Boston Pictures & Travel Journal

by Keith Stanley
(copyright 2002)

    I took the following pictures of Boston September, 2002, mostly in the following areas:  downtown, Back Bay, the Prudential Center area, the Public Garden, or other close-in areas.  Boston was my first taste of independence.  Having dropped out of school there in 1974, I had to make it on my own.  I lived in Boston only a year.  For me, it was a tumultuous year, now a period of fondest memory.  I regret not having stayed longer back in my early days, but occasionally do have the pleasure of going back for a visit.  Also, Boston is†a major travel destination, offering more than you might first expect, such as a variety of cruises from Boston up the coast of New England and into Canada or over to Bermuda, some quite affordable.  Immediately below you will find 38 of my pictures from this recent trip, and, after that, my trip journal.  The trip journal references some of the same 38 photos, but also includes an additional 18 pictures.
IMG_6949 Mass Ave over the Charles, sunset (ok).jpg (55869 bytes) IMG_6950 Charles dusk.jpg (58459 bytes) IMG_6948 dusk toward Hancock, downtown (ok).jpg (77236 bytes)
Charles River sunset
(Mass Ave bridge)
Charles River sunset
with Comm Ave
Downtown skyline & Hancock
IMG_6940 Christian Science mother church complex from above, dusk, window reflections.jpg (73513 bytes) IMG_6843 new bldg on Huntington, from above (good).jpg (57758 bytes) IMG_6911 Mother Church over pool (ok).jpg (59954 bytes)
Mother Church complex
(Christian Science)
Building on Huntington Mother Church,
Christian Science
IMG_6806 downtown buildings, older, newer.jpg (47514 bytes) IMG_6820 modern building, compositional study (good).jpg (63758 bytes) IMG_6815 downtown buildings from downtown plaza outside Borders (good).jpg (73371 bytes)
Two highrises,
old & new
Downtown, composition Downtown,
view from School Street
IMG_6811 old bldg detail downtown (ok).jpg (57888 bytes) IMG_6810 building with tear (good).jpg (62131 bytes) IMG_6812 Old City Hall, detail, crop (+).jpg (60040 bytes)
Downtown, history Building with a tear Old City Hall, detail
IMG_6772 Capitol Building (good).jpg (87966 bytes) IMG_6784 graveyard seen from Athenaeum (good).jpg (78119 bytes) IMG_6818 Borders interior detail (+).jpg (79724 bytes)
Capitol Building, golden dome Granary Burying Ground Border's Books interior
IMG_6918 Park St church & skyscraper (ok).jpg (63786 bytes) IMG_6932 Big Dig, old & new.jpg (55476 bytes)
Park Street Church
with skyscraper
The Big Dig, the new & the old
IMG_6877 new, classic style, building simple line detail (good).jpg (68179 bytes) IMG_6898 Hancock skyline melange from Stuart St (+).jpg (47625 bytes) IMG_6900 half-mast, melange from Stuart (ok).jpg (67505 bytes)
Modern Classic Composition from Stuart Street Composition #2
IMG_6901 Hancock, old and new (good).jpg (37461 bytes) IMG_6910 view of Prudential building environs over reflecting pool.jpg (53628 bytes) IMG_6933 Prudential Center mall skylight (ok).jpg (72621 bytes)
Hancock Buildings,
old & new
Prudential Building & environs
over reflecting pool
Mall at Prudential Center
Skylight
IMG_6852 Salaam (good).jpg (84227 bytes) IMG_6862 woman shopper, Trinity, crowd (ok).jpg (61513 bytes) IMG_6870 Trinity Church, reflection (good).jpg (59890 bytes)
Salaam at Copley Square
on 9/11 remembrance day
View of Copley Square
on 9/11 remembrance day
Trinity Church, reflection
IMG_6873 Fairmont in reflected light (+).jpg (87393 bytes) IMG_6874 reflection (good).jpg (63793 bytes) IMG_6876 Trinity detail (ok).jpg (77205 bytes)
Fairmont reflected Reflections in the Hancock Building Trinity Church, detail
Boston Public Garden:
IMG_6766 Public Garden pond & willows (ok).jpg (77324 bytes) IMG_6768 public garden, swan boat and suspension bridge (good).jpg (69991 bytes) IMG_6769 Boston Public Garden swan boats (good).jpg (82863 bytes)
Willow pond Swan boat suspension bridge Swan boat
IMG_6770 swimming duck.jpg (44989 bytes) IMG_6825 BPG floral detail.jpg (96575 bytes) IMG_6887 public gardens (swan) bridge, dusk, dramatic sky (good.jpg (68444 bytes)
A duck at the garden Floral detail Swan bridge dusk
IMG_6765 Boston Public Garden improvements.jpg (53775 bytes) IMG_6827 'Getting the Job Done' (good).jpg (69179 bytes)
Restoration 'Getting the Job Done'

