Boston’s Beauty

Boston weekly photo #17:

Blossom

Boston’s beauty has really been showing lately. The trees have started to pop with color and the air smells a little sweeter as a result. This picture was taken near on a small waterway between the Charles River and Storrow Drive in Boston proper.

Back to Normal

Boston week photo #16:

City view

This is simply a photo showing part of the Boston skyline I took recently. The city is trying hard to go back to normal after the events that took place over the past 5 days. Boston and the surrounding cities are truly resilient; people are out enjoying a beautiful spring day all the while remembering those who were most deeply affected by the tragic events. We’re all hoping that the nonsense has come to an end after the incredibly brave and heroic effort put forth by our local, state and federal law enforcement officers and service men and women. We do know one thing for sure – this city and the entire country will remain Boston Strong.

The weather has continued to be amazing over the last week for the most part.  Sunny skies, warm temperatures and the inevitable humidity seem to signal that summer has officially began in New England.  Today is no exception to this phenomenal weather and people are taking full advantage of their day off.  Since I woke up this morning the path along the river has been filled with runners, walkers and bikers.  Beyond the path out my window I can see that the Charles River is littered with small sailboats.  Kayaks and motorboats snake their way between all of the sailors drifting with the breeze – such a beautiful scene.

 

After I woke up, I did some laundry (much needed) before grabbing my camera and heading out on my bike.  I decided to explore some new territory today.  I mapped out a course and made my way over to Fenway Park.  There just so happened to be a game going on while I was there, so I was unable to go all the way around, but I did snap a couple quick photos.  Is there a better way to spend Memorial Day than enjoying America’s pastime at one of the best ballparks in the country.  Continuing on the Memorial Day theme- a huge thank you to all those who have served in our Armed Forces past, present and future.

Such a great park.  I’ve been lucky enough to experience one game at Fenway already.  As someone who played baseball for about 15 years it was an awesome experience.  I can’t wait to go back for another game!

Weather

The weather has been really great over the last two weeks in the Boston area.  There have been a few rainy days, but even on those days temperatures have warm enough to be outside.  This awesome weather has allowed me to do a bit of exploring in Cambridge and Boston.  I have walked and biked quite a bit in Cambridge and I have even biked into the big city a few times for some excitement.  Also, there is a T (subway) stop very near to my apartment building which has allowed me to get into Boston a few more times.  In all, I’ve probably made about 6 trips into Boston to look around and do some shopping.  The city is a beautiful mix of old and new – you can see why it’s considered to be America’s most European city by many. Speaking of European, I may try to take a quick trip to the Beacon Hill neighborhood today.  Beacon Hill has a very high concentration of Italian-American citizens.  Last time I was there I could hear the older generations speaking Italian on the street corners or in front of their favorite cafes.

I’ve been able to snap a few pictures on some of my small adventures.  Here are some of those…

Hopefully I’ll get some more photos to share in the near future.

Biking

In the last couple days I have spent a fair amount of time on my bike.  Whether going grocery shopping, stopping at the bank or just cruising for fun I have enjoyed biking around. The city of Cambridge is very bikeable; there are bike lanes on almost every street.  Riding here is quite a bit different than back in Minnesota.  In Minnesota I had a beautiful trail without much traffic, and this also meant I never had to contend with cars for road space.  It is much different here, but I have begun to adapt.  I have even gotten the courage to ride across the bridge and into Boston a couple of times.  This was an adventure and a great learning experience.  You have to be confident and think quickly to survive the street of Boston on bicycle.  Beyond a couple of quick trips into Boston I have mostly stayed on the trail near my apartment which runs alongside the Charles River.  It is a great place to ride and the Boston skyline always make for nice scenery.

Taken from the bike path near my apartment.

Besides biking I have been keeping myself busy by running errands.  I also got to meet up with a friend for dinner a couple of nights ago which was great.  The meal was wonderful, but the company was even better.  Last night I met up with another friend of mine for a couple drinks at a small place in Harvard Square.  We sat and chatted in the busy pub/bar and enjoyed a couple of pints of hard cider and some chips and salsa.  It gave me my first real taste of the social life here in Cambridge.  I also had a moment of “so this is what city life is like,” when I came home on the T.  The station was quite crowded being that it was nearly 10:00PM and there was a man playing his keyboard and singing.  A couple was dancing (I’m assuming the were under the influence) in front of him and the rest of us waited patiently for the train to show up.  I jumped on for the quick journey back to my neighborhood and walked home from there.  It’s the little things about living in a new city that seem to catch me and make me smile.

