Okay, following my post last Tuesday, this i the continuation of me explaining why Boston is my favorite place in the world.
One thing that is instrumental for me, when it comes to factors that make me like someplace a lot, is good places to eat. And Boston has those in spades.
As I said, there are the usual suspects: Maggiano’s, Finale (wonderful desserts), Legal Seafood, Boston Beerworks (great burgers and one of the best Red Ales I ever had) and the Union Oyster House (not only a beautiful and great place to eat, the oldest restaurant in America).
However, this time two places stood out as some excellent options I didn’t know: first the Summer Shack Restaurant on Dalton Street. Especially if you’re staying at the Hilton Back Bay or at the Sheraton, this is perfect, as it is almost next to door to both hotels. Anyway, this is great because they have great seafood options (the littleneck clams and the grilled gulf shrimp are must eats) and the burger is also good. Of course, your budget permitting you must try the lobster. The second place is in Little Italy and is called, to my total and complete happiness – because is so good – Antico Forno. Located on Salem Street is a very simple place but the food is otherworldly. Their pastas with seafood are really something special and the arancini is fabulous. However, what made me almost get down on my knees and start crying of happiness was the cannoli. It’s just indescribable. You have to eat to know. Not only the cream inside is magnificent but the cannoli itself… it is soft and crunchy at the same time! I’m sure if that scene in Godfather with Pete Clemenza was with this cannoli, the line would be: “Take the gun, leave the cannoli.” Yes, it’s that good.
So, we get to the three highlights of the trip. First up is the Isabella Gardner Museum. Once home of an extremely affluent woman, it was turned into a museum with her own art collection. There are art objects from all over the world: Europe, Middle-East, America and Far-East (especially China). And when I say art objects is everything that the term covers: pictures, sculptures, furniture, tapestry, musical instruments. There’s even sheet music signed by Tchaikovsky and given to Isabella as a gift! Of course the objects are wonderful, but the place itself is flabbergasting. It’s a real mansion with a sensational garden in the center.
Second is my freelancing as a Son of Liberty in the Tea Party Ships and Museum. Ever since the museum was greatly improved, it was my second time there. Of course I won’t even need to mention how cool the place is culturally and historically. But what happened this time was that I was invited to participate in the re-enactment of the reunion that led to the Tea Party. Everybody who enters the museum tour is taken to a replica of the inside of the Old South Meeting House where the original Sons of Liberty gathered to plan the attack to the British Ships later known as Boston Tea Party. Anyway, just after you enter you receive a card with the name of the character you’ll be portraying during the tour. The vast majority of the people receive the cards just as a symbol, but three receive cards with things written in it that you should read when cued. The first time I received a regular card, but this time as I told the guide it was my second time he asked me: “As it is your second time, would mind reading something when asked to?” To which I replied: “Not at all”. So he gave me the card of Thomas Porter and when cued I just read the following text out loud: “Parliament not only taxed our paper and ink, they even taxed our playing cards and dice!” It was brilliant! And I’ll be honest: a few years ago I would never have the nerve to do it.
Last but certainly not least, the Fenway Park tour. As it was not game day (actually it was some days before opening day in Boston), we couldn’t step on the field but it was rather cool nonetheless. Whether you are a Red Sox fan or not (I am), it’s really worth it to go if you simply like baseball. After all it is the oldest ballpark in America and that means a lot. Your get to go to the locker rooms, to all the sections and the press booth where if you’re a lucky lady you can end up sitting in the same chair Brad Pit sat in a scene of Moneyball. Of course you also get to see a lot of classic jerseys, the Red Sox Hall of Fame, the original Fisk pole and the World Series trophies. All in all, a great experience for any sports fan.
And that wraps up my time in Beantown this time. Both posts never had the intention of being a tour guide, but only show some cool things that I experienced in Boston this last time and try to explain why is my favorite city in the world.
Thin Lizzy – Chinatown
Michael Sweet – s/t
Joe Satriani – s/t
Rush – Snakes and Arrows Live (Blu-Ray)
Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal” winner of the NABE Pinnacle Awards 2014 Fall edition.
You can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Add me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/carlo.antico
Follow me on twittter: @CarloAntico