I used to stop at this joint just about every day when I lived and worked in Boston. I’d catch the commuter train into North Station, pick up a few slices at Half-Time and then catch the Orange line to the office. This is the best morning pizza out there.
It’s a Massachusetts institution, known also to a handful of people in northern Connecticut, southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Papa Gino’s is a local pizza chain that makes one of the most distinctive pies on the market. It’s not great, but you’ll remember it for the rest of your life (which makes sense if you grew up on it). I was able to convince someone to bring a couple of slices down to New York when he took a trip up to Massachusetts. The video above shows how it went.
It’s a bit embarrassing, looking back. I studied philosophy and history in school, read like an animal and wrote every chance I could. I was focused on thought and expression, but the role of art in all this never really occurred to me. My current interest in art grew out of a freelance assignment I had for a newsletter for financial advisors back in the summer of 2007. The article was short and dealt with investing in art. From there, I got my first art market story in Trader Monthly (RIP) – which was how I got into that magazine and which opened the door to my becoming a travel writer (I’ll get into that story some other time).
I now blog about art on Luxist more than cigars (with the latter being why Luxist hired me), and I’m really into it. I have an original hanging over my desk at day job and six paintings hanging in my apartment … with two more that I still need to pp on the walls. I was thinking about the extended version of how I got here, and my mind raced back to two college experiences. The first was more directly related to art, but the second was far more powerful (and I finally understand it).
Above ground, Stockholm reminds me of Boston, but beneath the surface, it is strictly New York. Now, you know I have a subway fetish, and Stockholm satisfied it. I took a ride on the public transportation today, and I was pretty impressed. There’s a nice mix of efficiency and design. This is probaby the most interesting subway system I’ve encountered.
I just saw on Silicon Alley Insider that the Boston Globe is laying off 42 people. A friend of mine from my (few) days at Ottaway Newspapers works for Boston.com, the newspaper’s website, at last I heard. I hope he still has a job. When I dug into the article on SAI, I was shocked at the numbers I saw. I had no idea that the Globe’s circulation had fallen into the shitter. I know that Boston is a fairly small market, but the Globe is its major paper (or was).
This distinction used to belong to the Delta Shuttle terminal at Logan Airport in Boston. But, Logan finally reopened A Terminal as the Delta spot, and it is quite nice. Now that the Delta Shuttle has received a face lift in Boston, it’s New York location wins top honors as nastiest terminal in the world. Marine Air (also known as Terminal A) services the Delta Shuttle to Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. I think there is another low-rent airline in there, but I can’t remember. Doesn’t matter. Marine Air Terminal is a fucking dump.
But, let’s not dwell on the negative. Unlike the old Boston digs for the Delta Shuttle, you don’t have to go through security to hit a bathroom. Coffee is freely available on weekday mornings (and tastes like shit– both counts true in the old Boston terminal), several free newspapers and magazines are offered. But, the closest thing to even fast food is a cafeteria-style sit-down place … outside the security checkpoint. Inside, there is some prepared fare, but I wouldn’t go near it. A regular-sized candy bar will set you back more than $2.
It really is a sad state of affairs.
I mean, just take a look at this insanity. You are supposed to navigate this maze in order to grab a taxi or find your towncar– both of which jockey with regular-people-cars who are suckered into dropping off or picking up. It’s insanity. I hate all airports, but this is just obscene. It’s like taking an airport and giving control to Greyhound. Disgraceful.
Helsinki is a cozy city of a few hundred thousand people. Skyscrapers are noticeably absent, and the people tend to be young. There is a bit of cobblestone, and there are cues that the culture has history. Also, people drive like retards and park on the sidewalk. Trolleys run through the middle of the street, mixed with traffic (though in Boston, they run alongside but segregated).
But, to the locals’ credit, they are unlike Bostonians. Everyone here has been incredibly pleasant, and they have gone out of their ways to make my experience here enjoyable.
Also, Helsinki does not have a larger cousin next door. Boston perpetually lives in the shadow of New York, truly making it a second city. There isn’t much outside Helsinki, so the inferiority complex is noticeably lacking. This is what Boston would be like if (a) it weren’t near New York and (b) if it weren’t inhabited by Bostonians.