Tag Archives: Olympics

05. Athens of America

  1. 01. Minutes of the COCKUP
  2. 02. A Public Service
  3. 03. The 22% Solution
  4. 04. On The Campaign Trail
  5. 05. Athens of America
  6. 06. A Yankee’s Yankee
  7. 07. My Canadian Family
  8. 08. Edmonton? Why?
  9. 09. Prairie Singers
  10. 10. Deconstructing Calgary
  11. 11. My Kelowna
  12. 12. Wine Whine
  13. 13. Fire Mountain
  14. 14. A Stopover and a Popover
  15. 15. Inspiring Victoria
  16. 16. Planet Rosehip
  17. 17. Carry On Grunge
  18. 18. Street People
  19. 19. The Curse of Portland
  20. 20. Mean-Spirited, Powerful Justice
  21. 21. Amtrak’s Jewel
  22. 22. Managing Yosemite
  23. 23. Yumpin’ Yosemite
  24. 24. Parched
  25. 25. Brave New San Fran
  26. 26. Over The Hill
  27. 27. Greatest Again

Ah, Boston, my home town, amongst others. When William Tudor called it “The Athens of America” in 1819 he did not mean it as a reference to the city’s rich history of corrupt government spending. Nor did he mean to imply that Boston would be a risky candidate for hosting the Olympics. No, he meant it as a compliment, or a boast, really, about Boston’s tremendous cultural and intellectual influence. Given the recent political and financial developments in both Boston and Athens, one could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Bostonians aren’t shy about boastful nicknames for their city: The Cradle of Liberty or The City on a Hill, for example. Perhaps most famously, Oliver Wendell Holmes’ offhand jest that “The Boston State-House is the Hub of the Solar System” was modestly twisted over time into “The Hub of the Universe” before the twentieth century slickened it to “The Hub”, Boston’s favourite condescension.

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