Faneuil Hall Marketplace (Boston, MA)

 

 

Dates Of Visits: August 18 & 19, 2018

Location: Faneuil Hall, Congress St, Boston, MA

Hours:

Mon – Thurs:
10 am – 9 pm
10 am – 7 pm (Winter)
Fri – Sat:
10 am – 9 pm
Sun:
11 am – 7 pm
Noon – 6 pm (Winter)

Cost: Free

Parking:

There are several parking garages in the area and some street parking.  There are also several routes to take on the MBTA to get there.  Parking, transportation and driving directions can be found here.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: shopping, family friendly activities, dining, statues, historical

Website: Faneuil Hall Marketplace

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Fall has descended upon New England.  Big time.  It seemed like it was just last week that I was sweating in 80 degree weather.  Probably because it was.  Yes fall seems to come with a thud.  But, it also means sweater weather and foliage.  So, it’s a fair trade off as far as I’m concerned.

In an attempt to play catch up before the very busy fall season, I am trying to post as many photo shoots from the summer as I transition into fall.

This particular photo shoot was from Faneuil Hall, the most visited marketplace in Boston.  It is a mix of art, history, entertainment, commerce and more.

Faneuil Hall has a long and storied history.  Since 1743, Faneuil Hall has served as a market and meeting place.  One of the more famous stops on Boston’s Freedom Trail, it has been called the “Cradle Of Liberty.”

Faneuil Hall has two major buildings at the sight.  The first one, Faneuil Hall Marketplace mostly sells wares from a variety of top name shops.

Located behind Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market serves up a variety of foods.  From Thai to tacos, Quincy Market has pretty much any type of food you can imagine.  I prefer Quincy Market naturally.

Fanueil Hall Marketplace has a variety of statues on their premises.  One of the first statues you may see depending on which way you travel to the marketplace is the statue of former mayor Kevin Hagan White.

One of the lesser known, or at least less talked about mayors of Boston, Kevin White served as mayor during a pivotal time in Boston’s history.  The 51st mayor of Boston, Kevin White may be one of the least talked about mayors (particularly in a positive sense), yet he has a very interesting story and he governed Boston during a very tumultuous time.  Elected at the age of 38, Mayor White would hold office from 1968 until 1984 (so much for term limits).  During his time as mayor, White would govern during the racially divisive era of school busing.  Tensions about his handling of busing and race relations in the city during this time so much that his critics derisively called him, “Kevin Black.”  Race relations have always been a blemish on our past and Mayor White had his difficulties in this realm. But, he also governed during  a time of immense growth and development for the city. The fact that White isn’t well known positively or negatively shows he was a steady hand during a difficult time.

A bronze statue was dedicated to Mayor White on November 1, 2006.  The statue, sculpted by Pablo Eduardo, shows Kevin White walking down the street.

The over-sized statue of White is meant to suggest he was a “larger than life” mayor.  He does have some pretty big shoes to fill.

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There are quotes from Mayor White’s inaugurations inscribed on the grounds.

 

There are other statues at Faneuil Hall.  In front of Faneuil Hall, at the entrance to the marketplace is a statue of politician and activist Samuel Adams.

 

The bronze statue was sculpted by Miss Ann Whitney in 1876 (although it was erected initially in 1880).

There are several inscriptions on each of the four panels that read as follows: ‘Samuel Adams 1722-1803 – A Patriot – He organized the Revolution, and signed the Declaration of Independence. Governor – A True Leader of the People. Erected A. D. 1880, from a fund bequeathed to the city of Boston by Jonathan Phillips. A statesman, incorruptible and fearless.’

The pedestal for the bronze statue is ten feet high. The statue sits upon a polished Quincy granite base and cap and a lower nine-feet square base of unpolished Quincy Granite.

Another person who is memorialized with a statue is James Michael Curley.

In stark contrast to Mayor White, Mayor Michael Curley was not overlooked nor was he without his share of notoriety.  Curley was re-elected while under indictment for mail fraud which he would eventually be convicted of in 1947 (he would later receive a full pardon for this and an earlier conviction in 1904 by President Truman).  He even technically remained mayor while in prison (his position was served by City Clerk John B Hynes while he was locked up).

Despite all of his escapades, Curley was a beloved mayor and was often thought of as a warrior for the working class.

Technically, these statues are across the street from Faneuil Hall Marketplace and not technically on the grounds of the marketplace.

This statue is sure to be less controversial.  At least in New England.