Boston Travel Journal:

Tuesday, September 10, 2002; 8:55AM

    Boston amazes me!  Itís changed so little in 20 years!  Last night, after dropping my things off at the College Club (more on that later),  I took an evening stroll, first tempted to the east to see if I might see the Boston Public Garden.  It was already fully dark (maybe about 8:20 PM), and I wondered if itíd be in any way safe to go into the Garden (essentially a big park) at night.  My question was pretty well answered when I saw a young woman, alone, serenely walking out the west entrance.  I noticed quite a few other strollers in the park, mostly in groups, any number of young couples, walking, sitting on benches.  "Ah, Boston, I love you."

    I walked across what I call the swan bridge and imagined itíd make a pretty picture at dusk.  The large ponds were quiet, with numerous ducks (and geese?) resting around the shoreline for the evening.  I marveled that, despite the abundance of water foul, there were very few bird droppings on the walkways.  How well Boston has these birds trained (not at all like the geese in Gaithersburg, the nasty things)!  Either that, or Boston has some very diligent park maintenance/cleaning people.  Iíve always taken delight in the fact that a large park (Boston Public Garden ("BPG") and Boston Common) should exist in the heart of a major city, with skyscrapers and the state capitol building in plain view. Beautiful garden landscaping.  Of course NYC has Central Park, but I wouldnít dare stroll in there at night.

    Exiting the Garden, I came out walking west on Boylston.  What a fabulous street it is!  All is just as I remember from 25 years ago, at least all the major buildings.  What architecture, historic period-pieces, very well maintained classic structures, with a few modern ones mixed in. I walked past Copley Plaza, one of my favorite spaces . . . the Boston Public Libraryís simple classical massing, beautiful stone (I take it for granite).  Boylston is the type of street with lots of Starbuckís and young people (the Starbuckís are a new development).

    I walked all the way down to the Prudential Centerís Star Market (a full size supermarket in the heart of the city), exploring what they had to offer and buying some shredded wheat and soy milk.  On the way back to my lodging (the College Club), I walked 4 or 5 blocks east on Newbury Street, a classy shopping street with numerous restaurants and sidewalk cafťís, most in exquisitely restored townhouses, many of which have apartments on the upper floors.  Last time I was in Boston (5 years ago), I stayed in Newbury Guest House in a small walk-up room on the fourth floor, overlooking Newbury Street, not far from Prudential Center.  This time Iím staying on stately Commonwealth Avenue, a block to the north and about 6 to the east, at the College Club.

   Iím quite pleased with the College Club (44 Commonwealth Ave.--at the eastern end of Back Bay, just half a block from the western edge of the Public Garden).  Itís a bed and breakfast type place, except that the breakfast is very small (continental) and very few people show up for it (I saw five others in the dining room this morning).  I wondered why they went to the trouble of the elaborate place settings, given that only self-serve breads, a cereal, milk, juice, and coffee were available.  Nonetheless, I availed myself of two English muffin slices (toasted) and a slice of toasted bread, all with raspberry jam, and two glasses of juice.
IMG_6830 College Club.jpg (41960 bytes)
College Club

    My room is pretty decent and the overall feel of this Ďgrand townhouseí is just as I might have hoped--genteel & atmospheric.  Not to mention that it was the only place in Back Bay I could find for under $100 a night . . . no minor feat.  I was concerned my room might not have air-conditioning (the common rooms arenít air-conditioned (except maybe when thereís a function) but was pleased to find a window unit just able to get the job done.  My room is almost a perfect square, with moderately elaborate ceiling molding . . . it looks as if itís been in this configuration for quite some time . . . I wondered if it was this way when the building was first built . . . probably not . . . itís been The College Club for quite a while . . . I wonder if students once lived in some of these rooms.

