Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I am from Boston

I am from Boston.  The tragedy yesterday hurts my heart…but I am from Boston and that means a lot.
I am from Boston.  I live in Groton, but I am from Boston.  I have noticed that many Massachusetts folks like me, when we travel and are asked where we are from…we say, “From Boston.”  If the conversation continues, then there is clarification…a little town northwest of Boston.  But in my heart,  I am from Boston…not Massachusetts...not New England, Boston!   We are on the brink of downsizing and guess where we hope to move…I am from Boston!
I grew up in a small town, 12 miles from the city.  As early as 13 years old, my friends and I would get on the “T” at Oak Grove Station and head to the NE Aquarium or Quincy Hall Market Place…after all, I was from Boston…I love this accessible little city.  My favorite place…Boston.  I love that it is a renaissance city…a city with a continental flair.  It is walkable…it oozes pride, history and a hometown feel.  Boston isn’t pretentious or uppity…Boston is just very sure of who were are and where we’ve come from…we got good roots.
Boston Marathon…Project Bread Walk For Hunger…AIDS Walk…March of Dimes Walk for Babies…Boston Avon Walk For Breast Cancer…Boston Walk for Brain Cancer…MSPCA Angell Walk For Animals…Jimmy Fund Marathon Walk…
A couple of months ago, I was vacationing in Key West, enjoying some fried chicken at Sarabeth’s Restaurant. Out on the patio where seating was at a premium, enjoying the warm Florida wind, we people watched.  Shortly after we sat down, a couple of Russian ex-pats seated rather close to us started talking about where they would next like to visit in the US.  The woman stated she wanted to go to Boston.  Her companion tried to talk her into NYC.  I couldn’t help myself, I leaned over and said “I am from Boston…you should visit…it is such a lovely city.”  When asked when I would recommend they visit, without hesitation I said April or October…April because of Patriots’ Day, the marathon, the swan boats, the Red Sox…October because it is Autumn and the city has a special energy after the dog days of summer…” The woman smiled and nodded and I realized all our meals were getting cold.  So, I raised my glass of rose’ and asked them to join us in a toast to Boston.  I am from Boston, I thought, and I smiled.
Freedom Trail…Bunker Hill…Paul Revere’s house…Old North Church…Faneuil Hall…the Custom’s House…Beacon Hill…Granary Burying Ground…Old South Meeting House…
We are more thoroughly an enlightened people, with respect to our political interests, than perhaps any other under heaven. Every man among us reads, and is so easy in his circumstances as to have leisure for conversations of improvement and for acquiring information  Benjamin Franklin, Boston’s own, spells out a real truth about our city.  We are a city of history, education, politics, philanthropy, and, we have our warts.  Nowhere else I have admired and been inspired by the noble efforts, as outlined, than in Boston.  Boston is one of those places where we own our history…sometimes we are embarrassed by our history and politics, but we never deny it.  More importantly, we learn from it and we teach others the lessons we’ve learned.  Tip O”Neill, Boston’s elder statesman and former Speaker of the House, once said, “All politics is local.”  This is so true in Boston. It is local…it is personal…because Bostonians, and by our regional default, other New Englanders…we care a lot about who we are and where we come from.  We are a world class city…with a unique small town feel.  I’m from Boston.
Boston Red Sox… Boston Celtics… Boston Bruins… New England Patriots… Boston Garden...Fenway Park…NE Sports Hall of Fame…The Head of the Charles…
I am a Boston sports fan.  I am a hom-ah!  I have jerseys, caps and sweat shirts for each team.  I love to go to games.  I cheer and boo and yell at the ref.  I sing the National Anthem.  I love Boston’s pride…I cried when the curse was lifted…I was pumped when #17 went to the rafters at the Garden. I love Opening Day.  The number 4 is my favorite number thanks to Bobby Orr.  Boston fans are the greatest fans.  We are knowledgeable, passionate and driven to love/hate relationships with our teams.  Some followers can be real jerks though.  A few years back, I was sitting in some awesome seats along the third base line at Fenway.  It was raining, but the ballpark was filled.  A few seats to my right, were some Tampa Bay Fans…enjoying the game.  As the end of the eighth approached, and Sweet Caroline wasn’t so sweet, it was clear the Sox were gonna lose.  You could feel it.  The Rays fans were enjoying their team’s skill and nearby boo-birds and drunks decided to take the impending loss out on our visitors.  A couple of loud mouthed broads started cursing at the Rays’ fans and their companions were posturing and threatening a beatin’.  Stupid.  I leaned over and said to the visitors, “This is Friendly Fenway…America’s most beloved ballpark…ignore them.  They are not Boston. Boston is better than that! ”  Something cool happened next.  Other Red Sox fans started to chime in and tell the drunks to shut up…to get out of the park…and lo and behold, the peer pressure worked…that and security popped in on the scene and the offenders were escorted to applause and nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey good bye!  As the game ended, people reached out to congratulate the visiting fans…and we walked out humbled and peaceable.  I am from Boston.

NE Aquarium…MFA…Boston Children’s Museum…Boston’s Museum of Science…Public Gardens…Boston Common…Symphony Hall…The Esplanade…
Boston is a cradle of life, passion, education, innovation, history and liberty.  Her citizens live well, play hard and have passion for things that are good, important and meaningful.  We are stoic and cool…but once the ice is broken you have a friend for life.  No one lives and laughs with more zeal than those of us from Boston.  One of my favorite symbols of the city are McCloskey’s  Make Way For Ducklings. As a baby gift, I give that book to welcome the newborns.  I love the statue…and I love the story of our little ducks in Boston…Mrs. Mallard leads the ducklings ashore and straight to the road in hopes of crossing to reach the Public Garden, but she has trouble crossing as the cars will not yield to her. Michael, the policeman who fed peanuts to the Mallards, stops traffic for the family to cross. Michael calls police headquarters and instructs them to send a police car to stop traffic along the route for the ducks. The ducks cross Storrow Drive, proceeding down Mount Vernon Street to Charles, where they waddle on toward the Garden. The people on the streets admire the family of ducks. When the family must cross Beacon to enter the Public Gardens, there are four policemen standing in the intersection stopping traffic to make way for the ducklings.  Mr. Mallard meets up with his troop at the Public Garden.  The Mallards decide to stay in the Garden and live happily ever after. I thought of that story yesterday as our first responders and those amazing volunteers rushed to help the wounded and frightened.   We do what must be done. We are brave.  We are giving…Boston is a city of purpose.  I’m from Boston…and I love that dirty water…Boston you’re my home.


  1. Hi Alice! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be able to answer a quick question I have about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com :-)

    1. Hi Heather...so sorry about not replying when you asked...I was having technical issues with blog spot