American Soldiers, Battle of Bunker Hill, Benjamin Franklin statue and site of the first public school, Boston, Boston Common, Bunker Hill Monument, Cannoli, Celtics, Churches, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Dachau, Faneuil Hall, Freedom Trail, Granary Burying Ground, Historic Landmarks, King’s Chapel, King’s Chapel Burying Ground, Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge, Little Italy, Massachusetts State House, Memorials, Mike's versus Maria's, North End, Old Corner Bookstore, Old North Church, Old South Meeting House, Old State House, Paint Nite, Park Street Church, Paul Revere House, Quincy Market, Seahawks, Site of the Boston Massacre, Stephan Ross, TD Bank Garden, The Big Dig, The New England Holocaust Memorial, USS Constitution
Monday, Jan. 20 – Boston
This morning we leisurely awoke from our peaceful slumber brought on the Hawks victory. In the afternoon we decided to explore the historic North End of Boston where the majority of the Freedom Trail winds through streets with narrow, red stone houses, old churches, and memorials. It is also known as “Little Italy,” so we of course had to try some cannolis. (If you find yourself trying to decide between Maria’s and Mike’s, go for Mike’s! They are the local favorite!)
The Freedom Trail was implemented in the 1950s as a pedestrian trail linking together important historic landmarks. There is a brick path built into the sidewalks and painted across the streets that lead to 16 of the city’s most important sites. Although we didn’t follow it exactly, we did see a majority of the places on the list. We didn’t go inside most places since it is MLK day.
All Sites on the Freedom Trail Include (stars indicate those we saw):
- *Boston Common
- *Massachusetts State House
- *Park Street Church
- *Granary Burying Ground
- King’s Chapel
- King’s Chapel Burying Ground
- Benjamin Franklin statue and site of the first public school
- *Old Corner Bookstore
- *Old South Meeting House
- *Old State House
- Site of the Boston Massacre
- *Faneuil Hall
- *Paul Revere House
- *Old North Church
- Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
- Bunker Hill Monument (saw from afar)
- *USS Constitution
On the way across the river to visit the USS Constitution, we saw the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge (near the TD Bank Garden, home to the Celtics), which was designed as a tribute to Leonard P. Zakim, a civil rights activists, as well as American colonists recognized for fighting at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Its two towers are the same design as the Bunker Hill Monument nearby, and if you look at it at just the right angle, the three towers line up.
The bridge was part of the Big Dig, the largest highway construction project in the U.S. The project’s main focus was moving its major highway underground. The original plan was that the project would be completed in 1998 for $2.8 billion, but after scheduling overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests, and one death, it was finally completed in December 2007, at a cost of over $14.6 billion.
We made our way to the USS Constitution, and although we couldn’t get on the ship (holiday), we did get to walk through the museum. It was very interesting and had some small models of the ship as well.
After getting back across the river to the city, we stopped by Faneuil Hall and walked through the Quincy Market, which was very similar to Pike Place, but definitely had a more “tidy” East Coast vibe.
On our way back to the train, we came across The New England Holocaust Memorial. The memorial is a path you can walk between six glass towers, representing the six main death camps and the six years (1939-1945) during which the “Final Solution” took place. Six million numbers are etched into the glass, representing the numbers that were tattooed on many of the victim’s arms.
The Memorial Website says:
“The Memorial began with a Holocaust survivor, Stephan Ross (Szmulek Rozental), who was imprisoned at the age of nine and whose parents, one brother and five sisters were murdered by the Nazis. Between 1940 and 1945, Stephan survived 10 different concentration camps. His back was broken by a guard who caught him stealing a raw potato; another time he was hung for eating a potato. Tuberculosis wracked his body. He once hid in an outhouse, submerged to his neck in human waste, to save himself from being shot. Emaciated and near death, he was liberated from Dachau by American troops at age 14.
When Steve and his brother Harry, the only other surviving family member, were released from Dachau to seek medical attention, they came upon an American tank unit. One of the soldiers jumped off his tank, gave Steve and Harry his rations to eat, and embraced Steve, who fell to his knees, kissed the soldier’s boots, and wept for the first time in years. The soldier gave Steve a piece of cloth with which to wipe his tears. Steve later discovered that the cloth was in fact a U.S. flag: a treasured item that has been kept by Steve and his family as a symbol of freedom, life, compassion and love of the American soldiers.”
Walking through the memorial I definitely felt sadness, a remembrance of those who suffered and were lost, and aspiration that this will never occur in our history again. It briefly brought back the feelings I felt when I visited Dachau, but we didn’t stick around too long, as the feeling was heavy on our day.
If you would like to read about my experience at Dachau, click here.
We got back to Roni’s to rest our feet and have a delicious dinner that Alicia prepared, including a yummy pomegranate salad, crock pot chicken, and grilled peppers. We also had some of Roni’s amazing carrot cake left for dessert.
For a perfect end to our rendezvous in Boston, the four of us headed out for Paint Nite at a local bar. Paint Nite is a new fad that has been spreading to a lot of big cities in the last year or so. Depending on who puts it on, you can meet at a specific art studio or a bar and enjoy some drinks while an artist takes you step by step on how to paint a certain portrait. We signed up for a class that showed a storm coming in over a fiery red field. I decided to add some Seahawks pride into my painting for the upcoming Superbowl against the Broncos (credit to the Hawk smiting the Bronco with lightning to Jamey!).
The event was a blast, but I do have to say there isn’t very much drinking or socializing happening if you are super into your painting. We were concentrating so hard that we barely made it through one drink! But it was still really fun, especially after a full day of walking around, and you take away with your very own painting.