goin' to bahston for some chowda

Phil Gengler
2004-02-10 06:26:43

Spurred into action by Jeremy's update, and whatever you want to call Jay's mention, I shall present my version of the events occurring both before and during a spontaneous road trip to Boston.

On the weekend in question, I had resolved myself to accomplish those things that has been put off during the week. This was a doomed plan from the start though, as a late-night gaming session and trip to Johnny Rockets quickly wasted away the most productive hours of a Friday night. Upon returning to my room, I found Jay in the process of trying to convice Jeremy to take a trip to Boston, motivated my the presence of Mr. Mikola's vehicle in the Eighth Street parking lot of Stevens. Naturally, Jay proceeded to try and involve me in the operation, to strengthen the case he was making to Jeremy. I was initially reluctant, but a scant few minutes were enough to have me berating Jeremy for his choice not to go.

After taking care of a few technical issues (namely, the condition of Jeremy's engine and some semblance of directions) and adding Mike to the list of those attending, we set off. Jeremy decided we should take the scenic route, and that the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges were one and the same. It is for those reasons that we found ourself heading west on Route 17, backing up off-ramps to return to the highway and making a cut across three lanes while braking hard, only to once again utilize the Reverse gear and exit to the Turnpike entrance. The NJ Turnpike was then followed for several miles, eventually leading us south to exit 16W and onto Route 3 west.

It was during this period of travel that we came upon a vehicle clearly designed to amuse and entertain passengers of other vehices...a car with small LCD screens installed in several locations, namely the front visors and in the center console. These LCDs were hooked up to a DVD player, and following a good deal of signaling by Jay and Krup (I was on the wrong side of the vehicle for this) the driver of that car began playing a movie, identified as either 'definitely Bad Boys 1' or 'maybe it's Bad Boys 2'. In any case, we instructed Jeremy to keep his car slightly behind the entertainment-mobile, so that we could partake. To make a long story short, we found the Parkway, saw SARS (a Sears warehouse where the 'E' on the sign was out), got on the NY Thruway, ended up at the Palisades Mall, over the Tappan Zee bridge, and into Tarrytown, where we stopped at a 7-11 to stock up on food for the trip. A short while later we were at the home of Mr. Moiron, a small yet cozy residence on a small street in the town of Sleepy Hollow (yes, that Sleepy Hollow, for those who don't realize *cough*Jeremy*cough*).

After admiring the master craftsmanship of Jay's father, we 'borrowed' a 12-pack of Coke and piled in to Jay's Honda and the trip began anew. Following an unsuccessful attempt to find an open gas station in the area, we began heading north on the Saw Mill Parkway. A decidedly unremarkable road at night, its hideousness would soon be revealed on the return trip.

From the SMP, we exited onto northbound Interstate 684, which then exited onto eastbound Interstate 84. After spending far too much time traversing Connecticut (which, despite Jeremy's claims, is NOT 500 miles long), we came up to Interstate 90, the Massachusetts Turnpike. This renewed the vigor we felt at beginning the trip, as it meant our destination was close at hand. Less than an hour later, after enduring a brief but non-noteworthy snowfall, we arrived in Boston.

A first look at Boston is amazing. The area we entered consisted almost entirely of old brownstones, even as part of the campuses of the colleges we passed. The architecture of the city is amazing; the street planning, however, is not. None of the highways signs in Boston have any meaning anymore, since nearly every road and highway entrance is diverted to somewhere else because of the massive amount of construction taking place. Needless to say, Boston would be confusing enough even with a map or directions, neither of which we were in possession of.

After driving around for nearly 45 minutes, the decision was made to just park the car in a garage near the Quincy Market, a place held in high regard by both Krup and an anonymous driver who we questioned as to dining establishments. Quincy Market itself is an old building stuck inside a new one, likely designed to protect the old building from the elements. Inside are a number of vendors and food-court style food retailers. Despite the time being 9am, the local 'Boston Chowda Co' was open for business, fortunate for us because we were seeking some authentic New England clam 'chowda'. And let me tell you, it was the best damn clam chowder I've ever had.

But the hour grew late; Jeremy's need to return to Stevens by 3pm meant we had to leave. So without spending any more time, we got back in Jay's car and sought the entrance to I-90 south. With a newfound crappy brochure map in hand, I directed Jay through the sprawling streets of Boston, and in a matter of minutes we were out past the Boston city limits. From here, there is little else about which to write. We returned at approximately 3:30pm, bring our 4-state venture for soup to a close after 12 hours.