Monday, August 10, 2015

I skirt the gay life in Boston and Cambridge, as I visit the "origins" of Facebook, and watch a BLM demonstration

Well, I’m back from my tour of Rhode Island (West Warwick and Newport), Provincetown, and Boston, some of it for “business”, with details later.

I covered P-town yesterday.  Sunday, I tried to look up gay life in Boston, and had a hard time getting to the right streets.  I did find the Paradise on Massachusetts Ave on Sunday afternoon;  it appeared to be closed, but a sandwich shop next door was open, and a lot of the local community was around, much of it riding bicycles (with at least two familiar faces from DC, one riding piggeback). 
I had detoured because of a “Black Lives Matter” march nearby (details on Issues blog). 

I didn’t get to the right area (around Boyleston, or the Southie areas) to see the Boston bars;  instead, a couple more familiar faces.   Lot’s of scenery of people rowing and training for regattas on the Charles River (we all know about this from “The Social Network”).  This seems to be a very popular city. 

It would be wonderful today to be a young adult living on a campus like any of those in Cambridge.  It would be nice to be 19 years old, able to run up the stairs of one’s dorm and invent a social network that would make one a billionaire.  College is the time you start your adult life, but the university still provides some ballast, some infrastructure, some real structure, some stability. 

For gay men, this was not very easy when I started in the 1960s (William and Mary in 1961).  It’s so much better today.  In another month, Jack Andraka will start at Stanford, and it would look like an afterthought to his medical invention and worldwide tour this year. 

I’ll add something else, sobering.  It’s a little chilling to see signs like “Watertown”, “Cheshire”, “Sandy Hook” and “Newtown” while driving Interstates and know that very near where I am, horrific things have happened.  No, I didn’t go to those exact locations, didn’t have time to, or feel inclined.  

 But history can visit oh so close.

Note also, the remnant of the Station Club in West Warwick (a straight club, but the fire in 2003 provided a major lesson in club fire safety.) 

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