Boston Blog

Boston Blog

Bookshops of Boston: Trident Books

Like other cities, Boston has many fewer independent bookshops than it once did. But there is one still standing among the boutiques of Newbury St, the smartest shopping street in town. Trident Booksellers has been there since 1984 and it seems to be still going strong.

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Guest Blogpost from Paul Wiessmeyer - a Family Waits to be Reunited After Many Years.

Paul Wiessmeyer, who I wrote about this week on my "Boson Blog" contacted me about this family of refugees who are hoping to be reunited Monday.

On DECEMBER 18, a Turkish Airlines flight 1525 that originated in the Sudan, will land in Dusseldorf, Germany at 13.05 PM. Among the passengers will be an Eritrean mother and her four young sons, recently granted permission to leave a Sudanese refugee camp to be reunited with their father Asmerom in Germany. This will be the first time they see each other in four years.

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Bookshops of Boston 1: Commonwealth Books

Leo perusing the shelves of Commonwealth Books

Will bookshops survive the digital revolution? Perhaps some of them may. There is a special pleasure in reading on paper, browsing real books, picking them up and gathering in a moment a sense of their heft and gravitas. This January, among other things, I plan to read more, and to read more weirdly and widely, rambling without the direction or the cognisance of algorithms.

So on a snowy Sunday afternoon shopping for dull household items in Boston’s January sales, my feet turned as they often do towards the alley that houses Commonwealth Books. It’s a fascinating second-hand bookstore which is also the residence of a large ginger cat named Leo. Leo reminds me of a real-life version of the fictional ‘Bagpuss’, a shop-dwelling cloth cat whose magical adventure were narrated by Oliver Postgate on the BBC when I was a child.

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The Violin-Maker's Quiet Anger


A middle-aged man stands  at a street corner waiting for his customers, wrapped up against the December chill. Master violinmaker Paul Wiessmeyer, along with several others, has been summarily evicted from a Harry-Potter-ish building in Boston’s music quarter.

The place, 295 Huntington Ave was easy to miss - you could walk past the unprepossessing entrance without guessing what was inside up the narrow staircase. Built as a hotel a century or so ago, it became a cultural ecosystem about 60 years ago. There was a symbiosis in its corridors where music students, performers and media types rubbed shoulders.

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Mysteries are a Great Way of Getting to Know a City


Boston. Photo by Rob Bruce


Exploring the city of Boston, I have enlisted the help of a private eye. A six-foot-one ass-kicking redhead who moonlights as a part-time cabbie and roams the city night and day, rooting out the corruption which constantly reappears, always in a different form.

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