Beware The Ides of March

The Ides of March (yesterday) are always marked by, at the very least, two things; my friend Nick’s birthday, and my friend Dilila’s birthday. Knowing that the day was supposed to be a nice one (weather wise) and that I had the day off, and that I had been particularly slothful all week (sitting around the house, not using my spare time well), I had made an itinerary and had made the decision that I would use this free and pleasant day wisely.

The morning was slow; the usual breakfast and computing. I eventually got some clothes on and went to the bank to do one of my pre-errand errands; depositing (most of) my tax refund. I then when home and, while on the computer, figured out my route for the day and pondered when to leave.

I had three things on my “To Do” list: 1) go to RAW skate shop in Porter Square to buy a new pair of shoes, 2) go to Tatte Bakery and Cafe to eat and to visit my friend Lena, and 3) go to Superb bicycle shop to order my new bike in time for the warm weather. (It was also my intention to look for ‘Help Wanted’ signs and to ‘enquire within’ to those I found interesting. However, seeing as I forgot to do that, I shall omit it from the ‘To Do’ list.)

3/15_RouteA) RAW, B) Tatte, C) Superb, D) Kyra’s Apartment, E) Chris’s Apartment, F) Coolidge Corner

Additionally, it should be noted that I was also slated to see The Grand Budapest Hotel* with my sister that night (last night). However, this was not until 7:30pm and seeing that I only had three things to do, my plan was to: go into the city, do the three errands, go home and relax, and then go back in later when it was time for the movie. (I didn’t want to wait around for hours bumming around Boston doing nothing until the movie started).

As I plotted my course for the day on Google Maps, I received a text from my Mum asking when I was planning on going into the city. She had gone in earlier to give some mail to my sister and was now going to be coming home. I told her I had to shower, but that otherwise I was ready to go. So, we devised a plan where as I would get showered and dressed, she would get on the train and take it home, I would then drive to Oak Grove to meet her and give her the car thus simultaneously “picking her up” and dropping myself off. This went exactly as plan and set into motion a series of events that would lead to a very stressful and hectic day.

*Kyra and I had gone the night previous (Friday 3/14) to see GBH. However, Kyra, who got to Coolidge before me, found that tickets for the show we wanted to see (the 8pm showtime) were already sold out. So, she had to get tickets for the 10pm. When we went to go into the theatre, the line to get in was down the side of the building and around the corner. We eventually got in and actually found good seats, however, after getting no more than 20 minutes into the film, they stopped it due to a bad projection.

So, knowing I had to catch a train and that even if the 10pm show had run smoothly, I’d be cutting it close, we decided to get a refund, or rather exchange our tickets for the 7:30pm show the next day (yesterday). This, along with other incidents that I frankly don’t have the time or interest to go into right now, should have been a sign that that day was ill fated and that the next day -yesterday- would, in all likelihood, be ill fated too (especially since it was to be the Ides of March).

Porter/RAW – The first stop on my list (as you already know) was the RAW skate shop in Porter Square. (2pm)

The backstory is that I had seen a pair of shoes on The Hundreds website that I wanted, but didn’t know a store that sold them. I saw on The Hundreds website that my nearest retailer was the RAW skate shop. I began to look into RAW, but whenever I would Google Map them, I always got two different results for there location. This should have been a sign. Then when I called them, I got no response; this should have been a sign. Then, when I e-mailed them I got no response; this too should have been a sign. I decided, against my better judgement, to try and check out the location still listed on their website.

Porter SqPorter Square

Upon my arrival at Porter Square I was greeted by warm weather. I walked the short distance from the station to the Elm Street address. When I got there however, the building was empty. The door was open, but I did not go in. (I later realized I should have as it would have saved me a lot of time; hindsight and whatnot). The weather was so nice and I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided to walk down Somerville Ave to see if I could find them at the other location. I walked pretty far until eventually I gave up. I then walked all the way back to the first location and went in. I got the attention of the woman working inside and was informed that RAW was RIP and that they were online only. I wished her luck at her new location and made my way back to the Red Line.

