Boston – part 2

Rolling into Boston was a culture shock for me.  I am a suburbs or small town kind of guy and don’t really like big cities.  Boston a huge, dense city.  From our row house in the suburbs, it was a 10 minute walk to a 15 minute bus ride to a 25 minute subway ride to get downtown.  Even at that distance from the downtown, the row houses are three stories tall with very little parking.  The streets are just a little over three cars wide but there is parking on both sides.  Once our car was parked, we left it there.

Parking in Boston? Some condos sell parking spots for over $100,000
The subway screeches to a stop and opens up to the hordes of commuters

On our first trip into the city, we headed for the Visitor’s Center to load up on maps and tourist info.  They are located in the Boston Commons, the city’s central green space.  From the calm of wide grassy parkland, we can see the hubbub of a major city boiling around us, people getting off work, heading for the subways and pubs, battling ferocious traffic.

A favorite sight in the Commons are the frogs at Frog’s Pond
George Washington rides forever in the Public Gardens

This is a modern city with many amenities for its residents.  There are several pedestrian-only streets and marketplaces lined with restaurants and vendors.  For sports fans, there are professional hockey, baseball, and basketball teams.  And for after the game, there seems to be an Irish pub on just about every corner.

The pedestrian malls hold many restaurants, shops, and musicians
Home of Celtics basketball and Bruins hockey
Home of Red Sox baseball
You may have heard of this Boston pub.

Boston is also the capitol of Massachusetts.  The Massachusetts State House is a beautiful building, adorned with fine marble details, lots of stained glass, mosaics, murals, and wrought iron.  The dome over the rotunda is a brilliant circle of scenes from state history, framing a wonderfully complex and colorful center of stained glass.

The State House sports a gold plated dome
Looking up into the dome
The grand staircase
The floor of the rotunda and the murals above it

Another amazing building we toured is the Boston Public Library.  The designer of this building was given free range and a big budget, and it shows.  Stepping into the from doors, one is greeted with a very impressive hallway with mosaic arches and domed ceilings.  the grand staircase features murals, four shades of marble, and regal lion statues.  A upper floor hallway is lavishly adorned with murals and gilded trim over the arched ceiling.  Even the reading room is finely detailed.

The ceiling over the main entrance
Grand staircase with murals by Sargent
A gilded hallway with more murals by Sargent
A reading room, comfortable and quiet, yet elegant

The last building we visited was the Museum of Fine Art.  The building is nicely appointed, simple and clean lines.  The real beauty lies in what the many rooms contain.  Among the many paintings are some by Rembrandt, Ruben, Winslow Homer, Picasso, Gainsborough, Monet, Renoir, Geogia O’Keeffe, and Van Gogh.  Too many to display here, so just a couple of my favorites.

Drummer Boy by William Morris Hunt calls for action
Deer’s skull with Pedernal by Georgia O’Keeffe just because of the lines and colors and strange

Boston is a city rich with history and yet full of the energy of a big modern city.  It was exciting to jump into it and explore some of it.  But now I think I need someplace a little more rural and quiet to recuperate.

Next up: Hartford and Tamiment


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We are two recent retirees who decided to sell the house, pull up stakes, and explore North America. We are both being tourists and looking for the right blend of people, place, and geography that makes for the perfect place to retire.

2 thoughts on “Boston – part 2”

  1. Beautiful pictures! Not sure I could be comfortable getting around the city without a guide after reading your blog. Lol Hope you find that quiet place you so badly need!
    Missing you guys!


    1. Thank you. I had another 100 or so photos I didn’t have room for. We wandered for a couple of days then we took a hop-on hop-off bus tour and saw a lot more. Still didn’t see everything we wanted to. Today we are in a cabin in the woods, relaxing. We miss you and Bob and Eden Prairie a lot. Alan >


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