for you, love emily

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18 Banks Street & 93 Names

Can anyone else not believe it’s September 1st?  Seems like yesterday I was debating whether or not I really needed to bring the rice steamer I’ve never used to Boston (I did) and today I’m actually in Boston enjoying Labor Day hot dogs!  Up on the to-do list this week: nail more interviews, attend a Great Gatsby-themed  party, celebrate Julie’s birthday, move in to our apartment, and charm my way through dinner with some HBS students who refer to themselves as “The Chilean Mafia”.  That to-do list looks A LOT different than a to-do list of mine I found while packing two weeks ago…all items were crossed off on it except for “clean poop off floor of 2nd bedroom”.  Which reminds me, Juicy probably has a remote blog she’d like to post soon.

So our move-in date is this Thursday and we’ve never seen the inside of our new home.  We have seen these nice floor plans though:

Floorplan

That’s what 686 sq ft looks like.

Not interested in fancy architecture symbols?  Check out this 3-D one:

 

 

Floorplan 2

I think the 3-D is worse because you can tell just HOW SMALL the place is.  Do you think a bed, two nightstands, two dressers and all of my statement necklaces are going to fit in that bedroom?  Um, NO.  I will have to keep that giant box of shoes out on the balcony along with Ed’s gross hockey gear and our rice steamer.

Here’s a street view, with our unit high-lighted by my snapchat skills:

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Balcony zoom in:

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When we rounded the corner of the building to check out the neighborhood, we ran into this wild turkey:

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That guy snapping  a picture probably thought the same thing as me – ‘”WTF, TURKEY?!  What are you doing here?!  Cambridge, get it together.”  But, it turns out, wild turkeys are common in the Boston and surrounding areas, and they are mean, just like geese.  I mean, they’re probably harmless unless provoked (like geese), but they are extremely hideous (unlike geese), and that makes them scarier.

I don’t have a good transition from talking about urban turkeys to talking about Ed’s classmates, except for the fact that one guy is from Turkey and is literally named Turkur.  Which of course makes me call Ed Illernerr from Illinois.  The first day of class, all 94 students in Ed’s section (Section D, for DOHSE) went around and introduced themselves.

HBS has also put together “classcards” which all students can search when they log into HBS’s student site.  There you can find tons of facts about everyone in the business school (both first and second years), along with contact info, interests, partner info, education and work history.  Here is a screenshot of Ed’s classcard:


Ed Classcard

See that little megaphone next to his name?  Click on that and you can actually hear Ed say his own name.  That tool is incredibly useful for knowing how to pronounce difficult names.

I’ve had a lot of fun quizzing myself with classcards on who’s who after meet-and-greets and parties.  It’s hard learning 93 people’s names plus about 30 partners!  Not to mention all nine other sections with 90 scholars and partners of their own!  It’s interesting to see who makes a unique first impression and who I meet once (or twice) and I still look at them and think, “Who are you?  I have no idea.  Mike?  Dan?  F**k.”

My next opportunity to try and get names to stick is this Wednesday at the LatAm Great Gatsby Welcome Party, which over 1,000 people have registered for so far.  It’s at a cloob downtown and costumes are “requested.”  Unfortunately, Ed and I only picked certain things from our costume box to bring with us (the wigs, duh) and those are in the pods.  Luckily, while packing my suitcase, a little voice told me to include my clubbing top “just in case” that is covered in fringe on the front and is now the only thing I have that will remotely pass as a Gatsby outfit.  CRISIS AVERTED.


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Home Is Where Julie’s Second Bedroom Is

We made it to Boston!  Ed and I filled up two pods, said goodbye to everyone we know and somehow tricked American Airlines into letting us on the plane with about 50 extra pounds of luggage.  Even a failed engine starter couldn’t stop us!  The best part of sitting on the tarmac for two hours before takeoff was receiving half a glass of Evian and enjoying an emergency Tarmac Entrapment granola bar (the kind with only one Nature Valley bar in it, which American must get made special for occasions like that).

