I arrived in town via Bolt Bus on Saturday, 12/1 – a 4.5 hour and $17 trip from Newark, NJ, to Boston South St. Station. I rented a room via Airbnb, only a couple of blocks from the conference hotel, from a nice fellow with an adorable spaniel named Myla – such a doll! This was my second time using Airbnb to find a room instead of getting a hotel. It’s great, because it’s cheaper and you usually get to stay with folks who know the area well and can recommend all the good places to go to. I found myself eating a fantastic dinner in a jazz club 10 minutes away on foot.
Saturday was my day to explore, as the conference was Monday and Tuesday. I had a conference call at 3pm, so I got up early to take the subway to the harbor and see the New England Aquarium. My host’s nephew told me I could pet the stingrays there, and so I was sold. I saw my first 3D movie there and didn’t get a headache.
I had just enough time to head to the MIT Science Museum, which was small but very cool. Lots of robots and holograms.
It was cool to check out the guts of Kismet, one of the most famous robots in the world. It was built during the 90s to mimic social cues by changing its facial expression, based on people who are interacting with it.
After getting back to get some work done, I went back out to get a manicure and dinner. I hung out with a kidney doctor from Holland and IT guy from DC. Way too much was spoken about politics and religion. I focused on my beer and portabella burger.
Many folks are surprised to learn that I do not get to interact with other developers and engineers. At work, I’m surrounded mostly by students and faculty. In freelance, I work mainly with designers and non-technical clients. This is why I jump at the chance to go on these types of trips.
All in all, Boston was a fantastic trip of exploration and code. As 2013 comes to an end, I’m happy with how I’ve spent the last 5 months of being on my own after the breakup and learning to step out of my comfort zone to do new and exciting things. I’m happy to have a couple of weeks of rest before the holiday, though – I feel like I haven’t slept a full night in decades. Maybe it’s from all the nightmares after seeing these decapitated baby heads in a Boston shop window: