Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Boston Freedom Trail is a Harsh Mistress

Once again, I was wearing a wrong kind of shoe. I don't think I will ever learn.

The Boston Freedom Trail is a red trail of bricks that marches you through several miles of downtown Boston, and drags you past all the most important historical sites along the way. Along the way, you see Paul Revere's grave, his house, and the church where he (or someone else, actually) hung those signal lanterns.



You see statues of Paul Revere. You look at the X-rays from Paul Revere's last hairline fracture. You observe the tree where Paul Revere once sat and ate a sandwich. Then you gaze upon the balcony where George Washington delivered his famous "As I survey the spot where Paul Revere ate a sandwich" speech.

The Freedom Trail begins at Boston Common, the big city park. The first important historical site is the state house with its glowing dome:

Here's the South Meeting House where the Bostonians had their rabble-rabble-rabble meeting before they marched down to the harbor and hurled the tea into the water. Interesting things about this: The Boston Massacre took place right outside this building, and five people died. During the Siege of Boston, when the British were trapped inside the city, they ripped the pews out of the church, dragged in a bunch of dirt, and turned it into a riding ring. Inside, you can see the spot where George Washington stood and said he was amazed that people who revere their own churches so much could so casually defile ours. Good point.

Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street. His birthplace is now a Sir Speedy print shop:

See the bust of Franklin, above the second floor?

Here we are in Quincy Market, having lunch and trying to get the sparrows and pigeons to eat out of Benny's hand:

And here's Sadie! She has been hiding in the stroller this whole time, refusing to let me photograph her. Let me say that every building in Boston has stairs, no one can find the ramps and elevators, and I need a flying stroller. At least the baby is happy.

Gelato in Little Italy:

We deviated from the Freedom Trail and its bossy red bricks so we could make a circuit back to the car, via Beacon Hill. Here's Benny on Charles St. I read a smug little explanation online about Charles Street, that boasted there are no neon signs and no franchises. I guess the original Dunkin' Donuts, Ritz Camera, and 7-Eleven must be on Charles Street then. And the Freedom Trail doesn't even go down it!

Benny found a shoe repair guy doing work on a boot in his little basement workshop -- it was really cool. We looked for simple machines. Benny rapped on the window and I said, "Don't knock on the glass!" You know, because it scares the shoe repair guys! Turns out shoe repair guys aren't puffer fish -- he smiled and waved at Benny.

Here's Benny at the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. I have no caption for this:

They were filming a movie on the lagoon side of Boston Common. I peered and peered and peered to try and figure out who the stars were... WELL! We researched it when we got back to the condo. The blonde I saw was Kate Hudson and the Ben Afflecky looking person I saw was Dane Cook! And the movie was Bachelor #2. Neat! I saw a chicklit movie getting filmed! I'm totally almost famous now!

Sadie tried to sneak onto the movie set, disguised as a stroller, but they busted her. DARN. So close.

So, that was our four mile hike around the city of Boston. Two many burial grounds for Benny, and too many stairs for me. I failed to take a picture of Benny making an angry, outraged face at the plaque in the sidewalk on the site of America's first public school. His favorite thing was the huge dry fountain outside the old North Church, which he said was a racetrack, and in which he took many laps. Sadie's favorite was the duck that chased her in Boston Common. My favorite was the South Meeting House -- RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. I've wanted to walk the Freedom Trail since I read about it in a Dennis the Menace comic book! I don't think I've been to Boston since my big brother's Harvard Days. I'm going to need to start planning.
    I love that Ben Franklin's birthplace is a Sir Speedy's. It just works!
    Thanks for the comment! I would really like to add you to my blogger friends list, if it's OK with you.
    Peace and Laughter,