Boston Naval Yard buildings

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Boston photos


Random shots from Boston these last few days:

Boston buildings

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No taxi this morning


I didn't take a taxi this morning to the conference. If I had known that Bostonian drivers couldn't drive in the rain, I would have slept in and skipped trying to make the first session of the conference.

Instead, I stumbled down to the lobby, where I had arranged to meet up with a co-conference attendee to catch a taxi ride together. We were told the taxi wait was 30 minutes, because traffic was so bad, how about taking the bus to the subway?

Uh... okay.

First, start by standing in the rain for 15 minutes on the corner over there. The free local shuttle bus will pick you up and drop you off at the subway station. The directions were actually "go through the building over there," but we missed the "through" part, and hence the bus that arrived every 15 minutes.

So, my conference companion, Troy, and I started asking each and every pedestrian walking by which way to go.

Well, actually, I asked them. Not sure it didn't completely annoy Troy, but well, I didn't care much. If I'm up this early, I want to get where I'm going as quickly as I can.

So, we missed the bus. Again.

One woman finally gave us the brilliant suggestion of taking the ferry. The ferry? Sure! it takes you to the Aquarium, where you can catch the blue or green line.

Uh... okay. I'm so full of this pauses and agreements today, I can't stand me anymore.

So, we head down the pier to where a boat is coming in. It was an itty bitty boat, with maybe an 80 person capacity - waaaaaaay smaller than the Seattle to Bainbridge Island ferry I'm used to riding, but, hey, so what. If I'm lost in Boston next to the Boston Naval Yard, why NOT take a ferry where I need to go?

The ferry took us to the Aquarium. What I found most entertaining about the ferry was the slide the ferry did as it pulled into the dock. The ferry ended up parked, er, docked at a 90° angle to its incoming direction. Quite enterntaining to both realize this was happening, and watch it actually happen.

So, off the ferry, then off onto the street, and off we go. It was three blocks before I remembered one of my travelling cardinal rules: "Always look at the map before you start out, don't trust the map reading directions of your companions." We started out all of 20 yards from the subway entrance, and ended up about 200 yards from where we were going, backtracking the way back.. Eh....

So, back we went, onto the subway,. This time, I did look at the map. The helpful subway guy told us to go a particular way than what the submay map indicated we should go ("less walking"), so we went the way he suggested, ending up only slightly lost, but catching each train as we went along.

The subway ride was uneventful. I did notice that everyone on the trains seemed to be living an extrememl ordinatry life. Is that all we are? I wondered. Completely ordinary?

Eventually, after two subway stops and their complementary track changes, we made our final stop, walked up the stairs and hoofed it to the event center. If we hadn't wasted the first 15 minutes standing in the rain, we would have ended up at the convention center at approximately the same time as the people who called a cab 10 minutes before we arrived in the lobby.

I'm not sure they had the better trip.

Boston red light walk

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Worst taxi yet


Okay, now I'm not so enamored of these Boston taxis. Not that I've ever been enamored of the taxis, actually. I find them more of a necessary evil than a convenience.

Anyway, tonight's made me very, very nervous. So nervous, in fact, that I started texting Kris with updates of where I was as the taxi was driving, the wrong way in some cases. The Bruins game just got out, and the normal way was blocked, we have to go this way. He turned left, instead of right, right being the direction of the hotel, the direction of last night's taxi route back to the hotel.


I realized that Kris probably wasn't going to get these text messages, or respond to them. I started texting Andy. At least he has a data plan. I sent the various locations as we were passing them, thinking, well, even if something bad happened, at least they'd know where I was last. I don't know, maybe I overreacted. Okay, yeah, I overreacted. But the taxi driver was creepy. I mean, not only did he drive the wrong way, but he kept muttering as he was driving, and looking back at me, and quickly looking away. He didn't use the windshield wipers, or defrosters, the windows started fogging up. All the windows. I ended up rolling down the windows to see out. Well, rolling down the windows, looking out, freaking out, and texting Andy.

I made it back to the hotel safely. To my surprise, the fare was less than last night's fare.

Well, if you don't add in the text message costs, I guess.

The conference floor




There's another conference going on in the same facility as the Drupal Conference, which is sub-renting the space from the bigger conference. Though we started on Monday, this conference started today. Many more people here today, with completed booths and all.

Though, I can't imagine these people actually being engrossed in the presentation they're listening to at this moment. I mean, it's about documents.

Long torso


For the most part, I can't stand my long torso. Well, it's not so much the long torso I don't like as the short legs I have that accompany that torso. Sure, I'm 5'7", but when I'm sitting, I'm 6'2"! Not kidding there. In college, I had a boyfriend who was 6'2". When we sat next to each other, I was as tall as he was. That year, I stood next to a 5'2" friend and compared leg lengths. Our lengths were the same.

Oh, this has caused so much fun (that was sarcasm) over the years. There was the time at a Rippit dinner when we sat along the wall and compared leg length and torso height: only Mike was taller than I am. Keebler was close. Sarah had no torso, but wow, all legs, baby!

You can imagine where having a long torso and being married to a man with a normal length torso might be, well, annoying, say, when kissing.

Yeah, well, today, I didn't mind so much.

Sitting in the back of the conference room, I sat up straight (yes, yes, I know, I know, something I NEVER do). Hey, what do you know, I could see over everyone in front of me.

Another taxi


I'm definitely running the gamut of taxi rides on this trip.

Contrasting to yesterday's stinky, unpleasant ride, this morning's taxi ride was completely bearable, if not approaching enjoyable. When I requested the front desk call me a cab, I specifically stated I didn't want a smoking one. "No taxis are non-smoking in Boston," I was told.

Uh huh, right. And I'm still a virgin.

Just ask Kris.

Poor, poor Kris.

The driver that picked me up this morning was one of those prototypical friendly Boston taxi drivers. He immediately started talking, complimenting me on my directions to the conference center ("I'd like to go to the conference center, the new conference center, the new conference center on Summer Street, do you know where that is? I have a map if you don't."). I don't know if offering a map to a taxi driver is offensive or not, but I'd rather not be arguing with a taxi driver about my destination when a map will suffice.

The driver told me about various rides he had picked up, a nine year old that needed to be taken to school because her mom woke up too late, the German doctors who were angry he took them to the wrong place when he took them where they asked to go which wasn't where they wanted to go, stories like those.

At one point, he asked if he could smoke. When I said no, he laughed, oh, he was just joking, he doesn't smoke. As a matter of fact, he doesn't drink coffee, either. Of course, I didn't think to ask if he drinks alcohol, but he doesn't gamble either ("All I'm doing is giving them my money. Why would I want to do that?").

I wondered why he was driving taxis, as we drove over the various bridges, but didn't ask.

His girlfriend, who might have been his wife, I didn't ask about that either, called during the ride. He answered the phone, but waited until we were stopped at a stoplight before talking. The woman wanted him to pick her up and drive her to the hospital. Sure, he would, did she have a ride home afterward?

It made me continue to wonder about him. He seemed like a good guy, with only Cuban cigars as a vice ("Oh, they smell so good!"). He was willing to drive someone, without pay, during his shift, no less, losing income during the drive. Okay, so maybe he wasn't a good businessman. I'm not sure I'd want to drive someone somewhere, anywhere, if I drove for a living.

I tipped him well.

Boston water

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