Greetings from the cold, windy, expensive, wet, crowded, and still somehow greatest city in the world, Boston. I’m actually sitting in a living room now in Natick. The last time I was in this town for more than an hour was 28 years ago. I don’t remember a whole lot about Natick from back then, though I do have plenty of isolated memories. Few cities prove the tired “you can take the boy out of [insert place here]…” cliche better than Boston. Even at a distance for most of my life, it’s always meant a lot to me. I’ll never forget, for example, the time my friend Dan told me how much the city changes after one turns 21. I keep learning a lot from Boston to this day. This goes for both the insanely layered dance of urban infrastructure and the city’s goddamn-tumultuous twentieth century, in addition to comedy. In other words, I’ll get to comedy in a second, but if you want to remind yourself how wonderful life can be, live in a city stricken of trains for nearly two years and then pay a visit to the MBTA. Also, make sure to hit up the West End Museum if you have a chance. They shine a light on a pocket of local history that makes you wonder how they even did what they did. Sure, Knoxville crippled itself worse than most cities during the atrocity that was Urban Renewal, but the extent of what Boston got away with for a city of its size and influence is staggering.
This may be a comedy blog, but jokes and stuff don’t exist in a vacuum. Open mics and small-venue shows are easily the best way to get to really know a city (more on that in a future post when I’m not fighting to stay awake), but take some time to dig into your city’s history. Also, while we’re on the subject, if you work in a downtown area, get acquainted with the neighborhood. Learn where the main utilities, coffee shops, restaurants, and streets all are, mainly so you don’t look like a dumbass when a tourist asks you for something fairly simple and you have no idea. This has been a PSA from somebody who’s asked many people in suits if there was a certain bank’s ATM anywhere nearby and gotten way too many “durrrrrr” responses.
Anyway, I’ve had a blast over the past few nights, stopping through a brand new open mic in Allston on Thursday night (Wonder Bar, 7pm), and doing a feature spot on The Gas, quite possibly one of Boston’s finest shows, last night. Thanks are in order to Owen Linders and Rob Crean, respectively, for the stage time and good times. Crean in particular has always been supportive of me in my visits here over the past few years, putting me on at his “NightCap” show at Improv Boston. Laughter production aside, it was excellent getting to see and perform with Emily Ruskowski (right) and Jason Saenz, a pair of old compatriots from the DC scene. Emily has been in Boston for a couple years now and is killing it. She closed the show with panache last night. Jason has been incredibly busy in New York for the past few years, and he led off the show in style before heading across town to open for some guy named Jim Norton. So, yeah.
By the way, one thing I’ve noticed and really appreciate about northern pubs? Coat racks by the bar. It makes it feel like a tighter community and it makes the club feel slightly more like home. I couldn’t think of a better place within this entry to mention that, but I do like that about some of the places I’ve visited since getting here earlier this week.
In case anybody is/can be in Cambridge tonight (Sunday 1/18), I’ll be appearing on Dana Bein’s People’s Comedy show at Improv Boston at 9pm. Come on out! It would be as great to see you as it has been to see Boston in general over these past few days. That last part almost makes sense. God I’m tired.