The Light in Boston, From Both Sides

In the morning, the sun streams in through the front windows of the Boston condo. By afternoon, it has shifted to the bedroom bay window, but thanks to the gigantic mirror of the John Hancock Tower, it also pours in through the front windows again, until the leaves of Braddock Park fill in come the spring. This has always been a favorite, and fleeting, space to be – in that zone where sun pours in from both sides. Along the Southwest corridor you can actually step into spots where it feels like two suns are shining upon you at once. It’s nothing short of magical, and I’ve often stopped still in my tracks when I realize I’ve stepped into those ethereal pools of shifting light.

The photos here play with the fading light of a winter’s day, and its reflections. As the sun slowly descended, a chill crept in with the dusk. The wind picked up a bit and I pulled my coat more tightly around my chest. A dinner of pho had momentarily warmed me, but it drained quickly as I hurried along Massachusetts Avenue down to Columbus, catching the last of the day’s sunlight on the dome of the Christian Science Center.

This isn’t an area I typically traverse. Most errands or walks take me in the opposite direction, so it’s been at least a year – probably more – since I’ve been this far down Columbus. At the dimming of the day, there was something sad about it, about how much I had been missing.

Luke Adams Gifting Co., a new shop on that stretch of Columbus that I rarely frequent, had opened up in the last few months. They had a neat selection of unique gifts, and a nice assortment of letterpress cards. I spoke with the shop owner who said they’d only recently had a soft opening, and were offering some glass-blowing classes to get word out that they were there. I purchased a few cards and went back into the quickly-darkening afternoon.

Right next door was a coffee shop that I didn’t stop in that moment, but I will on my next trip. The old neighborhood has come a long way, and is still evolving. I have missed that – the new stores and cafes that open up a few blocks away, the excitement of trying out new things. I don’t do it when I’m in upstate New York, and not only because there are less things happening. That just means there is more to explore whenever I get back to Boston.

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