Boston

“Listen my children and you shall hear. Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere…” The ride of Paul Revere, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1860

Boston is proud of its past, playing a pivotal role in the States’ rebellious beginnings.  This town spans the countries colonial and revolutionary eras.  We enjoyed walking the Freedom Trail, a 4km path weaving its way through the town and across the river, past the town’s more significant historical sites and landmarks.

And the heat and humidity did not stop in NYC – the weather in Boston was low 30s during the day, dipping to a mild 25 at night!! 

Boston has a fantastic park in the centre, Boston Common and the Public Garden – it rivals Central Park as a place for enjoyment and solitude, but beats it for beauty.  The plants and landscaping in the Public Park is wonderful, along with the small lake (think duck pond) which had stretch swan paddle boats plying their way around a small island.

The architecture in Boston is Victorian and no better examples exist than the brownstone buildings near the river and centre of Boston.  In particular, Commonwealth Avenue would have to be the most beautiful street in Boston’s Back Bay area. Its streets are some of many in Boston that are lined with one of the city’s most iconic architectural structures, the brownstone. They are beautifully unique dwellings and represent affluence and style.  These dwellings, backing onto the river, also have the best views of the 4th of July fireworks.

The Freedom Trail is a collection of museums, churches, cemeteries, parks, a ship, and historic markers which tell the story of the American Revolution. Some of the more interesting aspects of the Trail include the Old North Church, from which Paul Revere gave the lantern signal to alert the patriots, and the Old South Meeting Hall, where patriots planned the Boston Tea Party. 

Above is Massachusetts State House.

Walking through the Granary Burying Ground, you walk past the gravesites of Revere, Benjamin Franklin’s parents and other prominent Bostonians who participated in the making of the revolution, such as Samuel Adams, who has a very fine ale named after him.  Probably the most noteworthy sites include Revere’s home and Bunker Hill monument, which was the site of one of the bloodiest battles between the colonists and the British army.  The colonists were not well equipped and folklore has it that their battle-cry was “…don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes…”

Our accommodation was in Cambridge, a short distance from Boston.  We were literally next door to Harvard University.  This is an impressive institution and the grounds are incredible, not so much the amount of green space, rather that the commons/lawns are treed and the buildings are imposing.  The architecture is Georgian, lots of columns, red brick and white stone window surrounds.  Many US presidents were educated here. 

 
 

Above is “our street”…very nice and cutesy…and next to H…

 
…one of the many gates into Harvard

…and Harvard Street, leading to Harvard Square.  Very popular destination for restaurants and cafes and the odd bar.

Some 3 kms down the main road is MIT, another ivy league institution which, too, has an impressive edifice.

 
 
 
We spent 4th of July in Boston.  The Bostonians celebrate this day with a concert provided by the Boston Pops on the Esplanade (a 3km stretch of river side parkland) and e fireworks display that makes Canberra’s Skyfire look like a back yard event.  The fireworks are set off to the Boston Pops playing a variety of songs.  They say that the best 4th of July celebrations are put on in Boston, with the concert and fireworks.  We had to make do with hearing the concert (and they were world class) and watching what I would say was the mots amazing display of pyro we had ever watched – big call Sydney, but…the way it started would have been a finale in Australia.
 
Sorry, no photos of the fireworks, just take our word for it.
 
 
 
Boston is certainly our pick of the US cities we have visited…it is cosmopolitan, friendly, clean and does not have a big city feel about it.  People are not rushed here, it is not crowded but the weather takes some getting used to.  We liked it a lot.

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