This morning we’re off on a walking tour in the CBD of Boston. They have a well laid out “Freedom Trail” that links the major sites in Boston’s part in the birth of the United States. The only problem is it is ranging from drizzle to actual rain so it is hard to get going.
We stopped in to breakfast at Bickford’s. They do the diner thing and Jemmz was able to sort something out. The service was great and Angus got his coffee. The CBD is about half and hour away (on a Sunday anyway) and we drive into a carpark we scoped out on google. Making our way through the drizzle we stopped in at a subway station (called the ‘T’ here) for shelter. We somehow got the attendant to let us through the turnstiles to use the toilet, turned out to be the staff toilet. Nice guy. His off-sider wasn’t impressed though.
The guide – Alan – soon arrived as did a dozen or so other stalwart participants. We started at the Boston Massacre site – where a misunderstanding resulted in the shooting of some tax protesters. This kicked off a whole 10-year sequence of meetings and the declaration of independence. Many of the characters had links with or were from Boston.
The origin of the Boston population was those quintessential puritans from Plymouth. Waves of immigrants from Ireland and Italy have changed the staunch protestant roots to a more diverse bunch – most famous of which would be the Kennedys and became the centre of the Slavery Abolitionist movement and end of the underground railway. You could say that Boston triggered the War of Independence and the Civil War.
The city has also undergone some major reclamation to create the inner city areas Back Bay, South Bay and others by filling in the shallow harbours starting around 1800. Massive areas which must have changed the feel of the city as they were added.
There are lots of architectural features with Boston’s the home of the one of the first steel framed buildings and the second largest masonry buildings at 14 stories in the Ames building. There’s also historical stuff everywhere including the completing churches, original city graveyard (oddly named the Granary graveyard) and the Boston Common. We saw the results of early Bostonians wanting the wide Boulevards of Paris and the communal space of the English village.
The walk finished where the Boston Marathon ends in Copley Square. On our own we regrouped and entered the Public Library – a fantastic construction from 1895 all in the romantic, monument, marble and mural style popular at the time. Working out that we’d strayed far from the parked car we thought we’d try the “T” subway. A $2.75 on-off cost to get on is all that’s needed to get us across to our tour start point.
Well it’s time for the laundromat and we set out and stopped for Mexican for dinner. Quite an unassuming place and I think they were a little soft on our sauces but good nonetheless.
Angus | getting on the right subway with our ‘one use’ ticket
Rosie | getting to use the loo at one of the oldest subway stations and the amazing reading room
O’Regan | The ride on the “T” subway
McKay | getting some quiet time in the crazy Library reading about Boston
Jemmz | The veggie hoagie from Faneuil Hall Marketplace and the hilarious server who loved that I was Kiwi