretty much the same, if more expensive. One place we might be able to rent is on the 17th floor of the Parkside, a building on Tremont Street looking out over the Common and the Charles River toward Cambridge, where my whole fam-damily lives these days: two parents, one sister, two daughters, and one grandchild-to-be.

My mantra is “one step at a time”, a tough discipline for Mr. Leap Before He Looks, and Fifi is of course Mrs. Reality Check at every juncture. But for this afternoon, a sunny, clear day at the edge of Boston Common, I’m allowing myself to enjoy the possibility of spending more time here, of re-learning what was, throughout my childhood, simply known as The City. The blog is a safe place to let my dreams off their leashes, so they can go cavort on the Common.

I remember one day about 10 years ago having a coffee at Peaberry Coffee in LoDo, Denver’s Lower Downtown. “I could live here,” I remember thinking, which was a radical thought since we were thoroughly established on Casper Mountain in Wyoming at the time, with no plans to ever leave. One thing led to another and now our home is across the street from where that coffee shop was located. As I sit here at Boylston and Tremont, I’m having the same thought: I could live here. If not in this decade, maybe the next. If not on the Common, then on the harbor. I do believe that one day I will be remembering the peaceful sense of possibilities which settled on me here one late, sunny afternoon at Boylston and Tremont.

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