Boston is a City of Culture

When it comes to culture in the United States you will find a lot of it in Boston, Massachusetts. They have their own way of speaking and a uniquely Bostonian way of doing things. A big influence on the city has been the Irish and many people in the city are of Irish decent. Boston has also been strongly influenced by Italian, British, Hispanic, and West Indian culture. The city has its own unique dialect that has been strongly influenced by Hiberno-English.

In popular culture Boston is famous for the Cheers bar, and you can still visit this today. Don’t be too disappointed when you find that the inside of the bar looks nothing like the TV show; the outside looks exactly the same though. The inside of the Cheers bar has been created in another part of the city for those die-hard fans who want to experience the show in real life; unfortunately Sam Malone won’t be there to tend bar.

As well as low-brow entertainment shows Boston is also the home of some fine cultural treats. This is a university city so it places a lot of weight in people’s educational achievements. In other parts of the United States they might judge a many by his wallet, but in this city it is brains that gets the most respect. Boston Common is where to go if you fancy a bit of theatre and elsewhere in the city three you will find other forms of the arts represented. The Boston Early Music Festival attracts people from all over the world.

If you like music with a bit more oomph then you will find that the city has been home to some of the best rock and pop band. Many indie bands came from here and others moved here to make their name. The Pixies come from Boston and they are credited with inspiring the whole grunge scene with Nirvana listing the band as their main inspiration. More mainstream pop bands like Boston (band) and The Cars also come from the city. A lot of Hip Hop has also been created in here.

The city is home to some fine museums such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of African-American art. Harvard University and Boston University also house some fine artwork. There are plenty of festivals in the city and it has one of the largest St Patrick’s Day parades in the world. The Boston Jazz festival and Boston Film festival are also well worth adding to your social calendar.

Boston is a great place to travel to if you are looking for a bit of culture or just want to see the city that brought you the Cheers bar. This is a city that is familiar with welcoming strangers and you won’t feel like an outsider for long. If you have an artistic soul then you will find plenty to keep you inspired and entertained. Boston can give you a lot of things, but a dull moment wont’ be one of them.

Lansdowne Street – A Boston-style Pub in Bonita Springs, Florida

Almost everyone from Massachusetts knows Lansdowne Street is the road running behind Fenway Park.

Bonita Springs now has it’s own Lansdowne Street. And while it’s not located just a few footsteps from the legendary home of the Boston Red Sox, it sure feels like it from inside.

Located inside the Bernwood Design Centre, near the corner of Old 41 Road and US 41, Lansdowne Street is a new restaurant and pub that recreates the experience of sitting in a Boston Bar. Modeled after the well-known Beacon Hill watering hole, The Sevens, Lansdowne Street oozes gritty Northeast charm. The interior is all brick and rich, dark wood. At one end of the establishment, there is a Green Monster scoreboard and an “old-school” dartboard. At the other end, there is an antique stained-glass window from a Cambridge church and a working fireplace. Between it all there is a veritable museum of Red Sox memoribilia, lots of flat-screen TV’s tuned to New England sports, and a stately bar serving over 48 different types of beer. Some of the stand-out brews are Lefthand Brewery’s Milk Stout, Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, and the hard-to-find-in-Florida Boston-Favorite – Harpoon IPA.

The food Lansdowne Street serves is lighter-style pub fare. Their menu revolves around the concept of gourmet sandwiches. They’ve got everything from vegetarian panini offerings to fully decked out grinders. All of Lansdowne Street’s signature sandwiches are named after well-traveled Boston roads…The Mass Pike, Newbury Street, Yawkey Way. They’ve also got a full selections of salads, chili, clam chowder, Boston baked beans, and a not-to-be-missed lobster roll.

Juke box music blares from the corner. Live music passes through on occasion.

On St. Patricks Day, we had a block party outside with a tent set up. We had an industrial-sized grill set up, live music…the bartenders were pouring green Pabst Blue Ribbon,” says Lansdowne Street proprietor, Michael Maurer. “Thousands of people showed up, you could barely move through the crowd, it was incredible.”

The Red Sox and Celtics games play. Northern accents litter the air. Shouts and applause erupt as David Ortiz hits one out of the park. Here is a place where you can watch the games the way they do in Boston…with a Fenway-style crowd of like-minded fans cheering on the team. Lansdowne Street in Bonita Springs is “The Red Sox Nation’s Southernmost Outpost”. Don’t you think you should pay it a visit?

www.Lansdowne-Street.com

Boston Cruises – A Best Kept Cruise Secret

Boston Cruises are a fantastic way to begin or end a vacation. You know Boston, of course. The Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Boston Tea Party, Old Ironsides. You could explore the city forever. But why not do your exploring as a prelude to some vacation time on a cruise?

Yes, a cruise. Boston has been one of America’s leading ports since before we were America. Holland America sails the Maasdam out of Boston. Norwegian Cruise Lines sails the Norwegian Majesty, the Norwegian Gem and the Norwegian Dream. Royal Caribbean offers the Jewel of the Seas. Your choices for cruise lines, ships, and itineraries are varied enough that everyone should find some rest and relaxation.

The Maasdam is the one of Holland America’s smaller ships, and the smallest of the ships sailing out of Boston. Placed in service in 1993, she displaces 55,000 tons and can carry approximately 1200 passengers. Being an older ship, cabins on this cruise vessel are a little larger than on the newer ships. The Maasdam sails from Boston on a circular, 7-day tour of Newport, Rhode Island; Portland, Maine; St. John, New Brunswick, Canada; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Bar Harbor, Maine; and returning to Boston.

This is a lovely cruise to take in the fall, when the New England landscape lights up with legendary colors. Bring some warmer clothes and enjoy a drink out on the deck while you watch some gorgeous scenery go by.

Another cruise the Maasdam sails on is the 7-night Canada and New England discovery, which visits Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada; Sydney, Nova Scotia; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island; cruises up Saguenay Fjord in Quebec; then visits Quebec City and finally docks in Montreal. If you yearn for more time aboard ship, she also has a 17-day “Voyage of the Vikings” that leaves Boston, and visits Sydney, Nova Scotia; Corner Brook, Newfoundland; Qaqortoq, Greenland; Isafjord, Akureyri, and Seydisfjiordur, Iceland; Lerwick, Scotland; Stavanger and Oslo, Norway; and finally docking in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Another smallish ship (as cruise ships go) is Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Majesty. She was built in 1992 and completely refurbished in 1999. The Norwegian Majesty has been stretched to 680 feet and now displaces almost 41,000 tons. She sails round-trip from Boston to Bermuda, and back again. In 2008 Norwegian’s Dream will take over this route and the 7-day Canada and New England route will be offered.

In September and October, Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas sails for 7 days on its Canada and New England cruises. This is a roundtrip cruise from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard; Portland, Maine; Bar Harbor, Maine; Halifax, Nova Scotia; and Saint John, New Brunswick. There is also a shorter, 5-night cruise that eliminates St. John, New Brunswick from the cruise.

Jewel of the Seas is 962 feet long and displaces over 90,000 tons. She offers a sports court and rock climbing wall, solarium, fitness center, casino, day spa and dedicated youth facilities. There’s something on board for everyone, no matter your mood.

Consider sailing Royal Caribbean from Boston to warmer climes with their 10-night Caribbean cruise. Leave the cool weather of Boston and head for Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Maarten and Aruba. The ship docks at the end of the trip in Miami, Florida.

Boston cruises are not particularly well-known. But this best-kept secret can offer you value that few other cruisers will find.