Bostonia Rantida

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


The curbs of Boston are an interesting thing. What's the deal with them? They're more elegant (and less high, by far) than the suburban curbs I grew up jumping with my little mountain bike; those strange, curvy, high cement monstrosities of my youth. I remember being daunted by traversing them.

Now, I don't bike anymore, and my experience with the curbs is all about the walking (and, once or twice, a poorly navigated turn in a zipcar -- driving in an unfamiliar car makes it hard to parallel park and judge distances as well). And those curbs -- they are unsuspectingly treacherous!

On Monday, as it rained a bit, I noted a woman crossing the street in nice, pointy boots and jeans, who slipped and nearly did the splits, saved only by the friend with whom she was walking, and only just saved from ruining her pants in a puddle.

And I thought, God, I used to slip on the f*cking curbs all the GD time! I twisted an ankle a few times while wearing (admittedly slippery) flip flops. And sure enough, bricks aren't the kindest surface for walking when it's wet and icy either, but something about that granite curb just flows, free of friction. So I learned, finally, to be wary of them, and if I am in flip flops, or any other pairs of non-traction shoes, and it is the least bit wet out, I am wary.

To be fair, though, I've slipped down my outside stairwell and landed on my ass, on the bottom stair, laughing and blushing and cursing. I've slipped down the stairs into the Inbound Copley T because I was in a bad mood and not looking, probably, while I made my way home to Cambridge my first winter here -- in the process I got lovely scabs on my knees and just managed to grab the rail and make it not worse than the scrapes and bruises, but probably flashed that guy who sits there panhandling. I slipped on the bricks in Cambridge many-a-time because I wasn't used to them. I've gotten kitten heels trapped in the bricks in Copley Square because I hadn't learned that those aren't really compatible with cobblestone living yet.

I've had my share of falls, man. So take my advice and watch those sneaky curbs.


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