   As I write this, Iím sitting in the bay window of the CCís grand room on the main floor, overlooking Comm Ave and itís noonday strollers & shaded bench-sitters.  Comm Ave has a very wide, center-strip, median park walkway, grassy, treed, and statued, dividing eastbound and westbound traffic.  Itís just so civilized!  What city of this size could be more elegant!
IMG_6828 statue Com Ave median.jpg (69878 bytes)
Comm Ave median

    This morning, before 7 AM, I was up and jogging around the Boston Public Garden & Common, watching the old Chinese couples stretch (one doing Tai Chi).  I jogged over to the building on Beacon Street that used to house old Goodspeedís Bookshop, where I once worked.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002; 8:39AM

    Yesterday (it was already early afternoon as I was getting out), I headed east, through BPG and Boston Common.  In BPG, I enjoyed the landscaping, the duck ponds graced with a few willows & many ducks, as well as the Ďswan boats.í  Of course, there were the flowering plants and the large, old, leafy trees.  Again I noticed a number of couples among those relaxing in the Garden.  I can see itís being a romantic place.  There was some renovation work being done on one of the Gardenís landmark statues, it being trussed-up in a sling, looking ready to be craned off its pedestal.

IMG_6765 Boston Public Garden improvements.jpg (53775 bytes) IMG_6827 'Getting the Job Done' (good).jpg (69179 bytes)
Restoration 'Getting the Job Done'

    I continued east through Boston Common, where I took pictures of the State House (state capitol building) with its golden dome, a vendorís stand, and sunbathers at the Frog Pond.  The best picture taking of the day was yet to come, however.

Downtown

    But this was not the end of my day!  I strolled a bit in the old downtown, not far really, just a few blocks, but so very richly urban in architecture, the old and new! I took a detail shot of the entrance to the Old City Hall and also much enjoyed the pleasing proportions of the urban landscape around a very small park (with statues and benches) that was dedicated to the many whoíd suffered in the Irish Potato Famine (and made their way to Boston).  I stopped in the Borderís Books that fronted on that park for my first nutritious meal of the day (a chicken and vegetable wrap, served cold).  Afterwards, I headed back to the College Club (through the Common and the Garden) to see how my pictures came out. 

IMG_6812 Old City Hall, detail, crop (+).jpg (60477 bytes) IMG_6820 modern building, compositional study (good).jpg (63758 bytes) IMG_6811 old bldg detail downtown (ok).jpg (57888 bytes) IMG_6918 Park St church & skyscraper (ok).jpg (63786 bytes)
Old City Hall Downtown, composition Downtown, history Park Street Church
with skyscraper

Friday, September 13, 2002; 10:05AM

    Yesterday in Boston was an excellent, if not always easy, one for me.  I was up early on a day that promised to be clear as a bell, getting out just about the time the sun was rising, wearing my flannel shirt and a jacket against the cool morning NW breeze.  I took quite a journey . . . first heading south on Berkeley past Boylston to Stuart, before heading west, hoping to get some perspective on the old John Hancock building.  Continuing westerly on Huntington, I saw that this was an area where thereís been substantial development in the past 25 years . . . it was well-done.  I toured the grounds of the Christian Science Mother Church, then headed north on Mass Ave., just as I used to when I went from the Y to Charlesgate East.  In fact, I went past Charlesgate East, taking a picture, then on westward on Commonwealth past the entire stretch of Boston University (it stretches for quite a ways, maybe a mile, its grounds long and narrow between Commonwealth and the Charles River basin, for the most part.  Before walking past the University, however, I stopped for breakfast and a newspaper at a bagel place (lox and tomatoes on a big, soft, square Ďbagelí). 

IMG_6877 new, classic style, building simple line detail (good).jpg (68179 bytes) IMG_6898 Hancock skyline melange from Stuart St (+).jpg (47625 bytes) IMG_6900 half-mast, melange from Stuart (ok).jpg (67505 bytes)
Modern Classic Composition from Stuart Street Composition #2
IMG_6901 Hancock, old and new (good).jpg (37461 bytes) IMG_6910 view of Prudential building environs over reflecting pool.jpg (53628 bytes) IMG_6911 Mother Church over pool (ok).jpg (59954 bytes)
Hancock Buildings,
old & new
Prudential Building & environs
over reflecting pool
Mother Church,
Christian Science
    Once past BU a ways, I got on a T (streetcar), which continued westerly down the middle of Commonwealth for a bit, before turning off to the left.  Here I looked closely to see if I recognized the place where Janet used to live . . . I didnít, though there were some buildings of the same general description close by.  I donít know if her building was no longer there or if it just was not as I remembered.  After that, I took the Green Line back (inbound) toward Kenmore Square, where I switched Green Line trains to the Riverside fork (again now heading westerly, outbound).
IMG_6916 trolley at BU (ok).jpg (63707 bytes)
BU & Green Line trolley

