Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Custom House

Here is a closeup of the Custom House designed by the architect, Ammi B. Young, from New Hampshire. The original Custom House was built between 1837 to 1847. Some critics found difficult to reconcile these Greek Doric columns with the Roman dome which once crowned the portico. Apparently more insult would come later. In 1913-1915 some of the columns of the portico were removed and sent to the Franklin Park Zoo and a tower was erected. The office tower sitting on top of the Custom House became the first skyscraper in Boston. Now the place is a Marriott Hotel with rooms starting at over $300 per night. There are also condominium apartments in the tower.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I'm Down With Obama

I found this guy selling T-Shirts on the corner of Park & Tremont Streets, in front of the Park Street Church, opposite the Park Street Station & the Boston Common. T-Shirts in support of Obama. The T-Shirt says: "I'm down With Obama '08." http://www.downwithobamas.com/

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Filene's Bargain Basement

Filene's closed in 2007 and the building has been torn down. This mural advertising the Bargain Basement is all that remains on a wall in the Downtown Crossing T-Stop.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tropical Storm

Boston in the grips of a tropical storm. Dark, grey and wet. View of Lake Street along the Boston College - Brighton Campus.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Neptune Oyster

Walking around the North End I found these waiters ready for the lunch crowd at the Neptune Oyster, 63 Salem Street. http://www.neptuneoyster.com/ I just walked in and snapped this shot. They were very cool. I suppose this happens all the time since they have such a cool looking place. I wished that I had somebody to sit down with to toss a few oysters on the half shell and a glass of bubbles.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

King's Chapel

Here is a detail of the wrought iron staircase located in the back of the King's Chapel. I like the graceful line of the curves of the granite building and the metal wrapping around the stone. On August 3, 2008, I posted a view of the interior of this building which dates from 1754.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Garden of Peace

This is a portion of the "Garden of Peace -- A Memorial to the Victims of Homicide." http://www.gardenofpeacememorial.org/ The memorial is over 7,000 square feet and lies adjacent the plaza of 100 Cambridge Street Building (formerly Staltonstall State Office Building). The central focus of the memorial is a dry streambed containing smooth river stones engraved with the names of homicide victims. The roses and electric candles are the remainders of a recent service.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

View of Boston from Marblehead

Here is a view of Boston over the sea as seen from Marblehead. I can just barely make out the shadows of the skyscrapers rising above the horizon. Once a major fishing port in the 17th & 18th centuries, Marblehead lies 17 miles north of Boston. Charming seaport town for a day trip. Very cute B&B's for a vacation. The harbor now is home for approximately 1,500 pleasure sailboats.

Monday, September 22, 2008

View from Bus

View from the window of a bus at 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Summer & High Street near South Station.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Chandler's Pond

Hard to imagine that this bucolic scene lies within the city limits of Boston very close to the border of Brighton & Newton. Chandler's Pond is a man made body of water excavated in 1855 for ice cutting in the time before refrigeration. The houses seen in the background date from the mid 1920's. www.bahistory.org/HistoryChandlers.html

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Mother Goose's Tombstone

This tombstone in the Granary Burying Ground marks the grave of a woman known as Old Mother Goose. Mary Goose was the second wife of Thomas Goose. Mary brought six children into the marriage and added to Thomas's ten children. Mother Goose sang ditties and stories to her numerous grand-children. At some point, her son-in-law, a Boston publisher, gathered these songs together and printed the first Mother Goose Rhymes. Mary Goose died at the age of 42 in 1690.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moon Over Government Center

This morning at about 8:30 a.m., under a crystal clear blue sky, I stumbled upon a view of the moon over Government Center. The moon is the little white dot over the Old Courthouse building rising left of the flag poles.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Marshall Street and Creek Square

A view of the intersection of Marshall Street and Creek Square. Why a street is called Creek Square is beyond me. Creek Square is perhaps a place that no longer exists either in fact or memory. Notice the cobble stone streets? Nice historic touch but lethal for high heels. These buildings in the Haymarket can date from the early 1800's. This is a particularly quiet moment on this corner which is HQ for par-tay central. This intersection is lined with four historic pubs: Bell in Hand; Green Dragon; Union Oyster House; and, The Point. These pubs cater to the tourist and business crowd for lunch. In the evenings, the streets are lined with college students and young professionals enjoying live music, dinners, and drinks. There is even an "Historic Pub Crawl of Boston" http://www.trustedtours.com/ which offers a tour ($45.00 for 90 minutes)(I wonder if that includes the beer?) with guides dressed in 18th century costumes. Hard to imagine that one needs a guide dressed as Benjamin Frankin or Betsy Ross to toss a few brews.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

