The Common is a good place to go and relax. There is almost always something going on-even in the dead of winter when the frog pond becomes an ice skating rink. Originally set aside as a common area where people could put their animals out to pasture; now it has become a common area where people put themselves out to pasture. There is a playground for the kids, mounted policemen, food vendors, occasional concerts, artists, and lots of people that just set around on the ground and benches and watch the day go by. That’s what I do when I’m there anyway. It’s a good relaxing spot to get away from the city for awhile, which is odd considering it’s right in the middle of the city. With Beacon Hill to one side, the Public Garden to another, and Chinatown and Government Crossing close by, it is as central as it could possibly be.
The Boston Common is the oldest public park in the United States and undoubtedly the largest and most famous of the town commons around which New England settlements were traditionally arranged. It started originally in 1634 as a 50 acre training ground for militia and where the freemen of Boston could graze their cattle. It also housed the gallows, stocks, jail and poorhouse of the city. The British evacuated after the Revolution and the cows were kicked out in 1830. Among the more notable events on the Common was a speech by Martin Luther King Jr. and a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II.
In the winter you can ice skate on the Frog Pond., in spring and summer you can enjoy the flowers in the public garden, The Common is an oasis for people in the city to relax, picnic and put the rush out of mind for a bit. The swan boat tours are a lot of fun, especially for the little ones, it follows a circular route that takes about 20 minutes to complete. Take a look at some of the trees and you will find Latin names affixed to many of them. Boston schoolchildren were once taken around the park and expected to translate the signs. My one year of Latin didn’t help me much.
Check out the Tremont Street side for the visitors’ center. There you can find information, maps and tours. The Freedom Trail starts in its southeast corner and winds its way through the downtown and market districts.
If there was ever an area in Boston with a long and varied history, it would have to be the Boston Common. The Common was established in 1634 to be used as a public green. Each household was charged 6 scillings to purchase the land. The area was used for grazing, offical functions including hanging, parades and drills. British troops even camped there. Check out the website for some interesting facts regarding the Common. The Common is enclosed by 5 streets, Tremont, Park, Beacon, Charles, and Boylston. The Common hosts a wide variety of functions including concerts, games, speeches and protests. Some famous people to appear here include Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and Judy Garland (her largest concert ever was her in 1967). During the winter months, the frog pond is used as an ice skating rink.
Richie and I brought his boys here this past summer. It was their first trip here so we had to make sure it was memorable. The boys were absolutely thrilled about the frog pond as well as the numerous food and beverage vendors that have now set up shop here. We let them take a break from the walking and play on the playground located next to the frog pond. It was also a good break for me and Richie.
In Boston Common, you'll certainly find the usual suspects in regards to city animal life. These pigeons were wishing they were migratory birds about this time, however. They were stationary and puffed out, attempting to keep warm air between their skin and feathers.
It's a scene right out of a story book. A pool that in the summer cooled thousands of hot Boston children transforms into a skating pond. Go skating at night when the snow falls. Dress in your warmest clothing, dont forget a fluffy scarf. Everyone wears them in Boston. (even indoors) - and skate around the pond, holding hands with your favorite person!
It's truly magical!
If you dont own skates you can rent them there. And there is a burger stand where you can get something to eat and a drink to warm up.
So most people are horrified by rats. Especially wild rats. Right? But what's a squirrel but a rat with a fuzzy tail? Yet people like squirrels.
I, on the other hand, don't have a problem with rats. Squirrels, I find adorable.
This little guy was taking a wee on the tree when I snapped his photo. He stopped, but he may have been frozen to the tree by the time my shutter closed.
So for our VT meeting on Jan. 11, 2003, we thought it would be fun to meet at Boston Commons and walk along the Freedom Trail. We were INSANE. It was very, very cold out. But we did meet at Boston Common, and we did walk a bit of the trail. In between hot liquids.
In its 370 years, Boston Common has served as common pasture, military drill ground and camp site, public execution site and burying ground; it should therefore come as no surprise that it still occupies an important place in Boston's culture and traditions nowadays. On sunny summer days, Bostonians flock to the city's biggest public park for a little bit of sunbathing or to cool off around the frog pond (which incidently has earned Boston the rather unflattering nickname of "frogpondium", thanks to Edgar Allan Poe).
The Boston Public Garden is located right across Charles Street and is more recent, dating back to 1869 and taking after English-style gardens. Different monuments, sculptures and other architectural and historical attractions grace this lovely wooded area of downtown Boston, including the Public Garden's famous swan boats and the "Make Way for Ducklings" sculpture, erected in honour of Robert McCloskey's popular children story set in the Public Garden.
Being from California, it's a rare sight for me to see folks ice skating on ponds. Except for in romantic movies. Yet here we were, walking across Boston Common, to Rowan's car, and I saw folks skating along on a pond. I wish we'd had more time, and I'd had skates!
This is the place where Bostonians hang out when the weather is nice. Situated across the street from the State House directly adjacent to the southern boundary of Beacon Hill, this large open park area is great to lay out a blanket and have a picnic, throw a frisbee, or discuss the politics of the day. It is the oldest public park in the U.S., having been established in 1634. There are also several monuments dotting the park including the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Boston Massacre Monument. The Central Burying Ground, a 17th-18th century graveyard is located on the southeast corner of the Commond near Tremont and Bolyston Streets and includes portrait artist Gilbert Stuart among its residents.
There is a visitor's center on the Tremont Street side near West Street where you can get more information (of course) and inquire about free tours offered by the Boston Park Rangers.
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