Editor's Letter

It’s an old adage, but a good one—that one of the best things about Boston is how easy it is to get away from. And with the price of gas at new highs just in time for summer driving season, it brings this consolation: We live in a place where there’s a world of variety a tank or less from home. In this issue, we direct you to six of this summer’s greatest escapes, in New England and upstate New York, for hiking, biking, boating, golfing, shopping, dining, or relaxing (“Six for the Road”). We’ll even show you where to get the cheapest gas, or how to rent a hybrid, to get to where you’re going.

For some parents, summer arrives not with welcome weather and fresh air, but with worries about bogeymen lurking in the forests—Lyme disease, for instance, and eastern equine encephalitis. Instead of being set free in the outdoors, kids are being slathered in bug spray on top of sunscreen, or kept in the house with the windows closed. Are we forever changing childhood in New England (“The Great Indoors”)?

Nantucket children’s book illustrator Wendy Rouillard and her artist-husband, Illya Kagan, still celebrate summer outdoors over an annual picnic on the beach. But this is not just any picnic. Prepared by American Seasons’ chef Michael LaScola, the couple’s dinner with friends yields a season’s worth of entertaining ideas, including great New England recipes (“Splendor on the Sand”).

When 18-year-old Jacob Robida took a hatchet and a semiautomatic handgun to the patrons of a sleepy gay bar in New Bedford, it began a multi-state odyssey that would leave three people dead, including a police officer, and several others gravely hurt. As we report in this issue, it was another one of those crimes no one saw coming—but that was waiting in plain sight (“Darkness Falls”).

At the end of this month, Larry Summers will end his comparatively short reign as president of Harvard University. His resignation and the public events leading up to it were world news. In this issue, author Richard Bradley (Harvard Rules: The Struggle for the Soul of the World’s Most Powerful University) tells of the battle that was going on behind the scenes, including Summers’s mistakes and the revenge taken out on the president by an ousted dean (“The Crimson Coup”).