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Clutching a cigar (from his tradition of lighting a cigar when he thought his team had the game won before the final buzzer) and a book in another hand, Red Auerbach sits proudly on the walkway in Faneuil Hall Marketplace.  A plaque espouses his accomplishments.

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Two other Boston sports figures are memorialized at Faneuil Hall.  Bronze sneakers of “Legend” Larry Bird, Hall of Fame Forward and 3 time NBA MVP for the Boston Celtics, and Bill Rodgers, a 4 time Boston Marathon winner (including 3 in a row from 1978-1980) and former American record holder for running the Boston Marathon (2:09:27 or a 4:56 average mile – not too shabby).

There are also a variety of family friendly activities at Faneuil Hall.  Over the years, Fanueil Hall has transformed itself from just a shopping center and tourist hub to a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can have fun.

Each weekend during the summer they have special family friendly events such as puppet shows.

There are chess tables set up for people to test their skills.  There is even a Chess Blitz Tournament for more skilled players to compete against other worthy opponents.  I’m definitely not on that level.

Of course, the biggest attractions at Faneuil Hall are the stores and historical tours.  Scores of stores line the cobblestone walkways.  When it gets busier in the day, especially during the summer and holidays, the narrow walkways can get crowded.

 

With the pretty flowers and tall buildings, the best part of Faneuil Hall may be the views.

Part of Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Quincy Market is home to dozens of restaurants and food takeout establishments.  There are no shops in that building.  They only serve up food and beverages.  There are also areas to eat your food and people watch.  Signs from old businesses from that area.

There is also a piano.  But, this is no ordinary piano.  It is a piano from the Play Me I’m Yours piano playing program from 2016.  As an aside, I sometimes cringe when I look at my older posts.  I didn’t use photoshop and I posted way too may photos of the very same thing (even more than I post in my current blog posts).  But, I’ve also noticed I wrote more than I do now and I am trying to add more commentary, especially as a way to include facts and context to the photos.

During my visit there was an exhibit of old colonial style clothing and rifles.  There are a lot of these types of exhibits, particularly during the summer and patriotic holidays.

Fanueil Hall is chock full of history.  One could post a series of blog posts aboutthe history of the buildings and the area and still not do it justice.  One nugget I am aware of is about a grasshopper.  Specifically, this grasshopper.

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There are many stories about this grasshopper weathervane.  One tour guide mentioned it played a role in identifying patriots rather than loyalists.

Another story holds that that Shem Drowne, a wealthy merchant who had been discouraged by his many failures in colonial New England, was inspired by a grasshopper.  Contemplating his losses and failures, Drowne laid down in a field where he saw a boy chasing a grasshopper.  He and the boy became friends and when he later met the boy’s parents they adopted him thus enabling him to live a more prosperous life.  The grasshopper was meant to commemorate a turning point in his life.  The truth may be much less interesting and exciting.

According to this article, the grasshopper simply was a sign of commerce.  Since Faneuil Hall Marketplace was on the shore (the area has changed a but over the years) and it was visible to ships coming ashore it gave a clear signal they were open for business.  I think this is most likely the true story behind the grasshopper.

Dogs are also welcome at Faneuil Hall Marketplace.

This cutie had her eyelashes done for her trip to the marketplace.  You might be able to see her lashes better in the second photo.

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Below is a video of a quick walk-through of Quincy Market.  The foods smell as good as they look!

There are also lots of entertainers and shows at Faneuil Hall during the warmer seasons.  The Flying Hawaiian Show is one of these shows.  She is amazingly talented and such a great entertainer!


911 Memorial Park (Westfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: September 3, 2018

Location: Union Avenue & North Elm Street

Parking: There are several parking lots (free of charge) in the area and some street parking nearby as well.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: 20′ high obelisk memorial to the victims of 9/11 who were natives of Westfield, MA

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They weren’t just bond traders, planning managers and vp’s.  They were sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles and friends.  They were so much more than just a title or their professional achievements.

The 911 memorial at 911 Memorial Park is a somber reminder of the three people from Westfield, MA, and all of the people who were lost that day.

The park is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.  The .05 acre park in Westfield, MA, serves to remind Westfield residents and anyone who visits the sacrifice and loss suffered on September 11, 2001. It was dedicated on September 11, 2011, ten years after the attacks.

The memorial is located on an island in the middle of a busy section of the city.  If you do visit, please take notice of this.  There are working traffic lights near the memorial.  Lights are installed in the ground to illuminate the area during the evening, or on overcast days.

