I will get to this glorious breakfast burrito in 2 shakes…
But first, Happy Evacuation Day! Never heard of it? You’re about to.
I often take it for granted that so much of America’s history happened right here in Boston, and I really shouldn’t do that. For a history nerd, it’s amazing that I can walk past Paul Revere’s house on my way to get pizzelle cookies from the North End, and cross right over where the Boston Massacre occurred on my way to get a sesame salted pretzel from Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall or a Bloody Mary from the Union Oyster House, America’s oldest restaurant.
I know what you’re thinking…but I can assure you that not all my Boston history references are food-based.
I have peeked into the room at Peacefield where John Adams died on July 4, 1826. My cousin Jaime got married in the Old North Church (one if by land, two if by sea – THAT church) and they posed for pictures next to the Paul Revere statue outside.
Boston is steeped in history, like a strong cup of tea.
We have some holidays around here that are pretty exclusive. Evacuation Day is one of them. It began when Continental troops were able to position 55 cannon (captured from Fort Ticonderoga –best fort name ever) on top of Dorchester Heights just outside Boston. Seeing this, the British knew they knew they could no longer hold the city, so they made a deal with Washington. If they agreed not to burn the city, the Americans would allow the Redcoats and 1,100 Loyalists to depart safely for Nova Scotia on March 17, 1776. The event is considered George Washington’s first victory in the American Revolution. Bloodless but significant.
Monument on Dorchester Heights commemorating Evacuation Day
Photo from AntyDiluvian
Some 125 years later in 1901, the mayor of Boston proclaimed March 17th a legal holiday in Boston and Suffolk County to commemorate the event. The fact that Boston is heavily Irish and March 17th is another big holiday was a happy coincidence, I am sure. Amazingly, schools and government offices are still closed today in Boston on Evacuation Day. I love it, but I am jealous because it never extends to where I work.
Patriots Day in April is another Massachusetts holiday, celebrating the battle at Lexington and Concord after Paul Revere’s midnight ride. I was astounded recently when I heard about Minnesota Representative and Tea Party golden girl Michele Bachmann addressing a group of conservative lawmakers and students in Manchester, NH by buttering them up with, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord.”
Yes, the capital of New Hampshire is also called Concord, but is Bachmann an exception or do a lot of people not know that Concord and Lexington and that famous shot happened in Massachusetts?
I was born there, but let me tell you, nothing happens in New Hampshire except tax-free shopping sprees…and the occasional presidential primary.
Patriot’s Day today means the day off from school, the Boston marathon, and (for some) the day off from work. Concord celebrates with a live re-enactment every year that is really something to see, mostly because Concord is still such a beautiful town.
Which brings me back to that burrito.
John and I passed through the charming and beautiful Concord town center last weekend, and stopped at the Main Streets Market & Cafe for coffee and breakfast. We both got the breakfast burrito. It was a whole wheat wrap with eggs, salsa, cheese, and fried potatoes. This is a real winning combination.
So, Happy Evacuation Day…and I guess Happy St. Patrick’s Day, too. I celebrated that other March 17th holiday by having my just-about-daily Breugger’s sandwich on one of their limited-edition green bagels.
The Bruegger’s staff at the 375 Longwood location are all superstars, and a big part of my Monday – Friday. Never change, ladies and gentlemen…and never cancel the bottomless mug club.
Did you know about Evacuation Day if you’re not from Boston?
Does your city or state have any of its own “unique” holidays or celebrations?