Boston – Final Round?

Beach Day . . . with Dunkin Donuts!It was July, I’d gotten all my luggage back to Boston and it was time to plan my next move.  My original plan was to go next to South America, backpack for up to 6 months, learn to speak Spanish, travel as many countries as possible, live cheaply, enjoy my 3rd summer in a row.  Somehow that didn’t happen.  Psychologically I wasn’t ready to undertake such a trip by myself and financially I wasn’t quite where I needed to be either.  Instead, I procrastinated about what to do and ended up vegetating in Boston.  Eventually as my savings deteriorated I reached the decision that it was time to end my holiday, settle down and get a job.  I was still on holiday, but I wasn’t travelling, so trying to find some work seemed like the next best option.

I was still having fun in Boston for the most part, I met a bunch of Australian and New Zealanders through some rugby watching organised by their respective ex-pat societies and before long was organising pub crawls through Cambridge with them.  I went along to an Australia Day in July party held in an Irish pub in the city, its turns out the Aussies here in Boston were sick of celebrating Australia Day (January 26th) during winter, so scheduled a celebration to occur during their Summer instead!  I also made it out to a beach one day, one at a nice scenic little town called Manchester by the Sea.  I was alarmed to learn that many of the beaches here are closed to the public with only local residents allowed, or for those that are public, a fee is required to use.

Despite having no interest in baseball, I did want to see every American sport at least once while I was here, therefore I was taken to a baseball game at the historic Fenway Park in Boston.  I don’t even recall who the Boston Redsocks were playing that night, but it was an entertaining enough spectacle.  Fenway isn’t a massive stadium by any stretch, but is one of the “classic” American baseball Stadiums still in use and every Redsocks home game at Fenway is sold out.  Luckily I was accompanied by someone who knew a lot more about baseball than myself, therefore I had the rules well explained to me.  Much like cricket, baseball isn’t always the most exciting sport to watch and games can sure drag on if no home runs are scored.  This one didn’t though and the Redsocks managed a victory, though their closing pitchers choked fairly badly from what I was told.

Australia Day . . . In Boston . . . In July

Eventually the time came when a decision about future living arrangements needed to be made, the place in Cambridge where I was sub-leasing a room from my cousin Ariel was due to expire at the end of August.  We came to a decision to keep the Rubins together and found an awesome apartment in Somerville a suburb just north of Cambridge.  Before I knew it, a one year lease was signed and we were making
arrangements to move in on September 1.  Just when I was about to finally admit defeat that my holiday was definitely over, a deal came my way out of nowhere that was too good to pass up.

The low-cost American airline JetBlue released a flight special – an Unlimited Boston Flight Pass, which for 3 months would give one unlimited return flights out of Boston.  Only taxes needed to be paid and destinations included pretty much all the major cities in the U.S.A., including around a dozen in the Caribbean,  Cancun in Mexico, Bogota in Colombia and San Jose in Costa Rico.  Buying it would eat up a good chunk of my savings, but give me incredible flexibility to keep travelling; even if I did get a job, going to a new destination every weekend would pay off.  I snapped it up before it sold out, Boston might be my new home, but with this, my travels could continue . . .


New York – Round 2

Times Square!My first trip to New York was far too brief, therefore another trip was planned, this time with my cousin Ariel, staying with a relative of ours who neither of us had previously met – Richard Rosen, our 2nd cousin once removed.  Richard lives on the Upper West and is a published author and senior editor working for ESPN.  Despite Richard’s busy schedule and the unfortunate deteriorating health of his cat Herc, his hospitality was fantastic and it was a great opportunity to meet some more of our extended family.  We all went out to dinner in Manhattan and had Chinese, where we met some more 3rd cousins, Jonah and Rebecca.  Rebecca as it turns out has worked in the music industry for quite awhile and therefore was great to talk and get advice about Ariel’s career.

Whilst in Manhattan I also crossed off a few more experiences that I’d missed last time, hanging out in Central Park for a bit and going for a jog there one afternoon.  Its amazing how such a huge slice of the city is taken up by Central Park and that upon entering it one can feel almost completely removed from the fast-pace, noise and traffic always present in the city.  Ariel and I also had a look around East Village and from there meandered our way up Broadway, checking out shops and finally ending up in Times Square.  Continuing my theme of trying hot-dogs in all the major cities of America, I tried one from a New York street vendor, it was bland, unexciting and over-priced, think I’ll stick to the Chicago dogs from now on!  A pretzel from another food-stand proved to be much more appetizing.  On our final day, Richard also took us out to a genuine local Jewish deli, where we had some excellent grub in the form of Reuben sandwiches.

Although only a short trip (and completely sober since it fell into my Dry-August month), I came to more fully appreciate Manhattan and was further convinced that I would have to live in this city at some point in my life.  The sheer density of Manhattan with so many restaurants, pubs, museums, shops, buildings, sky-scrapers and people packed onto one island is like no other place on earth.  Furthermore, experiencing the serenity of Central Park and exploring the upper west side made me fully appreciate just how diverse a place the city of New York is and how much there is still yet for me to explore.  I left knowing that I would want to be returning soon and hopefully one day, manage to live in this great city.