Thursday, January 21, 2010

Poem for Thursday and Boston History

Props to the Twentieth Century
By Rachel Loden

Are you happy to be over, twentieth century?
Yes, you had an apronful of monsters, but

I miss you anyway, I miss my broken century
More than I miss my ex, say,

And I even miss him occasionally
Since we tangoed through the crazy jonesing

Throes of sweetest, darkest you.
Twentieth century! We had such vainglorious

Hopes for you. Smithereens, of course―
But it feels strange taking up

With other, paler centuries, like this nymphet
Who imagines that her exquisite

Laser-guided marketing campaigns
Would be enough to break me down or

Worse, make me forget. I don't. Can't. Even
Your pyramids of empty skulls are with me yet

And with that other who remembers you
As endless tea-soaked madeleine or dusty

Matzoh of revenge, last dish of cottage cheese
And ketchup at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.


From Loden's book Dick of the Dead.

It was a day of appointments -- doctor for me in the morning, orthodontist for son in the afternoon -- so I have nothing exciting to report except that medical procedures suck even when necessary and my blood pressure was 110/70 in spite of my being cranky about them, so it must be accounted a good day in spite of everything. Adam was originally supposed to see the dentist to have a small cavity filled that's directly under one of the brackets for his braces, then see the orthodontist to have the wires tightened, but his math midterm went right till the end of the school day so we ended up having to cancel the filling and reschedule. The good news there is that he's in the end stage of his braces -- they just need to straighten out two roots on the bottom and those come off -- and we rescheduled the dentist for another day.

After the orthodontist, I took Adam to get bubble tea, stopped at CVS to pick up a prescription and hair conditioner, then got home at pretty much the same minute that both Paul and Daniel arrived from work and school respectively. We had white beans with carrots and pesto pasta for dinner -- Adam has announced that he wants to become a vegetarian, and I told him a while ago that I would give up poultry if he did, so I am looking for low-sodium veggie recipes if anyone wants to share. Then we watched Pixar shorts on ABC Family...does anyone know whether that fabulous animated history of rats is an extra on the Ratatouille disc? It would be worth owning for that alone.

The rostrum in the meeting hall of Faneuil Hall in Boston, where Samuel Adams spoke about the need for independence from England.

Here is a view of the balcony. This second-floor meeting space is still used for local political debates.

The lower level of Faneuil Hall is a marketplace, as it was 250 years ago. Boston souvenirs, Revolutionary reproductions, and all things Red Sox and Celtics are naturally popular items.

Street performers put on shows in front of Quincy Market, adjacent to Faneuil Hall and dating to the early 1800s.

Tourists can travel from the marketplace along the Freedom Trail in a horse and carriage... the old state house a couple of short blocks away.

The Declaration of Independence was first read to Massachusetts residents from the east balcony.

Just outside is the site of the Boston Massacre, where a crowd of colonists threw snowballs, rocks, and nasty words at British soldiers who then fired into the crowd.

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