Sunday, February 22, 2009

Only in Boston

Boston Globe story

There could be few moments that are more distinctly Bostonian than this one. By that, I don't mean that it couldn't happen anywhere else--it probably has already. Someone not from here might see a simple sweet sentimental moment. But there all kinds of undertones that make it distinct and local.

The combination of:
Harvard teaching hospital as one of the major industries in town+
building yet another medical building named after the former owner of the Red Sox (much memorialized, though also remembered as the last of the major league owners to start hiring black ballplayers) +
the medical building being built by members of Ironworkers Local 7 (the link gives you a list of names of union officers that tells you plenty about Boston construction union history, down to the South Boston location for the local) +
located across from another Harvard hospital trying to fend off a unionization campaign +
a nurse from the cancer clinic, married to one of those ironworkers...

in not only the gesture itself, but in its details, associations, and meanings, in its beauty and its underlying tensions, this is a nearly pure Boston moment.

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