Boston tee-hee party

It’s been lost to history but amid the patriots’ Huzzahs there would have been more than one Scot shouting “your tea’s oot” at the Boston Tea Party in winter 1773… or Boston tee-hee party.

This modern-day Scot certainly couldn’t resist the temptation.

As he hurled a crate overboard and struck a blow  against the taxman.

But then you’re encouraged to let off steam aboard the Eleanor ship at the family-friendly Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum.

Our group has been enlisted to defend our Commonwealth of Massachusetts against the Crown.

And we have each been given characters to play.

Drink it in

I am Fifer James Swan, an apprentice clerk, who’d go on to fight at the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The Eleanor ship and the downtown skyline is within my eye’s view from the rooftop bar of my billet for the night.

The kooky Marriott Envoy Hotel. I am furnished too with the best local craft beer in my airy, contemporary room.

That, and rum, was really the drink of choice for Bostonians.

Hence the act of sabotage. You can sample the original tea they threw overboard in Abigail’s Tea Room in the museum.

And trust me, the harbour is the best place for it.

The Seaport area of Boston has had more than a lick of paint since I worked as a barman in Boston in summer 1987.

But the historic centre is just as I left it.

Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market and the 2.5-mile red line Freedom Trail.

And you can sup at the Green Dragon where Samuel Adams and Paul Revere plotted the Tea Party.

But the burning subject these days is sport and whether this is the year for the Boston Celtics basketball team (they were beaten by the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals).

Play it Sam

Way to go Joe: On the Envoy Hotel rooftop

If you want to channel your inner Bostonian order a Sam, that’s Samuel Adams lager, and a bowl of creamy Clam Chowder.

And dine out at the oldest restaurant in Boston, and possibly all America, the Union Oyster House.

It’s fancy but Americans have practical down to a T.

And they think nothing of handing you a bib for your all-you-can-eat every fish in the harbour bucket. 

For those of a certain age their first introduction to Boston was probably 80s sitcom classic Cheers.

Cheers, originally the Bull & Finch, still remains a popular tourist stop-off at Beacon Hill, within good walking (or T train) distance.

FYO, the outside is the same as the show but the inside is alas a TV set.

On the Amtrak

Train takes the strain: On Amtrak

Alas, I must say Cheers to Boston for now as in time-honoured American fashion I’m on the road again.

No rental car though for this nervous driver, but on an Amtrak train south through New England.

An hour and a half down the tracks, skirting the fine Gatsby houses and yachts.

Along the shoreline and you’re in the -“creative capital”, Providence, Rhode Island.

Hit the Rhode

Wild at art: The Providence murals

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the Union, and not an island either (a Dutch navigator named it Roodt Eylandt after the shoreline’s red clay).

And so it has to think bigger.

And in Ivy League university city Providence that means announcing itself in high artworks on the sides of its post-industrial buildings.

Cross the low historic bridges over Providence River, and Native American Lynsea Montanari envelopes you in her giant arms.

The curators of these murals and sculptures, the Avenue Concept, will walk and talk you through Lynsea’s and Princess Red Wing’s shared story, and Afrofuturism, among others.

Wild at art

Crackersjack: Rhode Island chowder

Eat at Hemenway’s across the river and you will feel that Lynsea is sat there right with you at the table.

Particularly after your fifth Allagash White Portland beer.

All to wash down your Rhode Island Clam Chowder (it’s a clearer creamless fish, bacon and potato broth), and table-sized Paella.

I slept it off in the nearby hipster Marriott hotel, the Aloft Providence Downtown before jumping the train again to connect the dots in Connecticut.

Like Boston with Harvard, and Portland with Brown, New Haven, Connecticut, is another Ivy League city.

Yale and in dog we trust

You’re handsome, Dan: With Handsome Dan at Yale

The doors of 321-year-old Yale are open to all, to visit, to enrol you’ll need $84,525, and best grades, for the full academic year.

Unless, of course, you’re a particularly loveable licky English Bulldog, Handsome Dan XIX, Yale’s sporting mascot.

Handsome Dan, nephew of the now-retired XVIII, has his own throne (chair).

It’s installed in the forecourt on campus on Bulldog Day, when new students visit.

Yale is well-heeled, yes, and New Haven is at heart an old-fashioned university city with individual bookstores and cafes, but it has an earthy hinterland too.

Home of the Burger

Straight up: The home of the burger

It’s here a Danish immigrant Louis Lassen is reputed to have invented the hamburger for an on-the-go businessman.

You can try it for yourself at Louis’ Lunch, garnished ONLY with cheese, tomato and onions.

New Haven is also home to the Neapolitan apizza… no, not a mistake.

Apizza (pronounced ah-beetz) is a tomato, cheese and thin crust dish which put New Haven on the culinary map and brought tourists, and one Frank Sinatra, to Sally’s Apizza.

We visit Sally’s bambini and sample the sweet, light and crunchy crust on our Taste of New Haven tour of old-style apizza restaurants.

The central plush New Haven hotel is hard to leave, and the eclectic New Haveners even harder.

And we spend our last morning down among the big boats at the Shell & Bone Oyster Bar & Grill.

But I must.

Bye bye Boston

Light it up: The Boston skyline

I have a two-hour train journey back to Boston and a short hop to the airport.

I check out the water taxis but opt instead for the road runners.

The harbour can be a dangerous place to be when Bostonians are around.

Get me out there

Jim travelled from Edinburgh to Boston via Dublin with Aer Lingus, avoiding pre-clearance. From £239 (£979 business) each-way, when booked as a return trip.

He was hosted by and and stayed in The Godfrey Hotel and The Envoy Hotel, Seaport, the Aloft Providence Downtown and the New Haven Hotel.

*This review was published in the Daily Record on July 2, 2022.