“Friends! Brethren! Countrymen!” a town crier barks from a second-floor balcony at the newly revived Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. “The hour of destruction, or manly opposition to the machinations of tyranny, stares you in the face.” OK, it’s a little hard to stand on the Congress Street Bridge today and imagine it’s 1773, and that you’re a Colonist about to take up arms against your imperial overlords. But history in Boston never feels terribly far from the surface, does it? And this is where the action began: the resentment over British taxes, the dumping of 342 crates of tea into the harbor, and, ultimately, the Revolutionary War. Visitors to the rebuilt for-profit museum, which reopened in June after an 11-year hiatus, can relive those heady days aboard two Gloucester-built replica ships moored in Fort Point Channel. At frequent intervals during museum hours, a tour guide in period dress bursts onto the balcony, rings a bell, and beckons tourists and townies with a yell. To set the mood, fife-and-drum music blares from two speakers. Once upon a time, this city was alive with revolution. These days, it’s alive with revitalization.
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