last minute (the weekend before my trip), i decided spend one of my days in lowell. i realized i did not need 3 whole days in boston. at first, i thought of going to quincy, which was closer, but i was not very interested in that national park; it's john quincy adams home. now lowell may ring a bell when you think back to your elementary / high school years as that city mentioned in your us history class' industrial revolution lecture. i remember learning about the mill girls of lowell and thought why not learn more?
one again, i had to take the train. this was the farthest city i went to (a good 30 miles north of boston).
lowell was known as the venice of the us [can't you see the resemblence ;) ] because of all the canals. lowell is very different from concord or boston. when you look around, you can tell this was a big industrial town which is no longer. when you look around there is less green, lots of brick buildings, stone streets, and of course the canals. it reminds me of the late 1800s, early 1900s english dramas (ie north & south, more on that later).
there is also a train museum here, but i did not go.
a monument to the industrial workers.
the entire downtown lowell looked like this.
after some dunkin' donuts i headed to my one and only stop, lowell national historical park. the park focuses on the history of the textile industry form the mid 1800s to mid 1900s. interesting fact, the city was planned around the manufacturing industry (not the other way around). at least i think it's interesting (i liked city planning). the nps does canal boat tours, but i didn't have 90 minutes to spare. so i only did a walking tour which was surprisingly tiny.
the industry was here before the city. after visiting the visitors center, i headed to the boott cotton mill (est. 1835) and museum. this place is soooo cool. it is a functioning cotton mill! workers still use the machines and demonstrate how it is used. it is like walking onto the set of north & south (which by the way is on netflix). it is a bbc miniseries about a man from north england who manages a cotton mill and a women from the south of england who moves close by. anyhoo, it is one of my favorite things ever to watch. very pride & prejudice-esque. i definitely recommend it. so good! i was asking workers if they had ever heard of it, but no one knew (boo).
the mill girl. i'm such a creep.
looking up the stairwell.
this old trolley takes you around the city, but it so small that there really is no point.
i continued on my little walking tour, but there really wasn't that much more to see other than the canals. i thought of going to nps' exhibit on the mill girls & immigrants in lowell's manufacturing industry, but they did not open until 1:30 (boo to budget cuts). unfortunately i wanted to make the 1:00 train (the next would have been 3:00) so i could see some things in boston. it would have been nice to see the reconstructed mill girls living quarters. oh well.
lowell is also known for jack kerouac (this was his birthplace), but the only thing to see was a commemorative park for him which did not have any interesting statues. i'm not really a fan, but the park was disappointing.
after heading back (and walking 1.5 miles in the wrong direction trying to get to the train station), i took the train and headed towards boston public library (est. 1848). now why a library you may ask? it is unlike any library i have seen and looks more like an art museum. the bpl was the first large free municipal library in the us. also the building is based on the national library in paris.
just some students studying under a crazy ass dome. what?!
a mural from the story 'quest of the holy grail.' i like m some ghosts.
i was also planning on going to trinity church (i love visiting catholic churches), but it was closed for a wedding. oh well. i saved $6.
i did get to see the gargoyles though.
i also went back to acorn street. i wanted to see it with the gas street lights on. unlike in the morning, there were sooo many people! it was nice to visit again even though it took me way too long to find. i forgot where it was. oops.
my lovely mug shot / selfie with acorn street. just wait for my selfie the next post. i is horrible, but i'm not here to impress.
now for a song. i really really like chris jackson's (aka george washingtons parts). i think he is my favorite male singer in the play. i also think this is my favorite song he is featured in, but the more i listen to the soundtrack the more uncertain i become. i almost picked 'guns & ships.' it also has a crazy good rap. i also really like i love how this song features so many different melodies (is that the right word?) from the other songs. it kind of is like a compilation song. it also features a lot of the characters. anyhoo, here is 'stay alive.' enjoy!