Posts Tagged ‘Boston’

Saevire in Machina

Posted: November 23, 2019 in Aviation, Life
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I haven’t posted anything in a while, and just recently I was reminded of some thoughts I shared regarding the photo above. So permit me a moment of your time to share a short story about love, loss, joy, pain and and sometimes having to wait around a while.

“Uh, it’s a bridge, Matt.”

That is true. My relationship with this bridge goes back nearly a decade and is full of the kind of complicated emotions that run deep. While it is a bridge, it’s not just any bridge. What you’re looking at is the infamous Chelsea Street Bridge. On one side of the bridge is Boston Logan Airport, and on the other is Massport Parking where working crews and airport employees must park before reporting for work. The side you’re on when this motherfucker goes up can very well determine the outcome of your day. Many a crew and airport employee have been stranded for up to an hour waiting on various types and tonnage of shipping traffic to pass underneath, making those poor souls late for their duty assignments. Due to its completely unpredictable nature, never has one piece of machinery so directly determined the fortunes of so many.

They say no one has ever beaten the Chelsea Street Bridge. And they’re right. On this day, completely by chance, I was on the airport side of the bridge when I happened upon it raised completely with slow moving traffic passing below. With traffic stacked up, no end in sight and a report time to make, I made a split second decision to divert to short term parking. I made it to work on time, but that son of a bitch bridge cost me $70.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the stranded, despondent, unfortunate souls on the other side, waiting not so patiently on this pain in the ass bridge to come down, so they can report for duty to faithfully serve the traveling public. Theirs is the untold story of despair so often overlooked. We should never forget their bravery, and determination… or mostly that they need their jobs badly enough to sit around and wait and not just go home because “f this bridge.” Sometimes you have to wait kind of a while.

Stay strong, weary employees. Stay strong.

The Rajun Cajun

Posted: June 9, 2013 in Life
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It was the stuff of legends. It was a staple. It was always the go to place when we were looking for a night out with friends away from the tedium of our every day lives. It was, The Dixie Kitchen.

I don’t remember who found it. I suspect it was Chris and Mike. They were (and I’m sure still are) brothers, and their house was usually the rally point of our gatherings. This was usually because they always seem to know where the good food was, and also because they had a car. In the early days, this made them indispensable. I have a very dim memory of my first visit with them to The Dixie, and Chris trying to convince me to try the alligator tail. I was understandably skeptical at first, but soon learned the magnificent feast alligator turned out to be.

The menu was traditional, yet exceptional Cajun cuisine. It was never easy to choose between the alligator tail, fried crawfish, gumbo, red beans and rice, étouffée, po’ boys or jambalaya. They were all fantastic. I thought I had sampled the whole menu until, as if by Divine Providence, I discovered the blackened delta catfish. Holy crap. So hot that it brought a tear to the eye, the catfish quickly established itself at the top of my list of favorites. The truth was, there simply wasnt a bad dish on the menu. Of course, no meal at The Dixie was complete without pie. Chocolate. Peanutbutter. Pie. I’m pretty sure that speaks for itself.

As good as the food was, I think it was the comradeship and promise of adventure that drew us there. As a result, The Dixie soon became a constant amongst our circle of friends and the center of many of our Boston based misadventures. Since we were scattered through several different towns, it was easy to either meet up at a central location, usually Alewife, or directly in the city. As a kid from the suburbs just over driving age, I found the Back Bay exhilarating. The Dixie was just a few blocks down from the Berklee School of Music, directly across the street from Daddy’s Junky Music, a stones throw from Harvard Square and of course, Fenway. For a bunch of kids into music, movies and food, it was holy ground. Even when the group inevitably split up and moved on to college, no holiday break, or vacation reunion was complete without a trip to the corner of Mass Ave and St. Germaine. It was always a warm familiar place we could go to share stories of our exploits, discuss the latest movie we wanted to see, or just catch up.

And then, without warning, The Dixie Kitchen closed. Wait, what? Closed? The Dixie can’t….. Close. I felt a little like Luke at the end of Episode V learning that Darth Vader really was my father.

No… It’s not true… That’s impossible!!

I remember that night well. I was home for a few days between trips at my new job, and was taking a couple friends who had never been before. I didn’t even bother to check. Why would I? The Dixie couldn’t close. But close it did. I stood there on Mass Ave, staring in the windows at what was once hallowed ground, but had now become a dark, empty storefront. I was shocked. My companions, not quite understanding my distress, didn’t seem all that concerned. “Uh dude, we can just go someplace else.” “Sure,” I said, “Lets go.” The Dixie was closed. What was the world coming to?

I was surprisingly saddened by the closing of this one small restaurant in a city of hundreds, if not thousands. It wasnt just the food (although I haven’t had alligator since, and even though Zatarans is good, it’s just not the same). It was the end of an era. It was turning the page on a chapter of my life I looked on quite fondly. I won’t say it was the glue that held our little group together, because as it turns out, even through moving, marriages, children and life, our friendships have mostly all transcended the life of The Dixie. While it wasnt the glue, it was certainly an important part of those years.

A few months ago (nearly a decade later), a good friend of mine was in town on a layover. I met him at his hotel for dinner and as we were walking down Mass Ave I stopped in front of where The Dixie used to be and told him about a once great Cajun restaurant that used to be there. “Sounds like a great place,” he said. “One of the best,” I replied. One of the best.