Steve Doocy reporting the weather on Fox and Friends:
“... and in Boston, the capital of New England ...” What? Boston, the capital of New England? Sez who?
How could Boston, sinkhole for federal highway funds, whose mayor speaks some alien tongue, where Theresa Heinz-Kerry keeps her lapdog, workplace of New Hampshire-phobic word thief Mike Barnicle, possibly be the capital of New England? Capital of Massachusetts, yes, they deserve each other. New England has a better choice.
Boston’s size does not give it priority. Capitals are like personal relationships; vigor trumps size. Albany is the capital of New York, despite much larger New York City; Sacramento is the capital of California, while Los Angeles is the largest city in the country. Our own Concord is third largest in New Hampshire.
The Colonials were practical when picking capital cities. They wanted the capital to be a conveniently located commercial center. Boston is a withering commercial center due to Massachusetts’ regulations, taxes and union rules. One of the first times that Ben Franklin demonstrated that he was ahead of his time was when he abandoned his hometown of Boston at age 17.
Meanwhile, Manchester, N.H., has morphed from a bustling 19th-century mill town into a 21st-century technology and financial dynamo. Manchester enthusiastically engages in an unfettered free market in the Live Free or Die state. Help wanted advertisements run the gamut from grocery baggers to technical geniuses. Downtown Manchester teems with new restaurants, clubs and shops.
The exodus of businesses from the “Athens of America,” a title bestowed on Boston by William Tudor in the 19th century, populates New Hampshire’s growth machine. Meanwhile, New Hampshire is the only New England state with healthy growth. “America’s Walking City” has become “America’s Shrinking City.” Massachusetts and Boston have taxed and regulated the formula for success out of existence. Massachusetts will lose a congressional seat in 2010 due in part to Boston’s population decline.
Boston is hardly convenient to most New Englanders; it is a very painful one-hour drive away from even southern New Hampshire, and then the traveler faces the daunting task of locating reasonably priced parking. Does anyone enter the Big Dig tunnels without a fearful glance at the ceiling?
A trek to Boston from Montpelier, Vt., or Augusta, Maine, is a long one, while Manchester is easily accessible from neighboring population centers. One can easily drive to Manchester from Connecticut and Rhode Island with no need for the decaying Massachusetts turnpike. Yes, Manchester is far more convenient than is the former Hub.
Worried about our winter weather? Drive around Manchester the day after a snowstorm. Then try Boston, if you can get there.
Once called “The City of Kind Hearts,” Boston is now the city of outstretched palms, while the Queen City becomes more regal daily.
The Cradle of Liberty has devolved into the coffin of common sense. The insular Massachusetts Legislature regularly ignores the will of the people from its comfy perch atop Beacon Hill. Compare the self-aggrandizing ways of the full-time, paid Massachusetts Legislature to the democratic political jousting engaged by our part-time legislators. Which represents the people best? Ours does, of course.
Meanwhile, New Hampshire and Manchester continue to adapt, thrive and grow, outdistancing all of the other New England locales in every measure of growth.
E-mail Steve Doocy, firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell him that Manchester, N.H., is the capital of New England. He will appreciate an update to his New England knowledge. NH.
John Bachman’s essays appear in The Telegraph of Nashua. While the management of N.H. Magazine may not agree with his opinions, they would pay to see a YouTube mash-up featuring Luke Skywalker as Manchester and Jabba’s Rancor as Boston in a Star Wars pit fight.
This article appears in the October 2007 issue of New Hampshire Magazine