Being my first real snowstorm, I decided to hike around a bit, if only to see Boston in its purest form. I figured I’d at least walk the mile plus to the Allston neighborhood that bordered my own. A ton of college students live in that area, and there’s even a semblance of a downtown, so I decided that the sights would be somewhat interesting. I don’t know what my logic was really, except to see buildings and streets I had seen every week, except now covered with snow.
It took me nearly an hour to make the normally 20-minute walk down to Allston. Commonwealth Avenue had simply been overpowered by the strength of Nemo. While the main stretch of road had been plowed numerous times, surrounding streets (including my own) continued to resemble a disaster area. A really breathtakingly beautiful and potentially fun disaster area.
In Allston, I stopped and gathered myself at a local cafe (…not McDonalds). I bought a hot chocolate, and sat and relaxed for a bit. Time flew by. Before I knew it, I had been sitting there for over an half hour. I was even getting a little hungry. I contemplated walking home. Instead – smartly* – I decided to continue the trek inbound, to really explore the city.
*Read: Not smartly
I was joined by more and more people as I reached the Boston University campus. Everyone took it to the streets, wandering somewhat aimlessly, presumably inspired by a mix of boredom, curiosity, and genuine excitement. The lack of vehicles enhanced the post-apocalyptic feel of the procession. The only thing left was for humanity to turn against itself.
It took a while, but I eventually made it over to Fenway. Weirdly enough, there had also been a snowstorm in Chicago a few years ago when I had visited Wrigley Field during the off-season. There’s something to be said about the majesty of old-time ballparks in that context. Almost makes you forget about how disgusting the 100 year-old facilities are.
Starving, I made my way to a Domino’s near Fenway – the only business for blocks on end to be open. I’m sure the employees must have been thrilled. It filled up soon thereafter. I devoured a small (10 inch) pizza by myself with little hesitation, relishing the energy boost I so desperately needed. Then, ready for my face to be frosted once more, I continued on my way.
I went as far as the Boston Common. There were snowmen here and there, countless kids with makeshift sleds, and even a snow-packed miniramp for snowboarders and skiers. There was an indescribable and joyous aura about the environment. It was truly unique. After lingering a bit, I headed back in the direction of home, with a detour along the (mostly frozen) Charles River.
By the time I arrived home, it was well into the evening. The snow on my street had amassed again, and the cleanup would continue for days. I had walked a total of 11 miles over the course of 8 hours. I wouldn’t be able to lift my leg above my knee for the next couple of days. But I had no complaints. Finally, I had experienced a true New England snowstorm – one stronger than most people ever have, no less. And it had been beautiful.
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