The three people who died on that day had so much going for them and had achieved so much in such little time.  But, they were known for more than just their professional achievements.

Tara K Creamer (Shea) had graduated from UMASS Amherst and had a successful career as a planning manager at TJ Maxx.  But, she was more known for her radiant smile.

A bond trader and former draft pick of the Boston Celtics, Daniel Trant was known more for being a family man who loved playing sports with his children.

Brian Joseph Murphy worked as an electronic bond trader.  But, it was being a doting father and husband that he was most proud of.  One of the last things he did with “his girls” was apple picking.

As I took the photos for this memorial, I couldn’t help but think of just how bright blue and clear the skies were.  Much like they were on that day 17 years ago.

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The inscription on the bronze plaque states:

9-11 MEMORIAM
TO INNOCENCE LOST

TARA KATHLEEN CREAMER
FLIGHT 11
NOV. 30, 1970 – SEPT. 11, 2001

BRIAN JOSEPH MURPHY
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MARCH 21, 1960 – SEPT. 11, 2001

DANIEL PATRICK TRANT
WORLD TRADE CENTER
MAY 15, 1961 – SEPT. 11, 2001

I couldn’t find any information concerning the sculptor(s) or what material the memorial is made of.  In a way, this is refreshing.  The emphasis should be on the people and the memories their loved ones have of them.  As it should be on this day.

 


Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park (Boston, MA)

 

Dates Of Visits: August 19, 2018 and September 4, 2018

Location: 105 Atlantic Ave, Boston, MA

Cost: Free

Hours: Open daily sunrise to sunset

Size/Trail Difficulty: 4.5 acres/easy

Parking: There is street parking and several parking garages in the area

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Highlights: statue of Christopher Columbus, memorial, scenic, fountain, trellis, family friendly

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Although he is not from the area, Christopher Columbus can be considered an adopted son of the North End, a once, and still somewhat, largely Italian neighborhood (although Columbus may have been more likely Spanish they will still claim him).

Dedicated in 1974, Christopher Columbus Park is a family friendly park with open spaces for tanning, reading or just sitting and enjoying a very summer-like day as was the case during my two visits. There are also wonderful views at the park.

The park offers beautiful views of the harbor.  Harbor boats can be seen coming and going on their scheduled trips.

The views from the waterfront are very pretty.

A statue of the explorer who the park was named after is located along the trellis.

The 6x3x2 (12 feet tall in total if you include the base) monument is made out of white Carrara marble, the same marble that is mined in Carrara, Italy.  It is the very same marble from which Michelangelo sculpted the statues “Pieta,” “Moses,” and “David.” There appears to be ropes and a piling with a float on it by his legs.  He is clutching a book or manuscript and a dagger is attached to his belt. The statue was designed by Andrew J. Mazzola and it was fabricated by Norwood Monumental Works in 1979.

A fountain dedicated to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy and next to the Rose Kennedy Garden, is a peaceful place to sit and watch the water.

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Or, you can use it to cool down like Teagan a 6 month old Golden Retriever.

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Lilly, an 8 year old Golden Retriever, didn’t like the fountain as much as Teagan but she still liked the park. I love how  Golden retrievers always seem to look like they are smiling.  Probably because they are.

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The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Garden, dedicated to the matriarch of the Kennedy family, has a wide variety of flowers.

But, the pretty flowers are not only located in the garden.  There are beautiful flowers throughout the park.

The other main attraction, beside the statue of Columbus, is the trellis.  Ivy and white lights are attached to the trellis.  During the holiday season, blue lights are attached to it.

During my visit, there was a scavenger hunt by the Dragon Of Bostonshire.  This lady was giving a speech with hints for all of the participants.

There’s lots of entertainment at the park.  This musician played a heartbreaking instrumental of Vincent by Don McLean.

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Another more famous musician was playing at the park during my visit.  I could write a blog post just about him.  The most interesting thing about Keytar is his identity.  Or the mystery behind his identity. Keytar Bear is a local celebrity.  But, little else is known about him.  Keytar plays at a variety of different locations in the Boston area, unannounced.  You could see him at a train station (I’ve seen him at South Station) or any other venue in the Boston area, particularly during the warmer seasons.  In fact, it’s so normal to see him people really aren’t fazed by his presence.  No one knows what he (I am pretty sure I read the musician is a male in an article) looks like or his name.  But, everyone knows him when they see him.

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If music isn’t your thing, there are other ways to entertain yourself like a game of hop scotch.