Tomorrow I will begin my new job and I am very excited about it.  Not only am I excited to have something to keep me busy, but also to meet some new people.  My boss has assured me that the company is filled with great young people and I can’t wait to get involved.  Wish me luck in my new position.  All for now, cheers!

Made it

I’ve finally arrived in Cambridge.  I flew out of my hometown yesterday, had a brief layover in Minneapolis, and landed in Boston at about 7:00PM local time.  I got a cab from the airport to my new apartment and was met by my new roommate.  I got a quick tour of the apartment and then unpacked my things.  I was a bet concerned about my belongings since the outside of my bags was wet from some rain in Minneapolis.  While unpacking I also called my girlfriend to assure her I had arrived safely and have a brief conversation.  I then called my parents to chat with them as well.  After unpacking I got to know my roommate a bit and then decided to head to bed.

I did have a “what am I doing” moment last night while hanging out with my roommate, her brother and his girlfriend.  They are from upstate New York, but all live in the Boston area.  I felt a bit out of place with them, but haven’t let it bother me.  We have just led very different lives and it shows a bit.  I expected that I would be out of place here, but I have accepted it.  I also think that once my friends who live here (who are out of town at the moment) return I will begin to really enjoy my time here.

I slept in this morning and felt rested when I got up.  I then made some plans for the day and began by walking to the nearest grocery store.  I did my shopping and returned home before going for another walk to take some pictures.  Cambridge is a very nice city and the views of Boston from across the Charles River are gorgeous.

This is the view from just in front of my building.

I then made some plans to go look at a used bike in order to get around a bit easier.  I liked the bike and bought it on the spot.  I now just need to get it tuned up a bit to be ready for commuting and trail riding.

Tomorrow I plan to take my bike to the bike shop that is right down the street and then do some other shopping.  I need a few basics yet and I also need to swing into a bank to start a local checking account.

That’s all for now, just going to hang out and watch NHL Playoffs tonight.  Cheers!

Today was just another day.  I went to work, came home and took a couple of final tests online.  It was a very uninspired day, but tomorrow is a completely different ballgame.  Tomorrow marks the end of my college career.  It will be my last day at my on-campus job which I have been at for nearly two years.  Having this job was a great experience for me.  Not only did it allow me to have a convenient office job which allowed me to get some homework done, but I also met some great people and became more aware of events at the university.  I will also be taking my final, final test tomorrow.  Very exciting.  From there on out everything will get very interesting and go very quickly.  I will be packing and cleaning nearly all day on Thursday in preparation for my big move.  Friday is commencement and I will finally receive the degree I’ve been working toward for so long.  Saturday will be a bittersweet day.  I am so excited to start my job and experience life in a completely new place.  This, however, comes with a bit of negativity.  I will be leaving my girlfriend and family back in Minnesota for the time being.  Luckily for me, my girlfriend will be joining me for the summer.  I am completely in love with her and feel a bit lost when she’s not around, so I’ll have to get used to being alone for a bit.  Also, I’ll be leaving behind many good friends.  I’ll keep in touch as best I can, but with all the new things coming my way I know it’s unrealistic to think that I’ll be speaking with them a lot.

When I arrive in Boston I will be alone to begin with.  I will probably be catching a cab to my new apartment as my friends who live in the area will be out of town and thus unable to pick me up.  I will then meet my new roommate for the summer and start a five day stretch in which I will be trying to get a lot accomplished before beginning work.  Oddly enough I will begin working on Friday as my boss will be out of town until then.  So during my days off I plan to get a lot done; I need to get unpacked, organize, buy some things, open a bank account, and quite a bit more.  At least this will keep me busy.

