Boston, the Old and the New

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Aug. 3, 2015

During the first month following our “real” or, “big” launch, one of our themes is the relationship between the “new” and the “old”; between traditions and history, on the one hand, and new and exciting ways of living and experiencing life in Boston, on the other. Our city lends itself to these types of musings. Throughout the year, except perhaps during the harshest winter months, many thousands of tourists descend on Boston to reflect on our country’s proud history of defiance and freedom. This is the birthplace of our exceptional national spirit, after all.

Our piece on the Boston Post Cane tradition reminds us of the importance of cherishing communal memories. Our common history is the collection of all our personal histories.  And what better way to reflect on that than through acknowledging the long lives of our elders? Nowadays, geographic transience and mobility disconnect people from local history. Yet a place can become home when its past is recognized through the memories of others, who, in a way, “carry the past forward.”

The story of the Boston Public Garden shows how something exquisite can grow from merging the old with the new and that such developments, even in a park setting, rarely occur without lively debates and loudly voiced opinions. And who, reading about Isabella Stewart Gardner and her palatial museum, would have guessed that the beauty of her collection was, to a large extent, due to the lack of beauty and joy in her private life? Even a history of sorrow and hardship can eventually be transformed into a beautiful and well-intentioned legacy.

Faith traditions play an important role in reconciling “past” and “present.” Our story on Boston’s Jewish community highlights how those who are bonded by a shared history of faith and culture can brave the challenges of modern urban life. Our piece on the Old North Church, published later in the month, will show how faith and our country’s historical origins were tied together. The brave men who set this country on its path of freedom were inspired by the Enlightenment ideal of self-determination and emboldened by their forefathers’ faith in a benevolent and loving God. In fact, the Old North Church played such an important role both as a place of worship and as a rallying center for revolutionary ideals, that the number of today’s tourists visiting the church outnumbers that of its members.

Our reviews of some local dives in the Seaport District highlight Boston’s unique contrasts even further. There are the No Name Place and the Whiskey Priest that, despite their age and unassuming exterior, can hold their own against the glimmering and imposing skyline of the “new” Boston’s office and apartment high rises that have sprung up all around. As we shall see, the casual atmosphere of the Barking Crab Restaurant within the same surroundings similarly points to Boston’s unique capacity to reconcile apparent opposites. This alone makes our city so American.

Indeed, the holding on to the tested and tried, to cherished beliefs and mores, while embracing the new has been an essential factor in the American story of progress. What you are looking at right now, the NewBostonPost, intends to do just that with stories that highlight the best of American traditions and by pointing to what America can yet become. Call it digital community building in the traditional sense.

Tina McCormick

Publisher of the NewBostonPost

Contact NewBostonPost at homepag[email protected]