But back to the pods.  Overall, they were a total success.  Three nice men helped us move all of the stuff still in the condo out and into the pods, and we only had to get one minivan towed in the process.  My favorite mover-man was named Angel and he had an enchanting foggy glass eye.  They requested we pay in cash and we happily obliged.

I’d say my biggest mistake thus far in the whole process was labeling the biggest box, about the size of a mini-fridge, “SHOES” and letting Ed see it and understand that there were indeed only shoes in the box.  Probs don’t need those glitter heels here with all the colonial cobblestone, I guess.  OR DO I?  It turns out there is a casino-themed party at HBS this weekend, and now my glitter heels aren’t with me and I probably won’t make any friends.

Here are our two pods, empty (both are 5x7x8):

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And here they are packed and ready for shipment:

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Please see middle box in far left stack of Ed’s cube above – it’s labeled “SHOES”

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These babies will arrive in Boston on Monday, and will be delivered to our new apartment (owned and operated by Harvard Housing) on Thursday, 9/4.  In the meantime, we are the humble guests of the gracious hosts Julie and Sim Cohen!  We have Baby Cohen’s room and I can’t get enough of his tiny little hangers with tiny little coats.  Photo of the four (five) of us to come once we’re all together and all awake!

First Impressions and Sweeping Generalizations of Boston

1) Where are all the accents?  It was heaven approaching the Haymarket T station while the operator announced, “We ahh now approaching Haymahhket.”  After that, I heard a man leading a duck boat tour say, “Ha!  He must be from New Hampsha.”  Then nothing.  So, a thick Boston accent appears to be a per-requisite for operating a T train or leading a duck boat tour and that’s it.  I will find where the accent people live and I will go there and then I will wait to see if Ben Affleck arrives.  Also, those that do have an accent pronounce “can’t” as if they are English.  Like, “cah-n’t.”  Must be because of the “ah” sound even though there is no “r” in the word.  It really threw me for a loop the first time I heard it, so big thanks to Julie for the warning.

2)  There are all types of people everywhere, all the time.  In Chicago, people stay in their respective neighborhoods for the most part and the melting pot climaxes at Belmont.  Here, it’s Belmont everywhere all day ‘err day.  I was downtown the other day and in the span of two minutes saw business men, street performers, college students, homeless men, crack whores, blue collar workers, and what must have been someone OD’ing on meth.  So you have everyone wandering about with everyone and at first I was worried fights were going to break out but was then assured that people pretty much co-exist in harmony.

3) The T is marked much better than Chicago’s El, in my opinion.  When you get on at a stop, let’s say the green line, there is a full-size map of the green line and the stops the train is coming from are grayed out, so you know exactly if you’re getting on the correct train in the right direction or not.  I have been saved from catastrophe several times due to this system, and Chicago should figure out a way to adopt it.

4) Sequins are “in” here.  Either Boston is embracing 90’s fashions again or they have a really hard time letting go.  Sequins aren’t everywhere but they are enough places that I’ve thought a couple times, “Wow, I guess who wouldn’t want to wear a full sequin sweatshirt on Tuesday at 1PM?”  I also saw a cocktail dress on the 66 bus going from Brookline to Harvard that was crochet on top with full sequin embroidery.  Plus sequin hats, sequin hair accessories, sequin bags and sequin flippy floppies.

5) People are very nice here, but several people in my interviews have admitted that Bostonians are nice initially and are all, “Oh, welcome to the neighborhood!” but when you want to hang out and be friends they’re like, “Welcome to the neighborhood buuuuut I already have a circle of friends.”  Good thing I have friends here already and HBS is crawling with people whose #1 goal is to make friends!

6) Bostonians think New Yorkers are rude and are eager to say that Boston doesn’t WANT to be New York and they’re not TRYING to be, OK?  They also think “the Midwest” (never an actual city) is “so nice!  Just really nice, accommodating people!” and the South knows nothing.

Next post will be about this and how awesome it is:

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Goodnight!

Love, Emily

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