While we Rhode Islanders are well-versed in the typical one degree of separation hereabout, Boston, our big city neighbor to the north, is also a very small town when you get down to it.
Case in point is how No. 9 Park, a lovely upscale restaurant in the shadow of the Massachusetts State House, is among the places where evidence was collected against state Senator Dianne Wilkerson, who was arrested this week on federal corruption charges.
As it happens, Barbara Lynch, the star chef behind No. 9 Park, has her own political connection: one of her cousins, Stephen Lynch, is a Bay State congressman.
Lynch has an interesting back story that I learned about while profiling her as she prepared to open No. 9 Park about 10 years ago. She grew up in South Boston before young professionals overran the one-time ethnic enclave, becoming interested in cooking as part of a home economics class. Her star took off when she cooked in an Italian restaurant on Tremont Street. And I will forever associate her in my mind with Buddy Cianci, because of their shared penchant for chain-smoking and prodigious swearing during particular interviews.