This little park has got to be one of the best places to see downtwn Boston's skyline. Located in East Boston, it's very easy to get there from the Airport subway station. You only need to follow the walking path that starts in the park at the front of the station for about 15 minutes until you reach the waterfront. The park is not very bit (6.5 acres), but if you happen to be in the area - especially if you have some time to kill before your flight - it's definitely worth making the short detour to enjoy the beautilful views it offers of downtown Boston.
The rough cut but historical ethnic enclave of Chelsea is where the commercial produce market and other industries are located, but it's also an important historical town. Take the 111 bus from the Hay Market transit station in downtown Boston. These buses are very popular but cost just $2- to cross the Tobin Bridge within 10 minutes to Chelsea. Get off along Broadway and walk around. There are good cheap ethnic restaurants here.
A statue of Admiral David Glasgow Farragut, hero of the Battle of Mobile Bay in the American Civil War, stands in the center of the traffic circle at City Point. Were he alive today, he would probably exclaim, "Damn the SUVs! Full speed ahead!"
Take bus #7, #9, #10, or #11 to City Point.
Sometimes you seek attractions and sometimes they find you on their own. After having dinner at the Ashmont Grill, I found this wonderful floating head. It lives across the street from the restaurant and really, just begging for a photo op.
I hope I did it justice.
I came across the rather lovely mosaic quite unexpectedly one evening, whilst wandering around the Long Wharf area.
I don't think it would be quite so obvious in daylight, but it really is worth a look after dark, when it is illuminated from behind.
The mosaic is made of 900+ pounds of tumbled recycled glass set in resin. The glass pieces resemble the sea-glass one finds on beaches around the world...soft colours and soft edges.
It was set in place in 2007, to mark the revitalisation of Boston's harbourfront area and 'the important role of the codfish' in Boston's history.
I thought it was very striking indeed.
It's called '255 State Street Sea Glass'. You'll find it set into the side of the building at the junction of Central Street and Atlantic Avenue.
Set amongst the concrete and brick of the Financial District, this little park (in two sections) is really rather lovely. Although privately-owned it is accessible to the public at all times.
There are trees and grass, flowerbed and benches and a rather nice sculpture of small animals which is very attractive to small children, several of whom I saw stroking the ducks, squirrels and turtles.
The park is also obviously much appreciated by local workers, judging by the number of them I saw eating their lunches in its shade
If you are wandering this part of Boston and fancy somewhere to sit and rest for a while the Post Office Square Park is just the spot, imo. The square has less traffic than one might expect, even on a weekday.
You'll find the park at the junction of Milk, Water, Pearl and Congress streets.
The Rose Kennedy Greenway is a series of parks following the line of Atlantic Avenue and onwards.
The Greenway was created as a result of the 'Big Dig', a mega-project that put Interstate Highway 93 into a 6+km long tunnel....the elevatedsection which once carried the 93 has been replaced by grass and trees and sitting areas and plants and artworks.
I'm sure the Big Dig was a nightmare for Boston residents when it was underway, but the results have been worth it. The Greenway is a real asset and, on warm summer nights, I found its fountains were a huge draw for both local children and visitors.
There are complicate patterns of water spouts, 'steam' (which must be brilliant for children!) and coloured lights....a water paradise for little ones.
I really enjoyed spending a while watching kids and parents enjoy themselves. They were there in the daytime too, of course, but the evening lights made it a much more magical experience.
If you are wandering the Long Wharf area on a warm evening you might be tempted to play in the fountains too...even if you have no children with you! :-)
You'll find the set of fountains in my photo at the junction of Atlantic Avenue and Central Street, but I think there are several sets along the Greenway.
You will probably pass by this memorial, as it stands opposite the Old South Meeting House (dating from 1729). It's fairly new, unveiled in 1998.
My guidebook suggests that the 'presumably wealthy Bostonian family' are ignoring those ragged victims of the Famine who hold out their hands towards them.
I'm not so sure it is supposed to be Bostonians. I think it is probably supposed to be the British ignoring the victims...but the clothes are wrong.
An alternative view is that the 'wealthy' represents the Irish emigrants who escaped the Famine and made their way in America.
The sculpture annoyed me a little, to be honest. The clothes of the 'wealthy' (be they British or Bostonian) were entirely wrong for the period (mid 1800s)..so perhaps they *are* supposed to be a later, wealthier emigrant family looking back to the past?, And the rags of the female victim were far too skimpy. I felt the latter, especially, displayed a lack of knowledge and understanding I would not expect to find in a memorial. The New York memorial to the famine was far more appropriate and far more evocative, imo.
Seek it out and see what you think. There is no right or wrong, just personal opinion.
The most important thing is that the Irish Famine is remembered.
You will find the memorial at the junction of School Street and Washington Street, not far from Downtown Crossing T.
