Patriotism is big in Boston. This is the city of Paul Revere and the sons of liberty, the city whose citizens dumped a boatload of tea into the harbor in protest, the city that began the fight for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It’s almost enough to make you want to apologize for not being American. (I said almost.)
We got a heavy dose of this patriotic history by walking a bit of the Freedom Trail, a path through downtown that passes a bunch of buildings and other sites dating from pre-revolutionary times. We saw the Old State House, built in 1713 as the seat of the colonial government; the Declaration of Independence was first read to Bostonians from the balcony. Not far from the state house was the cemetery where people like Samuel Adams and Paul Revere were laid to rest. The God-bless-America thing gets kind of annoying, but you have to respect a place that remembers where it came from.
And you have to love the place where everybody knows your name. The highlight of Chris’s day was having lunch at the original Cheers bar, which looks exactly like the TV version from the outside, but in no way resembles it on the inside. There was plenty of memorabilia on the walls, though, and of course a gift shop where you could get every conceivable souvenir (including a T-shirt with a picture of a beer stein and a tagline that read, “I don’t even remember my name.”) It was pretty cool.
Next up was a free walking tour of Harvard’s hallowed grounds. Our guide was a second-year sociology student, and I did wonder why anyone would spend $60,000 a year to get an undergrad degree in the social sciences…but maybe I’m missing something.
We rounded off the day with some clam chow-dah and seafood at a very cool restaurant on the harborfront before dragging our weary bones back to the hotel. Tomorrow morning we catch a train to New York.