Immersed in the environment

Continuing my Cambridge/Boston nostalgia trip: I ate lunch at Legal Seafoods. When I was an undergrad, my parents were apparently concerned that I would not eat properly. So my dad gave me a credit card, and instructed me to eat at Legal Seafoods once a month. He’d eaten there when bringing me up to school for the first time, and been particularly impressed by the clam chowder.

As I remember it, I said I didn’t want to go to a restaurant alone, so I was allowed to bring one person with me for my nutritious meal of the month. My favorite items were the bluefish pate and the ice cream bon bons. I took various friends to dinner in turn. I don’t think my visit did much to affect my health and nutrition, but they did create in me an appreciation for fresh fish.

When I came back to the area for grad school, I didn’t eat at Legal’s very often, but now and again my dear friend Sharon and I would get lunch there, chowder and a sassy beer from the tap.

So today for lunch I ordered a cup of chowder, a salad with goat cheese, apples, and avocados, and a pint of Harpoon I.P.A. The chowder was fine, although a couple bits of grit snuck into my cup. The salad was uninspired. But the beer was cold and crisp, a lovely compliment to a chilly fall day.

Of course, I’m not actually enjoying much of the lovely, chilly, sunny day. I’m in a theatre in the basement of a building on the MIT campus (Bldg E15, for those in the know), for day two of Futures of Entertainment. Now I’m settling in to listen to people from Linden Labs (makers of Second Life), Multiverse.net, and MTV talk about virtual worlds, online spaces, and immersive experiences. Just before lunch we had a spontaneous countdown, from ten to one, bidding tongue-in-cheek farewell to Web 2.0 (this morning’s panel talked about MySpace and fan-based communities) and welcoming in Web 3.0.

Like many people, I have opened an account in Second Life and created a self, but haven’t done anything with it (her?). In fact, she’s only half designed, wearing some weird combination of default clothes and appearance. At some point I’ll get back to her and finish the setup, and go through the training area to learn how to make my way around. I’d like to understand more about what’s available in these kinds of environments — it’s a rapidly changing space, and there’s no way to know what will happen. As with much in this conference, I’m pleased to listen, watch, and learn.

2 thoughts on “Immersed in the environment”

  1. I’m only a couple of days away from a full 8 days in Boston myself, and was just thinking about my annual pair of trips to Legal’s. First time, I’ll get something fancy-schmancy, and the second trip always comes down to my little indulgence — a big honkin’ plate of deeply-fried fish, shrimp and scallops washed down with an IPA of some sort.

    Unfortunately, I’ll spend the rest of my time hunkered down in Copley Place. Where there is a Legal’s, but I try to get out of the building and go to a different one just for the sake of getting out of the building.

  2. Bob, I think it’s time you tried a different restaurant. Especially for your fancy-schmancy meal. I’m sure there are lots of great new restaurants that I know nothing of, so you might ask around. And if nothing comes to light, head down to Faneuil Hall and go to the Union Bay Oyster House, or really splurge and eat at McCormick & Schmick. Based on my meals this trip, Legal’s quality has slipped quite a bit.

    I’d still eat their big honkin’ plate of fried bliss though, and wash it down with a nice Harpoon IPA.

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