Boston is another one of those cities that has so much history that it is impossible to see and do it all. So, we focused our visit on walking the Freedom Trail of Revolutionary War history and at the Hippygeek’s request, took a jaunt over to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The Freedom Trail links many of the oldest buildings in the city and the ones prominent in the Revolutionary War with red bricks inlaid into the streets and sidewalks. One can also pick up a pamphlet which aids in the description of the sites. With the brick path and pamphlet, even silly tourists like us can bumble our way through the historic sites.
left: Faneuil Hall has been a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742.
right: Wavy and worn cobbled streets in the North End.
But, we decided to go one better and get in on a free Ranger tour as they always seem to enhance the experience with anecdotal stories of all of the places and characters involved. It would also aid the Dudes in getting their Ranger badges.
above:(left) Paul Revere’s House (right) inside the the Old South Meeting House organizing point for the Boston tea party.
The tour took us to Faneuil Hall, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, Paul Revere’s House and The Old North Church. Along the way, we walked through the Holocaust Memorial and the North End where the smell of garlic emanates from the doorway of every Italian restaurant, Mmmmmm.
left: Building in the North End right: The Old State House (site of the Boston Massacre and oldest public building in Boston dating to 1713.)
The Dudes filled out their ranger books as we went along but at one point the Lil’ Dude got behind and looked at me and said “what was the name of that thing that happened? Was it the Boston manicure?” When I regained my composure, I replied “No, I believe that was the Boston Massacre”. You can always count on him to introduce another point of view.
We also crossed over the area where the “big dig” project occurred which aimed to bury the highways underground. Despite all of the issues involved, the new gardens, fountains and greenways have certainly enhanced the area.
The Hippygeek seems to be on a quest to “have a beer” where all of the historical figures have so it was convenient that the tour also took us by the Green Dragon Tavern. Although the original building was demolished in 1854, it had served as the “headquarters of the revolution”, the Boston Tea Party had been planned there and Paul Revere was sent on his famous ride from there. So, he felt obligated to have a beer there, in the spirit of patriotism, of course.
The Hippygeek, with his passion for science, also felt compelled to walk through the halls of MIT. So, we walked through the campus and a couple of the buildings amongst all of the brainiacs thinking it might help us grow some new synapses (I don’t think it worked).
Then we made our way over to the MIT Museum where they had several exhibits going including; robotics, kinetic sculptures, photography in science and one on the changes in glacial ice over the past one hundred years.
above: kinetic sculpture by Arthur Ganson.
I took a particular interest in the photography piece not just because of my own interest in photography but that it showcased the work of Berenice Abbott, a woman who became well known for her work in the 1930’s, an unusual feat for the time.
The Big Dude took to the exhibit on glaciers mostly because it had numerous pictures and diagrams from the Himalayas which included, Mt. Kailash, the mountain he was named after. He also thought the robotics exhibit was very cool.
We ended one of our evenings in town as many of the locals do with a walk along the Charles River. The stiff breeze kept the sailors busy and us entertained until the rush hour traffic died down and we could make our way back to New Hampshire. Although we just couldn’t do it all, we did add another chapter to our study of the Revolutionary War and got a little taste of life in Boston.
”And it was from Boston that one in every six American families began their journey into the land of the free.” Thomas Menino