    The Riverside Line, west of Kenmore Square, is a real treat!  Iíd never been on it before.  Itís heavily wooded along most of the route . . . deciduous trees . . . leafy, green, deep shade against the bright blue sky & late morning sun!  This was all through well-to-do residential, Ďsuburban,í neighborhoods (when the houses could be seen through the woods or foliage).  Further out, we passed a pristinely-cool-looking, clear-blue lake and, just a bit later, a golf course, before the end of the line at Riverside.

    From there, I came back in to town, all the way to Park Street Center station, where (close-by) I picked up a T (MBTA) day pass, good for all trains and buses.  From here, I took the Red Line to Harvard Square, Cambridge.  I walked through Harvard Yard (the oldest part of the University) on my way up to the Law School.  It looks pretty much the same as it did 25 years ago, but has grown some.  Thereís a completely new classroom & faculty office building on the north of the quad behind Langdell. 

    From the Law School, I walked through Cambridge Common (not much happening), stopping briefly to look at the Civil War Memorial with the statue of Lincoln.  I also stopped at the historic (clapboard exterior) church across from the Common, which has seen the presence of George Washington and other notables . . . there is a spot of damage on one of the interior walls (unrestored) where a musket ball fired during the Revolutionary War made its mark.  Passing the building housing the Cambridge adult education office, I took a look at the generous course offerings, before heading back to Harvard Square.  At the Square, I was fortunate to stumble into a Au Bon Pain, where I had a delicious turkey, tomato, honey-mustard on wheat loaf sandwich.  After visiting with the attendant at the Harvard Square information booth for a while, I took the Red Line back to Park Street (at Boston Common), switching to the Green Line for two stops to Haymarket.  From there, I walked under the expressway a block to the south side of the North End, continuing more-or-less north up Salem Street to the Old North Church. 
IMG_6921 Cambridge clapboard.jpg (71891 bytes)
Cambridge
Clapboard
Dwelling

    It was my first time in the North End, and I was pretty much amazed to find it quite different in character than other neighborhoods Iíd seen.  It is, I suppose, one of the oldest parts of the city.  The streets are narrow & crooked, the shops, homes, and other buildings abut side-by-side down the streets, mostly brick, 2, 3, & 4 stories.  Quite atmospheric, a European feel.  Itís largely an Italian neighborhood. 

    I walked up the Hull Street hill to get a shot of the tower of the Old North Church (known for the "one if by land, two if by sea" signal from the belfry that started Paul Revere on his ride to warn that "the British are coming."  At the top of the hill, if found the Copps Hill Burying Ground, with its markers dating back hundreds of years. 

IMG_6922 North End, detail (ok).jpg (51009 bytes) IMG_6926 Old North Church steeple.jpg (37276 bytes) IMG_6928 view from Copps Hill Burying Ground.jpg (95567 bytes) IMG_6930 headstone, Copps Hill Burying Ground.jpg (94588 bytes)
North End, detail Old North Church Steeple A view from the
Copps Hill Burying Ground
Copps Hill Burying Ground
headstone

    As I headed back to the Haymarket Station, I stopped to take a couple of pictures of the construction going on under & around the expressway.  The project is known as "The Big Dig."  Itís been ongoing for quite a few years now and will eventually (soon?) replace the elevated roadway (which, among other things, has served to isolate the North End from the rest of the city) with a wholly underground system.

    From Haymarket Station, I took the Green Line to the Prudential Center area, where I went up to the Skywalk on the 50th floor the get a panoramic view of the city as the sun sank below the horizon.  
IMG_6949 Mass Ave over the Charles, sunset (ok).jpg (55869 bytes) IMG_6950 Charles dusk.jpg (58459 bytes) IMG_6948 dusk toward Hancock, downtown (ok).jpg (77236 bytes)
Charles River sunset
(Mass Ave bridge)
Charles River sunset
with Comm Ave
Downtown skyline & Hancock

    This morning I am taking the train back to Washington, DC.


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