Thursday, September 18, 2014

Beantown

When we weren't hitting the road for day trips we were either walking across the bridge to the North End or hopping the ferry to Long Wharf to experience as much of Boston as we could. Our time in Boston was our shortest leg of our trip thus far, three weeks, and to say we felt a bit rushed is an understatement. Fortunately Boston is a city that we have spent time in before, so the typical tourist clich├ęs we've done before. Crossing off Cheers and the Freedom trail from our list of must do’s was pretty easy since we've “been there, done that,” it gave us more time to focus on getting to know the neighborhoods and taking part in community events, exploring the real Boston.

Square in the North End
Now the Freedom Trail as I mentioned in a previous post was right outside our front door and although it wasn't part of our agenda, we couldn't avoid running into it, so we got to wave hello to many of history’s famous places on a daily basis and some days being so close to tourist central proved more difficult than others. Those days included my morning runs when I’d chance upon the Freedom trail, where I felt like I was playing “Frogger” with tourists, but hey, I looked like a savvy local and I got really good at navigating and recommending places to stop for coffee. Plus, constantly seeing historical landmarks is pretty impressive; especially on the days that they take the U.S.S. Constitution out of her slip for a quick sail, which by the way, requires a lot of effort by the Navy and the Boston PD, and seeing such an old ship at full mast is phenomenal!

The Freedom Trail
Some days were mellow and just involved us strolling the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill or the North End, stopping and sitting for coffee and a pastry in the community square, or perusing the local shops and sitting back and taking the time to visit with some boisterous natives. Other days, perfection was offered up by just popping a squat in Boston’s Public Garden and watching the Swan Boats pedal by or getting lost for hours at Brattle BookShop; running my fingers across books wrapped in plastic, books older than my great grandparents, and just letting the smell of wisdom and the written word envelop me. Days like this, while casual, were blissful and full of cherished memories.

Beacon Hill
Then there some days, you stumble upon Fisherman’s Feast, a festival that has been occurring annually in the North End since 1910.  This is a gala that dates back to the 16th century and the tradition was brought over by the devoted fisherman from Sicily. Their ancestors still honoring the Madonna del Soccorso by throwing her a party every year while she sits at its center after being moved from her home at the Fisherman’s Club. She is gallantly carried by those faithful to her where she sits witness to the festivities at a chapel at epicenter for the four day celebration. Tom and I witnessed this time honored homage as they returned the Madonna to her resting home for the year - the fireworks, the streamers and the prayers in her honor in return for her blessings of help and protection; a wonderful sight and one of those gems we will relish having witnessed.

Madonna del Soccorso
Other days, we wore our tourist caps and would visit revered Universities, hoping the mass brain power would some way rub off; as if just being in the presence of the genius would in turn, by association increase our IQ. Perusing Harvard’s Old Yard, touching the foot of the bronzed John Harvard for good luck and immediately regretting the decision and wishing I had brought baby wipes with me - but hey, I do feel lucky so it must have worked even with the plethora of germs we may have contracted.
John Harvard
Overall, Boston was too short a stay. It is a city unique and full of its own captivating charms, a city that we will greatly miss, especially those crisp evenings and our strolls along the harbor. It was one of the harder ones to bid adieu to and one we look forward to returning to soon. In the meantime here are some more photos from our time there and hopefully they'll hold us all over. 

USS Constitution
Swan Boats in the Public Garden

Boston Sunset
Bunker Hill
Brattle Books




1 comment:

  1. Of course you already know how much we love Boston but your words and pictures bring us back to that place that is never far from our hearts. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

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