I have been telling you for years that I am the kind of friend you can ask on errands. That I will sit in the bleachers with you. Up until they stopped allowing it, (and I moved out of town) I was know to meet you at Logan and entertain you through your layover.
So what a delight to have The Baroness take a page from the book of Caroline, and arrange her flight home from Buffalo through Boston, so we could have an old-fashioned all-nighter. Cue the Dreamgirls: one night only../one night only….
There is always a lot going on in this great city of ours, esp in the summer when it is basketball playoffs, inter-league baseball, USA/England in the World Cup, and Boston Pride Weekend all on the same day. The last one is sort of a sport.
At the Westin Waterfront, though, we were far from most of the action, and there is something to be said for being a gigantic fancy-pants hotel without traffic, sirens, and panhandlers. I hung out in the lobby, wrote a few letters, and watched some soccer, like I know what that is.
And, oh did the plans go agley.
Flights delayed, for no reason that made sense to the pilot, so when he finally got clearance (Clarence) he made the jump from Buffalo in under 30 minutes. That takes a Bostonian. I had moved to the bar, where I was chatting up the bartender about the Philadelphians who had moved in, including one family with a golden retriever, because this is a pet-friendly hotel. Does the dog have a massage scheduled for the morning?
When Baroness finally arrived, she had the look of a Preferred Customer who needed to be upgraded to a suite, and so we were, then headed straight to City Bar for a rather late night dinner.
You know what’s funny about the second Manhattan? ev-ry-thing.
I took the living room side of the suite, with the convertible sofa that was not made up, so we called for Robert from housekeeping to come and put our drunk asses to bed. Baroness took the bedroom side and shut the door between us. Her side had a knob. mine… did not.
Habit and a hangover conspired to wake me at 6am. I drank water, watched infommercials and dozed until about 9, when I considered coffee, which was on my side of the room, but they had neglected to stock the cream and sugar.
At 10, Baroness knocks on her side of the door, and comes in to find me fully dressed and reading in a chair. She said, “I couldn’t tell if you were awake.” “I don’t have a doorknob,” I said, as the door slipped out of her hands and clicked shut with her on my side of it.
Room key? yes.
Safety latch on other door? also yes.
No one handles the staff like Her Grace. From her I have learned in life that everything is someone’s area of expertise, and that if it happens to you, the law of large numbers assures that it happens all the time. And that people love to help. Hotel Security wants you to think that safety latch is impenetrable but of course there is a tool that solves problems like these. Still, we played along while Security called Maintenance and distracted us from watching how it is done. It’s not a great story; I’m just telling you about the weekend. What are you doing?
From there to Henrietta’s Table. No celebs, but one heck of a skillet brekkie. It began to rain with purpose while we were there, so we waited it out, then spent the afternoon in Harvard Sq shopping for my wine tasting party later that day where I needed to beat a $20 budget on a bottle of Spanish and an app. We came in at $21, but only because of the tax. A tempranillo and a manchego that I am now hooked on, plus 2 ciabatta rolls I could slide and make go farther. Plus, they were passing truffles around in Cardullo’s like it was a cocktail party. And it was still raining, so why not stay where it smells like almonds and chocolate, and where the deli man was willing to estimate a quarter-pound of cheese before lopping it off?
We watched some buskers, we flirted with the guy selling Spare Change, we cruised through The Coop for Harvard souvenirs… I giddily ducked into Harvard Books and bought $50 worth of I don’t know what. I’m not sure which of us was the out-of-towner.
Times like this will really confuse your memory about living in the city. I think I do know though that it’s a nicer place to visit when you don’t have to live there.