Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Things I Learned in Boston

We were in Boston at the end of last week. Having no duties to perform, I got to walk around and look at what interested me. I learned

  1. Why Kendall Square Research, the long-closed supercomputer company was so named: Kendall Square in Cambridge is bordered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so it is a fine place to locate a company that needs excellent engineers.
  2. That for some years I must have confused this with Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, "The Mushroom Capital of the World". I ceased to confuse them when I forgot about Kendall Square Research.
  3. What William James's house looks like. Now, though, I can tell you only that it has a blue plate on the fence out front, giving the dates of his residence.
  4. What the window of Ralph Waldo Emerson's dormitory room on Harvard Yard looks like. (A second-story window in a red brick wall.)
  5. That the Institute of Contemporary Art looks far better from the water side than from the street.
  6. That the T "Charlie Card" machines will not accept $5 bills of the older design.
  7. That you must press the touchscreen "CASH" button on these machines before dropping in the five $1 coins it gave you in change for the last transaction; otherwise those coins are gone for good. (The next traveler who dropped in coins has my apologies.)
  8. That Cambridge has more better bookstores close together than I remember to have seen, at least in some years. I don't now remember for sure whether the old Foreign Language Books on Dumbarton Street in Georgetown was comparable to Schoenhof's on Mt. Auburn Street in Cambridge, but I think it must have been smaller. And Foreign Language Books is long gone from  Georgetown.
  9. That Boston's humidity toward the end of June is nothing to Washington's.
I'd happily visit again soon, but point 8 has increased my backlog of reading by several weeks.


  1. If a backlog of reading stopped me travelling, I would not be able to go anywhere for several decades.

    1. Nor will this stop me, but I might have to clear the Cambridge-acquired backlog before I return there.