We got into town just in time for lunch, starting of course with Boston Lettuce. Then we became total tourists and boarded our own amphibious vehicle for a "Duck Tour" of Boston.
We entered the Charles River from a ramp. We shared the river with sailboats, kayaks and cormorants and geese. This wooden dock is the last of its kind and will soon disappear.
Top: Statue of Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, the "Rascal King," mingles with pedestrians. The USS Constitution, "old ironsides," at anchor.
Below: The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, part of The Big Dig, is one of the widest cable-stayed bridges in the world and the route out of Boston to the north.
Architecture good and bad: Stunning glass tower designed to reflect the buildings around it.
Boston City Hall, nicknamed "the inverted pyramid," voted "the ugliest building in the world" in a casual online poll by a travel agency in 2008. The name stuck.
Boston, Tuesday, Day Two : Tiffany Windows, Museum of Fine arts, the tea party museum, and evening adventures
The Arlington Street Church, just around the corner from our hotel, has what is believed to be the largest collection of Tiffany stained glass windows in any one church. It is currently one of the many Unitarian Universalist Churches in the Boston area.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts American Wing tells the story of our nation's art in painting, sculpture and decorative arts. A glass atrium joins the two wings. Shown here are John Singleton Copley's Watson and the Shark and Joan Mitchell's Chamonix.
The Tea Party Museum is at the site of the original Boston Tea Party the night of December 16, 1773. A replica of one of the ships with life size figures and live actors made for an authentic experience. The loose tea was packed in 342 wooden boxes on three ships and took the men (exact number unknown) three hours to dump into the harbor. The ship's captain (portrayed seated at his desk in his quarters on board ship) gave the Sons of Liberty permission to dump the tea, provided they did not touch the other cargo. Our group enjoyed tea and pastries afterwards.
We strolled Faneuil Hall Marketplace then dined at Union Oyster House, offering chowder and New England seafood standards since 1826.
The Boston Public Library, by McKim, Mead and White, completed by 1895, is particularly enchanting at night. The John Singer Sargent murals on the third floor gallery ceiling are arguably his finest work. The gallery is huge: 84 feet long, 23 feet wide and 26 feet high.
Boston, Wednesday, Day Three: Harvard, The Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and boston after dark
We visited Harvard's Museum of Natural History to see the world famous Glass Flowers, then we strolled and hung out in Harvard Square.
Isabella Stewart Gardner collected and carefully displayed a collection of more than 2,500 objects --many that rank among the most significant of their type—paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, drawings, silver, ceramics, illuminated manuscripts, rare books, photographs and letters—from ancient Rome, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Italy, Asia, the Islamic world and 19th-century France and America.
The Museum itself evokes a 15th-century Venetian palace. Seen here the courtyard, paintings by Sargent, Rubens, and Botticelli and the Dutch Room.
Boston after dark, luxury shops and galleries on Newbury Street.
April 19, 1775 the first shots of the battle were fired just as the sun was rising on Lexington Green. The eight men who died in that skirmish are buried there.
At the North Bridge in Concord the first forcible resistance to British aggression began with "the shot heard 'round the world."
When the retreating British reached Charlestown Peninsula they had marched 40 miles, under fire all day long. We drove through countryside restored to what it looked like in 1775, even to the grazing cows.