Sunday, August 20, 2006

New England Saturday Night

It is Saturday night in Massachusetts and the promenade is crowded with families, pushing strollers. On the footbridge, seniors pause to catch their breath. Scattered conversations are heard in dozens of languages. Just a few steps from the state house, viewers are selecting their seats for the next show. If they angle their chairs right, they can watch amateur daredevils have a turn on the trapeze rig while they wait.

Smalltown USA has not given up on the Common. They have moved it indoors, to Jordan's furniture.

In a short drive, for a few hours (and absolutely no money if you want it that way) the entire family, including the jaded teens and their friends can find entertainment and refreshment in a Jordan's establishment with or without furniture shopping. Join the Mardis Gras parade, catch an amusement park ride, an Imax film, a turn on the flying trapeze. There is a different Liquid Fireworks show every half hour which is completely pleasing to adults, and mesmerizing to the under 10 set.

If your interest is actually furniture, you'll have no shortage of assistance, some in labcoats.

Here is the question to "I dunno ~ what do you want to do," especially for out-of-town guests, who won't believe that this is actually what we do for entertainment.

Swanboats, Hatch Shell, roller blading on Memorial Drive are all still preferred for the real Boston experience. But we don't all live in Boston anymore.

Here is how to pass 5 hours in a Jordan's, in this case the "Beantown" themed store in Reading, MA.

Dinner at Fuddruckers, where no one will wait on you or ask you how everything is, nor will they bum-rush you out for the next paying customer. You will be carded for your alcohol - twice - but when you notice the malt-shoppe age of most of the clientele (nearly all of whom are named Dude or YouGuy-eez) you'll realize this is a good rule, and try to be flattered because your grays are showing.

For dessert try either the bakery, the ice cream stand or the candy shoppe, a replica of the Boston statehouse made out of lacquered jelly beans. In fact, everything is made out of lacquered beans, from the Wonka-style flower garden, the tile floor, cafe tables, and giant banana split being worked over by Big Dig constructon vehicles. If your party includes 3 year olds, you can stop here and your evening is set.

Here you can try the trapeze for $10, or watch for nothing. Take your coffee in front of the Liquid Fireworks display and just TRY to be jaded about it. Marie commented it was no Bellagio, but each time the lights dimmed for the next display, she sat us right back down.

Send the older kids to the IMAX with a bag of Jelly Bellies in more flavors than anyone needs and enjoy some pleasant adult time wandering from room to room like a living version of the HG-TV lineup. Get the younger ones a taxi stroller and encourage them to beep the horn at slow moving traffic. This is how we learn.

Live vicariously in the BOSE home theatre wing, and announce to your companions what you would and would not do in your home theatre space.

No one displays furniture like Jordan's. Every room has its own theme, down to the music, and leads you to the next and the next in what feels like a maze, but never dead-ends you. As your party lounges in dream parlors none of you will ever buy, and a conversation piece sparks an actual'll wonder why you don't do this at home. And you don't know why, but you don't.

You will indeed run into your neighbors here. And their visiting parents. And an entire family you haven't seen in 10 years. And none of you live anywhere near here. You don't ask why they are there on tonight of all nights. You already know.

Dude! You're 95% from Massachusetts!

Dude! Me and Sully and Fitzie and Sean are gonna hit Landsdowne tonight after the game, hang out at the Beerworks. I'll pick you up at the Coop at 6.

How Massachusetts are you?


  1. I'm 100% Massachusetts and 100% Red Sox fan, but you knew that already. ~SL

  2. HA! I'm 100% from Massachusetts! That's so MINT!


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