July 5th, 2002


July 4th in Boston

So, (along with everyone else it seems,) I went to Boston yesterday for their Fourth of July celebration. I was pretty impressed with how large it was, and how well-planned it was, for the most part. (They've even got a website! - http://www.july4th.org/) Unfortunately, it was waaaaay too hot yesterday, especially to be in the sun all day. (We arrived in the area in front of the Hatch Shell around 10:30 AM. Concert was at 8 PM, fireworks at 10 PM.) We spent quite a bit of time in the one unoccupied bit of shade we could find, made several trips to the misting tents that Boston EMS was providing, and drank lots of liquids. Even so, I came close to really overheating. We ended up sitting next to a bunch of grad students from Harvard; they were fun, especially the guy who was juggling.

The concert was really excellent. I thought it started off slowly, but once it picked up the pace a little, I was content. The music was excellent; the Boston Pops is renowned as one of the top orchestras in the world, I think. It was disappointing that the concert ended only minutes before the fireworks, which left the entire 10,000-strong population of the "oval" (in front of the hatch shell) scrambling to find places with a relatively unobstructed view. Even once we got out of the trees lining the oval, our view was still partially blocked by the trees on the Cambridge side of the river. Also, because the few speakers in the hatch shell area were targeted at the oval, the music for the pyrotechnic display was not synchronized for us as it was for everyone else.

Ah well. It was still fun. My one souvenir of the day is the lovely sunburn I have on my back and shoulders. I find it ironic that I was with three pasty-faced CS geeks (no offense), at least two of whom burn really easily, and I was the member of our party who got the most burnt. It's probably because I forgot to keep putting on sunscreen, and I spent a lot of time in the sun because the dust in the shade kept irritating an open blister I had on my foot.

I had a lot of work waiting for me today when I was finally able to get around to it. Well, no wonder, everyone who's actually around right now was celebrating yesterday! (Thanks, deepbrain and bry, for holding down the fort.)

I'm glad the weather has cooled off. Hopefully, by tomorrow, my back will have healed enough for me to be able to wear a T-shirt.
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