Saturday found me sat in the park on my own with about 20% worth of battery that I had been saving up )thanks to the charger breaking_ so I could ring my aunty and uncle who live locally. They ended up taking me out to Plymouth, which was the site of the landing of everyone’s favourite puritan Pilgrims. Going there now with such ease really makes the efforts and hazards they were forced to endure to get there all the more impressive…and then the real challenges began for them.
After a fine meal of fish and chips – well fries – we had a potter up towards the replica of the Mayflower, which as so often with things of history is built up one’s mind to be a lot bigger than in reality. Highlights, ‘heroic’ rhetoric aside (below photo) was picking up the worst souvenir fridge magnet that I have ever come across. It is a rubber rock with 1620 stamped on it. Taken out of context it makes no sense and looks beleaguered in amongst my mum’s (vastly better) collection of fridge magnets but at least it is memorable.
As I mentioned in a past post, I met a fellow blogger, Morgan who made the trip from Pennsylvania to join two English lads – who sprinkle everything with liberal colloquialisms – for the biggest pieces of Sushi the city had to offer and plenty of language teaching. Meeting a fellow blogger is always fascinating, it forever changes how you view their writings and you understand their mind more, their physical expressions and interpretations. I urge everybody to go do it. Continue reading “Plymouth and Narcotics”
Finally drawing to a close with these travel posts, having only one or two more after this one, I couldn’t fail to include Salem being a place of historical interest.
Hopping on a ferry on yet another glorious day (complete with furious sea breeze) was a fine idea that we collectively made, even if I do say so myself, which I just did.
Whilst leaving Boston, not only did a couple of planes fly low over us on towards the airport runway but the beleaguered tour guide whose voice was blown away by the ever-present wind informed us that one of the islands was the location of the film Shutter Island which I quite enjoyed and coincidentally was on last night.
Looking (with a bit of imagination) like the L.A. skyline from the A-Team credits, it was good to get wider perspective of the city which looked like it was built in Minecraft.
Not what I expected to greet me in Salem and resembling something from Baltimore docks, it nevertheless provided an intriguing beginning to the town which has a good bar call In a Pig’s Eye which is interestingly a phrase meaning disbelief (of a statement) and some pretty grim artwork.
The Salem Witch Museum is worth a visit to get a short history of the trials and the reason they came about, yet for such a serious subject it was a shame that some of it was so unintentionally comedic. After such a chronicle of tragedy, it seemed tasteless to have all the kid’s witchy souvenirs in the gift shop, it did take the edge off of what was a terribly wretched time but also lessened the impact of its lessons. Continue reading “Salem”
After the last post which featured lots of exterior architecture photos, it would be remiss of me not to give you a glimpse inside one of the buildings at the very least and I was saving this particular one for just this occasion.
Standing opposite Trinity Church and the John Hancock Tower, there is always an air of excitement but that is probably me just projecting, although the street market (which had plenty of foods from around the world) that popped up on one of the many trips past may have helped. There was also a man serenading the library with opera on at least two instances rather bizarrely.
Just outside the entrance is an inspiring list of artists that whet the appetite for the creative endeavours that await in the library. A vast collection that impressed me with the size and scope of its book choice (23 million items including maps, manuscripts and musical, including various first folios of Shakespeare as well as original scores from Prokofiev amongst others), I felt like I was being spoilt wandering the corridors and fully appreciating the air conditioning.
Passing through the main entrance and up a grand marble stairway, with its lions, columns and wonderful art work really sets the tone for the experience, the ideas and scholarship brought together is intoxicating as well as cementing the ‘knowledge is power’ quote firmly in mind. I spent a good fifteen minutes just appreciating this approach to the main reading hall. Continue reading “Boston Public Library”
The below photo was taken in true tourist style, with head and camera out of window and plenty of waving to bemused locals who had no idea why I would be happy to be stuck in traffic. Inadvertently the photo captures the wonderful spread of architecture seen throughout the city, the mixture on offer is a fascinating plethora of styles from new, old and ancient worlds.
