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-   -   Summer In The City (http://www.udpride.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33156)

Swampy Meadows 07-15-2019 08:04 PM

Summer In The City
BOSTON (MA) -- John Sebastian and The Lovin’ Spoonful said it best back in the Summer of ’66:

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn't it a pity
Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city
All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

Nowhere was that more apparent than in my hometown of Boston, where my wife and I got to spend an extended weekend. It’s always interesting going back home because I am from Boston, but not of Boston. Born there; lived there until I was 2; then moved to Randolph and eventually to the exurb of Leominster, roughly 40 miles due west on Route 2. Back then we would make it into town to see my grandparents, go to ballgames or on school field trips, but that was about it.

I may be dumb, but I am not crazy. We didn’t even think about renting a car and instead relied on Ubers and a Hop On, Hop Off tour bus. Drivers (and pedestrians for that matter) in the Hub are ultra-aggressive and he who hesitates, loses. Didn’t want any part of that melee.

Here are a few of the high points of our visit to “The Cradle of History”:

Fenway Park


I first walked up the ramp and saw this field 60-something years ago -- it still blows my mind every time I come back. The LA Dodgers were in town for a World Series rematch and while the end result wasn’t what we wanted, just being there and seeing a ballgame again brought back a flood of memories. The dreadful “25 guys, 25 cabs” teams of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s featuring Ted Williams; being there the night Tony C got beaned and out on Lansdowne Street for the 7th game of the World Series in 1967; seeing Jim Rice and Freddy Lynn in their rookie season in 1975; taking my two Sox fan daughters to their first game at Fenway and having Big Papi hit a moonshot in our general direction, among them.

There are a lot of great ballparks, but there is only one Fenway.

The North End

I’m mostly Irish but that doesn’t mean I don’t love to eat. If you ever get the chance to visit Boston, you simply must grab a meal in the North End, the Italian section of Boston and the origin of Wednesday being “Prince Spaghetti Day” for all New Englanders. It doesn’t matter where. Hanover Street was lined with restaurant after restaurant on both sides. My wife found a place online called Pomodoro, which was one of the few eateries that took reservations. When we got there the only way we knew we had arrived was by the street number—there was no sign! It was a little hole in the wall joint that seats maybe 30 people max. The food was otherworldly and the service ultra-attentive. Be forewarned: most places only take cash. You’ll thank me later.


The Colonnade Hotel is across the street from the Prudential Center and one of the few in the city to feature a roof top pool and bar (aptly named The RTP). It was hot and humid our entire stay, especially early Saturday afternoon before we were to head off to the ballgame. We woke up that morning to the following article on the front page of the Lifestyle section of The Boston Globe:


Everybody and his sister must have read that piece because by the time I got there it was mobbed. Had to basically stand off to the side and wait for somebody to leave before we could get two chairs but it was worth it!


The absolute highlight of the trip was the opportunity to hear this guy speak. Tom Brady talked about all of the obstacles he has had to overcome in his career and how he views them as opportunities rather than problems. “I wouldn’t change a thing because they made me what I am today.”

The session was moderated by sportscaster Jim Gray, a good friend of TB12’s. One little known fact about Jim Gray is that the very first person he ever interviewed was Muhammad Ali; the very last interview that Ali gave was to the same Jim Gray.

So it only stands to reason that Gray would be close with Muhammad’s widow, Lonnie. Jim told the story about how he and Tom were playing golf recently when Lonnie called him. It was Gray’s turn to hit so he said to Lonnie “Here, I’ll let you talk to Tom Brady.” A few minutes later it was Brady’s turn so he handed the phone back to Jim. Lonnie told Gray that she really admired Brady. Lonnie said of Tom “He’s the only sports figure who reminds me of my husband.”

Brady also talked about his training philosophy which is embodied in the TB12 Method that he and his trainer Alex Guerrero have developed. He says he wants to play until he’s 45. I wouldn’t bet against him.

Appropriately, we finished up our trip with a mug of outstanding clam chowder at the Legal Seafood Test Kitchen at Logan Airport.

It was good to be home.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com

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