The summer of 2005 was the first summer I spent away from home and I spent it living in Boston. Well, technically, we were in Allston (Rock City!), which is squished right up against Boston and the only reason you can really tell the difference is that you're surrounded by crappy student-infested apartments, rather than Boston University buildings and facilites.
When I wasn't working part-time at a retail photo store or part-time at BU's Office of Photo Services, I was hanging out with the hooligans I knew and had grown to love through our time together at The Daily Free Press ("The independent student newspaper at Boston University," as well you know). A small herd of these gentleman decided to rent a whole house at 20 Wadsworth, which was just down an alley and across a couple streets from the basement apartment I shared with my friend John Tozzi.
As the summer drew on, their place became known to many as T'Wads a magical land of grilling and poker and hookah (pictured; just fruit-flavored tobaccos, I assure you) and the natural disasters party and who could forget the epic 5:30 a.m. spontaneous bike ride in the wide-open streets of downtown Boston. We were young and carefree and full of ourselves and determined to make every night one for the ages. My absolute favorite parts of that revered summer, however, were the lazy afternoons with Nils Reid, fellow DFP photographer:
[ shot on 3200 in a room lit by one wimpy little bare bulb. Hooray, grain. ]
For the bulk of the summer, we stuck to a fairly basic schedule: We'd work in the morning (Nils was a bike messenger...for most of the summer, at least) and return to Allston Rock City in the afternoon. I'd change and walk over to T'Wads, where Nils and I would turn on the Red Sox games (and possibly the air conditioning), set up the hookah and settle into our assigned seats (he had the arm chair, I had the love seat), maybe crack open some beers and definitely watch some baseball.
Some days, we'd talk about work or about the future or laugh about the past. Some days, we'd just sit there in silence thinking about how cool it was that the Sox finally won the series so the whole city of Boston could just relax already. One day, Nils and I got off on a random--albeit creative--tangent and created a world we called "Beisbol Island," which was further defined with the help of our friend Bob Henne. I couldn't possibly explain the intricacies of this creation in one blog post, if ever, but I can tell you that Beisbol Island has its own special form of sign language and if you're one of the few people in this world who knows what I'm talking about, you're probably giggling (Bob, this means you). I only wish I had a photo that truly captured the essence of Beisbol Island.
Anyway, Nils and I hung out most of that summer, being terrifically lazy bums. Yet everyday around the sixth or seventh inning, it would happen, without fail. We'd both be in our respective vegetative states, lounging and staring, and the faint but discernible chimes of the neighborhood ice cream truck would suddenly ring out across the neighborhood. Nils and I would always look at each other wide-eyed, like kids, knowing that if we didn't act fast enough, the guy wouldn't stop at our corner. So we'd bolt up off the couches and go from zero to 60 looking for cash and sprinting out the door, down the block to get our ice cream cones. We'd then walk back, grinning like we found gold, settle back in our spots for the rest of the game and talk about what an awesome summer it was, here and on Beisbol Island.