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This is a great time of year in Boston.Charles River, Boston

Just as Washington has its spring full of class trips and then its summer full of tourists, Boston is full of summer tourists. They flood the Freedom Trail and Faneuil Hall. Then, as summer ends, they leave and the students arrive.

There 52 colleges and universities in Boston. These days the streets are clogged with parents dropping off students and groups of students wandering around. Most of the upperclass students are busy rekindling old friendships, and the first-year and transfer students are wanding around trying to find out where their dorm is located, how to get to the famous Boston Common, and so forth.

It reminds me of 1972, when I arrived at Boston College as a wide-eyed first-year student trying to figure out where my apartments was located in Cleveland Circle, how to get up to the main campus and why the twenty-cent trolley fare was paid as you got off the trolley. (The fare is now $2.00, and one pays as they get on the trolley. There will be no more Charlies trapped forever ‘neath the streets of Boston for the lack of fare to get off the trolley.)

Boston is one of the oldest cities in the U.S., being founded in 1630. Its student population, though, flooding in during these first days of September, keeps Boston one of the youngest cities in terms of its spirit.

(Boston Trivia: Boston was originally named Trimountaine for the three hills observable from the harbor, and then later renamed Boston by immigrants from Boston, Lincolnshire, in England. The name Boston is thought to be a contraction of either of St Botolph’s town or of St Botolph’s stone. Of the three hills, two were used as landfill, leaving only Beacon Hill. Tremont Street is one reminder of Boston’s original name.) 

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