Americans like to snack! Uniquely Boston.


After waking up at 3:50 a.m., I did what most jet lagged travelers do in the wee hours of the morning when they're hungry and can't sleep. I explored my well-appointed room at the Copley Square Hotel and came across a menu for "Breaks and Snacks". Items include:

Melted marshmallows with chocolate sauce...$5
Basket of freshly popped buttered popcorn...$6
Box of Cracker Jack caramel coated popcorn and peanuts...$6
Basket of warm pretzels& mustard dipping sauce...$7
Nachos & cheese dipping sauce...$8
Basket of 4 assorted candy bars...$8
Ice cream cookie sandwich...$5
Whole fruit &breakfast bar...$8

Don't forget to add an 18% gratuity, Massachusetts meal tax (do any of these items really qualify as a "meal"?) and a $4 delivery fee. That means that a box of Cracker Jacks costs over $10! Even for a starving traveler whose stomach is still on Paris time, that's an exorbitant amount of money - I just hope that they still put prizes in boxes of Cracker Jacks.


It took my jet lagged brain a couple of minutes to figure out these "distinctively Boston" postcards. At first, I couldn't understand why a boutique hotel would supply their guests with cards with socks on them. And then the fog lifted and I realized that they were red socks - as in the Boston Red Sox, the baseball team! The scoop of beans refers to Boston's nickname, "Beantown" which dates back to colonial days when baked beans was a favorite food. Thanks to the triangular trade that brought molasses to New England, rum to West Africa and slaves to the Caribbean colonies, Bostonians combined beans with molasses and slow cooked them for hours to create the famous "Boston Baked Beans". There was even a "Great Molasses Flood" that killed 21 people in 1919 when a tank holding molasses for rum production exploded.

With molasses on my mind, it also took me some time to decipher the meaning of the "Thickly Settled*" sign that I saw on Cape Cod this afternoon. For someone who lives in a densely populated city like Paris, it seems like an overstatement for Falmouth, Massachusetts!

*According to Massachusetts' law, a thickly settled area is one where houses average less than 200 feet apart for 1/4 mile. Hailing from the Midwest, I've never encountered this street sign before. Has anyone else - or is it unique to Massachusetts?

Comments

  1. Your photos make me miss America... looks like your trip is off to a great start :) Can't wait to read more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't deny it - as much as I love Paris, it feels good to be "home". If I could bring some kale back for you, I would!

      Delete
    2. Sweetest thing ever :)

      Delete
  2. There is a convenience store open 24 hours a day around the corner from you at 717 Boylston Street.

    I'll be going to the Library tomorrow and one of my favorite food trucks should be parked outside in front of the t-stop of you are looking for lunch!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Penny! I'm returning to the Copley Square Hotel (great hotel!) tomorrow night so it's good to know where I can get some snacks that don't cost a fortune. On Wednesday, I'm moving to Le Meridian in Cambridge.

      The library is on my list of places to visit this trip because I haven't been yet. I really wish that I could try out the food truck but I won't be back from the Cape until mid-afternoon. I sent you a DM on Twitter to see if you're free later this week.

      Delete
  3. I've never seen a sign like that.

    And those prices! Yep, welcome to Copley Square.

    and you have to listen to this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idQBMJ2_PRM

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the link. I think that I'll use it for my "Sunday's Song" - now I just need to find some baked beans to go with it!

      Sara and I had quite a discussion about the sign. Since she found it hard to believe that it means a densely populated area, she googled it and it took her to laws for driving in MA. I'm still trying to remember if I've seen a similar sign with different wording elsewhere. So far, I haven't come up with anything.

      Delete
  4. The sign seems commonplace to me. Are you serious that you've never seen it written before? And as for all things "Massachusetts"....here are a few:
    1. Riding the "T" (Have you ever heard the song "Charlie of the MBTA"?)
    2. Drinking from a "bubbler"
    3. Eating a "sub" and drinking a "frappe"
    4. "Jimmies" on ice cream
    5. driving on "The Pike"

    nancyb
    6. "Wicked" funny, "wicked" scary or whatever
    7. living in "Southie"
    8. "the Green Monster" at Fenway PaaaaK
    9. The "Combat Zone"
    10."MIT, PhD...M_O_N_E_Y" (sung to the tune of Mickey Mouse)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Seriously, I've never seen a sign like that before in any other state - at least not that I can remember. Do you have them in Florida?

      Thanks to frequent visits to Boston, I'm familiar with quite a few of the "all things MA". I grew up listening to the Kingston Trio's version of "Charlie of the MBTA" but will have to google "Jimmies". I've heard "wicked" funny, etc but didn't realize that it originated in MA. The "Combat Zone" is also a new one. And as for number 10, my daughter (who is a 2nd year Ph.D. student at MIT) would laugh out loud because it seems more likely that she'll spend her professional life begging for money, aka writing grant applications.

      Delete
    2. Oops - that should have been "Charlie on the MTA"!

      Delete
  5. "Charlie on the MTA" (later called the MBTA....do you know what it stands for?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IVzG4IMo8Q&feature=related
    nancyb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Charlie" was a fun song to listen to this morning. Thanks for sending the link!

      I had to google MBTA - Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority. My "Charlie Card" is one of the first things that I put in my purse when I pack for a trip to Boston. The T is such a great way to get around the city - plus it keeps me off the streets with the crazy drivers! ;)

      Delete
  6. Hope you're having a great time! When you're back in Paris, you should go taste wine for me http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2012/mar/06/free-wine-tasting-paris

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll gladly drink a bit of wine for you, Gwan! Thanks for sending the information about the free tastings at Caves Auge. Unfortunately, I'll miss the wines from the Jura, Alsace and Savoie on March 10 but should be in Paris for the tasting on April 10. Thanks again for the info! :)

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular Posts