Saturday, November 03, 2007

Wild Winds at Old West

This afternoon I participated in an education rally held at one of Boston' s venerable old churches. I didn't know that's where I was headed when I got in my car this afternoon. I had an address, and a rough idea of location, but no one told me I was going to end up at the Old West Methodist Church. Instead, I wandered up and down the street until I finally parked and walked so I could get a closer look at the buildings and street addresses.

If you hadn't heard, Boston was supposed to be in the middle of a Nor'easter today. Luckily, it hadn't reached peak conditions at this time, but it was windy and rainy, and the longer I walked, the wilder my appearance became. My umbrella turned inside out a couple of times, and my hair was flying all around my face. I felt like a leaf being tossed about by raucous winds!

I finally just stopped walking and just looked around me. I studied each building on either side of the street and even took a picture of one of them, a beautiful old New England church. While I was watching, I noticed a young man rushing through the rain, up the steps of the church and it hit me...that maybe, my meeting might be in that church. I hurried across the street, up the stairs, blew into the entrance, right into the pastor I was supposed to be meeting! I couldn't believe it. Happily for me, they were just getting started, so I didn't miss anything.

When I left, I got to thinking that there might be more to this lovely old church. Sure enough, as I went out the gate, I noticed a plaque stating that in 1776, the British removed the steeple of the church so the patriots could not use it for signaling or spying. (The Old North Church was not a similar worry because that congregation was largely Tory. Those of you who know history, though, know that Paul Revere had a well-placed friend in the sexton who did use that steeple to signal if by land, two if by see...). You can read more about the fascinating history of this church here.

One side-note to this whirlwind visit (literally) is that in my haste to find where I was supposed to be, I parked in a city parking lot near to where I thought the church should be. As I was leaving 2 hours later, the pastor asked if he could validate my parking ticket. When he saw the ticket he said "Oh, you should have parked in the underground, lot." He stamped the ticket anyway and gave me $20 to "help with your parking fee." Wow! I thought. That's going to be an expensive 2 hours! When I gave my validated ticket to the attendant, she looked at it and said that this lot wasn't eligible for the 50 cents parking fee. I explained I was a first-time visitor and had no idea even where to park. She told me I'd have to pay the full fee, which ended up being $22. I tried to give her the money, but then she picked up the phone and called someone...resulting in her saying she'd take just 50 cents this time but next time to park underground. Wasn't that nice of her? The pastor will get his $20 back next time I see him!


Sunny sunny SUNNY said...

That is quite an adventure you had.

Heidi said...

What kind of a parking lot is that? I've never heard of any such thing. But then, you probably hadn't heard about it either until you experienced it. That's ridiculous!

Rondi said...

There's always something =) The last time I parked in parking was in May when I took my nephew to a Red Sox game. It was $40 non-refundable. The game got rained out before it even started...and the attendant was gone when we arrived back at the lot. That was maddening. But what are you going to do? You have to park...

La Tea Dah said...

Thank you for this post! I love the architecture and would love to go on this tour with you --- even with parking fees and storms!

:) LaTeaDah