All I heard about Boston is the streets are wicked narrow, guy. People were like "you're driving THAT in Boston?! Good luck." They obviously have lack of faith in my super sweet RV driving skills. I mean, I can thread the needle with that bad boy. Before I rolled into town, I chatted with Butters and Ben, of One Shot Couriers. They gave me directions to Winthrop Square, the messenger hangout, and I found illegal parking right away. They assured me that no one messes with them and it was a safe spot, which it was. I busted out some warm Pittsburgh beer, dispersed it amongst the couriers, and we became fast friends. I am pretty sure having Palmer there had something to do with it because, from what I can tell, Boston messengers LOVE dogs. Like LOVE love them. I could tell I was in the right place. We hung out in Winthrop Square for a few hours until we got a call that a parking spot opened up right in front of the legendary Edinboro house. This place has been passed from messenger to messenger for the last 20 years.
First off, Boston was hot.... painfully hot and the Edinboro spot is Chinatown next to a restaurant that likes to dump what looked like kelp on the sidewalk and throw out fish right beside their door. It smelled similar to raw sewage and didn't fluctuate in intensity the entire time I was there. So... that was a treat. Inside it was dark and hot. Now, I know I am not painting a pretty picture, but those are the facts, Jack. Even though the heat was stupid hot, the boys were super cool. They made me feel like one of the family, again I think Palmer had something to do with that. I mean, I am pretty awesome, but I'm no Basset Hound. You know? As you are looking at the pictures above you may ask yourself, "self, what's that dude doing perched on the window sill with all of those water balloons?" I'm glad you asked. They have a nasty junkie problem in the alley. They showed me pictures of dudes shooting up, in mid day, in plain sight, just standing in the middle of the alley not even trying to cover up the fact they are, in fact, shooting heroin. So, to rid the problem they blast junkies with water balloons. Mean? Sure, but their logic is maybe word will get around that if you try to shoot up in that alley, you're gonna get a balloon, and hopefully they'll find a new alley. Does it work? Only time will tell.
Julian, Palmer, and I decided to brave the heat and go see the sights. I think Palmer was trying to pull a fast one on me because she told me she wanted to take me to her favorite park in Boston. I've had her since she was eight weeks old and I have never been to Boston, so I don't know what the hell she was talking about. The heat was obviously getting to her so we went to her "favorite" park so she could cool off in the grass. When she was no longer panting her face off we headed back to Edinboro. We decided to hang out inside during the day and go out at night so we could beat the heat. Palmer found a spot on the couch and didn't move the rest of the day. We went out by the water front where Jimbo ran around in his underwear and Mike lit off M-80s. Yeah... we were those people. I hid my face and cringed waiting for Mike to throw another explosive near a group of people and usually that group was us. I spook like a horse so I was pleased when he ran out.
On the 4th of July we went on a ride and met up with some of Ben's friends he's known since high school to sit in the park and watch people get progressively wasted. Something about America's birthday brings out the daytime Drunky Brewsters and we got an eyeful at the park. No, both eyes full. It was what the kids are calling a "shit show". When night came everyone said we were going to the bridge and when we got there I saw that the bridge was slotted like in "Stand By Me". One wrong step and I would fall through. My night vision is pretty terrible so trying to walk on this thing with a bunch of other people who had been drinking in the heat all day, well..... it freaked me out. Yes, I am scared of fireworks and falling to my death off of a bridge. Now you know a little more about me. Also, my favorite color is green. On the ride back to Edinboro, Ben found a Hot Wheels type bike in the middle a busy street, so he did what any reasonable person would do.... strap it to his back, bring it back to his place, and played on it.
On the 6th the boys and I headed over to Superb Bicycles for a Collection Session for the Urban Cycling Hall of Fame. From 7-10 people filtered in bringing with them their stories and their artifacts ranging from Tshirts to surgical hardware.
Since the heat had been rocking our faces off and the guys have been so hospitable, I decided to take the group out to the lake so they could go swimming. Palmer claimed she was Michael Phelps' second cousin and could show us a thing or two about swimming. I'm pretty sure dogs and humans can't be cousins. I think the heat was really getting to her so we threw her in the lake to cool off. I left my swimming suit at home and this wasn't the kind of place where you can strip down and go skinny dipping, so I watched with longing eyes. About 20 minutes after everyone jumped in, they called everyone out of the water because there was a storm a-comin'. We drove all the way out there to have some fun so we weren't going to let a storm spoil our fun. I brought a frisbee so right there in the parking lot we had some good, clean, American fun.
After I dropped everyone off back at Edinboro, I said my goodbyes to everyone, and hit the open road. Boston was hot, hot, hot, but I was in great company and we all suffered together, bringing us closer together. You're awesome Edinboro... don't go changing.