Friday, April 24, 2009

So You're Going to Boston...

Today, the Yankees and the Red Sox renew their not-so-ancient (at least in my world) rivalry. Since, however, not all of us have the luxury of attending the game, I thought I'd put together a little guide on the city of Boston.

The city, believe it or not, is quite lovely and more or less the university capital of the world. If you can make your way past the obnoxious Sox fans (who still don't bother me as much as obnoxious Mets fans), you can have quite a pleasant trip. It's even more pleasant after the Yankees win, having been there during both Yankee wins and Yankee losses.

The last time I was in the city my friend and I walked the Freedom Trail, in reverse. The trail hits all of Boston's revolutionary historic landmarks, nearly all of which are free, and if you do it in reverse you start on the outskirts and end up in the center of the city. The entire thing is walkable and doable in a day, though you should, of course, go at whatever pace suits you.

We start at the Bunker Hill monument. Everyone in New England knows that the Battle of Bunker Hill was actually fought at Breed's Hill, but since we Yankee fans are (usually) not New Englanders, we can be excused for not knowing.

You can climb to the top of the monument and get some great views of Boston.

The next stop on the tour is the USS Constitution or "Old Ironsides", but when I went it was closed so I just got this one rather lame picture.

After you cross the Charles River, you end up in

From there, there's the old cemetary at Cobb's Hill Burying Ground.

After that it's a short walk to the Old North Church, where Paul Revere sounded the alarm way back when.

After stopping at the Paul Revere house, you more or less wind your way directly into downtown Boston.

It doesn't take a Yankee fan to realize that Boston's City Hall, at least the current one, is possibly the ugliest building known to mankind.

It's the one that looks like a jail.

However, Boston does (kinda) make up for it with this, which would be an awesome place to catch a game:

After that you wander over to Fanueil Hall, whose bottom floor is stocked with one massive souvenir store.

Then there's the Old South meeting house

And Old City Hall.

The last thing you see is the state house on Boston Common:

Now, before you go and accuse me of being a traitor, understand this:

The Boston-New York rivalry survives because it's more than just the sports. Both cities are landmarks in American culture and American history.

The Sox-Yankees rivalry survives because, unlike other rivalries when one team of the two may fall off in terms of winning ability (whatever happened to Royals-Yankees or Orioles-Yankees, for example), the Sox and Yankees never have. Both teams have always been good (with the exception of a few years here and there) and whether we'd like to admit it or not, there's a sense of mutual respect. There has to be, or the losses, when they occur, would not be so heartbreaking.

The series this weekend should be a good one, whether you're into Joba and Youkilis, watching AJ pitch or simply just watching good baseball.

Enjoy it, and if you get a chance to explore the city, you might as well. And hey, I've been to Boston a few times. I'm still a Yankees fan.