Or, you could climb a tree.

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There is also a memorial dedicated to the 9 marines from Massachusetts who were killed in the Beirut bombing (220 U.S. Marines, 241 US Service personnel and 305 people in total were killed that day by the bombers).  It’s easy to miss if you don’t know it is there.  It is next to the children’s playground and close to the Average Joe’s restaurant.  The memorial is easy to miss if you don’t know it’s there.  In fact, I made a second trip to find it after I missed it the first time.

It always strikes me when I read the names and ages of just how young these soldiers are when they die.  They had so much more to live for.

The nine Marines from Massachusetts names are inscribed on the memorial.  They are:

  • LCP Bradley J. Campus – Lynn, 1962-1983
  • LCP Michael J. Delvin – Westwood, 1962-1983
  • SGT MAJ Frederick B. Douglass – Cataumet, 1936-1983
  • CPT Sean R. Gallagher – North Andover, 1952-1983
  • SGT Edward J. Gargano – Quincy, 1962-1983
  • CPT Richard J. Gordon – Somerville, 1961-1983
  • CPT Michael S. Haskell – Westborough, 1950-1983
  • SGT Steven B. LaRiviere – Chicopee, 1961-1983
  • LCP Thomas S. Perron – Whitinsville, 1964-1983

Below is a video of Keytar Bear playing his keytar with a background track.  His music is very chill.


Rose Kennedy Greenway Part III (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area. There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

Related Posts:

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part I

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part II

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The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is not just known for its beautiful art and flowers. The Greenway also has a lot to entertain all of the people who visit.

With its water play areas, swings and carousel, in addition to all of the other attractions along the way, it is possible to spend an entire day on the Greenway.

One of the biggest perks of the Greenwayis the free Wi-Fi. I tried it and it does work!

The biggest attraction of the Greenway is the Greenway Carousel. It is open during the spring summer and fall and part of the winter, specifically during the holiday season.

The Greenway Carousel is a handicapped accessible ride that children and parents, aunts, uncles and friends can ride together. All of the characters on the carousel are based on animals that are idengenous to the area.

I especially like the attention to detail in the art work on the carousel

Anther fun attraction for kids and adults are the water play areas. There are two water splash parks on the Greenway. One of the fountains is on Milk St . The other one is located at the Hanover and Cross St in the North End.

There are also small patches of grass for people and dogs to play on. They also show film at on of the larger grassy fields. Or, if movies aren’t your thing, you can just play some corn hole with friends.

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If you need a little rest or if you want to spend some time chatting with one of your loved ones, the swings in the North End section of the Greenway are a great place to sit and enjoy some good conversation and fun.

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The Greenway has lots of animal activity, particularly at night. I spotted this rabbit during one of my nightly visits to the Greenway.

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And I saw these cuties during one of my daytime visits to the

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Harley is an 8 year old part Shepherd and Spaniel mixed breed.

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Max, a 2 year old Pit/Lab mix, loved the water play areas also.

Thank you for joining me on my visits to the truly special place!


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part II (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area.  There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

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In my first blog post of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, I posted photos of some of the beautiful flowers and plants on the Greenway.  In this installment, I will include photos of the beautiful artwork on the Greenway.

There are several art exhibits on the Greenway.  I figured I would post them in the order they appear on the Greenway.

The first part of the Greenway in this post is at Chinatown near the Lincoln Street Triangle.

Year Of The Dog by Rosa Puno is a nod to the current year of the dog in the Chinese zodiac calendar.  The exhibit has spinning cube-like blocks made of wood on a steel structure that has Chinese words with their translations and excerpts from people in the neighborhood that Rosa collected from people in the neighborhood.

This part of the Greenway has other attractions such as the human-made waterfall and stream and a sitting area where people can spend time together, play games or just play in the water.  Ahh, to  be young again.

The next work of art is a mural that is painted on a building that sits on Atlantic Ave.  The building this mural is changed annually.  Each year, usually in the spring, a new mural is painted by a different artist.

The 70’x76′ mural on the building at Dewey Square is called Carving Out Fresh Options.  It was painted by Shara Hughes.

I was fortunate enough to see the artist working on her mural while I was walking to work in May.

And, of course, the finished product.  During the summer, people lay out on towels or on chairs on the lawn in front of the Greenway which can make photographing it without obstructions challenging.

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There also are historical markers on the Greenway.  Two remnants of the old raised Central Artery highway that once carried traffic over this area.

