A Fun Boston Day
Apologies for another rambling post... but hey, it has pictures! That makes it more fun to read, right?
Anyway, Sunday was a fun wander-around-Boston day, complete with perfect weather (high near 50, cloudless skies). Marketa organized a dim sum run to Emperor's Garden--I've actually never been there, relying on China Pearl as my standard. It was actually great--the dining room is a soaring former theater, complete with a restored proscenium. A pretty neat space to eat in.
The food itself was yummy--the usual standards rolling around; a crowd of eight people makes for great variety at the table.
I was fascinated by the "old theater" aspect--however, I believe that back during my undergrad days, they showed either porn films, martial arts movies, or perhaps both. I figured that if these walls could talk, they'd probably say, "Eeewwwwww...." and "Do you know what they had to scrub off us?!" Sorry.
Some Google searching revealed that this building was formerly the Center Theatre:
This was the second theatre called "Globe" in Boston. Designed by Arthur Vinal, it opened in 1903. Its two-story, Romanesque entrance arch was cut into panels with centered light bulbs. The facing was light brick and terra cotta, topped with friezework, cornice, and balustrae. On the latter were eleven bronze posts topped with lamps. The Globe was famous for burlesque in the 1930's with Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Fannie Brice, Sophie Tucker, W.C. Fields, Abbott & Costello, and Gypsy Rose Lee among its performers.
A cool old postcard can be found here.
Afterwards, the group of us split up; JMD and I wandered down through the Commons (huge anti-China Falun Gong rally there) and the Garden, down Newbury Street.
We wandered over to the Hancock Tower--we went inside, and the security guard confirmed that they have permanently closed the observation deck, after September 11th. I'm guessing that the security concerns were mostly an excuse--they have converted the floor into office space, anyway.
However, it was cool to check out the moire patterns on the glass due to my polarized glasses--see my previous fun with polarization.
Huh... can I take a pic of the effect with my digital camera?
We continued on Huntington Avenue... it turns out the duck tours (which were out in force today) leave from there. We saw one of the duck boats with rainbow stripes on it... it made us go "Huh?" until we wandered around to the front:
Heh. Too cool. (For non-Boston types, the South End of Boston is well-known as a stylish gay neighborhood, which was sketchy perhaps a generation ago, but was colonized and gentrified by gay men.)
We also stopped by the Border's on Boylston; one of the books on the discount pile was New York from Land, Sea, & Air.
I thumbed through it... it was really cool to realize that New York City has become so ingrained into my history that I had seen the vast majority of the places pictured in the book--missed maybe 10% or less of the book. But better yet was the personal history and connections attached to various NYC locations. Carnegie Hall, where I saw Perlick sing the all-Tchaikovsky program back in 2001.... The Plaza Hotel, where our class had our senior prom... yummy pastrami on rye at Katz's... touring the UN building on a high school field trip.... being a little kid stuck climbing the winding spiral stairs inside the Statue of Liberty on a sweltering summer day.
Speaking of which--work is sending me to Newark on April 10th, and I'll be hanging out in the City afterwards. Anyone else want to visit then?