Flying Postscript

That flight of mine that I didn’t take tonight from Boston to Halifax — the one that was scheduled to leave Boston at 6:10 p.m. and arrive Halifax at 8:40 p.m. — ended up actually leaving Boston at 8:49 p.m. and arriving Halifax at 11:18 p.m., a full two and a half hours late.

Best Hotel / Worst Airline

Right about this time I expected to be having to take my shoes off in the security line at Logan Airport, en route to Charlottetown on Air Canada.

Alas Air Canada’s flight from Boston to Halifax is delayed 50 minutes, which means I cannot make a connection to Charlottetown. Air Canada’s option was to put me up in a hotel in Halifax, which is tantamount to condemning me to hell, so I’ve opted to stay in Boston another night.

As such I find myself again sitting on the floor of the bathroom of room #213 of the Club Quarters Hotel in downtown Boston.

Club Quarters isn’t really a hotel, per se. It’s a private member-owned hotel cooperative, owned by large corporations and universities that have banded together to create cheaper lodging for their employees. They sell off weekend rooms to discount hotel brokers, and it’s through such a mechanism that I find myself staying here.

The “hotel” is wonderful. As I mentioned earlier, checkin is completely automated. The rooms are small but well laid out and spotlessly clean. There’s a nice club room downstairs, saturated with wireless Internet access. There’s a restaurant next door. It’s central — two blocks from the State St. T station. It’s quiet. It’s perhaps the nicest hotel I’ve stayed in for business.

This in contrast to Air Canada which I hesitate to even call an airline given their propensity to not fly has affected my life more often than not. This is the second time in less than a year that a Boston to Halifax flight has been delayed, and one of a half dozen or so times that Air Canada’s inabilities have affected me or my immediate family this year. They are, in a word, inept. Sheesh.

That said, there are worse places in the world to be stuck than in Boston. Off to have a tiny bit of fun.

WiFi Tour of Boston

I’m sitting here at my table at The Wrap, a burrito bar on Newbury Street in Boston. It’s the final stop on my tour of wireless Internet access points in Boston.

I started this morning at my hotel, Club Quarters on Devonshire. They have free WiFi access in the downstairs lounge and, also, given that I was staying above said lounge, WiFi in my room. Actually make that “WiFi in my room as long as I was sitting on the bathroom floor.” Hey, you take what you can.

Next stop: the Apple Store in the CambridgeSide Galleria, a large urban shopping mall near the Lechmere T stop. The Apple Store is as dreamy as the one I visited in Peabody last October: it’s a paragon of retail design, with about the best staff of any store I’ve ever come across. I was having trouble with my iTunes starting up slowly: I pulled up a stool at the Genius Bar (yes, that’s actually what it’s called) and Steve the friendly Genius spent 15 minutes with me diagnosing and fixing the problem (it was an old iTunes plug-in that I’d installed many months ago and forgotten about). The store is flooded with WiFi, and thet staff appear to take no offense at customers with Airport-equipped iBooks sitting on a bench and surfing away.

And finally here at The Wrap — a nice little burrito and smoothie place with patio where free wireless Internet is provided by the Newbury Open Network. So, in other words, I can sit enjoying my Pineapple Orange Gauva juice and my Bangkok (burrito with jasmine rice and peanut sauce) and surf the net at the same time.

The burrito is excellent and, for someone who started surfing the Internet at the end of a leased 14.4 copper wire on Victoria Row, the Internet access is, well, revolutionary.

The downsides? Well, ironically the credit card machine at The Wrap is broken today, so while I can sit here an book airline tickets to Rome and purchase the complete works of Shakespeare, I cannot pay for my burrito with my MasterCard.

Oh, and I just spilled jasmine rice on my trackpad.

Home tonight on MCA and back in action on Prince St. tonight.

Postscript: Here’s how you get wireless Internet access on your Airport equipped iBook: open the lid. That’s it.

Radio Silence

The radio silence over the past week was largely due to an intense bout of work on YankeeMagazine.com, a new website we launched today.

Since 1996 I’ve been working with Yankee Publishing in Dublin, NH on their web efforts. We started with NewEngland.com and later came Almanac.com, the website of The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Today’s launch is the culmination of almost a year of work by a team inside Yankee along with our Reinvented operatives. We’ve been working 18 hours days for the past week to get it ready for today’s launch, and everyone’s happy (if exhausted) to see it launch.

You’re welcome to drop by for a visit.

And More Instant

It seems everything in Boston is automated now. I went to Fandango.com and ordered a ticket for The Bourne Identity. Then I walked over to the theatre and tuck my credit card in a kiosk in the lobby and out popped my ticket. 49.2 seconds.