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Matteo comes to Boston
 
 
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
hanover st Boston
Matteo, Ilaria's brother, came to the US for the first time this August. In Italy, a large number of employers give their employees vacation for the entire month of August, so he came for a few weeks to take an English course and see some of the US.

Since Matteo was with us for so long, I felt like he'd be around forever and never bothered to take out my camera! So I stole these pics from Matteo.
 
J matteo chinatown gate Boston
In Italy, they don't have as many diverse ethnic restaurants as we do in the US, so we went with Ben and Elissa to Chinatown for an authentic dinner at our favorite Chinese restaurant.
 
baseball J north end
When foreign folks visit in the spring or summer, I make a point to teach them a little baseball. Matteo, like his sister, has a naturally strong throwing arm. He can effortlessly throw a line drive from 3rd to 1st on 90ft bases. And he can really fire it that distance if he puts a little umph on it. It's humbling when you teach someone how to throw a ball and in less than an hour they can throw it better than you (and I played organized baseball for 8 years).

Too bad they don't have baseball in Italy, he could'a been something. Hopefully, next time I can teach him how to hit a little better. That needs a little work.
 
orange line boston
When you visit a new country, it's often the little things that are the most unique. Along those lines, Matteo really wanted to see a US suburb. The stereotypical "heartland" American suburb is nowhere to be found around Boston (we mainly have New England style suburbs), so he had to settle for a trip to the local Target.
 
boston lake by target
The local Target is in a suburb 5 miles north of the city
 
revere road sign
and at least has strip-malls and suburb-style road signs.
 
fenway sign
Matteo's second goal was to see a Red Sox baseball game. Given that we don't have a car, the suburb goal was hard enough. But given his extremely late desire to go to a Red Sox game for a team that always sells out the stadium, I was doubtful he'd pull this goal off.
 
fenway gate A
I went to Fenway Park early in the morning to see if there were walk up tickets available (they have around 200 per game), but the line already contained a few hundred people, many of whom had been sleeping on the ground for quite a while.

However, John - world's best Red Sox ticket finder - Difonzo worked some real magic and managed to find two bleacher seat tickets (thanks John!!!!).
 
matteo red sox hat
Before the game Matteo wanted to buy a Red Sox hat. Seemed like a simple task, but I'd never watched an Italian guy buy a hat.

We go up to the slightly gruff cap salesman and Matteo tells the guy he wants a hat. The salesman says sure you look like a large and slaps a hat on Matteo's head. Matteo thinks the hat might be too small and asks to try an extra-large instead. Salesman hands him an extra large. Matteo asks the salesman if he has a mirror. The salesman looks at him a little funny and says, walk up to that window over there, you can see your reflection pretty good. Matteo leaves to look at his reflection in the window for a looong time. He tries it this way and that way, looks from the front, from the side.

A few minutes later, Matteo returns and tells the salesman it's too big. Salesman says, "I told you, you were a large" and hands Matteo a large hat. Matteo walks away with the hat. Salesman looks at me like, "hey where the hell's your friend going with my hat". I tell the salesman, I think he's going to look at how this one fits. Matteo is gone for a looong time. Salesman increasingly looks at me with a "what's going on with your pansy friend and my hat". Finally, I feel I need to say something to relieve his fear that Matteo might run of with the hat or something and I say, "he's an Italian dude; they worry more about style and stuff like that than American guys". The much relieved salesman laughed and said he's had a few girls take that long picking out a hat, but never a boy.

Despite the hat ordeal, we still made it into the game with plenty of time.
 
fenway center field
It was the first time I'd watched a Red Sox game from the bleacher seats.
 
matteo J fenway park
The bleacher seats in Fenway have reputation of being the rowdy section. And on this nite, they certainly lived up to their reputation. There were heavy drinkers hugging and high-fiving everybody during all the games big plays.
 
curt schilling warm up
Curt Schilling was the the starter in this game against the Angels.
 
curt schilling warm up 2
It was one of the most exciting games I've seen at Fenway. The Sox were up then down then up then down.
 
big papi
And finally Big Papi came in with a giant home run that landed in left field (not too far from us) that put the Sox on the road to victory.

 
us laundry machine
The next day was laundry day, and Matteo took this photo of the laundry machines, because apparently American laundry machines look different.

The thing Matteo mentioned most that he wanted to try was Lobster. Somehow, he found a pile of cash on the stairs leading up to our apartment (over 100 bucks), and he decided that was the lobster money.
 
matteo lobster 1
So Matteo took us to Legal Seafoods and had his first lobster. It was also his 28th birthday.
 
matteo lobster 2
But turns out Matteo doesn't like lobster.

After his first lobster, Matteo headed off to see NYC and Washington DC for the first time too. Then he flew back to Milan.

Thanks for coming to visit Matteo! Hopefully next time we'll have a car, and we can take you to a real suburb.