Day 1,323 of Traveling the World, Boston, Massachusetts. September 15, 2021.

Steeped in the history of the founding of the United States, Boston feels different than other cities. It is more colonial feeling, has more statues and building plaques, has a “Freedom Trail” marking the major sites of the American Revolution. Oh, it also has sleek, modern skyscrapers and a presidential library, but we have been struck by all the gorgeous old buildings and churches and their power to evoke a sense of patriotic pride.

We have been to Boston several times and this time tried to do some new things, as we had been to JFK’s presidential library and had walked the Freedom Trail several times. So this time, we ventured out onto a ship to throw tea overboard! The Boston Tea Party Museum was excellent. Costumed actors made the audience part of the action, and we were able to do some rabble rousing and experience the colonists’ outrage at taxation without representation. We got to see the one remaining actual outer box from the Boston Tea Party, which over the centuries had been home to a family of cats, a checkerboard, and a dollhouse until it was donated to the museum as a prized historical object. Children of the families who owned it regularly took the box to school for show and tell. It is interesting that the importance and value of historic objects becomes so much dearer with the passage of time, and now we look upon the box with an almost-reverential gaze, as it is part of our American heritage. (No photo of it, as photography was not allowed inside the museum.)

As we were visiting sites like Boston Common, Boston Public Garden, and dining at the Union Oyster House, we inadvertently became aware of TV and movie filming taking place around us. It was interesting to see all the preparation and equipment necessary to film a few minutes of action. We went out for breakfast on Newbury Street and were delighted with all we saw on the street as we walked to the Public Garden. Such a pretty and busy street! For our meals here, we made it a goal to only eat dinner in historic buildings, to eat seafood (as it is so fresh and ubiquitous here), and to eat clam “chowda” (as the Bostonians say) daily. We have succeeded!

We walked the downtown enough to finally know in which direction to head to reach different areas. As usual, we found people and workers to be very friendly. Shutdowns during the worst of the pandemic have made people happy to be out again, whether working or traveling. Massachusetts has one of the country’s highest vaccination rates, but masks are required everywhere when you are indoors. Sadly, this wasn’t true in the less-vaccinated states we drove through.

Starting whimsically, rather than historically….loved this pretty Teuscher Chocolatier window display on Newbury Street
Typical scene as we walked down Newbury Street
A pretty and old building with turrets and leaded glass
Church of the Covenant, a National Historic Landmark, dating to the Civil War
We saw it on Newbury Street!
Yes, there are still horse-drawn carriages operating in Boston
An unusual fountain with a pergola (left) in downtown
This building, along with the pavement marker in the next photo, is the site of the Boston Massacre
Pavement marker
Union Oyster House, the oldest continuously-operating restaurant in the US.
The interior of the Oyster House still looks like an earlier time
Poor things
He is taken out for consumption
There is a long list of celebrities who have dined at the Oyster House, including President Kennedy, who had this favorite booth. We made sure to sit in the booth so we could claim a little history for ourselves!
An odd little fact…
Very interesting to be in rooms and buildings “where it happened”
He holds the menus as you enter The Oyster House
Equipment and cameras outside the Union Oyster House, filming “Spirited,” a retelling of A Christmas Carol starring Ryan Reynolds, Olivia Spencer, and Will Ferrell. The red brick building on the left is the Oyster House. See the tiny windows at the tippy top? – See the next photo!
We took this shot from that window, inside. We wondered why there was “snow” on a hot summer day. Then we noticed green screens at each end of this alley, and realized we were privy to a movie being filmed.
The Boston Tea Party Museum and Ship
Winding up to throw that tea into the harbor
During the Boston Tea Party presentation, there was a LOT of “Fie!” and “Huzzah!” and yelling and stomping, as we were at a meeting to defy King George III and to finalize plans to dump tea into the harbor.
Go, Abagail! She was a woman ahead of her time!
Rowes Wharf Plaza looks magnificent as you head to the downtown waterfront.
Faneuil Hall. Along with adjacent Quincy Market and market buildings to the north and south, this marketplace is a formidable shopping and dining presence in the historic downtown area.
Boston Public Garden. This scene easily could be from the early 20th century.
Boston Public Garden.
As we were enjoying the views and tranquility at the Public Garden, a filming crew moved in and set up Director’s chairs, cameras, tents, and equipment. They are filming a TV series about Julia Child, titled “Julia,” all around Massachusetts, as Julia lived there. The series will be on HBO Max, and stars David Hyde Pierce and Bebe Neuwirth, among others.
Seven of the ten trucks and trailers servicing the TV series, outside the Public Garden and across the street from the bar that inspired the TV show, Cheers.
The Cheers Bar
Boston Common, which is adjacent to the Public Garden
Park Street Church fronted by Brewer Fountain in Boston Common
You don’t think of traffic jams as being anything other than automobiles. But this sign says that in 1897, when Boston opened the first subway in the country, people could walk down the street along the tops of trolley cars without ever touching the ground, as traffic stalled to a stop!