Moment of awesome
Boston! Where to start? I could have delved into the city’s history and given a detailed description of how historical events in this corner of America have shaped the nation. From Paul Revere’s ride, to the Boston Tea Party, to the the battle on Bunker Hill – I could have written an entry for each of these events separately. However, a quick Wikipedia search would have rendered the same result and we would miss out on the city’s current appeal.
However, to completely forego any form of history in this city would be blasphemy! This week I stayed with former teammates I had met in Berlin at a Frisbee tournament. I hadn’t talked to them in a few years, but the moment I walked in the door I felt like I talked to them last week. We baked pizzas, had some beers, and just had a brawl. After dinner, my friend showed her favorite item in the house: her boyfriend’s grandmother’s old typewriter! She mentioned it had been refurbished at a local craft market a few months ago and has given joy to house guests ever since. I jumped on the opportunity to write a few letters to loved ones. IT WAS AWESOME!
What else did I do this week? Read More To Find Out About The Title Of This Entry
After spending some time on Cape Cod I felt I needed more social interaction in the city. The bus drive there is pretty boring with the bus driver’s announcements coming closest to any sort of thrill:
Boston has a special place in my heart. The first two times I came to the US (at age 15 and 16) I flew into Boston. However, I never really went into the city. Now I had the opportunity to get to know the city and its people. Making this all the more fun, was the fact that a number of former teammates live in the city. After having spent some time on the road the past few weeks, nothing is more comforting than spending time with people I know very well. First I met my friend from SF and her sister last Friday. The first thing they told me as we were walking down the streets around Harvard Square is that another friend from Amsterdam is in the city and was joining for dinner. We went from hanging out with 3 people initially, to having a full dinner table!
My next stop was at Harvard Business School, where a good friend is currently pursuing his MBA. He is probably the busiest person I know at the moment, but nevertheless he made time to hang out. Although, or maybe because, we do not talk very frequently our conversations are always deep and profound. We point out each other’s strengths and weaknesses in a very honest and direct manner. As a result, he personifies a source of critical feedback I always take to heart. This time the takeaway concerned communication. He said he appreciates that I asked the ‘real questions’, but could work on the way to get there – I guess I tend to be a bit direct sometimes.
<img class="size-medium wp-image-374 alignright" src="https://i1.wp.com/www.savingonlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/9-Beaconstreet-TedX.png?resize=277%2C300" alt="9 Beaconstreet TedX" srcset="https://i1.wp.com/www.savingonlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/9-Beaconstreet-TedX.png?resize=277%2C300 277w, https://i1 best weight loss pills for women.wp.com/www.savingonlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/9-Beaconstreet-TedX.png?resize=768%2C831 768w, https://i1.wp.com/www.savingonlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/9-Beaconstreet-TedX.png?resize=947%2C1024 947w, https://i1.wp.com/www.savingonlife.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/9-Beaconstreet-TedX.png?w=1040 1040w” sizes=”(max-width: 277px) 100vw, 277px” data-recalc-dims=”1″ />After spending Football Sunday with an old friend I stayed with a friend in Roxbury, south Boston. He is an absolutely awesome guy who never gets worked up about anything. I have never met anyone as easy-going as him. He embodies inner calm and self-confidence on a level I have yet to see in someone else. Besides feeding me at the smoked salmon stand at the Boston Public Market (where he works), he was so friendly as to lend me his bike for the week. He knows the way to my heart! In my experience, the best way to get to know a city is by bike. I took this picture in the morning of a 6-hour bike ride through the city. I rode along the Charles River recording the beautiful views of the city, visited the Boston Public Market, and went to my new favorite coffee place – Ogawa Coffee. This picture captures my enthusiasm for the day ahead.
On Wednesday, I moved to the yuppy part of town – Somerville. Somerville is home to the Artisan’s Asylum, a non-profit community fabrication site where people share tools and ideas. It is a representative reflection of the spirit in this part of the Boston area. A lot of young professionals live in this area and I can see why. There is a wide variety in cool local bars, and there are numerous parks you can go to for a hike. I stayed with an old friend who had just given birth to her daughter. For the time being, her sister was staying in Boston as well (the dad was traveling for work). The three of us decided to go for a hike and as we pulled up a map of the area, my little eye caught sight of ‘Walden Pond’. This pond is the setting to an American classic – Walden, written by Henry David Thoreau. Thoreau lived by himself in a simple hut in the woods for 2,5 years. He wrote his account of his time there and the wisdom he gathered in his book. I took the opportunity to see if I could make a bad decision turn into a good story. Halfway through our hike, I decided to dip in for a short, yet refreshing swim.
Staying in Somerville, I couldn’t help but take a picture as a yuppie dad 🙂
The last experience I’d like to share is the TedX YouthBeaconstreet event I visited Saturday morning. Last Monday, I ran into a woman at a coffeeshop who was speaking at the TedX. By coincidence, we ran into each other again at a park on Friday where she asked if she could practice her speech on me. She convinced me to go to the event and told me I wouldn’t be disappointed. She was right! Each talk was as inspiring as the next. The morning started with two Japanese girls play a traditional snare instrument, followed by a 13-year old boy who was a freestyle skier trying to make it to the Olympics. The story that stuck with me the most though, was that of a South Sudanese refugee who walked from his native home to Kenya fleeing from the rebels during the war. He sought political asylum in the US and has since started building water wells in South Sudan. It was a very personal account of perseverance and determination.
Favorite landscape picture
Although I spent the majority of my time in the city this week, I did go for a hike at Walden Pond, 30 minutes outside the city. The weather was beautiful! So much so that I decided to take a dip and see if I could experience the spirit of Thoreau. Unfortunately, the water was a bit too cold to be think of Thoreau, but in the spirit of “bad decisions make for good stories” I feel like I still got something out of the experience. And side perk: a clear sunny day in fall is never a bad sight in this area!
As you know from me by now, I love the time lapse videos. This week I took two: one of the sunset over the Charles river, and one of my bike ride along that same river.
1 – Sunset over the Charles River – John W. Weeks Bridge (11 sec.). Note: I didn’t hire the couple to start making out on the bridge halfway through the clip.
2 – Bike ride along the Charles River
What’s a better dinner than pizza? You guessed it: homemade pizza! Wednesday night we had a pizza dinner at my friend’s house. The great thing about homemade pizzas is not only the satisfaction you get from making your own food, but you can vary as much as you want. The mouth-watering example on the left has feta, mushroom, and mozzarella (in case of doubt, add more cheese). Sausage with feta and onion was another favorite! Making pizza is easier than you might think and taking it to lunch the next day is the best!
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
– Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862), author of ‘Walden’. Thoreau was an essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, historian, and pencil maker. He is best known for his book ‘Walden’, an account of his 2,5 year stay at Walden Pond in Lexington, 30 minutes outside Boston. Walden is a personal account of simple living in natural surroundings filled with wisdom such as the above quote. It’s well worth a read! During our hike at Walden pond we noticed the quote on the right on a sign next to where Thoreau had his hut (see picture).
Favorite gadget / book / app / life hack
My suggestion for this week is Rolf Potts’ “Vagabonding: An uncommon guide to the art of long-term world travel”. For being such a short read (I listened to the 4h audiobook version in one afternoon) it has a lot of insight and practical tips for world travel. More than just providing straightforward tips and tricks, it mostly describes the overall attitude and mentality required for travel. In a nutshell: it’s about deliberately exploring the world and ways to fully experience the rich travel memories you will make during your trip. I’ve read the book before I left and once again last week. It keeps providing new insights and I think that even when I go back to ‘normal life’, I will continue to apply Potts’ philosophy.