Matt Abbatacola–

CHICAGO (WSCR) I had the absolute pleasure of spending three nights in Boston last week. It is easily one of my favorite places in the country. The people are incredibly kind and the pubs are plentiful.

I went with my two buds – Jake and Ryan. The trip served a dual-purpose. We were there for my “out-of-town” bachelor trip and a chance to see my Cubs play at Fenway. The home of the Boston Red Sox takes on the personality of the entire city – a perfect blend of old and new.

I was amazed with the city’s history. Whether it’s a stroll through Faneuil Hall or a visit to Paul Revere’s home. The history that is intertwined with the modern city that is Boston is something special. We stood outside of the Old State House. Built in 1713, it is the oldest surviving public building in Boston, and the seat of the first elected legislature in the New World. It was from the balcony of this building that the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston for the very first time. Just a few steps from the entrance of the State House is the site of The Boston Massacre.

The city drips with the history of the birth of our nation, yet with every turn, it’s not hard to see that the town’s first love is sports. I think that Chicago is a great sports town – the best, but Boston is different. They don’t just love their teams, the people of Boston live for the teams. Just go to any pub in Boston and sit next to a regular at the bar and start talking sports – you’d think the guy sitting there is talking about his own kid and not some celebrity athlete he’ll never meet. It’s more than love or passion. It’s life.

Fenway is by the far the best ballpark that I have ever visited. Just as the city, it is the perfect combination of old and new. It’s a place that a baseball purist and a sabermetrics android can agree on. Built in 1912, ownership has invested nearly $300,000,000 into MLB’s oldest park since 2000. As I walked in for the first time I was greeted by the history and the “old” feel that the park possesses. The park is larger than I expected. It was roomy and easy to navigate. Then I got to my seat in Pavilion Box Section 9 Row D seat 1 and saw the “new” that Fenway has to offer the fan. Before the 2011 season, three new scoreboards beyond right-center field were installed: a 38-by-100-foot scoreboard in right-center field, a 17-by-100-foot video screen in center field, a 16-by-30-foot video board in right field, along with a new video control room. It’s a beautiful ballpark and well worth the trip. By the way, the best hot dog that I have ever consumed at a game. So good, that I ate 5…

We stayed at the Hilton Financial District – great hotel. I would recommend The Freedom Trail Tour – do it on foot though…

We worked our way through town and came across many cool bars, pubs, and restaurants. A special mention goes to Battery Park located in the Financial District at 33 Batterymarch Street. We spent most of our time there as it was located across from our hotel. A great bar with an even better staff. Many thanks to Sasha, Cliff, Kevin, Susie, Toni, Janessa NEY, Laura, Kenny, and their best patron, Joe. My apologies to my Boston friends if I spelled their name wrong – I should get credit just for remembering…

Be smart – go to Boston, take in a Red Sox game, and visit my friends at Battery Park.

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