Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Austin to Boston - Part 2

I took this photo of Kate and myself Thursday morning before we left her dad's house in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Incidentally, Portsmouth is actually on the island that gave the state of Rhode Island its name.

After a quick breakfast, we headed back up to Boston to do a little sightseeing in the Italian-flavored North End. After years of being cut off from the rest of downtown Boston by an elevated freeway, the massive (both in terms of scale and corruption) "Big Dig" project has rerouted Interstate 93 underground. Nevertheless, parking space remains at a premium.

After parking illegally mere blocks from a police precinct, we walked a sliver of the Freedom Trail past the Old North Church and Copps Hill Burial Ground. Although the North End is teeming with Italian food, we opted for seafood at the Union Oyster House, which purports to be the oldest continuously-serving restaurant in America. I had crab cakes with Newburg sauce and a Harpoon IPA. Then we warmed up with some cappuccino before returning to Kate's blissfully unticketed rental car.

Twilight was fast approaching, but we decided to do one last bit of walking through the 19th century brick row house enclave of Beacon Hill. We located a parking spot right across from the statehouse and hoofed it over the brick sidewalks to Boston Common, which is the oldest city park in the U.S., dating back to 1634. There was no snow on the ground, but looking across the Common's ice skating rink as the sun went down still made for a perfect winter scene. We briefly considered skating ourselves, but the line was too long.

Masspike traffic had abated by the time we left Beacon Hill, so the drive west to Kate's dad's condo in Shrewsbury went relatively fast. Shrewsbury is a suburb of Worcester, which is where Kate grew up. Oddly enough, I knew of Shrewsbury even before I met Kate because it is one of the few U.S. cities with a municipally-owned cable television system, which was the topic of my oft-cited 1993 master's thesis.

After a tasty supper of Christmas leftovers, Kate and I fell fast asleep. My long-overdue examination of Shrewsbury's cable TV offerings would just have to wait.

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