Who: Lori & Heather
What: A 17-hour day
Where: Boston & Cambridge
When: August 10, 2016
Why: Fun
Sites Visited:
Good Will Hunting
    L Street Tavern
    Will's House
    Sean's House
    Bench
Cheers

This day was supposed to take place at the Wild Wild West. When my friend, Heather said she wanted to hang out and do something fun, I did painstaking research to find something that would be completely out of the ordinary and yet incredibly awesome. And when I found a theme park in New Jersey that recreated the wild life of cowboys and had mini golf and gift shops, I sent it to Heather, and she was all about it. 

Then we got closer to the date and Heather started sending texts like, "How about the Bronx Zoo?" or "What if we went to any museum in Manhattan? Like somehow she DIDN'T want to go to a place where a fake cowboy once got shot by a real gun during a supposed-to-be theatrical shootout and kids cried in horror.

So, Boston it was!! After every other possible attraction was suggested and scoffed at, we settled on the place where Heather could get a lobster roll and I could get a movie-themed road trip. Compromise at its finest. 

We left for our over 3-hour drive ‪at 7am‬, and worn and weary, we powered through our tiredness with endless discussions about the plans for our day. Fenway! Harvard! Seafood! Shopping! In 10 hours we'd be able to see every major part of Boston, and in the end be better people for it.

As long as I got to be an annoying person first.

(Good Will Hunting bar location)

Hello, bar a group of Oscar winners once stood in front of in the 90s!

When entering South Boston for the mandatory Good Will Hunting extravaganza, Heather mentioned to me that her husband had warned her about us hanging in the mean streets of Southie during our trip and wanted us to be careful. High crime! Scary people! DANGER!!

Heather's husband also said we couldn't do all of Boston in a day. So he tends to be wrong about a lot of things. While 1997 South Boston probably wasn't the greatest place to be. In 2016, the closest we were ever going to get to danger was tripping over some old lady's dog leash.

Chill, Billy. I got this.

The L St. Tavern, the location of a lot of inside filming I wasn't able to see because it's a bar and we were there ‪at 10am‬, was the local hangout where genius Will and his blue color friends had many drunken nights and adventures. On many occasions they would then walk out of the bar and hang out on the street

with Minnie driver..

(Good Will Hunting film location)

and a brand-new used car...

(Good Will Hunting film location)

In the 20 years since the movie debuted, this street seems to have become the place where brown buildings turned beige and beige buildings turned brown but everything else stayed relatively the same. (Also where I made useless observations about architecture.)


(Good Will Hunting film location)

Congratulations to the I'm sure very happy residents on the successful renovation of their home. I just think it would have been the right thing to do if they threw some garbage or broken chairs on their porch to commemorate Matt and Ben's contribution to cinema. They did win an Oscar for Christ's sake.

It was at this very location where the skies opened up and the rain decided to begin its attack on my up-until-this -point very straightened hair. At first, I was not a happy camper about this inconvenience, but then this photo occurred:

(Good Will Hunting film location)

Me wearing a Fraggle Rock T-shirt, rockin' a hoodie, carrying a cat umbrella in front of a movie location is really the only picture anyone ever needs to see if they ever want to learn more about this gal right here.


Hello, Tinder profile!! I am single and ready to MINGLE. 

Guys? Guys??


(Good Will Hunting film location)

As the rain came down in misty spurts and my hair frizzed in rapid succession, there was limited time for an exact analysis of each photo recreation, which explains the incorrect anglings of me and this green house that's now sided with what appears to be the sheddings of Harry Potter's pet owl.

(Good Will Hunting film location)

Seriously Boston, sometimes you can just leave well enough alone.

The front of Robin's house also turned out to be an almost impossible task seeing as the shot seemed to be taken at eye level while Matt and Robin stood at the top of the stairs, and Heather unfortunately had left her step ladder at home.


(Good Will Hunting film location)

We tried.


But with that, we had completed the South Boston portion of our tour and we were off to explore the regular hotspots of Boston without the pressures of my extensive assignments.

Hey there, Fenway!



For whatever reason, even though she thinks baseball is a boring sport and even though we couldn't go on the field or even see the inside,  Heather really wanted to stand on the street and look at this baseball stadium.

So that's what we did. We looked at it.

The inclement weather and incessant wind prevented us from getting a proper photo outside of the actual stadium, but here's one of us in front of a sign with one of those Red Sox dudes on it!


We then made our way to Cambridge, the home of Harvard and the Ivy League to watch people much smarter than us walking around in their natural habitat.

While there, I hoped to find this location from 1970's Love Story:



But then I got distracted and settled for this:


FYI, if any of you happen to find yourselves around Harvard Square and you walk by the World's Only Curious George store and get super excited to go nuts on novelty and buy a whole lot of monkeys, calm yourself down.


Its a regular toy store with just a shelf full of Curious George books.

I'm onto you, smart people...

For lunch, Heather wanted to eat at a food place she frequented during a high school summer vacation, so we stopped a Harvard tour guide and asked if he might know the place based on this description:

"It was in a building... and it had brick around it... and there were windows... and they had a lot of food."