James Michael Curley

James Michael Curley (1874-1958) served in the United States House of Representatives, as well as, the Mayor of Boston (4 terms) and Governor of Massachusetts. Curley led a colorful politcal life and was convicted of misconduct and served five months in jail during his last term in office. Nevertheless Curley remained popular. Several monuments have been erected to his memory. This particular one sits on a bench below City Hall in front of a bar named "The Purple Shamrock"--one of Curley's political symbols.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Farmer's Market

Today I visited the Farmer's Market in Government Center where I saw this beautiful produce.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Governor's Pew in King's Chapel

I love this large box reserved for the Governor. But I wonder which Governor? I am assuming the ones appointed under the British monarchy and not those presently elected. The red prayer books are engraved with gold lettering, 'Governor's Pew.' Everything in red is a nice touch. Everytime I enter King's Chapel I feel that I have entered into a time portal into the past.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

I have heard of celebrity endorsements. But a celebrity sport team's endorsement of a hospital specializing in the rehabilitation of patients seriously injured in accidents? Says something about the nature of football that the players of the New England Patriots may have some personal knowledge of the speciality of this particular hospital. Especially when all of Boston is downcast at the recent announcement that Tom Brady, star quarterback, may not be playing this season due to a knee injury. The "Pats" are currently defending American Football Conference champions.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Rapids Parking

I just love this retro sign which marks tandem parking in a lot on the triangular intersection of Portland, Merrimac & New Chardon Streets. Even the parking system is retro with an attendant who mans a booth, holds the keys, and moves the cars around. Hard to imagine that in downtown Boston, where the property values are astronomical, that a simple parking lot is a lucrative business. However, Boston is reputed to be one of the most expensive cities in the United States to park a car.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Central Burying Ground

The Central Burying Ground is located on the South East corner of the Boston Common next to the Boylston T-Stop. From 1755 to the mid-1800's thousands of graves were placed in what was essentially a pauper's cemetery. Here lie the bodies of British soldiers who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Most famously, in an unmarked grave, is the body of the American artist, Gilbert Stuart, who died deeply in debt. Stuart's most well-known work is The Athenaeum, an unfinished portrait of George Washington which is immortalized on the United States dollar bill. The cemetery is closed to the public but views can be easily be seen from the Boston Common or Boylston Street which is visible in the background of this image.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Chardon Street in the Rain

A view of New Chardon Street in the pouring rain taken from the portico of the Brooks Courthouse.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Athan's European Bakery & Cafe

Some of the best pastry in Boston is to be had at Athan's Bakery and Cafe located on Washington Street in the Brighton Center area of Boston. Pastry with a European flair, loaves of bread which even the French find excellent, and a cafe with Old World charm. What more could anyone ask for?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Boston Skyline

View of the skyline of Boston from the ridge of Larz Andersen Park located on the Boston-Brookline border. After a tropical storm hit Boston, the morning after was simply glorious and I went for a walk in the park.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Coolidge Corner Clubhouse

After seeing Woody Allen's new film Vicky Christina Barcelona, dropped into Coolidge Corner Clubhouse for a drink. Spanish wine was not available. A sports bar. I have never seen so many HD screens in one place. Catering to Boston's college crowd and young professionals, loads of beer on tap.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Boston Celtics

Walking past the TD Banknorth Garden, home to the Boston Celtics, I noticed this poster advertising basketball jerseys. "WE are the Celtics. We are Boston. We are the game. Together we are one." Yep! With the Sox, the Patriots & the Celtics . . . WE are the champions!

Friday, September 5, 2008

PSG Staffing Agency

PSG Staffing Agency on Devonshire Street is always a hub of activity. In addition, the plate glass windows are used to display works of abstract expressionist art by students of the Massachusetts College of Art. Seen here is one of the larger canvases.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New England Holocaust Memorial

Here is a view of Government Center through the glass of the New England Holocaust Memorial. The memorial has six million numbers etched into glass representing the six million Jews exterminated in the concentration camps.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pushpin at Faneuil Hall Marketplace

This summer the City of Boston has placed giant, red-map pins at selected locations of interest. Apparently there is an explanatory website http://www.visitthepin.com/ available for interested folks. This particular pin is located at Faneuil Hall--a marketplace and meeting hall since 1742.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Financial District

Office building at the corner of State & Devonshire Streets in the heart of the Financial District.