Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ambulances, grants & night skyscrapers

It's winter again -- sorta! Rainy and raw out tonight -- fingers numb as I walk outside. Home to happily hissing radiators -- the gatos and I are collectively pleased. Note: It's supposed to be 80s this weekend. A'course.

Went to a grant panel tonight put on by the Boston Arts & Business Council (if that's not their actual name, it's v similar, I promise). Of course, getting there was 3 and a HALF nightmares. And it's that last half that'll kill ya. Of course I know about getting lost everytime I go somewhere in Boston, but usually I'm lost in a car -- that was one of the rare times I was lost on foot. A little more challenging. But the odds of my ending up in Maine are lower. I gave myself triple the time Google spit out to get there, but alas, should've gone for quadruple. It's just that sometimes the ridiculousness hits points I don't believe. Silly me. I also forgot to take into account the time of day -- leaving at 5 -- and where I was -- financial district, one of the crazier places to drive, I maintain (North End doesn't count b/c I simply flatout absolutely refuse to drive there. Parking garage all the way. $25? Fine.)

Anyway, it's highly highly highly trafficy on highly highly highly narrow roads -- everyone's so frustrated at the snail pace through the lights, thus everyone makes a blatant run for it at the red light, thus blocking the intersection for the next set of people, just like it was blocked for them. There's something wrong in this thinking, some teeny, tiny little flaw, just can't put my finger on it.... And then, then -- an ambulance came through. I have NO FREAKING IDEA how they got through. If I had to point to evidence of magic, that would be what I point to. Somehow, all the cars squeezed somewhere. Then there was a moment of shock as everyone saw a wideopen road. And of course we all thought about immediately crowding onto it and cutting everyone else off, and the honking began.

So it took me, what? Maybe 25 minutes to go a few blocks? But, once I got there, the navigating all one-way streets in the area to snag nearby parking was surprisingly doable. But then I had to walk from my car to the place. Only a few blocks, but I was so turned around, I kinda had to strike out in all four directions to find my way. Which I eventually did.

The grant panel was aimed at artists, so a lot of the specifics there didn't quite resonate for me. But I did think to ask for the panelists' suggestions on meeting up with folks who were looking for grantwriting/editing help, and all of them were enthused and told me to email them. So, that was cool. Clearly. One of them lives in JP and is a freelance grantwriter, so we talked maybe having a coffee talk (coffeetawk). Another puts on this cool conference for all types of artists to connect them with people and opportunities, so she suggested my doing a "mentoring session" where I'd help folks with their grants, which would give the conference people a free helper, me a free conference pass, conference goers get help, and generally good stuff all around. The other panelist said she hears from folks all the time looking for grant help, willing to pay, so great potential there. With her offer to post a link for me, she also made me realize afresh how much I NEED to finish the website already. Got a plan to tackle that, starting this week. Thank god. I'm such a cliche -- cobbler's kids having no shoes, writer/editor not getting her own site done....

Leaving the session, I had a few admittedly cold moments on downtown Boston streets, but a beautiful night, rain stopped, and all the gleaming highrises were cool to be amongst as a change of pace.

Now I have madly grooming gatos on either side of me -- what, they've got hot dates later tonight??

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