August 6, 2013

The "Maine" Event; Day 7: Boston Strong

Friday, July 12, 2013:  After finding out the day before just how difficult and expensive it is to drive and park one's car in Boston, I decided to try the subway. It was a quick ride to Alewife Station from the hotel and from there I took the Red Line into the city. As the train car emerged from the underground tunnels, I could see tall buildings looming overhead, one bearing the word "Prudential." This was a place that I was very much looking forward to visiting.

The train let out at a stop very near to the Boston Public Gardens. I wandered through the gates into a lovely scene. Established in 1837, this location was the first botanical garden to exist in the United States. It has a central pond spanned by a signature suspension bridge and is surrounded by weeping trees that dip their branches into the water. As I walked to the small pier to hop aboard one of the city's famous swan boats, I could here the sound of someone nearby playing a Chinese stringed instrument called an "Erhu." A perfect setting. While the pond cruise was short and relaxing, it felt really good to partake in something that has been a part of the Boston experience for more than 130 years. The Public Garden is also well-known for its bronze "Make Way For Ducklings" sculptures.

Just across the street from the garden's gates, I espied the familiar facade of the TV bar "Cheers." While the inside of the restaurant looks nothing like the set from the popular sitcom, the front is exactly as I remember it.

After realizing that Sam Malone wasn't going to show up, I proceeded to walk across town to the Prudential Tower. Once inside the building, it was a long elevator ride up to the 50th floor and their Skywalk Observatory. From here, I had a bird's eye view of all of Boston. I could see Boston Harbor, across the Charles River into Cambridge, all the way to Fenway Park and beyond. In the distance, I even caught sight of a jet landing at Logan Airport. I took lots of photographs which I really like in grayscale.

Close to the Prudential Center, I found another excellent attraction called the "Mapparium." Here, I got to walk inside of a stained glass globe of the old world. Unfortunately, photography isn't allowed inside the map, but I can liken the experience to standing inside of a lighted Christmas ornament. The spherical shape made for some fascinating acoustics. I definitely recommend checking this out if you're ever in the Boston area.

After leaving the Mapparium, I rode a taxi back to the Freedom Trail area, where the steeple of the Park Street Church immediately caught my eye. Built in 1810, this church was the tallest building in the United States until 1846.

With just a little bit of afternoon left, I was happy to sit under a tree in Boston Common. Here, I watched people bicycling, walking dogs, feeding birds, a few kids had even jumped into the fountain and were splashing around. It was a marvelous day.

"The goal of this command is love,
which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience
and a sincere faith."

~1 Timothy 1:5