Weekend Assignment #119: Boston! Home of baked beans and the Red Sox. Share some of your favorite (or not so favorite) things about this quintessential New England metropolis. From the Big Dig to local Founding Fathers, it's all up for consideration. For the purpose of this Weekend Assignment, you can consider things near Boston as well (in Cambridge or other nearby cities).
Gee, make it a hard assignment for me, why don't you. Never mind; you already did.
1. I've never been there. I don't know whether that counts in Boston's favor or against it. I've been to Cape Cod, but not Boston.
2. Dr. Sam Beckett of Quantum Leap went to M.I.T. That's definitely a plus, even though he's a fictional character. The picture here is supposed to be of Sam during his M.I.T. days. He's posing with his mentor, Professor Sebastian LoNigro, at LoNigro's cabin in the Berkshires. LoNigro helped Sam with his string theory. No, not that string theory; the one about time travel.
3. My co-favorite pitcher (if I ignore his politics), Curt Schilling, had his greatest non-Diamondbacks performance while helping the Red Sox win the World Series for the first time in generations. A big plus. His pitching for the D'Backs meant more to me, but Schilling's bloody sox and the breaking of the Curse was a big deal, and more dramatic for the baseball world at large.
4. Two of my friends over the years have been Red Sox fans. One of the two is still alive and working in Connecticut. If Scalzi ever does one of these about Connecticut, I'll invoke Howard for that one, too. Meanwhile, here's that mug again, the one Howard gave me.
5. I didn't read a lot of biographies growing up. Pretty much the entire list consists of Henry Ford, Helen Keller and Paul Revere. Whoever wrote the Revere one had previously written one about Samuel Adams. He must have been more interested in Adams than in Revere, because Samuel Adams and John Adams between them got at least as many pages in the Revere biography as Revere did. So says my 35-year-old memory of the book, anyway. Ever since then, I've been rather fond of all three of this Bostonians, but it's John and Abigail Adams who have the bulk of my respect these days. He did some not-so-great stuff at times, particularly after his relationship with Thomas Jefferson soured. (Jefferson wasn't always saintly himself. Ah, well.) Nevertheless, he was one of the key figures without whom this country wouldn't have been born, at least not then and there; and we might still be speaking, um, English. John and Abigail Adams also had the best bits in the musical, 1776. "Saltpeter! Pins!"
6. The Boston Tea Party was a cool bit of early guerrilla theater. Sort of.
Extra credit: Did you ever want to go to college at Harvard?
I actually applied to Harvard. I didn't get in. I wouldn't have gone there anyway, because I had free tuition at Syracuse University. My parents said I wasn't locked into going to S.U., but I knew that I really was. I only applied to Syracuse, Harvard, and U.C.L.A., with U.C.L.A. being my personal first choice.
Now it's time to see what Jace and Sandy are up to, I think. Just give me an hour to write it!