Friday, July 23, 2004
There are still six days until Kerry's nomination speech but the 2004 Democratic Convention has officially arrived in Boston. Over-excited 19 year-olds with "Welcome to Boston" signs greeted us at the airport as we arrived at 12 noon on the Friday before the official week of convention chaos kicks-off. As the cabbies realize we are tourists from DC, they suddenly switched over from their meters to their fixed $12 per person rate from the airport to anything downtown-perhaps a deal in bumber to bumber convention craziness but a severe rip-off today when it took a full 5 minutes to get from the airport to our dorm rooms. Yes, I said dorm rooms. If you look at it as comparable to an Italian hostel they really aren't that bad. Also, considering the college students at the front desk said that they had friends who subletted their apartment this month at a profit of $1,000 and our senior staff complained that their $250 per night hotel rooms smelled like cigarette butts and hadn't updated their decor since the 1970's, I am feeling pretty lucky this week. The Bostonians I encountered on my first day, however, didn't share my same enthusiasm. At the nail place (okay yes, the first thing I did in Boston was get a manicure), the young woman groaned when I asked her how her business was bracing for the next week. A bartender at a venue of one of our events next week (we were just making sure the wine was acceptable) admitted he couldn't wait until this week was over. Me, I am already tired just by thinking about the week ahead of me. But then today someone close to me reminded me that 10 years ago when I decided that I would work within the system for the good part of my life, this was exactly what I had in mind. For the most part, people in my profession don't make much money, they don't have much free-time or a well-balanced life, they aren't usually that hip or cool, but darnitt, when a bunch of smart people get together and get drunk and excited, something interesting has got to come out of it!!