Boston: Love that dirty water …
My sister lives in Boston, so that’s where I go in the offseason. This isn’t necessarily because Beantown is wicked ahhhhhhhsome, but because my sister can convince her three brothers to do just about anything. I’m sure if she lived in Toad Suck, Ark., we’d all visit every May. Thank God she lives in my favorite U.S. city. (And still wants to spend time with her brothers after all the lumps she took growing up.)
Since my chosen profession is sports writing, I lean toward great sports towns. And, honestly, is there a better one than Boston?I’ve relaxed in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, watched Elway work his magic in the old Mile High Stadium, and seen too many CU-Nebraska games to count over the years. None compare to the Fenway bleachers on a Friday night with a foot-long hot dog and a cold draft beer.As far as I’m concerned, heaven is belting out Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” with 34,000 inebriated Massholes during the seventh-inning stretch. When the Sox are winning, the choruses of “Da-Da-Daaaaa” typically last until the final pitch. Unless, of course, you end up in one of Yawkey Way’s many bars with half of the people in your section.I’d be remiss if I only spoke of the Sox here, though. One of my favorite other Boston memories? That was last month when I caught Martin Sexton’s standing-room-only show at the Avalon. Though born in Syracuse, N.Y., Bostonians treat Sexton like a native son, and rightfully so. (His first songs were recorded with money he made from busking in Harvard Square.)
For Martians like myself, seeing Sexton live is a bit like going to a tent revival. Or at least I imagine it to be. There’s a certain connection that takes place with everyone in the room – a bond molded from unforgettable harmonies. You come away feeling renewed, cleansed – complete. I’ve never met anyone who wasn’t converted after taking in one of his shows – especially the show in Boston, where my uninitiated older brother was singing along to choruses after just one beer.Different, of course, than the Da-Da-Daaaaaa at Fenway, but similar.Really, maybe that’s why I love Boston so much. People often say that big cities are cold, unfriendly places. I believed it when I lived in Paris, and during trips to New York and Chicago.But Boston? For certain, Bostonians are hearty, opinionated people – the type who would probably scoff at an out-of-towner trying to capture the essence of their city in a trifling travel article.
Then again, they’re also some of the most genuine and warm people I’ve met. And if I had to pick, there’s no group of kindred souls who I’d rather spend eternity with.Da-Da-Daaaaaaaa!Nate Peterson’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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