To emerge from the underground darkness of the subway and into the Seaport section of Boston in the early evening is to step into a city exhaling after a long day.
Shoulders relaxed, business suit off, feet up.
Cars are headed out, maybe to other parts of the city, maybe to the suburbs. The traffic jams — it’s Boston, so there are always traffic jams — are in the opposite direction of those from the morning.
In town, what sounds like a didgeridoo is actually a scooter or a moped going by. Is that how they make those engines, or is that something someone should look at?
Two women stand in front of an office building. One tells the other to walk home safely and — I assume since we walked past the last few words of the conversation — text her when she arrives.
In front of another, a man looks like he’s pulling a drag from a vaping pen.
The clouds and rain of the morning have long since given way to sun, so even though it’s chilly with a touch of a breeze, crews are on the water, getting in their last reps before sundown.
Back on land, a man walks an impossibly small dog. People turn and watch as he goes by, maybe out of disbelief that a dog could be so small, or because it’s cute (which it is).
There is building, always building, but even the construction cranes seem to be at rest.
Yet even in the evening, it’s impossible to completely relax. There’s a line to stand in line at one restaurant, an hour wait for a table next door.
The main activity on this evening is down the street, a sold-out Kacey Musgraves concert. Pizza and a grilled cheese sandwich at the venue will work for dinner; people-watching will provide the entertainment before the show starts.
The concert, which is fantastic, ends a little before 11. Everyone scatters to cabs, Uber, Lyft, the same subway from which they emerged hours earlier or however they’re going to get home.
And in less than a couple handfuls of hours, the city will inhale deeply again.