So I've been talking to some folks on the phone this week, which is sort of unusual when you work for the internet. Unexpected things happen.
Especially when you work in Downtown Crossing.
For anyone unfamiliar with Boston, Downtown Crossing (DTX) is a bit of an odd place. It's sort of a shopping destination, but not the "I want to buy something expensive" kind.
There are also lots of offices, pawn shops, and food carts.
A few years ago, some developers had this great idea: they bought the old Filene's building, a fixture in DTX, and decided to rebuild it. The first level would have retail shops, then there would be some prime office space, and at the top, luxury condos with beautiful views of the city.
(that's the Filene's building, on the right, with the flags)
Now, anyone who has ever been to DTX can understand why people who can afford luxury condos were not interested in living there.
Needless to say, the plans never came to fruition and now there is a just big hole in the ground. It's a source of embarrassment for the mayor, who encouraged these kinds of projects, and if you subscribe to the "broken window" theory, it's certainly not doing the city any favors.
In an attempt to make good, the mayor has initiated a series of events designed to "revitalize" Downtown Crossing.
Mostly, they have to do with live music. This month, we're being treated to "Jazz Wednesdays". Apparently, whoever booked yesterday's act told her it was "Showtunes Wednesdays", but that's hardly even the point.
Right at the beginning of one of my calls, the singer began belting out something from Hello, Dolly. She had what I believe you might call "pipes".
My coworker began laughing uncontrollably in the other room.
It may very well be the case that none of this was audible on the other end of the phone line, but it all happened right at a break in the conversation. I had another question all ready and raring to go, but my brain was still processing the sudden influx of noise and several seconds passed in silence before I could make sense of it all.
Phone silence is often awkward, but in interview settings, I feel it reaches peak awkward potential.
I apologized, explained the scenario as best I could, and carried on with my question. The rest of our conversation went off without a hitch.
Fortunately for me, it was also my last call of the day.
Unfortunately for everyone in Downtown Crossing, "Jazz Wednesday" carried on for some time after, but at least I was able to turn to my headphones for protection.