Library Edition

 

I try to avoid any place requiring shuttle buses, but when my friend Keith came up for the day and said he wanted to go to the JFK Library, I said OK.

My favorite part? Freedom 7! Hadn’t expected to see that. It’s on loan from the Air & Space Museum. Holy moly, it’s small:

Hanging with Freedom 7

 

And this is neat. It’s from a state dinner for the French minister of culture. I like the “who is he” next to Allen Tate (had to look him up myself). Also, upon scrutiny it appears that Truman Capote was unmarried. And apparently for some reason J.D. Salinger couldn’t make it.

The exhibits are fine, but given the size of the building, it all felt more like a good exhibition on JFK at some other museum (one probably without shuttle buses). It seemed too brief. Which I sadly suppose is fitting.

 

***

Heading back downtown we had to get on a special commuter rail shuttle, for a Red Line train at the next stop had “basically exploded.” I’m glad President Kennedy wasn’t there for that part:

Kennedy: Why isn’t the subway running?

Pete: Uh, well, it has a lot of problems these days.

Kennedy: I had you put a man on the moon! And – wait, this stop, it’s named after me? Look at it!

Pete: Hey, look what we can do with our phones: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

***

Before Keith got back on his train for New York we stopped at the Parker House Hotel for a drink. That’s where JFK had his bachelor party. (Our drink was almost certainly more subdued.) The thing that intrigues me about the Parker House is that both Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh worked there. I’m kind of surprised the hotel doesn’t make more of it, but then again, I guess I should be glad you don’t see a “By Any Means Necessary” or a “Tet Offensive” on the cocktail list.

 

T Time

Image result for djibouti railway

 

With the opening of Africa’s first fully electrified cross-border railway, getting from Ethiopia’s capital to the Gulf of Aden just got a lot easier.

It also means Djibouti now has a more modern rail system than Boston.

Those Red Line cars you saw in The Friends of Eddie Coyle? They’re still running, sometimes. Check out the Orange Line if you think rust ever sleeps. The 326 bus I rode Friday morning seemed destined for a NHTSA report.

In Boston, you hear the term “world-class city” thrown around a lot. Our public transportation infrastructure is already world-class, just not first world.

And yet.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Twins 1 & 2 on the MBTA, and they find it genuinely delightful. It’s a refreshing counterpoint to my T disposition, fossilized over decades into sullen resignation.

And I must give a shout-out to T employees, who’ve been extra helpful – and kind – as I wrangle my monkeys aboard buses, subways, and trains. Thanks for keeping us going.

 

PS speaking of thank you, do say it (as per general manners and this excellent AMA with an T bus driver).

 

 

Sister Act

SONY DSC

Twin 2 said to Twin 1 the other day: “Hey! Be nice to me! I’m your sister!”

I found this hilarious.

I was reminded of it reading this Globe article on Boston’s sister cities. (Wikipedia informs me such municipal relationships are also known as “twin towns.”)

I grew up in Boston, and have a MA in international studies, but even if you’d threatened me with baked beans, I’d have been unable to name a single sister city. The article provides introductions. (Sekondi-Takoradi! Who knew. Don’t act like you did, either. And, Wikipedia informs me that their pro soccer team is the most excellently named Eleven Wise.)

Sekondi_Wise_Fighters_logo

I also found this hilarious:

Other than the fact that Kyoto and Boston have been sister cities since 1959, for example, “We do not know more than that,” a spokesperson for Kyoto’s Prefectural Government Tourism Division said. “Thank you for your understanding.”

Per the city’s website, Boston seems to know a bit more about her Japanese sister, but then again, per the article, “seems to have forgotten Beira, Mozambique.”

C’mon, twins! Be nice to each other.

twins