Home > Uncategorized > Springfield, MA (Sorry Ultraman, I’m going back to sleep)

Springfield, MA (Sorry Ultraman, I’m going back to sleep)

Now where was I? I really don’t remember. I think I was about to leave for Boston, so I suppose I can begin with a brief update of my trip to Boston.

Wednesday afternoon I got into Copley Square at approximately 5:00PM. I was supposed to meet my friend Laura (with whom I was crashing) at 6:30, so I was just a bit early. I went into the shopping mall there and bought a newspaper to read while waiting. I sat on the benches across from the library as I thought we had discussed until about 6:00 when a crowd starting gathering. A peace rally sprouted up right in front of me. All these people surrounded the square with candles and signs reading things like “No World War. World Justice” and “No more victims.” A peace rally was breaking out, and I was afraid it was going to get violent! I made sure not to make eye contact with any news organizations or peace ralliers, as they were giving fliers and starting conversations with everyone who decided to enter the square. But since I was already trapped there, I must have been safe – once inside the forcefield of candle-holding hippies, you are safe from their power, I suppose. When the crowd cleared at around 6:45 or so, Laura was across the street waiting for me in our designated meeting place, which was actually supposed to be on the library side. I’m such an out of towner!

On Thursday, I drove over to Cambridge to spend the day with Jeff Quinlan, who is generally referred to as “Q.” No, not because his house is full of James Bond gadgets (although some of his boyfriend Stever’s computer stuff is pretty cool), but only to distinguish him from our other friend named Geoff. Since Geoff’s last name begins with R, the guy with the Q name was definitely going to get the nickname. Especially after he came out of the closet. Like my mother said, “now we know what the Q stands for!”

Jeff had been telling me for months that next time in town, we were going to Mary Chung’s for “Swanashosho” or “Schwanlichoochoo” or some such dumpling thing. I never heard the same thing twice, and now that I’ve even eaten them, I am still not sure what they are. I’m guessing (and if Q ever read this thing, he could correct me) “Suon Le Chow Shou” is the name of them, and unlike a lot of food that has been built up for months, these rocked. They were basically dumplings (don’t ask what’s inside, don’t ever ask what’s in a dumpling) of amazing caliber with a sauce of more amazing caliber. Indescribably delicious, make a point of going there if you are a dumpling fan. (As an aside, the former best dumplings anywhere are the steamed vegetable dumplings at Ollie’s Noodle House in NYC – the Swanachoochoo dumplings are better, but the Ollie’s ones are still the runner-up).

We then headed over to downtown crossing because, well, it was there, near Chinatown which is a fun place to walk around, and also centrally located. We stopped into H&M, this clothing store chain from England that is about to take over America. Fancy urban fashions for less! Of course nothing in my size, so we moved on. I ducked into Strawberries to pick up a Phish live CD and a CD single that has the Weapon of Choice video on it. (OK if you haven’t seen Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice video, it is time. Find a computer with a fast connection, head over to launch.com and watch it. You could also buy the Star 69 Remixes single and get it on there. What’s the video, you ask? It’s Christopher Walken dancing. And since you probably can’t afford the VHS of the musical version of Puss in Boots in which he plays the Puss in Boots, this is the thing to see.)

Next stop was a rare book store. Not your average rare book store, but one of those ones where if you have to ask, you generally can’t afford it. It’s James S. Jaffe’s Rare Books and they even have this nice fancy bound catalogs of some of their newer acquisitions. Whether or not they still have it for sale is inconsequential – they just want to let you know they had it for sale at one point. (And of course, if they still have it for sale, feel free to make an offer.) So did they have any Philip Dick? Sure! They had a first edition reviewer’s copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. It was in fine/fine condition with the reviewer’s slip still inside. And how much was this gem? $8,000!!! I asked if they would take an out of state third party bad check, but unfortunately they would not (I could easily have written one of these, too, as I happened to have my checkbook with me!) The clerk was surprisingly uncondescending for a bookstore with such expensive (and overpriced at that) books.

Moving on now into Chinatown where I found the usual array of bootlegged crap. So I passed on all of it, although the Ultraman alarm clock is calling to me – I have seen it in 6 stores in the last two weeks!! The walk continued through Back Bay, the Public Garden, a clothing store called Louis Boston to get pants for Stever. After one of those lenghty what next discussions, we retired back to Q’s apartment for some freshly made Tom Collins and a few games of Go. We played a couple of games and each won one, which of course results in a tie, which seems like the right thing to do for a game like Go. Jeff wanted to play a rubber match, but I refused, both for the Zen-like peace that comes with a tie, and because I suck at the game and I knew I would lose had we played again. (The truth comes out, but since Q never reads email or this journal, perhaps he’ll never know. Although come to think of it, he may have figured it out on his own). Because the drinks were strong, I took the T back to Laura’s to sleep, which was a slight mistake. What I should have done was drunk less, as now my bags were in Allston and my car was in Cambridge and I was planning to walk around town on Friday before leaving in my car. Oh well.

On Friday, I took the T to Cambridge with my duffle bag, backpack, satchel (purse) and . . . .AFGHAN?!?!? Yes, I carried an afghan around with me on the T which was so not comfortable in the humid morning weather. And of course when it started pouring walking from the Porter stop to Jeff’s apartment, the afghan and I got soaked. Q and I drove into the city to go to Old Trinity Church and see the weekly organ recital, which was good. If you ever get the chance, you should go to at least one of these in your life. No recording can capture how cool an organ sounds in a big church like that – since you are surrounded by the pipes, it’s like the original quadrophonic sound. Pink Floyd has nothing on these church organs!!!

This journal to be continued- – I gotta sleep . . .

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