Returned to Los Angeles last night. As predicted, the trip was short but tiring. No crashes with the plane or the rental car, so as Bing Crosby once sang, “I’m counting my blessings instead of sheep.” Surprisingly, after that two and a half-hour horseback ride through the forest yesterday, I wasn’t sore at all.
I started the day by buying some wonderfully scented candles from Cindy and Dave’s flower shop in downtown Littleton. They had some of the weirdest smells! Just how big is the market for chocolate-scented candles?
After breakfast we left for Boston. They say that if you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes because it’ll change. It sure did, to heavy rain which lasted until after the plane took off.
We got into Boston three or four hours early to leave time for exploring the town. A good portion of that was blown just trying to conquer the city’s arcane and varicose layout. Eventually we landed in Cambridge, home of Harvard University. I’d always wanted to see Harvard. In high school I had the grades, recommendations and extra-curricular activities necessary to get into Harvard, but for various reasons (many of which I’m not sure I understand) I never applied. I loved the Yard, it was everything I expected it to be and more. The campus had such a heady and scholastic feel to it, especially in comparison to the ultra-modern college from which I graduated.
There are a number of majestic and beautiful churches at and surrounding the campus, a testament to Harvard’s long history as a school of divinity. My favorite building was The Memorial Church, a luminous Colonial-style chapel built in memory of the Harvard grads who died fighting for our country. The interior is predominately white, with various memorials to those who died in military service. Just inside the South Porch is the Memorial Room, which houses a Caen marble sculpture called “The Sacrifice”. The afternoon light streams into the room through windows placed high in the walls, creating eerily quiet shadows which silently sorrow on the marble faces. It is one of those places where you just have to feel at peace, yet without the ever-present morbidity of, say, a cemetery.
I could have spent days just wandering around Harvard taking in the beauty of it all. They seem to have the best of both worlds: two hundred year-old buildings with fully modern interiors. Which is not to say they weren’t opulent. We peeked into a couple of random lounge/study rooms. I would have been afraid to even walk on the carpet. The grounds were absolutely immaculate. I remember thinking that Harvard was like a large museum. I suppose in many ways it is.
No trip to Boston would be complete without a visit to American Repertory Theatre, one of the leading resident theatres in the county and home to an MFA program which has politely rejected my application three years in a row. Can I just say one more time how awful the city streets are around there? Jeez. I eventually managed to find 64 Brattle Street, an address I remembered off the top of my head. Pretty non-descript from the outside, but the theatre is surrounded by some of the most spectacular homes in Cambridge.
The trip each way was just exhausting. Three hours from Littleton to Boston by car, plus a six hour plane ride, followed by an hour drive back to Irvine. How can one be so tired after spending an entire day sitting more or less motionless? Hmph. Anyway, there are a dozen or so other photos from the trip on the photo pages. Do a search for “Boston”.