Commonwealth Avenue, Boston
Providing a respite from Newbury Street is this Mall running along Commonwealth Avenue. A beautiful wide expanse with benches and historical sculptures lining the path where you'll see couples and maybe a few dogs enjoying the quiteness.
There is a great statue dedicated to Alexander Hamilton in the middle of the wonderful greenery. Also along Commonwealth Avenue you'll find some great shops and many restaurants.
The other day I was heading into Fenway Park and the weather was so nice that I decided to walk from Park Street Station. This walk took me through Boston Commons, along past the Swan Boats in the Public Garden, then onto the Commonwealth Avenue Mall. The Mall is a long, straight park flanked on either side by the beautiful old brownstone buildings that Back Bay is known for. The park is lush with trees and many statues devoted to local dignitaries. Of special interest is the fire fighter's memorial.
The park ends just before Mass Ave, and you can continue down Comm Ave into Kenmore, if that is your destination. Otherwise, a left hand turn will bring you to Newbury Street (runs parallel), with it's boutique shops and restaurants. The next parallel street is Boylston, with more shops, restaurants and bars, as well as Copley Square and the Boston Public Library.
The Commonwealth Avenue Mall is a nice way to extend your walk through Boston Commons.
The entire Back Bay area of Boston was the result of an enormous landfill project that took place between 1857 and 1890, which almost doubled the size of the entire downtown Boston area. When Commonwealth Avenue was built at the end of the 19th century, the idea was to provide the city's ever growing upper-class population with a new address since the houses on Beacon Hill were deemed by some to be a bit too small to accomodate modern tastes and comforts. Boston's architects and designers therefore turned to the great Parisian boulevards for inspiration, and the avenue was designed as a 200-ft wide parkway, divided at the center by a wide pedestrian mall. Walking along "Comm Ave", as the locals call it, offers a nice, quiet alternative to nearby Newbury Street. In total, there are nine statues and memorials spread throughout the mall, starting with the statue of Alexander Hamilton near the Boston Public Garden.
One great thing about Boston is that it's colleges are very easy to find. My alma mater, Boston University, was right on Commonwealth Ave. It is a street with a weird set up. It starts off heading in one direction then curves off into another then crosses over Beacon Street and goes back in the direciton it started.
You can find all sorts of shops and nice eateries along Commonwealth Ave. It is also very easy to get from point A to point B because the B line runs up it.
Get off at Kenmore Square and stop into the BU bookstore. Here you can buy just about any kind of Boston University souvenire you could want.
Boring through the centre of the Back Bay with its twin drives and central space, Commonwealth Avenue is the most prestigious address in Boston, and its central greenspace, the Mall, has quickly gained fame as the ceremonial axis of New England. All along the aristocratic boulevard are the sumptuous mansions and townhouses of the exceedingly wealthy, many of which are so valuable thy have been subdivided many times over. The grandest homes are on the north side of the avenue, where they receieve the most sunlight; those on th south were usually built by out of towners unfamiliar with the avenue's orientation. In the 19th century heyday of Boston society, such people were mocked for their poor judgement. The Mall in the interior of the avenue is the best place from which to experience the homes and monuments- walk down th central path btween the Public Garden and Massachusetts Avenue and you'll see a wealth of statuary, memorials, and granoise homes set amongst sumptuous foliage.