Had I known that this giant, 3-story lit-up globe came with a “no pictures” rule, I probably wouldn’t have paid the $6 to see it. Maybe that’s crazy, maybe that’s a product of today’s instagram-filtered world, or maybe it’s both. But it’s the truth.
Still, I’m glad I saw it, 1.) because it’s on many off-the-beaten-path lists for Boston, and after calling they city my home for 4 years during college, I was excited to do something I’d never even heard of when I lived there, and 2.) it seems to be a good representation of what Boston itself is to me.
They haven’t updated the map on the globe since it was created in 1935, so, due to some now-mislabeled areas, in some ways it’s frozen in time. Walking down the main street of the Boston University campus I hadn’t set foot on in 10 years, I felt like it had been frozen as well. Sure, there were new restaurants, and my favorite dive Thai place had changed locations (and gained a nicer interior), but for the most part, it felt like it did a decade ago. That seems impossible, and the feeling that not much had changed had the effect of making me feel like perhaps I, too, was frozen in time. After all, while I know objectively I’ve come a long way since my college days, at the same time, I don’t feel like I’m 10 years removed from those times.
The no-photography rule at the mapparium meant there was no way for me to document my visit in visuals. And while Boston as a whole doesn’t have such a rule, I felt like pictures couldn’t really do the trip justice anyway. I could take a picture of the Charles River, or Fenway Park, and people could tell I was in the city, but they couldn’t see all of the weird nostalgia/feeling of being back in 2002 I was experiencing behind the scenes.
So maybe it’s a good thing I wasn’t allowed to attempt to capture the mapparium’s magnificent visuals. At least that’s what I’m telling myself because I really, really wanted to get a shot of it to post on instagram.