Sunday, December 29, 2013

What do Boston, Sandwiches and Time Travel all have in Common? The Truth Revealed!

Of Colonials and Sandwiches

Anyone who lives and works in Boston knows we have a unique group of people that are very visible in Downtown Boston. They are the Colonials and they are everywhere. Whether giving tours on the Freedom Trail or Standing outside the visitor center on the Common, they are going about their day to day activities and for the most part blending in. But have you ever taken a closer look at these people? I have and what I found out is pretty incredible.

A stake out - a period of secret surveillance of a building or an area by police in order to observe someone's activities.

I have been on a perpetual stake out, off and on for quite a while. It can be tedious work. It can be hungry work. So here’s how this is going to go down:

1. I am going to explain in detail what I found out about the Colonials.

2. I am going to share with you the best sandwiches I have ever had because in Boston, when you are in a stake out sandwiches are the best thing to eat and I have become somewhat of a connoisseur.

Downtown Crossing in the center of Boston has had a nickname for quite some time. It is known as the Hub of the Universe. Originally Oliver Wendell Holmes coined the phrase and called Boston the Hub of the Solar System. He was referring to the State House back in 1858 and he arrogantly thought that Boston was the center of everything commercial and intellectual at that time. Eventually the Solar System became the Universe and the moniker stuck.

I’m not going to bore you with all the details because my new book entitled “All the Boring Details.” will be hitting Amazon soon but I do want to give you a bit of background so you understand that something incredible and amazing has happened here in Downtown Crossing and you are lucky enough to be here reading this before anyone else!

Notice - No Hat

Oliver Wendell Holmes was a poet among other things and he counted as friends many other famous literary figures such as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. These men would get together over at the Old Corner Bookstore on School Street (in DTX) and discuss the news of the day and have a few drinks.  The story goes that one night Mr. Holmes and someone who may have been Charles Dickens had a few too many drinks and were walking down Washington Street towards what is currently the old Filene’s building but at the time was a parking lot for horse drawn carriages. The men stopped at the corner of Washington and Summer Streets to say good night and take their rides home. According to a written account in Mr. Holmes memoirs he dropped his hat accidentally into a hole in the ground. When he went to retrieve it he realized that the “hole” was something else entirely. His hat was gone forever.

Now, I am going to draw a conclusion here that is going to sound crazy but if you look at all the evidence you will see that it is not. At the location where Oliver Wendell Holmes claims to have lost his hat forever down a hole in the ground is a metal plate that has been there for as long as anyone alive can remember. It is a metal seal with the words “The Hub of the Universe” engraved on it. Right now it is behind a wall because the building is under construction but I can ensure you it is still there because I have seen it. The thing I never noticed before recently is that the seal actually has hinges on it!

It is a doorway in the ground.
This is where my stakeout began.

I remember clearly my lunch that day because it was brought to me by a good friend. Mr. Craig Singer, who claimed it would be the best sandwich I ever ate. He also paid for it which is why I recognize him here by name.


Now as you take in what I just told you let me share something else with you.


Monica’s Mercato & Salumeria

This is a relatively new place and is located in the North End. I know it isn’t in DTX but if it wasn’t literally the best Italian I ever ate I wouldn’t include it. Incidentally if you are working or shopping in Downtown the walk to the North End takes about fifteen minutes. If you’re really lazy you can hop the T at State Street and hop off at Aquarium. Then you’re a few minutes away. It’s worth it.

Just get a large Italian with everything. The bread is amazingly fresh, the cold cuts are like buttah, the cheese is freshly sliced and it comes with sweet peppers, cucumber, Balsamic and more. I kid you not. The BEST I ever had.

Address: 130 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Phone:(617) 742-4101

Order the Italian!
Make sure you tell them the sandwich not the guy

Now here’s what I have noticed. Colonials congregate around the Hub of the Universe. They are all over DTX. Sure they work the Freedom Trail and the waterfront. They are near the USS Constitution and the Boston Tea Party ship. They come through Downtown before and after work every day. Another thing I have noticed is that they all universally are incompetent with any form of new technology. Where do they live? Where do they go at night? How is it possible to have the exact clothing that was worn in the 1700’s? They don’t have zippers. They are not wearing replicas like in other cities.


I overheard one of them dressed as James Otis telling another one dressed as Betsy Ross, “We have to get back. I have to pick up my shoes from the cobbler.”   THE COBBLER?

No idea what I'm doing with my camera

I know it sounds crazy. But there is a doorway through time located in DTX. The Colonials come through daily and work here and return home at night. I have seen it happen. You just have to stand next to Macy’s and watch around 9pm. You’ll see. But first I highly suggest you get one of these:


The Falafel King sandwich is a work of art. You know longer have to wait on a huge line any more because they have two locations a few blocks away from each other. Both are equally good. The Falafel sandwich is a roll up. Always ask for hummus and hot sauce. The hot sauce isn’t hot and the hummus doesn’t hum but it’s still delicious. You always get a free falafel dipped in hummus while you are waiting. If you don’t get one it means he doesn’t like you. If you get one but it is not dipped in hummus it means he likes you but just not that way.

260 Washington St
(at Water St) 
BostonMA 02108

Inside the roll up is at least three giant balls of falafel, pickles, lettuce, tahini sauce, hummus…… whatever. It’s GOOD. and at around five bucks it’s a bahgain. I mean baaaaaaah - gain.