Like I said, I am very excited to start working.  I know that may seem a bit odd, but I was able to visit the office on my spring break trip to Boston and was very impressed.  Everyone was nice and very welcoming, but most importantly everybody I spoke with loved their job.  I will be working with a couple people I know, one I know very well and the other is an acquaintance.  I do think that this will make it a bit easier for me to begin with.  I am so blessed to have found a place with a young, exciting company that is full of great and energetic people.

All for now, off to do a bit more studying before going to bed.  Cheers!

Inspiration

Finding inspiration and motivation to write can be tough for me some times, this has been the problem as of late.  I have spent so much time writing papers for school that I have not had the drive to write on here.  Luckily, I was saved today by a friend of mine who writes a blog called “Approaching Metonoia“.  After reading his blog post from today just a couple of minutes ago, I was inspired to write something of similar context.

Since I found out that I’ll be moving out to the Boston area my life has been a blur, but time has been moving very slowly at the same time.  It has been about a month since I returned from my trip out to the area and I feel as though it was so long ago.  Until about three weeks ago I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d be going, but then I received my job offer letter and things started to take shape.  I have since found an apartment for the summer months, purchased a new computer to help me tackle new tasks at work, and begun packing and eliminating some of my possessions.

Like my friend, I am about to embark on a completely new journey and chapter in life.  For the past five years all I have known is the life of a college student.  Because of this it is such an exciting, yet unnerving prospect to imagine life without school and homework.  During this relocation I will also be undergoing a transformation.  I am leaving so many things behind physically, mentally and emotionally; some of these things I would rather take with me and some I am glad to put behind me.  I expect to be exposed to so many new experiences and fully anticipate some changes in my life.  I welcome these experiences and changes.

I am only 16 days from college graduation, and 17 days from my move East.  I feel as though I should be nervous, but the only emotion that comes to me is excitement.  Again, I will be leaving behind family and friends, but those people will always be in my mind and, therefore, I don’t let myself get discouraged about that.  Plus, it’s 2012, I’m only a call, text, e-mail, Skype call, etc. away.

Hopefully I will find more motivation to write within the next couple of weeks.  After that I will be very busy with work, but I will have fresh material to write on.  Cheers!

Countdown

My countdown to college graduation has reached 31 days; it feels as thought only a short time ago it was over 100.  I am so excited to finish, and proud to say that I will be a college graduate.

With that being said, there is still so much for me to do within the nest month.  I am still waiting approval on my apartment in the Boston area and still deciding what things I’ll need to take with me.  Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to be doing most of my packing during finals week.  Hopefully I’ll have enough time between studying and tests…not to mention that it is my girlfriend’s birthday week as well!

Whilst I do still have much work to do for my courses, I have been spending most of my time thinking about the move.  Coming from a small town it will be a huge change.  I have spent time in cities before, but never had the opportunity to live there and to really experience the metropolitan lifestyle; I’ve spent nearly all of my life in northern Minnesota.  For this reason, I found a short article for all other like me: 10 Tips on Moving From a Small Town to a Big City.  Most of the things on the list are common sense, but it is easy to overlook the most basic things when considering a big move.

The city I will call home

Slacking

My lack of posts lately isn’t because I’ve been too lazy or uninspired, it’s just because I have been very busy.  I have a little over a month of college left.  This means that I have projects, papers, tests (and eventually finals), homework, studying, graduation planning, apartment hunting, flight booking, bike shipping, bank changing…and so much more to do in the next 5 weeks!

I don’t think I have officially announced it on here, but…I’ll be moving to the Boston area immediately following graduation.  I am so excited about this, especially after my recent visit!  I’ll be working with an awesome company and living in a completely new area.  Along with a change in my life, comes a change in this blog.  I will still be writing about daily life and whatever happens to motivate me on a given day, but I intend to change the overall theme a bit.  I know I’m not the first young person who has moved from a small town to a big city in a different part of the country.  For this reason I will be gearing my topics toward my new theme, “Btown to Beantown – Small town Minnesota to Metropolitan Massachusetts.”  It is a specific theme, but I think my posts will apply to all of those in a similar situation no matter what city you’re moving to.

Can’t wait to start my new life and career out East…but before that I had better focus on my last month of classes!