Esplanade - Hatch Shell, Boston
One of the most beautiful areas in and around Boston is the 17-mile stretch of land along the banks of the Charles River known as the Charles River Basin. About 3 miles (from the Museum of Science to the BU Bridge) of this land is paved and has come to be known by most locals as the Esplanade. The great thing about the Esplanade is that you can walk it, run it, bike it, or skate it. I spent many an evening taking romantic walks along the river on the Esplanade.
The Esplanade has a long and complex history. The story of it's conception and creation is fascinating. It started out as mud flats and was tranformed into a world-famous riverside park. The parkland was delveloped in stages, over several decades, at great cost and with great effort. In 1890 Charles Eliot came up with the idea of creating this beautiful Bostonian treasure.
The Esplanade has
6 miles of walkways and bike paths
5 miles of riverbank
3 granite landings
6 boating docks
1 performance facility (Hatch Shell)
3 playgrounds and 1 wading pool
3 softball fields
3 tennis courts
2 concession stands
3 restroom buildings
5 footbridges over the lagoon
9 pedestrian bridges over Storrow Drive
10 memorials and statues
266 park benches
If you happen to be in Boston during the summer and have nothing to do on an early Friday evening, take a walk to the Hatch Shell for Free Friday Flicks. The movies aren't new releases, but most are family friendly. Grab a blanket and some munchies and find a spot on the grass. Get there early, since it gets very crowded, especially if its a Disney movie playing. If my memory serves me right, no alcohol allowed.
We came across this interesting sculpture while walking the esplanade along the Charles River. This beautiful tree lined walk takes you along the banks, past the sailing school, across some small islands, past the Hatch Shell and down past the bridges. Lots of people walk, bike and rollerblade down this paved walkway.
The Sculpture is of Arthur Fiedler, former conductor of the Boston Pops. A orchestra that plays only "popular" showtunes and such. They play every July 4th at the fireworks festivities. The sculpture is made of layered metal plates.
The Esplanade is a long stretch of land along the banks of the Charles River made into a nice park. It is separated from the rest of Boston by Storrow Drive and is only accessible by a number of pedestrian bridges.
It's a nice place for a stroll along the river and watch the sailboats.
During summer you can attend free music at the Hatch Memorial Shell (an outdoor stage).
Edward Hatch Memorial Shell and the Esplanade
This is where the Boston Pops Orchestra has the annual 4th of July concert--you may have seen it on television. It is a great waterfront park.
Arthur Fiedler is the longest-serving maestro of the Boston Pops and a nationally renowned figure. His likeless is commemorated in a remarkable statue shaped from thin aluminum plates. The statue is across from the Hatch Memorial Shell, the place to which Fiedler was most closely associated.
The banks of the Charles River are grassy and well-kept, and you can walk along them for quite a stretch. On the Boston side, this stretch is called the Esplanade, and, together with the Common, it makes for a sort of "Boston Central Park." By the Longfellow Bridge sits the Hatch Shell, where you'll sometimes catch a concert or performance. My favorite is the Boston Pops Orchestra, which plays here every July 4th into the night, together with fireworks and whatnot.
Here is the city's finest venue for free, live, public entertainment. The Hatch Shell hosts many first-rate, world-famous acts. On my visit, it had an all-star jazz festival with several big name performers.
The full title of Edward Hatch Memorial Shell doesn't appear in my guide books.
We were in Boston for the last week in May but if we had been there in June, July or August we could have walked the 200 yards or metres across the road and round the corner to hear and see the Shell being used for one of the 3 nights a week free concerts which the Boston Symphony Orchestra give here. Since I wrote my first piece on this tip I have discovered that the popular attractions at the Shell can attract up to 30,000 people and the early attenders get there anything upto 18 hours before the concert to select there picnic site on the grass.
The Shell was built in the 1940's and paid for by Edward Hatch's sister, but I still don't know who Edward Hatch was and what he did.
Enjoy free oncerts by the Boston Pops and other performers at the Hatch Shell on the Esplanade, which is on the shore of the Charles River just north of Beacon Hill. Best time to go is the 4th of July when they bring out the cannons for an unforgettable rendition of the "Stars and Stripes".
Best when there's something going on. This is the place where most of Boston's outdoor musical events are held. The Boston Pops gives a concert here every July 4th.