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July 23, 2010 / ebretzel

Remembering Boston

A friend of mine is heading off to Boston next week. Knowing I’ve been there she asked me for some sight-seeing tips. I thought back to 2007 and my brief, yet wonderful, time spent with my friend Katie who lived in the Italian, North End of Boston at the time. (My favorite part of the picture above is the woman looking out of her window on the left side.)

What struck me about Boston was that it is not only beautiful, but extremely accessible. Katie met me at the airport with her bicycle, we got directly onto the subway and were back at her place in no time. The subways are easy to navigate and from my recollection it was quite effortless to find interesting places to visit by foot. I was only there for a few days, so if you are planning a weekend trip to Boston anytime in the future here are some places to keep in mind.

Make Way For Ducklings!

This cute, little statue can be found in the Boston Public Garden, and is a shoutout to a popular children’s book called Make Way For Ducklings from the 1940’s. Nearby are REAL ducklings in a pond and other statues can be found throughout the park. If you’re like me you will take a picture imitating every statue you find. We stumbled upon one dedicated to the discovery of Ether, strange, but significant I suppose. Beautiful trees, flowers and other landscaping abound, making the Public Garden a nice hangout spot for an afternoon picnic or stroll.

Freedom Trail

Do you like history? I do. This website with the cheesy, fife-playing dude tells you all about the freedom trail, but it is simply a line of red brick that you can use to trace your way through Boston to historical spots. If you want, you can climb the tight, spiral staircase of the obelisk-shaped Bunker Hill Monument and peek out of the top.

There are lots of cool, old buildings en route and if you’re really organized you can probably pick up an informational brochure at the trailhead, or even go on an organized tour if you are so inclined. We just sort of wandered and gawked.

One of my favorite spots on the trail was an old cemetery with really interesting gravestones. Call me morbid, but I’ve always had a thing for funky, old gravestones.

The people-watching is great, too. I get a kick out of watching tourists trying to bumble their way about with maps and bad tans. We’ve all been there, it ain’t pretty. Also of note is the USS Constitution, aka Old Ironsides, a ship-turned-museum that you can tour. It’s only a hop-skip-and-jump from the the Freedom Trail, and it’s FREE!

Day Trip to Cape Ann

If you have a free day and you want to escape the bustle of the city, I can tell you that I really enjoyed our little whale-watching escapade in Cape Ann. Yes I said whale-watching… and we did see whales as evidenced by the above photo of a whale arm! It probably matters what time of year it is (we went in September), but for a few $$’s you can buy yourself a ticket on a boat and whip up to Glaucester from Boston on a train.

Glaucester (don’t be fooled, it’s pronounced “GLOHSTER”) is a cute harbor town with plenty of boat riggings to gawk at and a quaint downtown area. We enjoyed a little stroll down main street and checked out some funky antiques and unique boutiques. There is an interesting statue dedicated to sailors and more American flags than you need to see in your lifetime. If we had more time I would have loved to bum around for another day at a bed & breakfast and just enjoyed the cool harbor breeze and squeaks of seagulls.

The activities in Boston are endless: A trip to Fenway Park, a stroll down the Esplanade (pictured above – the green strip along the river), Chinatown, Harvard, a drink at Cheer’s bar (both real and fake), shopping and museums galore… and I’ve only scratched a tiny bit of the surface! I look forward to my next visit and maybe someday I will be Remembering Boston Part II!



One Comment

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  1. Elliot / Jul 24 2010 1:11 am

    I love Boston as well. The Freedom Trail is awesome. Also awesome is seeing the USS Constitution if it happens to be there. And if you’re a fan of Clam Chowder, head to Quincy Market and pick up a bread-bowl of Clam Chowder from the Chowda Bay Soup Company. Man oh man, that’s some tasty chowder.

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