February 22, 2020
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East Coast Toasts

East Coast Toasts
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This has to be America’s finest city. I know, I know, New York is bigger and more worldly. Miami has a great climate. Chicago’s architecture is stunning and Los Angeles has...well, okay then, forget LA. To me, Boston is special. The American revolution was plotted here in taverns and chop houses, many of which still stand. There’s the excellent Freedom Trail—a walking tour that you do yourself through Boston’s historic districts by following a line of red bricks along local pavements and sidewalks. One of the dominant features of the skyline is the Bunker Hill memorial, a towering monolith that marks a crucial battle in the Revolutionary War with Britain that the Americans actually lost. But that defeat sparked them to greater glories and eventual independence, much as the setbacks of India’s freedom struggle that inspired its leaders and footsoldiers. Then there’s the glorious waterfront. Boston Harbour is a jewel, a place where warships, whaling fleets and explorers have set sail for centuries. At one end, the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest still-commissioned warship, sits in drydock in the old naval yard. Its aging oak timbers and now silent cannons are a shrine to the US navy and a fascinating look into the nasty life of a 19th century sailor. At the other, the looming cube of the Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA) leans impossibly out over the south bank of the Charles River estuary, its mirrored steel surface reflecting the cruise ships and scudding sailboats. In between, once-moribund wharves and warehouses now throng with tourists eating steamed clams and sipping Sam Adams Boston Lager. Gleaming condominium towers are home to some of the country’s most expensive apartments. Inland, a neighbourhood called Back Bay is testament to what great city planning can do. It was reclaimed from a riverside swamp about a hundred years ago and today has the country’s most upscale housing. Southern districts that resounded with America’s worst race rioting in the 1960s are now models of multiculturalism and relative harmony. In short, Boston rocks.
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