79 Boston: A Brahmin

A tall, fiftyish woman approached next, prim and imperturbable, as square-shouldered as a football player. She wore a mole overcoat and held a handbag in both hands in front of her lap.

"Oh, no," she answered emphatically, "we're not isolated. Boston is very connected." She spoke as if she were the authority. "If I was an instructor, I would point out to students that this is more an example of the inner world of the painter: alone, isolated, and desperate. I don't think of the people of Boston like that. They're exciting, filled with life. There's a big student population here, a lot of energy, a real sense of community and support. It's a sports town (take it or leave it). It's also a big bank town. I work for a bank, and we have lots of outreach programs."

"Boston is also becoming known for computers and Internet companies, right?" I asked.

"But that's new," she objected. "It's not, I think, the way Bostonians think of Boston. If there is an isolated community, I would think of that as being it. They're new."

She stalked away. Maybe newer Boston communities are isolated because older Boston communities are closed off.

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