That’s right, folks. It’s time for another installment of our nation’s favorite weekend road trip blog: Weekend (Ultimate) Warriors! Or, it’s summer and let’s hit the road.
But wait a minute. It’s not summer at all. In fact it’s snowing everywhere.
Buffalo logged 6 feet of snow in one day.
Alright, alright. You got me. The wife and I went to Boston a few weeks ago, before all the snow. And yes, summer was definitely over, but fall was doing fine at the time. Amazingly enough, the Boston temperature was quite warm and welcoming, if not brisk. We lucked out wicked big time.
Here’s the thing.
I’m totally obsessed with Boston. It’s sort of a nostalgia thing, which I recently swore off, I know, but the nostalgia is earned. I had never been to Boston; however, the city of clam chowdery love had played a big role in my life, once a week, for at least a year straight.
Okay. Here it comes.
In California, years ago, when I shared an apartment with some friends, we hosted “Boston Night,” every Tuesday night.
Yes, dorky. I’m aware. Boston Night. Why would random young Californians obsess over Boston?
Well, Boston movies for one. They are their own genre. And the movies are frequently wicked excellent. Boondock Saints, The Departed, Good Will Hunting, Mystic River, Fever Pitch…
Maybe not Fever Pitch, but you get the idea.
Really, Boston Night was an excuse to get together. To bring people under one roof. I always loved hosting Boston Night. I’ll never forget the movies and Sam Adams, the Boston Baked Beans and clam chowder, my friends and their bad “Southie” accents. It was a good time.
So, the second I rolled into Boston city limits, with Megan asleep next to me, about 11pm, the biggest smile broke on my face and I almost shed a tear. ALMOST.
In Southie, you gotta plah haad bahl.
Okay, nuff of that.
We have friends that live in a beautiful part of town called the Back Bay. We made the Back Bay our home base and walked everywhere we could. Boston is a big walking town, for sure. Especially with the weather so wicked awesome.
Dunkin’ Donuts were EVERYWHERE, yes, but those I could get in Rochester. I wanted to see what Boston had to offer in authentic, craft coffee. I finally found some at The Wired Puppy. An incredible place. Also, there were dogs there both mornings I visited. Extra points for cuteness.
We made our way to Harvard (i.e., Hahvad).
It felt weird visiting and admiring and taking pictures of another campus. Like I was cheating on my school, or something. All I can say is that we didn’t stay long, and we didn’t put our hand on some statue’s stupid foot, but it was neat. Some amazing people have emerged from this rarefied campus, most notably, of course, the modern philosopher Conan O’Brien.
Then off to the Freedom Trail.
On the way, we found some killer street art.
We didn’t walk the entire Freedom Trail. Mainly, we saw the Boston Massacre site, Quincy Market, and Paul Revere’s 1700’s house, which we toured (though you weren’t allowed to take pictures).
The walk was beautiful. When you see Boston you really learn a lot about history, our nation, and freedom. Freedom isn’t free. You know? It’s a trail.
Anyway, we went to the harbor (i.e., hahbah).
We spent a day and a half in Boston. Before we left, we knew we had one thing left to do.
Chowder (i.e., chowdah)
For this we took our car—really, we didn’t drive our car all weekend, Boston is very walkable, perhaps more so than NYC—to South Boston. Yes, as in Southie. It was a great moment, so great, I got us lost on a tunnel highway. I took a wrong turn after looking for parking and went straight underground for a very hungry almost-hour. Thankfully, we found our way back to the waters of Southie, and more important, to the chowder.
And on the seventh day the Lord rested, and he said, “I shall now have Boston clam chowder.”
Believe the hype people. I grew up in a California clam chowder town, and this stuff made my stuff look like a dented Campbell’s soup can in a deserted clearance aisle. Legal Seafood, we heard, was the place to go, and they did not disappoint. Their chowder was fresh and meaty, somehow satisfying my ridiculous expectations.
Until next time, Boston. You were a dream. A fantasy come true. A setting worth a ritual.