Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boston recap

The trip went well, the wedding went off smoothly, and we marked another celebrity chef restaurant off our list. Unfortunately the groom decided we were his captive audience, which prevented me from getting together with my friends. Thanks a million to Alan Lepofsky, Richard Schwartz and Rob McDonagh for trying so hard. I owe you all a beverage of your choice at Lotusphere for dealing with the schizophrenia. :-)

Now for the hard part... neither Myron or I really liked Boston. To us it was towering skyscrapers, a confusing warren of streets, and some of the worst traffic and most discourteous drivers I have seen anywhere in the world. Even outside of city center the traffic and drivers were horrible. The bride's sister commented "People from other places come here and think they can just follow the signs to get somewhere. For the most part there aren't any signs, and if there are signs it only makes things worse."

Friday we ventured into town to go to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall. On the way we ended up in a tunnel, which efficiently deposited us on the other side of Boston. None of the exits said anything about Faneuil Hall or even Downtown. On the way back, the exit signs did direct us to Downtown. One bit of frustration down we made our way to Quincy Market -- only to discover it's just a big food court with some tacky trinket shops. Tremendously disappointed with that we walked across the small plaza to Faneuil Hall, which was marginally better but still left us wanting something more... real. Perhaps living in a city that has more original pre-Revolutionary buildings than anywhere else in the US has us jaded.

Saturday morning was clear but overcast, and we drove up I-93 to Nashua, NH, which was about 20 minutes. We stopped for breakfast at a wonderful diner called Roland's, then headed across state road 111 nearly to the coast, where we picked up I-95 to head back to Boston. We went through numerous small towns. The people were friendly -- someone even stopped so we could turn left in front of them! -- and the scenery was lovely. I'd go back to New Hampshire without hesitation. I'd need a compelling reason to bother with Boston again.


  1. Charles, you've now experienced it first-hand -- yes, driving in Boston is more like driving in Asia. It's survival of the fittest, road rules be damned.

    I hated it every day. Even worse when I was in a collision on my way to work one day in the fall of '98, had a minor fender-bender at a merge ramp with a woman who hadn't slept the night before working late on her school work...then she sued me for personal injury on the very last day before the statute of limitations expired. nice people.

    What celebrity restaurant did you visit? I'm guessing a Todd English establishment but it could be any one of three or four these days...

    As for Faneuil Hall, it's pleasant enough, but you're right, unless you go in the actual hall, there's no sense of history there. There's a bit more at the old church, bunker hill, or several other places on the red painted trail.

  2. I've never been to Asia, but I have been in some of the most cut-throat traffic the US and Europe have to offer. Your experience isn't so different from my own.

    We did go into Faneuil Hall, and after that we were ready for the next installment. That's when it suddenly hit us that while Boston has some historical elements, there aren't whole neighborhoods standing as they were when Paul Revere rode through them, which is what we expected. Admittedly that is our own lack of research and preparation, but it's still sad to know that so much of our country's past is buried under so much glass, steel and concrete. I have come to appreciate just how much has gone into keeping Charleston intact.

    We went to Ming Tsai's Blue Ginger. $240 dinners get their own posting, I've just been a little busy lately. :-)

  3. you might like this:


    Sorry that Boston didn't work out for you. Especially coming from a town as great/historical as Charleston.