By John Saulnier, FFB Editorial Director

Ah, Boston – the New England hub city famous for lobster, chowder, the Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics, the Green Line light rail system, and heavy white snow!

Hotel Sahakian snowA view from the bridge of the “Hotel Sahakian” in suburban Boston on the morning of March 13, Day 3 of Seafood Expo North America.Like many others, I managed to escape from Beantown before the blizzard (dubbed Winter Storm Skylar by weather forecasters) blasted Eastern Massachusetts and points north, south and west on March 13, which just happened to be on the third day of the Boston Seafood Show (also know as Seafood Expo North America, or SENA).

This required foregoing a traditional lobster and clam chowder dinner, but I have no complaints thanks to the good folks of Clackamas, Oregon-headquartered Pacific Seafood. They kindly invited me to a media tasting event at the Westin Waterfront during the early evening of the 12th that featured Dungeness Crab, Coldwater Shrimp, Oysters, and Beer Battered Pacific Cod washed down with Harpoon IPA India Pale Ale.

dungeness crab sectionsDungeness Crab portions from Pacific Seafood are primarily sourced from Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and British Columbia.After the feast came a mad dash up Sumner Street to the South Station bus terminal. Amtrak train tickets to New York and other points south were already sold out, as travelers with business to take care of beyond Boston rushed to get out of town before rail, bus, limo and air service was shut down as more than two feet of snow and strong winds were on the way. It would mark the third Nor’easter storm in less than three weeks to hit the region, and leave hundreds of thousands of people without power for yet one more time.

But the show must go on, and hats off to SENA organizers who somehow managed to keep shuttle buses rolling from downtown hotels to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center until 1:30 PM on Day 3. They also arranged for housing, if needed, for workers scheduled to take down exhibitors’ stands after the show closed as scheduled at 3 PM.

And what a show it was in terms of exhibitors and exhibit space, which hit a record 1,341 and 258,360 square meet, respectively. It was just too bad that Mother Nature forced many visitors to compress meeting times and even forego some appointments. Those who stayed for the duration, however, had plenty of time to talk with suppliers at less crowded stands on March 13.

Now, as Boston anticipates its next big event in March, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade this weekend, folks behind snow shovels and plows are hard at work clearing the way for the 117th celebration of the annual event. May the road rise up above the white stuff to greet the revelers, and may the winds of winter storms be always at their backs. May the sun shine warm upon their faces, and may the green beer flow.

Erin go Bragh!

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