Unplanned Sunday

Why should today be any different? Other than the tickets for the game yesterday, not a lot in the way of detailed planning has gone into this trip so far.

Harvard May Fair

Not so many photos from today, but you can see some of them on Flickr.

As ever, I’ll fill you in here….

After last night’s entertainment it was never going to be an early start and given it’s a Sunday, that was no problem. I rose around 8.30 and we went down to breakfast. The waiter from yesterday offered an apology for his part in the contretemps, passing the blame onto the front desk, and invited us to have as much breakfast as we wanted today. I took him at this word – although as it’s a buffet, er ….!?

Once we had our fill, I left Nick to sort his stuff out back in the room and sat in the Starbucks within the hotel to compose yesterday’s blog. That all taken care of we walked out to the Silverline at 11:30. Pretty much by default, on the grounds that it’s the only area we’ve yet to visit, we were heading for Harvard. Given that nothing normally comes to life in the US before noon on a Sunday were both pretty taken aback to find Harvard Square a hive of activity. Most of the roads in the area were closed for a massive street market – “Mayfair”. There was plenty to look at with a wide variety of stalls; everything from homemade crafts, jewellery, clothes, all sorts of food, lots of charities. There were also several local bar bands playing at various places around the area. They were all trying very hard.

Band playing in Harvard Square

Overall, and I don’t mean to be unkind, but I though there was a definite hint of hippiness to the event. Get your henna tattoos here…. Sign up for Vegan Awareness…  Some sort of demonstration involving two girls dressed as angels… Nothing wrong with any of that, if that’s your thing, but I hope I convey a flavour of what was going on.

It was a lovely sunny day but very breezy, which was keeping the temperature in low teens and causing all sorts of problems for some of the stall holders. The crowds were  reasonably light when we arrived but as more & more tourists arrived (i.e like us!) it all got very crowded. I did in fact reach into my wallet at the event, purchasing some licensed Harvard gear at knock-down prices specially for the event (and a maybe not so licensed Red Sox T shirt!).

Among all the street market activity, the ‘normal’ shops were open but some (like the Harvard apparel shop still trying to sell stuff at full price!) weren’t that busy. I had an enjoyable wander around the famous Coop, a huge bookstore, and I noted with sadness that the former Tower Records is now a Verizon Wireless shop. The indignity!

The former Tower Records shop

After a couple of hours there, each following out own path, we regrouped and headed back on the Red Line to Andrew Square. There we walked the half-mile or so to the South Bay Center. Even though tomorrow will be the main shopping day, mainly because of the 6.25% sales tax in Massachusetts, Nick considered this a worthwhile exercise to compare prices. Also, there’s no sales tax here on clothing. The large Target superstore was our, er, target, but we also spent a bit of time in Best Buy. There I was engaged in conversation by one of the sales associates but as soon as he realised I was a Brit he forgot to try and sell me anything, instead seeking tourist advice for visiting the UK. One of his several questions was; “Is soccer violence as bad as the media portray?”

South Bay Center

Across at Target I found a bargain in the form of a $5.98 long sleeved T shirt. The colour was a tiny bit naff, but I’ll wear it with pride ‘cos it’s a bargain. We took coffee in the SBs inside Target to plan our next move. That turned out to be a walk back to Andrew T station and out on the Green Line to the top end of Boylston Street. The fourth game in the Red Sox series against Houston was underway and we were following progress through the miracle of wireless communication. The timing ended up being perfect as we arrived at the famous McGeevey’s bar as the game was still going on. Much later and it would be full of fans heading away from the game. We got a table and were able to watch Craig Kimbrell, the Red Sox closer, pitch the ninth innings for the Win. The result was 10-9 and while it sounds like it was an exciting game, it couldn’t have been anything ike as good as the game the day before 😉

[Incidentally, I heard later that the Red Sox averaged over 10 runs per game during this homestead. Only three other teams have done this on a homestead of seven or more games; the other being the Red Sox in something like 1960 and 2007!] 

McGreevy’s boast that they are “America’s First Sports Bar” citing their connection with Red Sox folklore and the “Royal Rooters”. I suspect that if this so, then they could quite probably extend that claim to  “… in the world”?

McGreevy's bar

Food was an alright burger for me and Nick had chicken, served for reasons which completely escaped me, with waffles and maple syrup.  Beer wise we each had a Yuengling beer at Nick’s mate’s recommendation – it was just $4 …  which was, er, noticeable! I followed it up with a Sam Adams Summer Ale which I’d be lying if I said was appreciably better and Nick went back to his go-to beer of BudLight.

Back via Star Market at Prudential for supplies, then the now very familiar Green -> Red -> Silver line route back to the hotel just in time to not have to regret the lack of a coat.

Room view

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