When I was in college, I always got to stick around for the week after final exams leading up to the Graduation Ceremonies and their Alumni Reunion Weekend. I always loved this because I got to see the changes the school underwent for the benefit of the parents and alumni. All of a sudden the ordinary campus became bedazzled with flowers jammed into every possible nook. One lawn even sprouted flowers in the form of our school's sports logo. The grass became greener, either by rolling our new grass or using some seeding process that looked like they were spray painting the ground green. It always reminded me of those RonCo "Hair in Can" bald spot cures. Everything got a fresh coat of paint and an extra scrub to benefit the folks who didn't spend any time here and while all the people who do spend time there were gone.
And so it goes in Boston for the DNC.
Its really a marvel what is being done to the city. It all seems like little things at first, but it adds up. My train station will be handling overflow from the displaced Commuter Rail lines, so I guess it qualified for a fresh coat of paint. For a week, the station has been plastered with "Wet Paint" signs as everything gets a nice glossy finish.
I've started noticing little directional signs all around Boston proper, too. Nothing Convention specific, all feeling like it could have always been here. Well, maybe the flowers stand out. Man, are there flowers. I walked down by Newbury Street and Mass Ave and was stunned by all of the flowers that have shown up down by the Hynes Convention Center. The road divider is not this massive flower laden trough. Every lamp post has been adorned with pots exploding with flowers. My office has had the pleasure of jackhammers just outside our walls as they actually are replacing a significant bit of a road in the Back Bay. I almost think they painted the remaining Central Artery that they weren't able to pull down in time, but I think I may have imagined that. It all feels like the municipal equivalent of getting gussied up for a big date but going a bit far.
And, of course, the last people to appreciate any of this are the people who live and work here. Oh, I'll be coming into town, but it does seem like I will be in the minority. Of course, even I will be making sacrifices. I'll be buying lunch for a week to avoid the transit bag checks that promise to make life even harder for Bostonians. But I still think they are making a mountain out of a molehill. Well, maybe making Mt. Everest out of a more modest sized mountain with some nice ski slopes. But I do hope our visitors appreciate the lengths we've gone to in order to look pretty. Enjoy the flowers