From the Bahamas it was back to cold and gritty Brooklyn before taking a short trip to Boston. Caught the Fung Wah bus from China-town, with a driver who drove just like he was, er, Chinese. Arrived in Boston in no time. First impression was that of a mini NYC in appearance.
It's a different kettle of fish on the inside though: quieter, civilised, whiter if that's not too un-pc, and obviously academic. Where else is it normal to overhear passing conversations on the street about the finer points of a recent scienctific research paper.
It also happens to be the place I found the holy grail of brunches.
Allie, another generous member of the Meisner family, agreed to put me up for a couple of nights - she was having a few of her own friends staying with her as well so it was good timing for me, hectic for her. Having met her friends (a cool bunch of people), we went out for dinner, a few drinks and some fun.
Up at 11 the nexy day on a freezing Boston monring, I got my first experience of Eagles, the best brunch cafe ever - huge portions, amazing food. Having had breakfast, we decided to take the T (Boston's brilliant subway system) into the centre. This was where, for the 2nd time in 2 days we had waited in the freezing cold for the T, only to decide not to get on once it arrived. Madness! There was reason to this madness though - snow warnings meant some our group had to move their cars.
Eventually taking the T into the centre, I managed to get some sightseeing done in this historical city. However, I realised I need to brush up on my American history; Paul Revere is NOT a member of the Beastie Boys!, we saw Feanail Hall, Quincy City Hall and a building with a big protruding teapot We walked through the older colonial area, with nice brownstone buildings lining the street. Here we stopped at a famous pastry shop for riccotta pie and coffee. For a backpacker I eat rather well.
At night we ice-skated on Boston Common, a beautiful setting and a good laugh. I was Bambi at first - I do believe some punter had put me down for first to hit the ice, but it never happened. We then walked through the impressive Holocaust memorial (glass pillars and smoke on a lit walkway) on our way to the local, Beantown, where we had ourselves another lively night.
I left the next morning following a 5ft snowfall overnight, having had a taste of what I believe is a city that I could possibly live in, being the quiet academic that I am!