Wednesday, April 02, 2014

B is for Beantown

John Hancock building, downtown Boston
Continuing with the theme of places I've been, there are so many possibilities: Bedford, Beverly, Billerica, Burlington, all places I knew in my salad days. But I'll go with Boston (aka Beantown), Massachusetts. Boston is called Beantown for a reason I had to look up, and it has something to do with the city's part in the 18th-century slave trade if you believe the Internet (and who doesn't?).

The city has changed a lot since as a 12-year-old I took the B&M train into the city to meet a pal. There was a hole-in-the-wall diner called Joe and Nemo's, the combat zone with its offerings we didn't dare approach, Scollay Square where we heard the burley shows were. We were both too poor and innocent to check out any of those places. But we did eat lunch at Durgin Park, where the food was plentiful and the waitresses infamously brusque.

The streets downtown are rumored to have been laid out by cowpaths, which seems as good an explanation as any for the lack of a sensible grid. Today the city has a new look with buildings like the Hancock and the Pru. The old Boston Garden is gone, where the Celtics and Bruins used to play. But Fenway Park hasn't changed in a century, and the Boston Pops still gives free summer concerts along the Charles River.

Now we live more than 2,000 miles away, but Boston will always be my favorite city.

Since you've stopped by, please leave me a note in the comments section. I'll make a point of returning the favor.


Tara Tyler R said...

born in plymouth, boston was a big bad city to me. the traffic, oh the traffic! but i am hungry to go back and experience it as an adult - so full of culture and life and real people.

enjoyed your memories and updates of Beantown!

happy b day!

debi o'neille said...

I have always wanted to go to Boston, but it's not on my husband's favorite list. You'd rather go fishing. We'll see who wins when we retire. I enjoyed your post.

The Wicked Writer said...

I've never actually seen Boston, we've flown in on our way to Salem, but never actually spent anytime in the city, I think we should rectify that...when we've next got enough moula. Fantastic post.

Silvia Villalobos said...

I've only seen Boston from the airport/plane. A shame, isn't it? Your descriptions here tell me I should fix that and soon, Bob. Such a great city, and the history. I hope you get to go back as often as possible.

Julie Flanders said...

I love Boston! Have been there a few times and enjoyed it every time. I love the history of the city. Looking forward to more of your posts, I love virtual traveling. :)

Lexa Cain said...

Although I was born in Boston, I haven't been there as an adult. Cowpaths? Yes, that makes sense. Reminds me of how Greenwich Village is set up. Quirky but lovable. :)
(new follower)
Lexa Cain’s Blog

Donna B. McNicol said...

Interesting...I grew up 40 miles south of Boston in Duxbury. This was before highways and interstates, a trip into Boston was a MAJOR event.

D.B. McNicol
A to Z: Romance & Mystery...writing my life

M said...

Thanks for visiting my blog...I was in Boston for the first time this summer. I loved it! Saw all the sites- walked everywhere! Took a picture at the finish of the Boston Marathon line in the street, ate at a fantastic restaurant, and toured the Red Sox Stadium. So much history! Lovely post!

betty said...

Never been to Boston, it is interesting how we do develop a like for a favorite city even though we might live so many miles away from it. My favorite city (not sure now if it is a city) was Washington, DC though I only have visited it a few times and live 3000 miles away.


Gail Park said...

Ah! A city from MY youth as well! I took the bus in to Boston when I was about 16 with my cousin. (I can't believe our parents let us do that!!!) and have eaten many times in Durgin Park. Another favorite was Ken's on Boyleston St where I discovered Cheese Blintzes with Blueberry sauce. I grew up in Fitchburg. Now we are transplants in the Pacific Northwest.
Gail at Making Life An Art