By Martha Reed
I see a theme developing in my 2009 What I Did On My Summer Vacation story.
As you may know, last month I received a citation for fishing without a license – my first brush with the law in more than 20 years – but I added to it last weekend when I spent 36 hours in the Suffolk County Jail. Of course, I should note right away that the Jailhouse, located on the edge of swanky Beacon Hill, Boston, has been converted into an amazing boutique hotel and I just have to tell you all about it.
Let me go back a bit more to 30 years ago when I was a student at Boston University. I was really poor and I used to walk around Beacon Hill admiring the homes, especially in the wintertime because you could look directly into some of the brick mansions and it all looked so warm and cozy and posh. I can also remember at the time people joking that the best view in Boston was from the Suffolk County Jail – although I was never tempted to test the view that way. So, anyway, it turns out my nephew needed to go to Boston for a conference and my sister asked me to locate a hotel for the weekend. Where should we stay? She asked. Beacon Hill, I joked, but I googled it anyway and damn if I didn’t find out the Suffolk County Jail had gone all upscale and turned into The Liberty Hotel.
Even though the pictures are amazing, they don’t do the place justice. First off, the staff was wonderful – friendly, courteous, helpful (especially with maps) and genuinely warm. When you come in from the street you ride up a short escalator right into the central unit – and it still looks that way a bit, if you can get past the decorations. The room was spacious and with 2 queen beds we split it 4 ways, which made it relatively affordable (for the East Coast).
I also loved the humor I found there – the hotel restaurant was called Clink and the bar was called Alibi. Both were packed on Saturday night and it was great to be part of such a swinging scene – we don’t get that here in Pittsburgh or maybe I haven’t found it? We enjoyed our dinner at Scampo – linguini with clam sauce, delicious – and Lydia is the chef there, too but the capper was seeing my nephew completely lose it when Penguin defenseman Hal Gill sat down at the table next to us. It takes a lot to make a 13 year old boy lose his focus on food but I can attest that that pretty much did it.
I have to add that Hal Gill was extremely gracious when my nephew worked up the nerve to go over to the table to ask for a picture. All in all, it was a great, great weekend and I highly recommend The Liberty Hotel for anyone traveling to Boston.