As in many places in the U.S., Boston has MANY Starbucks coffee shops. My bright idea for a VT meeting that would make its way along the Freedom Trail was a bit unrealistic in the frozen weather we were having. We initially met at the Starbucks at Boston Commons and sat around sipping, talking and enjoying each other's company for an hour or so... mainly, just staying warm! We also ended our walk with an hour stop at ANOTHER Starbucks... yes, it was a day for warm fluids.
I saw mixed evidence of people cleaning up after themselves. While the streets weren't piled with garbage, there was definitely garbage to be seen from time to time. As we walked down a sidewalk, we watched someone pass a trash can and dump their garbage in the gutter, just past the can. What's up with that?
I was interested in the sight of this discarded coffee cup that had frozen to the sidewalk.
They called this exhibit "The Lure of Orchids" and they were so right. There were crowds studying every detail and photographing them, oogling them, and preparing their questions for the gardeners. I have just one orchid and I'm thrilled when she blooms....which will be soon. Don't know if I would ever be a collector like many of these people are. Some are so possessed that they buy special red lights and blue lights to be sure the orchids get exactly the right hue and correct light they need.
A common tradition in Boston, as well as much of the rest of the USA, is the holiday backyard barbecue. On long weekends such as Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, families will gather together, sit outside, and enjoy all sorts of grilled meat, fish, and vegetables. The most common fare are hamburgers and hot dogs, though spare ribs, chicken, steak, and even shrimp or salmon can be on the menu. It's an excellent opportunity for families and friends to get together, relax, and socialize.
(Note: "barbecue" in this context is distinct from Southern BBQ, which is a dish rather than a social event. In the South, the "backyard barbecue" is less common because of the heat, and is sometimes referred to as "outdoor grilling" or a "cookout.")
There are numerous gardens displayed and judged at the show. There is a section for displays of formal floral arrangements by the Federation of Garden Clubs, and there are food areas as well as trade floor booths. Bigger than our Providence show, but very much the same. Gorgeous blossoms, some interesting and imaginative ideas. Some of the varieties are unique and beautiful enough so that you want to collect the names and find them in your local garden shop.
There was an amazing color Azalea in the Bartlett Tree exhibit (pictured in this photo group), but I was really struck on the Canterbury Bells which were from the Alan Haskell Horticultural Center. They were stellar. My next favorite would be the Digitalis "Foxglove", which I simply must have in my garden again. Had some years ago and I'm determined to find them again.
Every great city seems to have it's own marathon, why should Boston be any different. The third Monday of every April is marked for the Boston Marathon. On this day hundreds of thousands of spectators line the streets of Boston to watch thousands of runners. If the weather cooperates this is great to watch. If it is windy or chilly, grab your mittens and warm gear, a lawn chair and a thermos of your favorite beverage, sit back, and enjoy the view. This is also a great time to people watch.
Some of the exhibits at the flower show are more appealing than others, of course. I tended to like the more old fashioned "country" look rather than the more contrived... or exotic. I thought of my Australian and New Zealand pals on VT when I saw the sweet lambs. You can't see the black one in the pic, but they had 2 in a garden...one white and one black.
The stand of Delphiniums were really a knock out.
I wasn't sure if these musicians were Peruvian or from some other place...but loved the sound of their music. Everyone tended to sort of bounce as they walked past them. Colorful costumes and fascinating sort of whistle.
Here is a series of pics of a farm scene at one of the exhibits. I thought the display was marvelous. I'm partial to farms and veggie gardens....roadside stands and such....but the colors in the display were truly scrumptious.
When in Boston, you will probably hear someone talking about the Big Dig. This is the largest construction project in the history of the US. It started in 1991 and will be finished some time in 2005. Its purpose is to completely overhaul the expressway system in key areas to relieve traffic. It will make Boston a different city when it is finished, and every time I go, I see major progress.
The cost: $14.7 BILLION!!!
Read more on the website.
There is no smoking in restaurants, bars, or nightclubs in Boston.
Personally, even as a non-smoker, I think this is a terrible law for bars and nightclubs but good for restaurants. Having been to Boston many times before and after the law was put in place, I have noticed a dramatic drop in the number of people in many bars and clubs. I don't know how much business they lose, but to me the atmosphere just isn't the same.
Boston gives you so many cultural highlites!!
There is the Public library in the Back Bay
The Freedom Trail who guides you to some very intersting historical places
The JFK-Museum outside Boston ('T')
The museum of science ('T')
The shell near the Charles River - there are many concerts during the summer
I learned about the long-standing friendship between the cities of Boston and Halifax. During both world wars the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia was an important naval and air base, convoy terminal, and embarkation center. In 1917 the French ammunition ship Mont Blanc, carrying more than 2,500 tons of explosives, was rammed in the harbor by a Belgian relief vessel, causing an explosion that killed about 1,800 people, injured about 9,000 more (one-fifth of the population), and destroyed the northern part of the city.
The Prudential Center Christmas Tree was a gift from Nova Scotia. At the tree lighting ceremony on December 1, 2001, there were speeches by the Premier of Nova Scotia, John F. Hamm, M.D., M.L.A. and the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino. There was also entertainment from Nova Scotia: Acadian musicians, bagpipe players, step dancers, a young singer, Aslyn Devison, from Glace Bay, NS, and well-known entertainer Jeremiah Sparks. Mr. Sparks started performing with his family at churches in Halifax as one of the Sparks Singers, and has sung gospel music all his life. For the past 21 years, he's occupied the organist's bench at the Cherry Brook United Baptist Church, and also sings and directs in the Nova Scotia Mass Choir. Mr. Sparks was accompanied by children of the Boston Arts Academy Choir.
The following is a excerpt from Premier Hamm's speech: *This year marks the 30th anniversary of your tree lighting event. As Nova Scotians, we are very proud to be a part of that tradition by providing a giant evergreen for all Bostonians to enjoy - a tree that is a gift of appreciation for your assistance 84 years ago.
As you may know, Halifax was a devastated city following a great explosion in our harbour on December 6, 1917 after two wartime ships collided, creating the largest man-made explosion before the nuclear age. Nova Scotians have never forgotten the assistance that you, our friends in Massachusetts, provided so quickly in our time of need.
Nova Scotia and Boston are united by strong ties of family, friendship, business and culture. And at this time of year more than any other, we have the opportunity to reflect and to share in messages of peace and good will.*
If you want to see some photos of the ceremony, check my Travelogue. The photos are really poor quality because I was fighting for a position in a huge crowd, to take some shots without people's heads in front of me. I was also too far away for the digital camera to be effective with night shots. So, they are all *blurry-artsy* :)
Summers vary from comfortable 70s and 80s to the 90s. Temperatures are cooler on the coast. Warm sunny days and cool nights follow in the fall. Winter temperatures may hover around freezing or sometimes lower.
1. Go and see the USS CONSTITUTION ; visit the free museum ; the visit of the ship is free too ; do it during the week.
2. If you want to have a general view of Boston, go to the Prudential Center, take the elevators up to the 50th pay a 6 $ per person and you will have a complet view (360°) of Boston (eventually send only one person with the camera ...and save $ .. hihi)
The Lenox Hotel is a family owned hotel in an older building located in the Back Bay. I loved the...more
This looks like the old Kenmore Hotel of the 1970's Grahm Jr College used this as a dorm and...more
I originally booked my stay for 4 days but only stayed one night because my friends and family that...more