Day 59 of the 100 Days Movie Journey, Day 1 of Operation East Coast Adventure. Over the course of the next 9 days, I will be making a whirlwind trip across this great land of ours (beginning, of course, on the 4th of July) to experience movies, theaters and the following cities – Boston, Chicago, New York, Miami and Washington, D.C. I’ll spend a few days in D.C. and a couple of days in New York, but for everywhere else, it’s in and out in one day or less.
So, shwoooh…let’s see how we can make this moviewatching task even more challenging, shall we? For the record, since I started on PST time, I’ll be giving myself that three hour time zone handicap each night to get this post up and running. So here we go…after a midnight screening of Fight Club on Friday (technically Saturday so it could count for Day 58) I slept six hours, wrote it up, packed, made it to my buddy Jim’s 40th birthday bash, slept another five hours and then hopped on an airplane to Boston.
Before I move further along, I must give personal kudos to JetBlue. The leather seats and extra leg room in coach, plus the DirecTV channels, made it the easiest crosscountry flight imagineable. Between dozing in and out of some pretty funny standup specials on Comedy Central (ever seen the Nick Swardson one with the suicide by T-shirt gun bit? Hilarious!), it seemed like a few blinks and - bam - I was in Beantown.
The trick of the first leg was, I was scheduled to land at 5pm on the 4th, and scheduled to take off 12 hours later – just enough time to get to a theater, fit in a movie, see the fireworks, and then type this up, right?
Easier said than accomplished. After debating with the hotel concierge about seeing a film in a proper venue (he insisted I check out the new theater on Boylston downtown, but I’d chosen Under the Sea in IMAX 3D at their Aquarium because A.) I hadn’t yet seen anything at an actual aquarium, B.) I had seen every movie playing at the venue downtown, and C.) the film’s only 40 minutes long, giving me plenty of time to make it to fireworks and such).
Having never been to Boston (yes, I know), I figured I’d just cab it to optimize my schedule. But - thanks also to a concierge tip - I was redirected to the subways, since getting in and out of downtown on the 4th by car would have been a living nightmare. Even so, I barely made it out of the movie to transfer three times on the MBTA and pick a spot on the green near the Esplanade before the show.
Since I’m running on fumes back at the hotel, I’ll just give a few impressions before I sign off and back on tomorrow from the Windy City. First, Bostonians are extremely polite. I’ve never seen so many people packed on a subway still slapping each other on the back and going crazy like it was happy hour – without beer. Second, that accent, for a foreigner like me, makes everyone sound related. I liked it, and thought about trying to imitate it before coming to my senses. I made sure to make a mental audio note, though, of the woman screaming next to me, “Just drinks, ovah here…Ryan, just drinks ovahhhh here!!!”
The fireworks, too, were fantastic, although between all the T.V. timeouts, Toby Keith on the mic (Toby Keith in Boston? Huh?) and the mass of humanity present to witness it, it was more like a halftime show at the Super Bowl than our nation’s birthday.
I did get misty eyed when the throngs sang along to God Bless America (oh, and on the movie, yes, you should see Under the Sea, Aquarium IMAX or no…there are lots of cool 3D shots of great white sharks, sea lions and the Great Barrier Reef, plus Jim Carrey cracking wise about shrimp and cuttlefish). In short, God bless Boston…and my favorite Boston band, The Cars…and Boston.
The Boston Aquarium IMAX theater...with cool fish logo...
Boston harbor...this shot reminds me for some reason of Jaws...he's out there somewhere...
Fun with fireworks, part I...imagine with score by The Boston Pops...and Toby Keith...
Fun with fireworks, part II...