Taken in order of when I photographed them, there was quite a spread in the fairly small circle of walking that we did.
It only took a few minutes of walking to discover the John Ruskin inspired Gothic Revival example of architecture shown in Old South Church, completed in 1873. Admittedly this is not the best shot of its impressive facade but there are plenty more searchable and impressive photos out there.
I was somewhat distracted as diagonally opposite I came across two examples of design stood side by side that epitomise the changes in architecture through the ages in the most jarring of ways…
Named one of the Ten Most Significant Buildings in the United States by the American Institute of architects (and is the only building still retained from the original 1885 list), Trinity Church was designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and it is the archetype for the style later known as Richardson Romanesque Revival. Continue reading “Boston Architecture”
As has been hinted at elsewhere on this blog, I have a bit of a liking for books but and wishing to spread out further from the usual Barnes & Noble stores, i had to delve into this cities more eclectic book dominions. You may notice a distinct lack of photos, this was down to the serious business of distraction and buying but I am sure the interiors are a click away on your favourite search engine, should you be so inclined to virtually meander around.
I made sure I scoured the streets for some suitably interesting bastions of literature and first up was Brattle Bookshop, the one that everybody told to seek out. I wasn’t disappointed, with a top floor full of rare books that occupied me for around four hours over various days – it felt good to just be holding a bit of history – and that’s not forgetting the other two floors and outside browsing area which made everything that bit more blissful.
The fun didn’t stop there though, Commonwealth Books which we stumbled upon whilst nosing down an alley has plenty of old books and feels a little more academic in nature which suited me just fine. As well as rare books, there was a nod to local authors and a massive ginger cat who at first glance looked stuffed but was really just lazy.
The treat of book shops is how they affected me emotionally, that intense shiver of anticipation, the question of where to start first and then the reckless abandon with which one shows little disregard for time or company, owing to the importance of scouring each title. Commonwealth in particular has me salivating over so many obscure title. .t felt a lot more comfortable than the more clinical Brattle did and being tucked away made it feel more like a secret, overall a great atmosphere unless allergic to cats…or gingers. Often did I curse the weight regulations of the airlines which is now just tradition quickly followed by reluctant acceptance.
Continue reading “Boston Books”
Greetings my winged pretties! Having spent most of the week away with a broken phone charger, I’ve come back to a veritable tsunami of messages, emails and the like so please bear with me as I catch up with those and your blogs as well. There’s so much to do I feel like I need another holiday already and I am tempted…
anyway, first to this trip!
Arriving after the usual long odyssey – which included a flight over Boston to NY to get a connecting flight back because we will do anything to save a little money – arriving was fantastic until confronted by a room that distinctly lacked air con, just a fan that sounded like an aeroplane ready to take off (a feature of many holidays it seems). The only redeeming features were the courtesy bag of pretzels from Delta airlines which I found from the beginning of the day with the phrase ‘one salty snack for one sweet ride’ and a bed, a glorious bunk bed.
Boston is a pleasant city, very laid back because of the heat 30C (86F) to start our holidays, which was overly hot for this pasty skinned European. Yet the inverse is true for the traffic which takes every opportunity to hurry each other along and I even spied a lone car presumably pipping itself on an empty stretch of road, honesty it was like being in a different country or something!
It’s also a small city which is great as it was only 2.5 Kilometres from our hostel through the city centre and out to the coast. In between were plenty of restful places to relax and refresh and many places to eat as well. As a consequence, there was much to see and do within easy walking distance and not once did we need to take transport apart from the torrid day we did the Freedom Trail.
The trail was the first major activity of the holiday and my, was it hot, hardly a breeze to speak of but we decided to wander the trail ourselves rather than go for the guided tour bit. It has its good and bad points, I enjoyed seeing various bits of the city I never would have been to plus venturing into some places of historical value but that was outdone by the busy nature of the trail on a lot of narrow streets, gruelling heat and nowhere for a drink after the first half. It was more of a trial than a trail. Continue reading “Boston Bake”