11/23/2005

back in the saddle

Well, it was a rough week and a half with the tonsillitis, but I've pulled through. I didn't leave the house all that much last week, and when I did, I usually had friends fetching me and taxiing me hither and yon. Normally, I wouldn't, being the T-warrior I am, but I was really in no condition to deal with my public.

Yesterday evening I had a thirteen minute trip from Andrews to Downtown Crossing, and a ten minute trip from Downtown Crossing to JFK, both of which were perfectly acceptable in every way (I am big enough to admit it). I'm glad, because I'm still a wee bit wobbly, and I don't have too much energy for raging against the T, or anything else for the matter, at the moment.

One thing I will say about Downtown Crossing. I was meeting a friend there, and we were thinking we would have a coffee. Isn't it sad that on Washington St., this long-ass pedestrian High Street, between Boylston and State, there is not one charming little place to hang out, have a coffee, or whatever. Not one. There's a Wendy's and McDonald's, a food court in the Corner Mall (I think it's called), a Sbarro's, and there is even a Starschmuck's (and the obligatory Shrunkin' Schmo Nuts right across the street--so there!), but Starschmuck's has seating for exactly five patrons. They sit there in the window perched on their stools like drab, depressive birds. We ended up at Border's near the State Street T. But it's not a nice place.

You hear people yammering on about how European Boston is. It's not. Take it from someone who spent a third of his life over there. It's not. Not a judgment, people, just an observation.

Another thing that quietly appalled me. I arrived early to meet my friend, so I went looking for a Citizen's Bank ATM. There is one in the underpass outside Downtown Crossing, but it was not dispensing money. The message on the screen said it was at my service for anything else I might want, but who needs an ATM except to get cash? I mean, do they dispense martinis? Do they do dry cleaning? Provide friendly conversation? Maybe in Spanish.

At street level I was shocked to find, again, that from Downtown Crossing to State Street there was not a single Citizen's ATM. I remember now there's a Citizen's bank in the other direction, on the way to Chinatown, on the Avenue de Lafayette, but still.

Anyway, just a couple things to be slightly irritated about on an off-day.

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