My drive to the Granite State was uneventful and unharrowing. I dropped off the 40 footer grain trailer in Plaistow located just over the border line and a suburb of greater Boston.
Within half an hour I was in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the Ted Williams Tunnel, traveling under the Boston Harbor where in 1773, American patriots disguised as Native Americans boarded British ships and destroyed an entire shipment of tea spurring the American Revolution. This is the birthplace of America and a must-stop along my route back home to DC by the fourth.
As I drove through Chinatown and onto Harrison to SOWA, I was surprised to see the number of elderly, homeless people congregating near Boston Medical. There are lots of homeless in DC also but with a colder climate, Boston’s situation is more dire. I wanted to get away from the downtown congestion so I could find street-side parking without a lot of hassle or enforcement.
Luckily, I found an apartment building undergoing renovation surrounded by scaffolding and safety netting on Thorndike. Nobody would question me here – my work truck looked every bit a part of the construction.
There was no need for sunscreen – the clouds were thick and dark with a menacing hint of rain. With my knapsack over my shoulder and ID in my hand, I headed up Harrison to explore the neighborhood known as SOWA (South of Washington). This booming art and design district reminded me of DC ‘s NOMA (North of Massachusetts), a one-time rough and seedy neighborhood that has undergone a rapid transformation. Homeless people coexisted with luxury condos and eco-friendly amenities such as Whole Foods and Health Works.
Several blocks later, I was elated to discover a festive, pet-friendly open market with hundreds of locals – kids in tow — enjoying a wide array of offerings from some of the city’s most-raved food trucks. A beer garden offering tasty suds from a local brewer was popular and the five taps were constantly pouring. Meanwhile an up-and-coming indie-rock band was performing catchy originals while a group of teens and twenty-somethings were playing a relaxing game of corn hole, stopping to clap after every song.
Just as I grabbed my Ipswich Ale and a seat to enjoy the music the skies began to open. Just a few warning drops at first which rapidly overflowed to buckets as the handicraft and jewelry vendors dumped their wares in big barrels, not even bothering to keep things together.
I found shelter under a patio umbrella and waited a good thirty minutes for the storm to pass. Been sweaty and grungy from the road, I personally didn’t mind a rain shower, but my backpack and macbook were not as resistant to weather, so I waited patiently until the storm clouds subsided.