Beautiful Boston

We were originally going to confine our holiday to Canada, but we were so close to Boston and Mark had never been, so I added it to the itinerary, and I’m so glad I did because we had such an interesting time. I’ve already blogged the cap shop and done a quick overview of my fabric shopping, but I thought I might just write a little bit on the city itself.

We did the Freedom Trail, of course, and I have chosen a few spots to highlight – although not in order of visiting. First up is Paul Revere House, which is downtown Boston’s oldest residence lived in, of course, by Paul Revere and his family. I love the mullioned windows, but found the colour a little depressing.


The Old State House was the seat of colonial and state governments. The stone circle is the site of the Boston Massacre when British soldiers fired into a crowd of people, killing five. I have to say that I am frequently ashamed of my British heritage when I travel to colonial countries, and am often astounded at the different spin my history lessons put on some of these events. It is so interesting getting a different perspective on historical events.


There is a most glorious spiral staircase inside this building


The King’s Chapel was a stronghold of the Loyalist party, and has a really elegant interior. The Church is Georgian and I was struck by the simplicity of the design. How beautiful is this pulpit?


The pews look as though a party could be hosted in them. Some of them had double pews, although this one had its own umbrella stand. I assume that the pulpit is so high because the rector needed to see that a sufficient amount of devotion was being shown in the privacy of these pews!


This burial  ground the “Granary Burying Ground” is the resting place of many of the Patriots, as well as the parents of Benjamin Franklin. I wouldn’t normally take photos of burial grounds but this was so shady and peaceful, that I couldn’t resist.


We walked through the Boston Common and the Public Garden, and then wandered through the Back Bay area, which is full of extraordinary houses, which I assume are now apartments.


I loved the copper bay window on this one.IMG_4300

We were reading the paper and saw an article which was talking about the fact that an apartment in this area sold recently for $40million. Oh, is that all, we might have one each! The Boston Public Garden is lovely, but I was particularly struck by the agapanthus, which have much smaller flowers than ours do. The colour of them is also so vivid and vibrant.


and this tree with its carpet of blossoms was so beautiful that I could have rolled on the ground!


We decided to walk over to Harvard university where more beautiful buildings awaited. I gave my first ever international paper here and remember being terrified until I attended some of the others, when I realised that Australian research is just as good as anywhere else!

It is graduation season in North America, and everywhere we went were graduates in their gowns and their families, lending a festive air to our holiday. This is the Memorial Hall, which was being used for some of the Commencement activities.


The grounds were off limits to all but the ticket holders, but that never stops Mark, so we roamed around as though we owned the place, and it was lovely to share the buzz of graduation, which is one of the things I miss about my own work. There were hundreds of white chairs set out for the event, but on the actual day it rained and rained and I felt a bit disappointed for everyone involved. Mark Zuckerberg was the speaker and also the recipient of an honorary degree, as was Judi Dench. Sadly we weren’t able to be present for the bestowal of these!


We were crossing the Longfellow Bridge on the way to Harvard and I looked back and saw this beautiful view and couldn’t resist a photo.


We paid a visit to the Boston Library which is a magnificent building, and I felt a sense of nostalgia for this sort of room, and pleased to see people using it. At the bottom left corner is a dictionary on a book stand, left for gentle perusal.


I decided to check out the fashion and craft sections, which were full of really interesting books and I could have spent a lot of time here.


Although I am always attracted to older buildings, sometimes I see a new one which intrigues me. One such building is the Institute of Contemporary Art, which is located on the waterfront and has interesting angles and windows. This photo does not do it justice, but it’s worth a visit if you’re in Boston.


On the other hand, there is nothing nicer than a beautiful doorway, with the decorative mouldings all round it, and there are many of these all over Boston.


And finally, I was thrilled to see these two little Boston Terriers actually in Boston. These two were quite friendly and their owner was delighted that we wanted to talk about them. So sweet.


Another couple of areas worth noting are Little Italy and  Beacon Hill on Charles Street (which is where Mercer’s is). To do Beacon Hill justice, a couple of hours should be set aside as there are antique shops of all descriptions as well as lovely buildings to admire. It was raining hard when we were there so I didn’t manage to get any decent photos.

As you might expect, Little Italy is full of wonderful food shops, coffee shops and restaurants. The Modern Bakery on the main street is definitely worth a visit, but don’t go in the evening as the queues are a mile long, but the pastries are so worth the wait.

Mark is very interested in food and visits these shops like I visit fabric shops, and so we came across some beautiful premises.


This deli had those delicious smells that an Italian food shop often has, but I was most taken with the fittings and fixtures – all really old school.

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The owner was a delight and we spent time chatting about the shop and its history.


And this is the door to a cool room in a fruit and vegetable shop. It is the original door from the 1880s. Doors like this make my heart sing!

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23 thoughts on “Beautiful Boston

  1. Haven’t been too Boston in quite some time – loved touring it through your eyes. What a wonderful holiday you have had – you and Mark have so many interests and such a zest for life-almost feel like I know you!
    Safe travels home!

  2. The beautiful blue plants you mention are Aliums not Agapanthus and the beautiful tree is a Horse Chestnut. I love it when people appreciate plants.

  3. Love Boston but haven’t been for a while. Your pictures made me want to schedule a trip sooner rather than later.

  4. Aw, wonderful pictures! Glad you got to the North End, visitors to the city love it there – as do locals with healthy appetites, hah. So funny you were at the Boston Public Library in the craft section – so was I last week. Anyway, it’s been a blast seeing my home through your eyes. Your photos are lovely! Are you going to visit more US cities (New York, maybe?) on this trip?

  5. What a wonderful blog post about Boston. I have been there but had forgotten about some of the places you have written about. My late husband attended Harvard University in 2000 to do an intense management degree which he thoroughly enjoyed doing, so it was lovely to see your photos of this famous university.

  6. Universities, libraries, little shops, parks, trees, flowers, doors, dogs, Boston has everything. I think I love this city as much as NYC. Great review, Sue!

  7. I’m glad I’m not the only traveller who is pulled into libraries 😀. The Management doesn’t really understand.
    Boston looks wonderful. We visited when it was in the middle of ‘the big dig’ so it’s good to s we how well that turned out from your wonderful photographs.

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