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Sunday, October 16, 2016

SOLO BOSTON: DAY I [YE OLD BOSTON]

the day finally came! my big trip this year, to boston. for years i have been wanting to go. as a history major and really enjoying american history, boston is a must. i almost went when i was in dc in the summer of 2014, but flights were expensive and a bus ride was 11 hours. now because i am a tad crazy (and vacation time is gold), i decided to take a red eye wednesday and fly back monday. a red eye means using less vacation time and not paying for a night of accommodation. the flight was not bad, i did sleep 2 hours, but my seat mates were very unpleasant and grumpy the entire trip. what was cool was that i saw fireworks from the plane (i love window seats). overall, i was surprisingly okay for the rest of the day with so little sleep (just red eyes and a bit groggy).

now the flight landed 30 minutes early so i was literally wandering around downtown in the wee hours of the morning. this was probably not the smartest idea, but i enjoyed it. i like seeing a city before it wakes up. i planned on just hanging out at a coffee shop, but everywhere was closed, so i dropped off my stuff at the hostel first to waste time and save my back. 

also let me just say the t is a beautiful thing. it is sooo easy to get around on the subway system, though it does smell a little but that's normal. i do not know how dc keeps their trains from not smelling. the first stop was thinking cup, a little cafe across the street from boston common. it's really popular. so popular that mr. and mrs. unpleasant were there and this was not even near the airport!



the thinking cup. also look at this cool table made with an old boston newspaper article.



the freedom trail


once 9 o'clock hit, i was out. today was all about the freedom trail, and in the end i completed the entire trail (something i did not think i could do). everything is so close together, but streets change names and directions, so it can be a bit difficult to navigate. the first stop was boston common, the oldest city park in the united states (est. 1634). there are multiple points of interest here; including, central burying ground (est. 1756), the robert gould shaw memorial, the boston massacre memorial, and frog pond.






frog pond. i later found out this becomes an ice skating rink during the winter.


right across the street is the public garden, the first botanical garden in the country (est. 1837). here, there are tons of statues, ponds, flowers, and paths.   



the ether monument. boston was one of the first cities to use ether for anesthesia during surgery.



statues dedicated to robert mccloskey's make way for the ducklings. the story takes place here.



i'm on a duck.




next was one of my favorite places, even though it seems so minimal, acorn street (located in beacon hill). beacon hill (est. 1795) really is just a picturesque new england residential area. there are cobblestone streets, narrow brick homes, and gas lantern street lights. it reminds me of elfreth street in philadelphia (the oldest residential street in the nation, and pre-revolutionary).



it was still early and a weekday so no one was here.



the cobblestone streets


continuing on the freedom trail, the next stop was granary burying ground (est. 1660); and this is only the 3rd oldest cemetery in boston! there are multiple famous dead people here including sam adams, john hancock, paul revere, and the 5 victims of the boston massacre.

also this site has one of my favorite stories ever: in 2009, a tourist was on a self guided tour and suddenly fell through the ground into a previously unknown stairway that led to a crypt. man, i would have loved to have been that person. what a great story.






the grave of the victims of the boston massacre



many 17th century graves in boston have "death's head" and either crossbones or wings. puritans did not like religious symbols.

not part of the freedom trail is the john adam's courthouse. i went because they have a little exhibit on sacco & vanzetti. they also have cool statues on the different virtues of court; including, knowledge, justice, widsom, innocence, and my favorite guilt (he had a funny face). 



the ceiling of the john adam's courthouse





the site of the boston massacre. here is where british soldiers shot in a crowd and killed 5 civilians. it led to animosity towards the lobsters and growth in the patriot's cause.



inside the old south meeting house. the location where the colonists protested the tea tax before the boston tea party.




i love calligraphy.





along marshall street (near quincy market & government center), a cool historical block.



the paul revere mall. really it's a park surrounded with old brick buildings (including old north church & an old chocolate shoppe)...that man pointing tho.



a cute home :)

there were also other freedom trail sites i stopped at, but i don't have any good pictures. this includes faneuil hall, location of the first private school (started by ben franklin), the irish famine memorial, old corner bookstore (now a chipotle, how sad), the paul revere house, and the old state house.

the last stretch of the freedom trail is across the charles river / atlantic ocean at the charlestown navy yard (est. 1800). ships were built here until the end of the vietnam war. today it is a national park and consists of the visitor's center, the uss cassin young (dd-793), and the uss constitution.



the entrance to the navy yard.


surprisingly, my favorite feature of the navy yard (dare i say, my favorite site of the day) was the uss cassin young (dd-793). the destroyer was used during wwii & the korean war. the ship was fully furnished and replicated to the wwii era. you would walk through portholes and see so many little details. it was like you were going through a time warp to the 1940s. also, they played old jazz. it was wonderful (even though my clothing did get caught on a porthole; i'm a clutz). also, fun fact: it was built near home, in san pedro!







honestly, i found the uss constitution boring. a cool thing is active duty navy sailors are the crew, but they only talked about battle strategies (i find this soooo dull). interestingly, it is the oldest commissioned warship in the world; it was completed in 1797! also, it was named by george washington.



but look at this cute little monster :)



and the last stop was bunker hill monument.


then i got some dinner at rite-aid (i'm so fancy) and and called it a night. now for a song! the soundtrack of this trip was the cast album of hamilton; which means every post on boston will include a hamilton song. now i know i am late, but i finally took a listen and what good timing. even though hamilton takes place in new york, it takes place during the revolutionary years; which was a focal point of this boston trip. because there are 46 songs, i would listen any chance i would get. i would listen waiting for the train (and on the train), during long walks, and right before bed. now for this post, i choose 'burn.' this was the first song that got me intrigued in listening to more of the album. so pretty. enjoy!



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