Friday, February 10, 2006

Boston Up to Now

I have now been in Boston a grand total of three and a half months and I thought it was time to give people an update on my life so far. I do not like to discuss my personal life on this blog because I don’t like the idea of “keeping a journal”, and my personal issues are really not that interesting to anyone but myself and they do not spur discussion as this blog was set up to do so I will avoid those topics of my experience here in Boston.

First of all Boston is a very small city. One can walk across the entire city in about half an hour, in contrast to Seattle where walking across all of Seattle would take several hours. However there is a difference, in Massachusetts city borders are all very small. For instance, the city of Allston (where I live) is about the same distance from Boston as the Ballard area from downtown Seattle, and I believe most people would claim Allston is basically part of Boston. All in all the downtown area of Boston and downtown Seattle are about the same size as far as building size and density of buildings, but Seattle might be slightly larger.

This city is one of the oldest cities in the US and has a lot of history, such as Paul Revere, Boston Tea Party, etc. but I have actually not done much research into the historical value of the city unfortunately. However, because of the age of this city several attributes have made themselves apparent to me since living here: 1. The roads are horrendous. Road conditions are horrible; there are potholes everywhere, and barely any lines separating different lanes and constant construction to fix these things without any success. Those problems stem from the old brick and cobble stone roads that were laid down in the late 1600’s.
In Europe all roads lead to Rome, as the saying goes, but once in Rome it is impossible to find your way to anything. The same holds true for Boston. I-90 goes west to east all the way from Seattle to Boston hitting very little in-between, except Chicago but I refuse to acknowledge anything in Illinois because of their toll system. Once outside of the greater Boston area there is not much but small suburbs all the way up to Canada and all the way down to New York City. In the city itself all streets are one way and going in the wrong direction to be of any use. Most streets are named after Harvard; I have encountered Harvard Ave, Harvard St., Harvard Terrace, N. Harvard, and I'm sure there are plaenty of others. There is no possible way of finding where you want to be by car so I tend to take the T or just walk almost everywhere.

The weather in Boston is very nice, even though I have only been here for the winter months. I have seen a blizzard only once and people tell me that it was not much of a snowstorm, but I thought it was really fun. Mostly the days have just been very cold, temperatures hovering around 0 degrees, or 32 degrees for all you weird American types, since the day I arrived here and it has been clear skies for the most part as well. The clear blue sky is a big deal to me because the cloudy gray skies of Seattle tended to have a strong S.A.D effect on me.

The people in Boston have the stereotype of being assholes, hence the name “masshole”. However, I have found that only the men that grew up in this area fit that stereotype, and only a small fraction of them at that. The girls I have met have been extraordinarily nice to me and helpful for me adjusting to my new life here.
People around here like to drink. I like that. Although I do have to say my liver cannot compete with some of the drinkers I have been hanging out with around here and I am going to have to start takin’ ‘er easy, as the Dude would say.

My job is of top priority to me at the moment and lucky for me I actually really enjoy my work. I have found a way of reducing, and possibly eliminating, a certain type of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme. This is accomplished by injecting specific RNA sequences, otherwise known as the messenger for DNA, into the blood where they are then able to get to most cells in the body. I am also working on my own project of isolating autologous stem cells from the skin that are capable of differentiating into many different cell types that could be beneficial for myriad autoimmune diseases, or injuries. The former project may lead to a publication with yours truly as the first author and the latter project may lead to a patent with my name on it for Tufts University. Exciting!

If you have any suggestions for me about how to make my experience here in Boston a great one then please let me hear it. Or if you think I am an idiot/moron/fascist/pig headed jerk, as some of the girls that post comments here have hit upon, then let me know, because I love to discuss just about anything.


Heather said...

Let it snow! Boston Blizzards are one of the best things about living here. In a city always on a deadline, Nor'Easters make us remember that it's good to sit back and relax every now and then. Or instead, if you're me, try to trudge through a foot of snow to the grocery store and instead fall squarely on your ass. Awesome.

marisa said...

a few resources to help you acclimate:

wicked good guide to boston english even has pronunciation key for the cities.

universal hub basically all blogs boston. i suggest you start with the site breaks posts down by neighborhood or topic.

bizarro boston the historical oddities that didn't make your history books

Andrew said...

I will post some of the pictures that I took of our winter wonderland/hellishly cold blizzard of yesterday. Average of 18 inches in the Boston area! That puts even John Holmes to shame. Oh wait, was the news talking about amount of snow?

Andrew said...

Thanks Marisa, I'll check those sites out for awesomely rad stuff to learn about the area.

Andrew said...

Hey, Marisa... off topic, but... you should spell your name MarĂ­sa (with the accent above the 'i', if you didn't notice) so that people can more easily pronounce your name by reading it. I know, I know, it should be pronouced that way anyway but the other spelling, Marissa, is what everyone else still reads your name as. Just a thought. Plus then you could seem all cool and exotic by having an accent in your name.

marisa said...

originally i was supposed to be named "maria brigitta" (one name, mind you; and i remember when i pronounced it to you the first had no idea what i was saying). in comparison, marisa is a cake-walk. i find it a good intellect test for those i meet along my way. honestly, if you can say "maria,", then "marisa" is not that far off. and if it takes more than three times, then the lucky party has earned a kick to the shins.

not to mention, i have enough people speaking non-english languages to me as is (italian, spanish, arabic) that i feel as if i've earned the "cool and exotic" tag thus far. bitch, please...i'm cool as is; would it really be fair to up the factor with an accent mark?