We ended up eating at Starbucks.

Once Heather got her biscuit and I chowed down a chocolate croissant, we got back in the car, went back to Boston and started the walking portion of our 10-hour day.




In 1997 Robin Williams and Matt Damon sat on this bench by the pond to discuss the secrets of living a full life.

In 2014 I then sat on that same bench to discuss how my friend Kim's friend Danny could figure out how to take photos using the right camera angles.

I was pretty happy with the results at that time, and my ass had no reason to ever make contact with its wooden carpentry ever again.

Then Jimmy Kimmel posted this on his Instagram...


... and I had to get my ass back in gear.


If anyone would like to find this bench on their own, it's the one with this plaque on the corner below:


I don't know who Barbara is or why she felt the need to capitalize the P in "pups" like it's some sort of rock band, but sorry, Barb, I think you lost your claim to this bench a long time ago. You and your Pups can go *paws* (Damn it, Barbara, why couldn't I have written your plaque??!!) somewhere else.



For an hour the night before, I went through three seasons of cold opens and saved every single scene that happened to have been filmed on the street. Everyone takes photos in front of the sign when they go there. I've done it before and I would do it again:

(Cheers film location)

But what I really needed was this:

(Cheers film location)


And this:

(Cheers film location)


And this:

(Cheers film location)


And also this:

(Cheers film location)

And then I needed to buy a mug and a bag and steal a whole stack of Cheers fliers with maps on them. The cashier at the gift shop, I soon learned, was named Lori as well, so she did in fact know my name and Cheers lived up to its overused slogan.

And with that, it was off to the walking tour!! We had two hours to stroll the streets before the meter ran out and we were going to see and do it all.

I believe it was in the first five minutes when a lady stopped to let us pet her dogs (Barbara?) that we came to the realization that Boston is one of the friendliest cities on earth. I don't know if Bostonians are known for this or if we just happened to be very lucky, but if I could invite the whole city into my home for some sandwiches and a bag of pretzels, I would.

On Acorn Street, the most photographed Street in the United States, a man saw us looking at our maps and without any prompting gave us the directions we needed.


When I bought a water, the cashier apologized for the rainy weather we were having and became my bestie friend for at least twenty seconds.

Even I became nicer in Boston. When we passed the firehouse from The Real World Season 6, I said, No, Heather, I'm good. I don't need a photo in front of it. I already have one from years ago.



In between our astonishment over the kindness of strangers, we also made some time for American history. We passed a cemetery for revolutionary soldiers. We saw where Paul Revere was buried. We even saw the Omni Hotel where Heather said she stayed while in college (Heather has her own American history).

Then with four minutes to spare we got back to the car so we could get to Quincy Market for the conclusion of our day. Boston sure does have a lot of cemeteries, I pointed out as we drove past another one on the way. Oh, THAT'S the Omni I had stayed at! Heather said to me a few seconds later... before we both realized our destination was two minutes away from where we'd just walked.

That large stack of maps I stole from the Cheers bar? We probably should have used them.

But screw it. QUINCY MARKET!!!!!


Even without all the history and the film locations and the friendliest people in all the land, Quincy Market is enough reason to get in your car and drive 3 1/2 hours at the ass crack of dawn to experience. You want a bucket of Donald Trump hair and a Claw & Order T-shirt? You can have it. 


You want a pizza bagel and a churro on the side of a lobster roll and a basket of cookies with a plate of lasagna from every food establishment you will ever see in one place? You can do it. 



You want to sit on Red Auerbach's lap and look at Larry Bird's shoes? It's totally possible. 



You want to give a dollar to a person posing as a monk you..



Actually you can't do that. But that's the ONLY THING.

Quincy Market is also the home to what may be my favorite store in all the land, Newbury Comics. Only in New England, which is probably for the best because I still need to make rent, it sells every movie figurine, every TV poster, and every T-shirt no one over 15 should be wearing but of which I have 100. It's just a magical, magical place. 

On days when I have a lot of free time and I'm bored, I contemplate whether or not I should drive two hours to the closest store location just so I can browse the shelves and buy a T-shirt. But then I realize that I still have a sliver of sanity left and I don't.


So this Boston trip was a super big deal to me. A reunion two years in the making. 

Jay and Silent Bob dolls!



Children's book t-shirts!


A Bernie Sanders dog toy!



I ended up buying nothing, but Heather, my new convert got a sweatshirt and the cashier talked to her for 6 minutes about a customer he once had who cried after just breaking up with her boyfriend and he had to comfort her while ringing up her items. 

Stories and smiles. Stories and smiles. Boston, I heart you so much I don't even know what to do with myself. 

We wrapped up the evening at the food court of Quincy Market where Heather was able to get her lobster roll and I got a bread bowl of soup. Unfortunately, the place was so packed, all the tables were filled and there was no available space for us to sit down... until a family called us over and offered to share their table.  

Because of course they did. Because we were in Boston.

Somehow I don't think the cowboys would have been quite as nice. 



Thanks for the mem'ries, Massachusetts!!

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