Given that it was the 100th anniversary of Boston’s Fenway Park this year, we decided it would be in good taste to swing by and pay our respects to the old girl. We saw the play of three Red Sox regulars who, little did we know, would be back in L.A. before we were. The new guys gobbled up more than 100 million bucks for the exchange; for our trip we got the Visa Card bill.
Boston was charming, as we’ve come to expect. The Commons was green and filled with people relishing skies of blue. Joe’s American Bar & Grill was open to the night air on Wednesday, and lunch at Sam La Grassa’s was a beaut.
But here’s what to avoid on your first or next trip to the Massachusetts Bay Colony…
Do not make a side trip to Provincetown, by land or by sea. For they on that crummy shore can only offer gag-inducing restaurants and little else that humans would want to be a part of. We opted to go over by land, which bled about three hours from our lives, but of course, we had been warned by the hotel concierge. Still, the first hour was not all that bad by the time we figured out how to get the rental car out of second gear (imagine doing 40 mph on the expressway). Route 6A took us inland and through some classic New England towns, but as we moved back onto the main road the traffic picked up, and it was a struggle to get to the far end of Cape Cod.
Downtown Provincetown. Or what you get when you decide to combine parking lots, three gas stations and small hashhouses. The only adjective that really applies is awful, made worse by the fact that Kris and I had both worked up an appetite.
Enter the Governor Bradford restaurant, which features a live band nightly. It’s possible a band might have helped while we were there. I had a thing called lobster fettuccine, which I think included pieces of the beast’s shells. Kris braved a salad. All told, forty-plus bucks. We did not get sick until later in the afternoon (It’s likely that the massive seagull shit that had hit the parked car while we were roaming the delights of Provincetown contributed.).
Second, avoid Boston’s Chinatown, or at the very least do not eat there. Being difficult to deter, we gave it a try anyhow on Thursday.
It’s been said that even though you enjoy Chinese food, do not, under any circumstances, find yourself in a Chinese kitchen. We heeded that advice (not that we had been invited), but watching the off-duty help devour tons of God-knows-what in the back of the room threatened my appetite in a hurry.
Then too, our waitress spoke not a word of English. Now I don’t want to sound like one of those guys yipping about making English our official language, but it really is helpful if you can order a meal with some expectation of what will eventually end up in front of you. I had some success by pointing to the guys in the back of the room, then nodding vigorously as the waitress said something that sounded like “yeah.” (I’m not beyond taking chances.) And wouldn’t you know it, my entre did bear a resemblance to the noodles being consumed in the back. Kris had an item that looked like oblong ravioli, minus the marinara sauce. It was 30 bucks for taking a chance on stuff that had no name.
Then again, the trip overall was a positive. One small feature: In the Commons we watched a couple of minutes of a softball game between teams of grown men which begged the question — don’t these guys have jobs? Plus, one of guys who was not happy about having his picture taken and had threatened me for doing so, did not take a swing at me. My Nikon and I were happy about that.