Trying to understand the concept of the "backpack"

The other day I was at Park Street and watched a tour of the Freedom Trail come through. The Colonial was explaining how the Common was used to graze cattle and that some witches were hanged there. He knew the witches names. He knew exactly where the tree was where they were hanged. BUT when someone asked if there was free WiFi in the park he looked at her as if she had three heads and completely ignored the question. He crossed the street towards the Park Street church and I heard him tell the people to be careful of the horseless carriages coming.  (they were taxi’s)

Closed his eyes at every attempt to show him my smart phone


It’s amazing to me that there are still people that are so Xenophobic and Ignorant that they never try anything remotely different. I HATE these people. Hamburger this. Hot Dog that. How can anyone exist that still has no idea what a -

Banh Mi is.   

It is a Vietnamese sandwich, It’s on a French crusty baguette and there are various kinds of fillings but the classic is pretty much pork belly, ham pate spread, cilantro, carrots, daikon radish, and cucumber.

There are other variations and types and there are a few places I love to get mine. They are universally inexpensive. Actually they are the cheapest and best value around for lunch. Usually between $3.00 to $5.00.  (I know right?)

The Banh Mi house is located on Winter Street at the food court and makes a great one.
New Saigon is a short walk down Washington into Chinatown and is an institution.

Wants my Chacarero

Places where Colonials usually congregate:

1. The Old South Meeting House

2. The Old State House  also right next door is the Boston Massacre memorial.
3. Paul Revere’s House in the North End

4. All over the Boston Common

5. The USS Constitution in Charlestown and the Bunker Hill Monument

6. The Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum

Traded my waist
 pouch for his walking stick. He filled it with oats and strapped it to his horse

I dressed up as a Minuteman a while back and tried to blend in with them. They knew immediately that I wasn’t one of them. They wouldn’t answer any of my questions about the time door and actually asked me to leave the employees only area at Faneuil Hall.

You rarely even see them eat but if they were to want to eat someplace Capone’s is right near by on Summer Street and we’re talking about one of the best sandwiches in Boston.


The have a ton of good , reasonably priced, freshly made food here but I like to get a chicken salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato, sweet peppers and oil and vinegar on BRAIDED SESAME ROLL.  I capitalized that because it’s important. The bread of a sandwich is almost as important as the fillings. These sesame braided rolls are kick ass and you must have your sandwich on one. If you just don’t like sesame seeds then…….too bad. Eat it anyway.

They also have a daily lunch deal where you get a drink and a bag of chips with it for like nothing. The cookies are good too.

I know I have to mention Sam LaGrassa here if I’m talking about the best sandwiches in Boston but I hate to do it. The line there is always so damn long. I can never get a table. There’s always some people from the Jewelers Building hogging a table for like EVER. Go sell some diamonds for crying out loud!  (coming soon - my guide to buying in the Diamond and Jewelry buildings in DTX)

Anyway Hot Pastrami, lettuce, tomato, Russian Dressing or Dark Mustard on a bulkie with fries.

OR Turkey, Lettuce, tomato mayo or Russian dressing on a bulkie roll.    (chowder good too)

It is one of the all time best sandwich places on earth. You may run into a Colonial cutting through from School Street on their way to the time portal.

(see here for entire dining guide and pics)


Many things have been said about this mysterious sandwich brought here from Chile by Juan Hurtado many moons ago. Most of the things said were Yum, MMMM, Nom Nom and the rest was unintelligible because people were trying to say these things with their mouths full.

It’s a sandwich made from homemade bread.

Then you decide whether to fill it with beef, chicken, both or a barbecue version.
Then they add Muenster cheese, string beans, avocado spread (not guac), tomato and hopefully you’ll get the hot sauce. It’s expensive at around $9.00 but if you get a large it’s big enough to split and even if you don’t it is worth the money. Yes it is that good. I love Chacarero’s.  I wanted to name my cat Chaca after the sandwich but wiki says it means catfish which is weird so forget that.  

The Golden Age of Chacarero

So there is a smattering of some pretty darn good sandwiches right there. Get out there and try them if you haven’t already. You can buy two of them and make a quadruple decker if you want. I always wanted to mix an Italian with a Banh Mi and see what  that tasted like.

But What’s the Bottom Line Here?

The Colonials aren't hurting anyone. I was hesitant to even expose them. They are contributing to the Boston economy and they are an interesting bunch. If you ever have a history report or a question about life here during the early days of  the Revolution they can answer it. Many knowledgeable people are among their number.

If you’d like to join me in my next stake out I would be happy to show you what’s going on. I think a steak sandwich would be a good idea on a stake out right? We'll call it the Steak Out. Get in touch. Let’s make it happen.

There are questions concerning the butterfly effect. What happens if they change the past somehow. Would we even notice?  I am actually working with someone who claims we can do what they do here…..there. Wouldn't you love to have a tour of the Freedom Trail when it was still a cow pasture in 1774? Maybe we can go BACK in time. Would you want to? I would. At least for a few hours to poke around and of course to eat. There were no GMO's back then and nothing but natural ingredients. The Hub of the Universe may very well be a two way door. All you need is the key. My guess is it’s somewhere in the State House. Maybe Governor Duval is wearing it around his neck right now!


There are Colonial people from the 1700's traveling through a time portal located in Downtown Crossing in and out of Boston every day.

There are some damn good sandwiches around the area you can stuff your face with.

Remember . Colonials are people too.

This may just be a guy on his way to a rave - 

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