So it's taken me forever to get this post up and going. We didn't take our camera so we could only get shots with our cell phones. Sometimes the pix turned out okay, sometimes not, so I've had to go on-line to get a bunch of shots for ones of ours that didn't come out. I've been avoiding doing this post because I've been busy and I got a nasty head cold and haven't felt much like doing anything. I've even been playing hookie from my political group. So, Boston, what can I tell you about Boston?
First I can tell you I didn't make it to Fenway Park for a baseball game because I was there off-season.
There also wasn't any Boston Marathon being run, off-season, too cold.
I also didn't take in a Boston Celtics game, don't know if they were playing or not, I'm not into basketball.
We didn't participate in any tea parties, it being January, being very cold down by the harbor, and not wanting to encourage any of those Tea Partyer types.
You have to remember we were there for a history conference, so we attended presentations, M gave one, we visited the vendor booths, met up with colleagues for dinners, etc. We did venture into old downtown Boston. It was prefaced to me innocently enough. M said, "do you want to see old Boston?" Of course, what history nerd wouldn't?
M explained that Boston had a Freedom Trail running through downtown, taking you to various historic sites throughout the city. Much as Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to get to Oz, we followed the red brick road to see historic Boston.
We began our soujourn at Boston Commons. Here's an aerial shot of the park. It kinda reminds me of Central Park in NYC, in that it's a patch of green in the middle of everything, although it's no where near as big. Okay, now look closely at Boston Commons. Now look up toward the harbor. M and I walked all the way around Boston Commons, don't ask, then walked up toward the harbor and other historic sites. Now this would have been a lovely multiple miles walk in Spring, but this was JANUARY! I don't care what anyone tells you, taking a historic stroll in Boston in January is never a good idea! And when you get close to the harbor and come around the corner of a building and the winds are coming off the water, holy mother of all that is decent, you've never felt a wind so cutting and cold! We stopped in at one of the National Park offices on our "stroll" to find out how much further another site was. The Park Ranger was all confident, that one place was less than a mile, another was an easy ride on the ferry. I told him no. He continued to say what a beautiful boat ride it was, and again, I firmly said no. He went to persist one more time when I interrupted him and asked him if he'd been outside lately. There was no way in hell I was getting on a boat in that icy wind to see another old building. Nope, just not happening. We walked to a couple more sites then headed back to the hotel.
On our stroll we did see the Old State House.
We went to Fanueil Hall. The bottom floor that usually has a huge market was being remodeled, but the inside was very pretty, nice older architecture.
Now M and I travel a bit more than a lot of folks and we love going to historic cities. The thing that struck me about Boston was how everything new grew up around everything old. For example, in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, the entire village has been historically preserved so that it looks pretty much like it did hundreds of years ago. In Boston, you can walk up to a place like the Old State House and it's surrounded by skyscrapers. It was interesting to see some of the larger old buildings that were maybe 3-4 stories high juxtaposed against skyscrapers about 30 stories high.
We also visited a couple of cemeteries while in Boston. I know some people find cemeteries creepy, Historians consider them works of art. The first cemetery we visited was in Boston Commons. This cemetery sat at one corner of the Commons and was pretty exposed to the elements and winds. The graves stones were worn down a lot by the weather so it was hard to read inscriptions.
The Granary Cemetery was tucked in between old buildings and skyscrapers, so it was better protected from the elements, thus the names on these markers were clearer. This is the cemetery where Paul Revere was buried and also where they buried some people from the Boston Massacre.
This and the next photo are examples of the tombstones. I love the deathshead sculptures they put on these stones. On the one hand, the more skull like can seem morbid and scarey, on the other hand, the ones with angel wings seem peaceful and nice. I wonder why some graves have the skulls and others have the wings. I wonder if it was a commentary on the person being buried.
Yeah, 'ol Jack was a drunkard, put the skull on his marker, we all know he's going to hell.
At Paul Revere's grave I was surprised how small the marker was. It didn't seem sufficient for a hero of the Revolution. I guess he wasn't such a big hero when he died and over time, History has made him a bigger hero.
Here's another marker right next to the first one. It looks like someone realized they probably ought to do something more.
This was a statue of Revere we came across on our stroll. Now this is more like it! Alright, so this post ended up much longer than I had intended, so I will have to leave the information on the restaurants and Little Italy for the next post. Mmmm, there was some good eatin' in Boston. Stay tuned.