Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

While I was prepared to bird the Cape, the winds were way too strong (20mph) from the wrong direction (northwest).  If the winds were from the east, I would have been on the Cape in a heartbeat hoping for more seabirds.

So, in an attempt to set the mood, I thought I would write this section in my best Boston accent:

You know,the idea that pocking a cah in Bawston is wicked bad.  I just could not bay-ah the idea of bumpa to bumpa cahs, so I left at dawwwn.  Before long, I was pocked and walkin' the Freedom Trail.  Two and half miles lawng, I did the whole thing. Twice, actually.  I pocked in the middle, went to the first stop, got to the last stop, and then got back to my cah.  My dawgs weren't bockin’.  I did good.

It was so cool to watch the city come alive.  Fruit vendahs settin' up the stuff. The news-pay-pah guys settin' up his rocks to weigh down the pay-pahs. So few people.  As the minutes ticked by, more and more people pooored out of the mass transit hubs.  The sounds.  The sights.  Really, really cool, believe it or not.

The bone-yods were incredible.  Three of them are on duh wok and they looked just like the Old Burying Ground in Salem.  Skulls with wings seemed to be popular, especially at the Copp's Hill Cemetery (way-ah, by the way, all the stones were moved in 1838 as planners  wanted paths around the grounds, but gave no thought to moving the stiffs).  The Downy Woodpeck-ah was a nice change from what was basically a bird-less environment beyond House Sparrows and Sky Rats.

Seeing the graves of some of the most famous stiffs in our history was really cool.  Paul Ruh-veer-ah’s stone was pretty boooring.  I assume Dawes (the udder guy with Ruh-veer-uh) must be buried under that crypt.  If not, he is buried in dah fetal position. Or, he had the stature of hobbit.  Such a tiny box.  John Adams is buried in Bawston. Without him, what would the Bawston Beer Company have called their bee-ah?  Right around the corner is John Hancock's grave.  Buy me a cold one and I will tell what you the grave mock-ah looks like...

Okay, enough of that.....

 A stunning piece of work can be found on Boston Common. A memorial to the men of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry stands larger than life.  The movie "Glory" with Mathew Broderick, Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, popularized their accomplishments.  It is a must watch for everybody. Period. 

In my ongoing attempt to fill people in on reality (they sometimes hate it when I do that), I'm afraid I have bad news about the Old North Church. 

You know the story, I'm sure.  “One if by land, two if by sea” was the code used by the residents of Boston to inform everyone of the British invasion plans.  The steeple, standing tall and proud, is not the original. Sorry, but it is a re-do. The original was redone almost two centuries ago.  The fake was then destroyed by a hurricane in the 50's.  So, the steeple you see is not the one old Paul saw that night. Sorry.  The weather vane, however, is the original from 1740. 

On the other hand, Paul's house, not far from the church, is apparently the real deal.  Built in 1680, it stands as the oldest structure in Boston. Sure, things have changed a bit.  No, the gutters are not original to the 1770's.

The site of the Boston Massacre is sandwiched in the middle of one of the weirdest intersections.  Roads criss-cross around this tiny little triangle of real estate.  I have seen larger dining room tables.  A star marks the location were 5 Bostonians were shot dead.  The morning I was there, another Bostonian almost died on the spot.  If she did not collect her wits in time, that bus would have massacred her. 

Unfortunately, some things were not as open as I had liked.  The USS Constitution was closed.  One can tour this ship and I missed my chance.  While is has been restored and modified, it is basically the original ship dating back to pre-1812.  “Old Ironsides” is still a commissioned warship.  So, when we have to invade Yemen in the years to come, she can lead the way!  Take that, terrorists!   Also, the huge monument on Bunk-ah, I mean Bunker Hill, commemorating the Battle of Bunker Hill (which was largely fought on Breeds Hill, by the way) was closed.  The grand view of the Boston area will have to wait.

As one might expect, after touring Boston on foot (other wimps took the tour buses), I was tired and thirsty.  A GIANT glass of water was what I needed.  That, and a steak and cheese burger with three new beers from the Boston Beer Works.  If the title sounds somewhat familiar, it should.  It turns out the Salem Beers Works is owned by the same guy.  Any way you look it, the three beers; Ginger IPA (#856), Muddy River Porter (#857), and Bulfinch (#855).  The Bulfinch was the creamiest beer I have had in a long time, but the Porter was the best of the three.

Per usual, leaving town was ridiculous.  I was leaving at 3:00 and it was a slow bumper to bumper battle.  What would have taken a few minutes in most towns, took fifty years...

Lodging was in Hyannis with a nice bite at Ardeo's.  Seafood pasta can't be beat.  Despite a bum-steer from the folks at the hotel about the beer selection, I found the Harpoon IPA (#858), from the Harpoon Brewery in Boston, was new and more importantly, good. 

After-dinner journaling at another British Beer Company would have been cool, but knowing this is the biggest bar nights of the year, I opted to head back to the hotel and plan my assault on the Cape. Trying to type while listening to college hacks recount bad drinking episodes was not on my agenda…

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