Friday, January 23, 2009

Boston - Aruba and the Parker House Hotel

This week was spent in Boston teaching an Aruba Partner Technical Training class. When I was shopping to get a good deal on a Boston hotel... I ran across this great offer... so this week I stayed at the Omni Parker Hotel.The Parker Hotel, named after founder Harvey D. Parker, opened its doors in October of 1855, and is the longest continuously operating hotel in America.A luxurious place of which any Bostonian would approve. The hotel and its restaurants are credited with a slew of famous firsts, including Boston cream pie (the state's official dessert ), ParkerHouse rolls, and the term "scrod" (for whitefish).

There have been quite a few interesting people that have stopped by over the years. Ho Chi Minh was a busboy, and Malcolm X was a waiter, and Emeril Lagasse started in the kitchen. John Wilkes Booth stayed there a week before he shot Lincoln

What makes the hotel illustrious, though, is it's literary past. No less than British novelist Charles Dickens was impressed with the "hot and cold bath" in his room at the Parker House on his second visit to Boston in 1867. This was the first hotel in Boston to have hot-and-cold running water, and the first to have an elevator. The hotel's most famous group of patrons was certainly the members of the nineteenth century Saturday Club. Beginning in the mid 1850s, a exclusive group of talented people assembled in the old Parker House on the last Saturday afternoon of each month. Their notoriously rambunctious roundtables featured readings, intellectual exchanges, and endlessly flowing chatter, mirth, food and spirits. The Club's members included philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, poet and Atlantic Monthly editor James Russell Lowell, novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, poets John Greenleaf Whittier and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and writer Oliver Wendell Holmes. But for my experience... I didn't see a single poet (not that I'd know one to see one) - nor did I even get a chance to eat 'Parker House Rolls' - I tried, but the restaurant didn't have them, nor the room service. But they did have 'sliders' on Parker House rolls... what is the world coming too? The room was recently renovated, and though it had 14' ceilings and crown moulding from a previous era, it also had a 42" flat-screen HD plasma TV... cool!

8 comments:

Jenny Cox said...

So cool! I loved that post. That hotel is beautiful.

Gram said...

That looks like a neat hotel. I would love to stay there. I can't believe that you couldn't get Parker House Rolls there. Loved all the history you wrote about.

Janet said...

So Cool! I love learning about that hotel and I definitely want to go there - another reason to go to Boston - a city I've never been to!

Gramps said...

Thanks Keith for the informative post. History is an interesting subject and we can learn alot from the past, but don't seem to apply it today. Great pix.

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