Sunday, May 16, 2010

Boston – May 3rd

This weekend a water reservoir pipe broke in Weston which supplies water to Boston – culminating in a “boiled water order” for the entire city. What this meant practically for the intrepid tourist was that Dunkin Donuts did not serve coffee for two days, and otherwise one had to rely on bottled water. No big inconvenience, but it did occur to me that this was the first time in my 70 years in America that I had received warning that the water was not safe to drink.

In the morning I worked in Bates Hall at Boston Public Library on my book review due Thursday in San Francisco. This is the most beautiful place to read books I know of, and the BPL, which has a Venetian courtyard to read in when the weather is nice, incorporates the pleasures and responsibilities of literacy more than anywhere else I can think of.

Lunch followed at Durgin Park, and in the evening a great chamber music concert at Jordan Hall by the excellent Borromeo Quartet. They played pieces by Hugo Wolff and Gunther Schuller off laptops (Macs) mounted on music stands, which I had never seen before.

What made this trip especially rewarding was the pure joy of hearing good music inside Sanders Theatre, Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall, beautifully maintained architecture from a century or more past equipped with perfect acoustics, probably because no one built in those days with that in mind .

Back to San Francisco the following day, reading the book I was assigned to review on the airplane, after a perfect vacation.

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