This evening two rivalries went head-to-head for the viewing loyalties
of Bostonians: the Red Sox/Yankees playoff game in New York and the
Bush/Kerry debate in Arizona. I generally have a low tolerance for both baseball
and political rhetoric, but in the end the debate prevailed and I settled in to listen to it on the radio.
However, consuming a presidential debate alone isn’t healthy (it’s like
drinking in this regard), so I took the hot tip I got from Rebecca, one
of my Kennedy
School of Government informants, and joined the packed-out crowd
of political junkies watching the debate at Harvard. The audience responded to
candidates with cheers, boos, hisses, and an occasional Yeehaw, texas
style, making the event an interactive affair and a good people-watching venue when the debate lagged.
On my biked ride back, I stopped on the Anderson bridge, as I often do,
and stood staring at the still black waters of the Charles, which were broken
only by the reflections of lights from the boat house, the dark forms
of trees lining the river, the passing headlights of cars on Memorial
Drive. I stopped caring about either contest
for a while and just enjoyed being where I was, on a bridge between
Cambridge and Boston, enjoying a mild fall night, about to get on bike to cruise home. I couldn’t stay long since it was already late, but it was nice, for the moment anyway, to feel something with out rivals.