Tatte – I took the train inbound to Kendall and walked the short distance to Tatte Cafe and Bakery. I was hungry anyway, but I figured since I was in town and in the area, I might as well try and drop in on my friend Lena, uninvited. As it turned out, I picked the one day she wasn’t working. However, I was still able to get food, and, in spite of it being expensive, it was really good. Also, Tatte is a really well designed cafe, so, the experience was worth it. (3pm)

Walk– after eating at one of the tables outside, I made my way back towards the Red Line, however, along the way, I was distracted by this seemingly new construction project. I came across an outdoor ice skating rink, and ended up near the small dock they use to rent kayaks in the summertime. The weather was so nice that I decided to walk across the Longfellow bridge and back to Boston. Once there, I took the foot bridge over Storrow Drive and walked along the Charles.

I kept thinking about heading more into the city to hop on the train, but I kept walking. I kept thinking, it’s not that far, the weather’s nice, and I have plenty of time. As I walked, I was passed by a Dad on a bike being followed by his two sons. Shortly after passing me, the younger one -the last one- fell. The father, who was not looking back, kept on riding. A group of people gathered around the kid. I began to run after the father, but before I could get close enough, someone else yelled to him and got his attention. The little scene was causing a bit of a crowd. I knew my presence would not be of any help, there were already enough people there (to help), so I kept walking.

Once I reached the Arthur Fiedler bridge, I crossed back over Storrow Drive and made my way up [down?] Beacon towards Kenmore Square. I kept on Beacon until I reached Berkeley Street which I used to cut over to Commonwealth Ave. I continued up [down?] Comm Ave, eventually making my way to the grassy middle section. As I walked however, ominous clouds rolled in and the day got dark and chilly.

Eventually I made it to Kenmore Square and onward, down Beacon towards Superb. As I made my way towards the Beacon Street Bridge (that crosses over the Mass Pike) it began to drizzle. I was nervous because I was wearing my leather Member’s Only jacket and I know that leather’s not supposed to get wet. However, I didn’t know how strict a rule that is and if they mean wet at all, or just to not let it get drenched. Luckily it never got worse that a drizzle and cleared up by the time I was halfway across the bridge.

Superb– I arrived at Superb at around 4:40pm (I’m guessing). The man Jason, whom I’d been dealing with whenever I looked at bikes there, was not working so I instead dealt with a man -Justin- whom I’d never met before. I told him what I was looking for and he had me stand over one frame, then stand over another to get my size. I found the exact bike I wanted, only it was in black and the one I had in mind was white.

He then showed me a white Schwinn in my size and let me test ride it. When I got back he said, “So you want it?” No, I was thinking, not only was it $100 more than the one I wanted, but I was set on that brand. It was the brand I was interested in more than the color. The fact that it was white was not going to change my mind. I then test rode the black Pure Fix I had stood over before. I told him this was the one that I wanted and asked if they had any in white. A search of their inventory yielded no results.

PureFix

This was fine. Twas not my plan to buy and take home a bike that day (yesterday) anyway. My plan was to have them order a white one from the website and that I’d put a down payment on it and pick it up at a later date. However, when they told me that the white was out of stock on the Pure Fix website and that it probably wouldn’t be back in stock again for another 6 months, I decided that black wasn’t so bad and ended up buying it. (I think overall this was the better choice). I had them do a front brake delete and then asked for a bag (in which to hold the brake and brake assembly) and was on my way.

Things went all downhill from here.

Bike to Kyra’s– I knew Kyra was set to get out of work at 5pm, so, when I left the shop (at 5:08pm) I texted her asking if she was planning on going back to her apartment before going to the movie. I had already began biking towards her apartment  when she texted me back. “No” she responded. Now I was screwed. Not only did I have to hold the brake assembly in the zip-lock back they gave me while also holding the handlebars, but on top of that my feet and legs were cramping up from walking all day and from having not ridden a bike in so long.

