the island of saints and scholars … The next parish over, they say … is Boston … the wellspring of poets and balladeers as advertised: those emerald fields, those ruddy-cheeked fishermen warming pub seats, a land of stone and cold wind that produced a lyrical people and a music embraced more than ever by the young. … Every village that had seen nary a rock wall or a cottage window unchanged suddenly had a cul de sac of insta-homes and a half-dozen O’Mansions. Anyone with a mortgage could get rich in little more time than it took for a head of Guinness to settle. … wonderfully brooding town, where David Lean filmed “Ryan’s Daughter,” the sod was peeled back for the worst kind of Southern California housing developments. … beer-soaked backwater … “I left a godly land of broke but merry alcoholics and came back to a place where people who used to dig potatoes were buying luxury apartments sight unseen and driving Porsches.” … marvel at a people burning peat to stay warm against blustery Atlantic winds. … empty new homes tell a story of greed.
Fill in the blanks yerself. In all fairness, a couple of the choicer phrases were quoted by the author from other people’s articles, but others weren’t. I suspect that the author of this piece was especially proud of ‘O’Mansions’ and the Guinness-head-settle as a unit of duration. He shouldn’t be.