The 32nd Floor


When we were kids, we used to stay at the Copley Marriott in Boston with my Mom. Sometimes Gram would join us, sometimes it would just be my brother and myself. Back then (this was the late 80’s and early 90’s), the elevators of each floor were situated around a large window that looked out onto the Charles River. (On the 4th of July, locals and hotel guests alike would station themselves at these windows to get the perfect view of the fireworks – yes, I did that one year before word seemed to get out.)

High above the city, the view of Boston always thrilled me. I felt its magic and pull, and envisioned a day when I’d be out on my own, exploring the city and reveling in its romantic twilight. It was a glimmer of independence, coupled with the safety of having a hotel room to which I could return at the end of the day. The crux of adolescence and childhood, and the bit of freedom afforded us walking through Copley Place without parental guidance was exhilarating. (We were allowed to stay out late and walk around the mall, as it was attached to the hotel.)

A few weeks ago, I was walking through the Marriott and on a whim took the elevator to one of the upper floors. I looked out to this view again, remembered when the world was filled with possibility, and felt the same expansive thrill. This weekend I’m in Boston, and feeling the magic all over again.

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