Saturday, June 11, 2016

Oh, Paul Revere!

Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting Boston, MA, the city that is so closely related to the American Revolution and was the fountainhead of the ideological battle that today reverberates across the world - that of freedom and the courage to stand for it. There are few cities that I have seen that have so much history in them, from the Freedom Walk to the (now reclaimed) site of the Boston Tea Party, and of course the two iconic universities, MIT and Harvard.

One man whose legend is embossed onto the city's consciousness if Paul Revere, who I admit I knew little about until I decided to visit Boston, and about whom I spent some time reading. His race across the colony to warn the local militia of the impending British invasion is the stuff of legend, as it should be. With him is Sam Adams, one of the architects of the United States of America, whose legacy has unfortunately been reduced to a brand of beer names after him! But in Boston, these two stand proud.

Boston is a great place for all kids of tourists, even those that don't like history. It felt great to stand by the ocean again, what with living almost entirely in land-locked Illinois (Lake Michigan does not count). The metro and LRT systems are quite pathetic and aging, although they do as best as possible to serve the large city. I was surprised by the large number of universities in town, I probably got used to little Champaign-Urbana, where UIUC and Parkland College make up all of higher education! The place did seem a little empty, but it was a pleasure to be in a big city again.

'Go West, young man!' they say to aspiring young people. I disagree. I see the future in the East - in the great cities and states that once formed the nascent United States.

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