A City of Contradiction

On a recent visit to Boston to attend his daughter's college graduation, Partner Brian Mann, called the city of Boston, "a place stuck between quaint and modern." The result is a fascinating, livable, youthful hub that melds its strong working class past with a constantly renewing flood of college kids. "I can't quite figure this city out", he adds noting, "there are all these periods vying for notice." On the one hand there's Paul Revere and the lovely Federalist row homes of the Revolutionary period, then there's a 19th century boomtown elegance of more vibrant curved bay rowhomes and opulent churches, then there's that early 20th century "T" subway/surface line with it's old cars and thick overhead wires clacking it's way to the legendary Fenway Park which smacks of derby hatted fans walking from work and home to a ballgame. Finally there is the modern city with its tall buildings and crazy traffic - a bulk that must be accomodated but doesn't tell the city's story. Each of these eras takes it's own place and while Boston never quite feels unified, it feels good. On a sunny Saturday in May, one would be hard pressed to find a better place to enjoy a glass of wine at a sidewalk cafe than Boylston Street in Back Bay. But the authentic experience is the crush of folks walking and clacking their way to Fenway for a beer and a ballgame. Other cities are trying to recreate this great urban experience - Boston is the real thing.