Friday, March 20, 2009

The North End

You really can't appreciate Boston fully without seeing the North End. And when I say "seeing," I mean "tasting" as well. Because the North End, a pocket of Old Italy here in Beantown is chock full of restaurants serving up promising concoctions and confections.

I had some shrimp scampi pizza today at Ernesto's that put to shame any pizza I've eaten in recent memory. The tears of culinary discovery nearly gushed forth, egged on by the fact that our family of five ate to satiety for under $20.

And of course, there are always the pastries at Mike's.

We had to eat frequently during our tour, because although we were ostensibly there to add dimension to our education by visiting Paul Revere's House, Copp's Burial Ground, and the Old North Church (all parts of the illustrious Freedom Trail), it was finger-numbingly, seek-shelter-and-hot-drinks-NOW cold.

A note about the Paul Revere House: the older two kids were quite entertained by what we saw and heard from the history interpreters (I found what I want to be when I grow up!), and afterward, we got to chat a bit about what people might think if, two or three hundred years ago, they were to enter a house that had been perfectly preserved from our own time. "This is the Diller House, where Ian and his sisters grew up," they might say. "And these are real Legos from the actual time period, with which the children may have played." It was fun to imagine what artifacts might tell these future people the most about how we live today. No question, they'd be a lot more complex than chamber pots!

Getting on the T today at Alewife station as we headed into town, I had one of those moments. Ian was walking beside me, and and I had a sudden flashback to the time, nine years ago, when I would enter this very station every day, bound for the office, with a much tinier Ian along for the ride inside me. The fact that once I was finally looking pregnant, there was never a time when a fellow commuter failed to give up his seat for me, tells you something about my native city. Sure, people may be friendlier in Texas, and I love living in Austin. But this place, and the way people look and the way they talk -- not just the endearing accent but also the mannerisms (see the wonderful movie Miracle for some delightful examples), not to mention a certain sense of Yankee decency, have woven themselves into my history in a way that will always feel and sound like home.


Stephanie said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! I sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a home town to pine for.

Tracee said...

i like that you related the history to what people may think of us in the future. very cool. glad you had fun are having nice thoughts about your own history in the town. :)