Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Exploring around Boston

A few months ago, I walked to Harvard Square just to get some exercise. Maybe I even had something to accomplish there, but I don’t remember in detail. I do remember, however, that it was a warm spring day and ice cream sounded like a good idea. As I went into Lizzy’s, I passed a young woman at the little table by their door, clearly enjoying a chocolaty ice cream cone. I asked her what she was eating and if she recommended it. She did, so I got the same thing and joined her at the edge of the sidewalk.

We sat at the table for a couple of hours. Her name is Faith, and she was waiting to learn whether a local TV station would fund her entrepreneurial venture as part of a reality-TV show they were producing. While we waited for the expected answer, we had a long chat about many things: her project, apartment living, and life in general. Neither of us had any reason to rush: Faith had finished work early and was waiting to meet a friend later. I just had time on my hands.

The TV station took another day or two before they finally told Faith that they hadn’t chosen her project. In the meanwhile, she’d had a chance to reflect on our conversation and her visit with her friend Cally. She wanted Cally and me to meet.

I didn’t have time for that at the time, as I was preparing to go off to Belarus, but I held onto Cally’s phone number. She and I finally met yesterday, a couple of subway stops beyond Harvard Square. Unable to schedule Faith and ice cream at a time when Cally was free, she and I decided to go out for a walk on the former Arthur D. Little campus nearby. I already knew my way around their land and a neighboring park, but since we were having a good time walking, we went farther and discovered a pond neither of us had noticed before. Aptly, it’s called Little Pond, and it’s quite cute. We also walked along the shores of Fresh Pond and various other interesting places. While we always had a general idea where we were, it was fun to cross known streets and see how they stitched together in the mosaic of the area.

I’ve done this sort of exploring on a coarser scale on my bicycle, but it’s a different experience to poke around on foot. It turns out that even from my bike I missed plenty of details. After yesterday’s success, I’m curious to walk around more attentively in other parts of the city and environs. Maybe I don’t know it as well as I thought.