If I knew they wouldn’t have had a real bag for me to hold the parts in, I wouldn’t have had them take off the front brake. I’d have come back and had them do it another time. On top of that I couldn’t get a real bag from a  convenience store because I couldn’t leave the bike outside because it would get stolen. I didn’t have my lock with me because I wasn’t planning on actually getting the bike that day (yesterday) and I didn’t want to buy a new one where I have a perfectly good one at home. Plus I assumed that I’d be able to leave my bike at her apartment during the movie. If I knew what the case was -with Kyra- I’d have asked if I could have left the bike at Superb and just come back today to pick it up.

By the time I got another call from Kyra, it was too late and would have taken me too long to get back to Superb. I asker her to call her roommate to see if she was home and could let me in. In the meantime I kept biking. I made my way to her apartment (near-as-makes-no-difference, Washington Street; B-Line stop) in Brighten, only to hear that her roommate was not answering her phone. I was able to make my way into the building, thanks to the help of an older woman who was on her way out. I banged on the door hoping Paige -her roommate- was inside and just hadn’t heard her phone ring.

Meanwhile, the woman who’d let me in was waiting in the front lobby area to see if I’d get in. She might have just been trying to be courteous, or waiting for a ride, but I took it as she was watching me, as in had her eye on me, to make sure I wouldn’t cause any trouble; that I wasn’t lying about who I knew in the building. It is a bit suspicious that Kyra happens to live in the immediate first door on the right -apartment #1- when you enter the building. After waiting for about a minute, to no avail, I exited the apartment.

I sat on the front stoop and called my friend Chris who I knew lived nearby. He didn’t answer his phone. I then called my friend Simon, Chris’s roommate, but he too did not answer his phone. (All this was happening around 5:45pm; I’m guessing). I then called Kyra and said not to try and come for me. I didn’t want to screw her up and screw her out of seeing the movie again.

Then, magically, I got a call back from Chris. I briefly explained the ordeal and he said it was cool for me to stop by and leave the bike at his place. The only catch was that he was going to a party that night and so he was potentially not going to be home by the time the movie was over and so I might not be able to pick up my bike until the next day (today). I was fine with this; I was just elated that something was finally working out.

I high-tailed it to Chris’s apartment (near-as-makes-no-difference, Packards Corner; B-Line stop), dropped off my bike, then jogged to the McDonalds near the Harvard Ave (B-Line stop) to meet up with Kyra.

Walked to Coolidge– This was, I’m guessing, around 6:15pm. We were basically in the clear all we had left to do was to get from the McDonalds to Coolidge Corner before 7:30pm. And, being that it is only about a 15 minute walk, we were in the clear. I only had one other stress I was dealing with or thinking about or that was on my mind, BUT, this story is already long enough as it is.

So, Kyra and I got to Coolidge Corner in plenty of time. I was able to get a drink that I so desperately needed. Then -at 6:41pm- I got a text from my friend who was at a different theatre and had just gotten sold out of, you guessed it, The Grand Budapest Hotel. This was a weird coincidence solely because I had had a feeling I was going to run into her at this show.

Finally, after many trials and tribulations, we saw the movie. It was good, not amazing, but fun. Once it was over I called Chris and, to my pleasant surprise, he hadn’t left for the party yet. He said  he wasn’t leaving for another half hour and that I could come by to pick up my bike. I had Kyra come with me so she could carry the front brake assembly back to her apartment (so I could pick it up some time later).

We walked back to his apartment, and, after a quick pee, I grabbed my bike, thanked Chris, and left. I  gave Kyra the brake and walked her to Packard’s Corner where we parted ways. I then biked back through the cold to the Mass Ave T stop, waited for the train, and biked home.

I later found out that Paige had been there the whole time, but she was showering and couldn’t hear me knocking. If I’d waited a bit longer, I’d have gotten in. It obviously all worked out in the end, it was just an ordeal and a half, and way more stress than I wanted to deal with.

Sidenote: I toats should have used Rove (app) to document this journey.

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