The Good City

Hiestand, Emily and Ande Zellman, editors. The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston. Boston: Beacon Press, 2004.

I read this book with bias because I love Boston. It is my favorite city when compared to New York, Denver or San Diego. Hands down, bar none. I love everything about Boston and I love it for everything it isn’t. In The Good City Emily Hiestand and Ande Zellman compile essays from fifteen different writers who have or had a connection with Beantown. Some writers returned to the city with a change of heart, like Susan Orlean. Other have never left and staunchly stand by the historic city. It shouldn’t be read like travel guide although, I admit, I jotted down notes for the next time I’m there: Isabella Stewart Gardiner’s Museum, the Christian Science Center, to name two.

Boston is the destination after a long journey of self discovery. It looks back on history and looks forward with robotics.

Reason read: Reading in honor of the Boston Marathon, which took place place yesterday, on April 15th.

Author fact: Technically, I should be writing a fact about all 15 essay contributors but I’ll suffice it to say Susan Orlean and John Hanson Mitchell are two authors I am reading again for the challenge.

Book trivia: Don’t think of this as a travel guide because it’s not. Think of it as a compilation of writers expressing their feelings about a city that moved them in one way or another.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the catchy chapter called “Boston: Beans, Bird and the Red Sox” (p).

Postscript. How awful. On the day I am supposed to post this Boston is recovering from a bombing attack. There are no words to describe what I feel right now. I do know this – Boston is a tough and gritty town. We WILL get through this.

Sarah’s Challenge

See Sarah Smile!

See Sarah Smile!

This is my friend Sarah. We started off as coworkers. Even though she has moved onto bigger and better things we have remained friends. She has a huge smile and an even bigger heart. Here’s the proof: she walking a full freakin’ marathon for charity – yup 26.2 miles in one day. Here’s her story:

You are a charity walking machine, but this is your biggest yet! What made you sign on?  

 Last year I walked the half marathon and I loved it. Even though i was sore for a few days afterwards. I asked my dad to participate with me this year and he really wanted us to walk the whole marathon. I knew I couldn’t get a better walking partner than my dad (who has RUN many marathons) so i agreed to walk the full 26.2 miles!

How are you training for it, besides one foot in front of the other?

My ideas for training started with a book, and a set schedule but I struggled to get into it. Yesterday I walked 6.2 miles, and i am feeling it. my plan is to walk at least twice during the week for 3 miles or more, and then do my long walks on the weekend. my long walks will be 10, 13, 18 and 21 miles. In September I will start to shorten the mileage to get ready for the event.

When and where does this HUGE walk take place?

This is the part that hooked me both last year and this year. The walk is the Boston Marathon route. I have watched my dad run this marathon so its an honor to be able to experience this with him. Especially since neither of us our in running condition to do the real marathon. This is the next best thing.

This is something I asked our friend Rebecca: most athletes I know have a ritual or lucky talisman – something that inspires them before the event. What’s yours?

The things that inspire me most at these events are the volunteers and the photos that remind of us we are participating. The marathon has a mile marker with a photo of a child who is battling cancer. Those kids are fighting for their life, all i have to do is keep walking.

Here’s another question I asked Rebecca: Are you walking in anyones honor or memory, and if so, what is his/her story?

i am not walking for one particular person but for the general cause. I am amazed at the courage of anyone that goes thru cancer. To be honest, I am scared of someone I love or myself having to go thru something like that. I admire the strength of those who have cancer, their loved ones, and the people in the medical field who try to beat the odds and get them through it.

I’m not trying to guilt anyone but if walking a marathon and asking for your help in donating can help the fight against cancer then it is the least I can do. It is what I’d hope someone would do for me or someone I loved.

Speaking of donations, how much $$ do you have to raise?
my dad and i need to raise $250 each.

How can people donate?
my website is

my dad’s site is

if you can donate that would be awesome. no amount is too small.

To learn more about you or the walk where can people go?

if you do not want to donate online, email me and we’ll figure something else out

my email is

And when is that walk again??

September 21st

Where I Go

Of course I will have to write something a bit more about this (how could I not?), but for now here’s this:

  1. Autumn Lullabye
  2. Man in the Wilderness
  3. The Letter
  4. Sonnet #73
  5. Life is Sweet
  6. Verdi Cries
  7. Butterfly
  8. Spring and Fall: To a young Child
  9. She-Devil
  10. Henry Darger
  11. This House is on Fire
  12. The End

For now, I am stunned into silence. More later.