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.