2007 US OPEN

Last year while walking around the grounds of the US Open I was interviewed and then quoted in the New York Times about the “it” bag I was carrying around. I wish I could say I knew how hip I was, but the truth is I had no idea I was toting such a coveted item. I still don’t know why it was so sought after since anyone who bought something at the Ralph Lauren store exited with one. But far be it from me to stand in the way of the opinion of the Style reporter for the Times….

I was quoted as saying, “It’s perfect because you can hang it off your back and leave your hands free to take photos or get an autograph from Rafael Nadal, not that I’ve been able to find him yet.” Due to the incessant rain delays in 2006 I never did see Nadal.

2007 was going to be so much different! Not only was the weather forecast divine – sun for each of the three days I had tickets – but Nadal would be playing matches on two of those days and hitting balls on the practice courts for all three. Plus I’d come up with the idea to get Nadal to sign a copy of the NY Times article. Seeing him play was the easy part, even though I had to sneak into Arthur Ashe to see his first and second round matches. When I observed how protected the players were I realized getting the autograph would be nearly impossible.

The only time I could hope to get Rafa’s signature was in the brief moment when he exited the practice courts. But of course nearly every teenager had already discovered this special spot and the area was usually several rows deep. This was no exception when about mid-afternoon on my second day at the Open I got a call from my scouts (Amy and Robin) who had spotted Nadal hitting balls with his coach, Uncle Toni. I dashed out of the match I was watching and scurried over to catch a glimpse of him and realized this was probably my only chance to get an autograph. However, the throngs of teenagers who’d been waiting for hours was huge and I didn’t think I had a chance in hell. But somehow the newspaper caught his eye and he scribbled his initials on it. The deed was done and I was still in shock when I peeled myself away from the mob. Thank god I never have to do that again!!

It was definitely a highlight to see him and so many others play tennis for three straight days. At times our seats were right alongside the courts so you could smile back as Bobby Reynolds celebrated a great shot or Mikhail Youzhny comisserated over a missed opportunity. Even though I loved watching Nadal compete on Ashe, the intimacy of the side court matches is unmatched. The quote of the tournament game from an 8 year-old spanish boy who cheered from the heart for Carlos Moya – Vamos Carlos! Vamos!

I can’t wait until next year!!

like a chicken with my head cut off

I spent my last full day in Boston running around town doing errands that took nearly twelve hours and forced me to get reaquainted with the town (well, towns) that I was leaving! I drove to every nook and cranny of my life in Boston these past five years – my office, my old ‘hood in Brookline, Fenway Park, and on and on and on. I went from Cambridge to Charlestown to Watertown to Boston to Brookline to Chestnut Hill to Somerville to Winchester. Whew! But I had to pause in Cambridge as the moon was rising over the Charles near the Harvard boat house and take this one last shot.

friday night baseball

what started out as a few baseball fanatics getting together every now and then to watch a game became one of the best traditions of the season… friday night baseball. come game time on countless fridays andrew, kaitlyn and i would saddle up to a bar somewhere in boston and watch the red sox dominate (they won every game we watched them play)! about half way through the summer we added a twist and started comparing burger joints (my favorite is still mr. bartley’s, but andrew is partial to charlie’s kitchen). our last friday night baseball was held at temple bar in davis square and i hate to say it but the burgers were sub-par…. however, the game was out of this world. not only did the red sox innihilate the white sox, but we watched the pats post their first win of the pre-season. as the sox gear up for a battle in the bronx against the yankees it’s a happy thought indeed to know that every friday night win has kept us in the lead in the AL East!

it all comes down to this

Packing up five years of work is no easy task. It makes packing up my apartment seem like a breeze. Projects that consumed me at the Olmsted Center needed to be carefully organized, boxed, and left behind for someone else to steward. The process was slow and methodical, but now it is all done. Someone could sit in my chair and hopefully pick up right where I left off (editing page 88 of the Hearst Castle landscape history to be exact)….

It’s been hard not to have Amy here during my last two weeks – the office just isn’t the same without my partner in crime. I’m going to miss stories about Sean and Brigid and the never-ending support she gave me during what has been a year of all-time highs and lows. No offense to middle America, but couldn’t we just squish the west and east coast together so there wasn’t as much distance between us?!

It’s been an honor to work at the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation and an honor being a fellow Bostonian. Cheers to what’s been a wicked adventure!

the last days of disco

the questions have obviously started. is there any one thing you want to do before you leave? do you want to reconsider? what are you going to miss? the answers are not really (i’ve tried to suck all the marrow i could), no, and so much! it’s the missing part that’s got me reeling right now.

oregon has nearly everything i love, but my east coast friends will be conspicuously absent. like dorothy said to the scarecrow – i’ll miss you most of all. add a pile of little things to that – my walk to work (see photos), games at fenway, lobster rolls, the islands – and you can see why i’m a little off balance.

expressing experiences as a travel-passionate landscape historian and artist about place, spirit, history, dreams, and fears

%d bloggers like this: