You get 2 posts today because we who wear chic trousers are especially nostalgic, and heard about exciting fun happenings in our old Brookline hood. Damn you all for getting on with your lives.
Things I miss about Boston:
- Shabbos basketball. Nowhere else can a bunch of Jews roll up with strollers and ankle braces and own the court for an afternoon.
- Rooftop parties in Beacon Hill, where the only light comes from the streetlamps below, and you can end up having a half-hour conversation with someone whose face you never really see. It's like the adult version of a summer camp bonfire, only you get beer instead of burnt marshmallows.
- New babies. Sure, there are new babies in Pittsburgh. But no one I know is having them. Congrats, folks whose internet anonymity I respect.
- Trying to find friends who aren't smarter than me by several orders of magnitude, and happily failing on a regular basis. I could try tossing a few conciliatory words to the fine folks of Pittsburgh, but I'm not feeling up to it just now.
- Men's softball. The last oasis of chauvinism in the Commonwealth, where guys can get together and pull hamstrings and lose pop flys in the non-existent sun, then come home to the little lady and young'uns and make up fantastic tales of athletic prowess and glory. But odds are wifey is on call, or prepping a conference call with Tokyo, or saving affordable housing in Dorchester, so you just collapse on the floor and, with all the machismo in your being, ice your bum knee.
- Finding that the most conservative person in the room is really just apprehensive about big government, and truly a fan of individual liberties. And if he happens to be an incoming Supreme Court clerk, well that's just gravy.
- Ultimate Frisbee at Driscoll and Amory fields. This will be a longer post when the weather allows, but something about diving in the mud after a ridiculous toss by Sam the Vermont Hippie, just past the outstretched fingers of the Kinney, just feels like...home.
- Milk Street Cafe in Post Office Square. I think everyone in Boston misses this. Personally, when I inhale a sweet meatball sub and wash it down with fresh lemonade, I want to see everyone I saw over the weekend, all gussied up business style, serious in their power lunches.
- Pre-Shabbos drinks, which I lump in the same familiar, warm category as last minute dinner plans. But the dinner must be a mishmash of prefab side orders, a chicken recipe made up twenty minutes before candlelighting, and lots of wine.
- Barbecuing on a back deck. This may sound hoity-toity (now that's a phrase that deserves a new life) and "summering in Hyannisport"-ish, but if the deck is a garish blue, the entire structure is slowly peeling away from the building, and the whole thing looks out onto a beautifully ragged parking lot or a tiny tiny backyard, and is about three feet wide by ten feet long, then it's a little bit cozier. With a few beers, it's downright adventurous.
- Making really offensive jokes in the company of people who understand that I was raised by wolves, and therefore have no sense of tact, or place. To finish this off, some fine examples:
"Vote? Women shouldn't be allowed to read!"
"You already have a boyfriend, it's just that he's getting married to someone else."
"Basically, Cardozo is just a bad law school. You get a terrible education there. That's why I didn't go." (Said, it turns out, to someone who was starting there in the fall. It's a lovely school. Really.)
"Big firm lawyers are capitalist pigs."
"That's your grandmother? Why is she wearing an eyepatch? Is she a pirate? Yarrr!" (this one I'm really sorry for. I didn't know about cancer that can dissolve bone. I still feel terrible about this one.)
"Women who wear a kippah and tallis are almost exclusively lesbians." (This, I maintain, can still be debated by reasonable people.)
"If your husband is fine with it, Wife and I are always looking for new...frontiers."
Sure, there was context, and subtle inflection to indicate I was kidding. But it was nice to work with a safety net of friends who wouldn't kick me out if I was too obnoxious, because they knew I wasn't rude, just not very funny. That's probably what I miss most.