May 22nd, 2011

Occasional luck with the camera

From left: Boston's only few hundred meters of separated bike paths are directly in front of Gehry's Stata Centre at MIT. The bike trail that takes you to, but not into, Washington airport. Clouds, cherry blossoms and titanium shingles. You can actually ride a bike up and through Le Corbusier's only building in the US, the Carpenter Centre, and the building is actually more delightful to experience at bike speed.  
From Left: the network of paths around Gehry's bandshell in Millennium Park Chicago is inviting to cyclists. Gehry's Stata Centre at MIT clusters bike parking around the glass foyer, to deter thieves, and even provides cyclists with this bike work stand! Whole Foods and Bikes. McDonalds Bicycle Centre Chicago, with Gehry's bandshell yonder there in the distance.

Both of these are of Washington bikestation. The spider grips holding the glass look like handlebars to my eye, oh and a little like those rod ends they use to steer box bikes. 

It's fun to stay at the YMCA

My glum mood lately has occasioned a little soul searching. Have I been living on too rich a diet of travel? Has it made me less smart, or reflexive? Have I forsaken the interior life for the anterior one? Is Dr. Behooving losing his mojo? 

Let's not say losing. I will get it back.

It is simply a case, my readers and confidants, of being assailed, by three solid weeks of unusual stimuli: Singapore, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Amsterdam again to pick up a bike, riding to Rotterdam via the midlands, Portland, Chicago, New York and then Boston. Boston, I'm afraid, was the limit. Cold and wet. My accommodation booking like a Tim Tam: I was sure I had it there somewhere. After the kid gloves treatment given me by drivers in New York, who really do give cyclists the road so much of the time, I was appalled by drivers' attitudes here. Honking at cyclists. Accelerating when they see pedestrians waiting at crossings. Ghastly beasts all of them.
Then I was thrust into duties at Harvard and this place, MIT (short for "mitten", I think). It has taken all of my strength just to stay handsome! Maintaining my resolve has been more of a challenge. I take solace that right now, that I am in the city where they brew Sam Adams beer, and that it costs less than 10 bucks for a six pack, including seasonal varieties like blackberry wheat beer. Delicious. Staying in the YMCA is a source for good cheer sometimes as well. Like when the showers on my floor were lukewarm, so I took my shower in the gym in the basement. Imagine the policeman from the village people, ten of him, all buffed from their workouts, occupying the same common shower as white boy with his cyclists' arms here, attending to dags and holding back giggles. For you see, I had that confounded song in my head:  "Young man, there's no need to feel down, YOU CAN HANG OUT WITH ALL THE BOYS!" Ah, the Greater Boston YMCA. Don't kill yourself before you have tried it. 

p.s. I should mention as well, I've been putting in 500 word days with other writing, alas just not for my blog. Carry on, carry on.