Liberty Square is just a small square in the Financial District but it has a lot of history.
In 1765 Bostonians tore down the British Stamp Tax Office which stood here. Crikey!
In 1791 the square was named after the French Revolution, with a 'festive banquet' and a 21-gun salute.
And in 1986, a memorial to those who fought and died in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution was erected, and it was this which caught my eye.
I saw the triumphant woman first, of course. But do take the time to get a closer look, for all around the base which supports her you will see the faces of those who died.
I found this a very impressive memorial. Gyuri Hollosy was the sculptor.
Liberty Square lies on Water Street, between the Common and the waterfront.
One of America's oldest bookshops, Brattle's is no doubt hugely attractive to those who enjoy browsing through secondhand books. There were certainly plenty of people around whenever I passed by.
But I enjoyed it when it was closed too, for the rather excellent murals in its outside area (where many books are displayed).
Even if you have no interest in secondhand or antiquarian books it is worth seeking out Brattles, after it has closed, just to enjoy the colourful murals on the 'outside sale lot's' walls and ...well, they're book-cupboards, I suppose.
You'll find it on 9 West Street, which runs between Tremont Street (bordering the eastern edge of the Common) and Washington Street.
I'd never heard of the children's book 'Make Way for Ducklings' by Robert McCloskey but it is clearly considered to be famous throughout the world (at least, that's what the plaque for this sculpture says!). It is set in Boston, so that is presumably why there is a commemorative sculpture (Wiki says there is a copy of this sculpture in Moscow, which is fascinating in itself!).
But I just liked the sculpture itself. And, on a not and sticky late afternoon, I enjoyed just sitting on the grass and watching various children and their parents arrive, climb onto a duckling or two (the 'polish' on their backs gives away their popularity!). It seemed to be a popular family photo-opportunity!
You'll find the sculpture (by Nancy Schon) in the Public Gardens which lie between Boston Common and Back Bay (see other tip).
Even if you are not interested in the ducklings sculpture it's worth seeking out the Public Garden which lies where Back Bay and Boston Common meet.
The park was set up in 1837 and has been open to the public since 1859. There are some lovely trees...125 species of them, including some very impressive and venerable weeping willows which fringe the (fairly small) lake.
Fairly small though the lake may be, it has organised rides available on the 'swan-boats', powered by an attendant pedalling from behind. They've been on the lake since 1877 (presumably not exactly the same boats as one sees now!) and are clearly popular.
Personally, I had no desire to be pedalled around a tiny lake. I much preferred to sit on the grass in the shade, watching the birds and squirrels...and watching the many Bostonians who were passing through the gardens on their way home from work, or walking their dogs, or just meeting their friends.
A very pleasant place, imo. I felt it was less obviously 'touristy' than Boston Common, less busy and ...yes..less intimidating, for Boston Common (which I crossed and re-crossed several times during my visit) has some very strange characters indeed.
The Public Garden lies to the west of Boston Common and is bordered by Boylston Street, Charles Street and Beacon Street.
>We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
I came across this memorial garden whilst wandering the edge of the Financial District.
I thought it was a lovely idea, though was very greatly saddened by its necessity.
The garden is set with many river stones....far too many...each with the name of the victim and his or her details. I am even more saddened to read on the website that all available stones (650 of them) have been used and names are now inscribed on the surrounding walls. I had thought that was the choice of the victim's family, not that too many people had been vitimcs of homicide.
However. I sat for a while in this peaceful spot, having wandered through and read many of the stones. It is a good thing to remember individuals, I think.
The memorial sculpture...'Ibis Ascending'...represents hope and is rather lovely, even if the setting of the garden is not. It lies between towering modern buildings: concrete and glass surrounds.
You'll find the Garden of Peace at 100 Cambridge Street. Read the website to understand the philosophy behind its creation.
Nearest T station is Government Center.
It's always a good idea to look up in almost any city. You miss an awful lot if you do not, for often the lower floor is modernized and given over to shops etc whilst the upper floors betray the true age of the building.
Boston is no exception.
You'll see the twiddles and architectural embellishments which were so popular in the mid-late 1800s). You'll see evidence of passing fashions in house-building...the multiple bay windows of North End apartment blocks, the purple-tinted windows of Beacon Hell mansions (originally caused by an excess of manganese in the glass but swiftly becoming a status symbol of the wealth and privilege of residents)...and you'll see where buildings of the past have disappeared but still leave their 'fingerprints' on adjacent walls.
Always look up! :-)
On the fifth floor of Harvard's Countway (Medical) Library you can visit the Warren Anatomical Museum. It's not a very large museum; it's located in the atrium hallway. But, if you like looking at this sort of thing (and there are some of us who do), then you might enjoy some of their holdings.
AND.... it's free. So, what have you got to lose?
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