Last night was the Q&A and signing for Patrick Rothfuss. He entertained us wildly with anecdotes and a few readings from the time he was an advice columnist (Google "The Guinea Pig Story" if you ever get a chance). We lucked out in having low numbers on our tickets, meaning we didn't have to wait long for our signing. I was going to talk to him about how the way he was able to secure a book contract (aka a contest) inspired me to do the same, but the lady in front of me stole my thunder (which totally drew out the elitist in me; "Oh, you write short stories here and there and are thinking about writing a novel? Bitch, I got 3.") so instead I smiled and got my books signed. We met up with a friend in town and enjoyed the rest of the night nerding out.
I used to go to Cambridge on a daily basis. My very first co-op was at a library in Harvard, and I spent every single lunch break walking around the area. My then-boyfriend (now-husband) moved from Somerville to Cambridge and spent a year living just down the street from Lechmere. My brother-in-law lived just outside of Central for a few years as well, and all of these events essentially happened in sequential order: when I stopped working at Harvard, my husband moved to Cambridge, when he moved out of Cambridge, my brother-in-law moved into Cambridge. Which meant there was about a 5-year span where I always had reason to be in that city. And, now that I've moved out and most casting calls are in Allston, Dorchester, or on Newbury Street, I am almost never in Cambridge.
The same way Brooklyn has a different feel than Manhattan, Cambridge has a completely different feel than Boston. They're the eclectic table of misfits next to the table of jocks, party kids, and preppy girls. And it might be because the city is home to both MIT and Harvard, but the atmosphere is a lot more "come one, come all." Get down with your bad self, whatever that self might be.
I miss it. I miss it terribly. I have this ongoing dream that I strike it absurdly rich somehow and I can just buy a ton of property in various places, including a condo in Boston (preferably on the waterfront, even though I hate the blue line). I miss dashing up the Porter Square steps and feeling my legs turn to jelly the second I hit streetside. I miss weaving through Harvard Square and meandering down Mass Ave until I hit the MIT campus. I love where I am in life, and I love our house in the mountains with its incredible views and coop of chickens, but still, I can't help but get a pang in my heart for a city I spent so much time in.