Back Alleys in Boston


Given their respective size, it’s strange that I should feel so much safer in Boston than in Downtown Albany, but such is the case. Even on dark evenings, passing by alleyways like this, I feel a greater comfort and security than if I were to pass similar spots in upstate New York. Of course it’s all in my head, but sometimes that’s where the power of safety resides. It helps too that the Back Bay/South End area of Boston is relatively benign when it comes to crime, at least in the hours that I frequent the surrounding streets. (No more 2 AM strolls for me.)

Far from being spooky or haunting, these scenes delight with their subtle air of mystery and timelessness. Echoes of Europe, for which I’ve always loved Boston, sound off the cobblestone walks, whispers of a past life sharing secrets shrouded in a dusty veil. No more than a whisper can be heard tonight, not above the rising wind and a growing chill. Shadows fix themselves in place beneath street lamps, where they will remain until the first light of day washes them away. In the summer, a stray skunk might be seen waddling amid the garbage, seeking out sustenance, or a raccoon, that pesky night bandit, bold in its natural mask. Tonight, however, in the dead middle of winter, there is nothing to be seen.

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