A Different World

Dispatches from Harvard

One of the things I’ll miss most when I leave Boston are the almost daily surprises I find on my way just walking around. Usually there is some kind of street performer or impromptu parade or other off-the-cuff happenings – except, that is, during the longest, coldest, most brutal, snow-filled winters I’ve ever experienced.

As we were strolling through Harvard Square recently, coming back from a modified exercise routine at the football stadium, we happened upon a gun on a tall unicycle. The giggly girl in the background off camera is my soon-to-be 10-year-old daughter who wouldn’t let us go back to the apartment before seeing what this guy was up to. He stressed – multiple times – that he was a street performer doing what he loved, and the way to show him the ultimate love for his act was a $20 bill, or a $5 or $1 bill if you at least liked him. He didn’t accept coins. That day, I didn’t have any money on me.