One of the beams from the original Central Artery is located the building with the mural above.  It is located on Congress and Purchase Streets which is easy to remember by the axiom “people purchase congress.”  Sad but true.  It is easy to miss as I have probably walked past it hundreds of times but never gave it a second thought until I wrote this post.

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A plaque on the beam gives a brief history of the construction of the Central Artery project (built between 1951 and 1959) and fun facts (well they’re facts) such as the number of vehicles which used the highway when it was first built (75,000 vehicles) to the number of vehicles that used it in 1990 when the “Big Dig” began to be planned (200,000 vehicles).

There is another beam from the Central Artery located on Surface Road located on the edge of Faneuil Hall.

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Rumor has it there may be another one on Clinton Street.  But, I couldn’t find it.

Located across from the first steel beam from the Central Artery is Balancing Act by Aakash Nihalani.

The display is broken into two works, Balancing Act I and Balancing Act II.

Balancing Act I represents a tower of six cubes which appear to fall over as the middle one is pulled out of alignment.

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Balancing Act II  shows blocks which are precariously piled up and appear to be ready to collapse.  I think we all can related to this apt description of our everyday lives.

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The works almost seem unreal.  It’s as though they were a mirage or photo shopped into the photo (I swear I didn’t).  Akash just knows how to use colors and  materials.

Way Of The Woods by Daniel Ibanez and Margen-Lab is a tribute to the North American landscapes.  The nine logs are said to transform into contemporary interpretations of these raw natural materials.

The next work of art is an illuminated tunnel-like structure made by Luftwerk called Transition.

It looks a lot more impressive during the evening hours.

Harbor Fog by Ross MIller is an interactive sculpture.  As a person or body comes closer to it it makes noises and generates fog.

The next work of art located on the Greenway is called GLOW.  GLOW is a collection of old neon signs that once illuminated the Massachusetts skies.  The signs are the collection of Lynn and Dave Waller.  Each sign is erected on a concrete block with the name of the city or town it once stood.  The signs are illuminated all day and night, during park hours.  But, as you can see by the photos, they look much prettier during the evening.

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The Siesta Motel on Route 1 North, Saugus, MA, circa 1950 sign looks cool enough during the day, particularly during an overcast day.

But, it looks much nicer during the evening.

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Unfortunately, the lights for the Fontaine’s Restaurant, VFE Parkway, West Roxbury, MA, circa 1952  (I actually ate breakfast there once…after the neon sign was installed wise acres) were not working when I went to visit it during the day and evening.

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European Restaurant, 218 Hanover Street, Boston, 1970.

The remaining signs were all taken during the evening hours to highlight their colorful artwork.

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Bay State Auto Spring, 83 Hampden St, Roxbury, MA, circa 1965

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The neon sign for Cycle Center, Natick, MA, 1956 is one of my favorites.  It lights up and changes colors as the rider pedals.

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General Electric Radio, 240 Blue Hill Ave, Roxbury, MA, circa 1925

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Flying Yankee Restaurant, Route 20 and Route 12, Auburn, MA, circa 1953.

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State Line Potato Chips, Route 20, Wilbraham, MA, c. 1950s

There is also a memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide as well as the Armenian immigrants and immigrants of all backgrounds that came to the United States and settled in the Boston area.

The Armenian Heritage Park has a maze for people to walk that leads a fountain at the center of the circular path.  Words like science and commerce have been etched in the paths. A plaque near a bench at the park states the park is dedicated to those suffered to preserve the Armenian heritage.

The Abstract Sculpture honors the victims of the Armenian genocide and victims of all genocides as well as our open shores.

The inscription on the sculpture reads:

“Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have offered hope and refuge for immigrants seeking to begin new lives. The park is a gift to the people of the Commonwealth and the City of Boston from the Armenian-American community of Massachusetts. This sculpture is offered in honor of the one and one half million victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923. May it stand in remembrance of all genocides that have followed, and celebrate the diversity of the communities that have re-formed in the safety of these shores.”

There is also a statue dedicated to Tony DeMarco.  Who is Tony DeMarco?  Don’t say that too close to the North End of Boston.

Tony DeMarco is a former World Welterweight Champion who grew up in the North End section of Boston, MA.  Despite winning the Welterweight title, the Sicilian born boxer was best known for his slug fests with Carmen Basilio.  He would lose both fights but fought valiantly in both matches.

Gelato, a 4 month old mixed breed dog, also enjoyed the art work on the Greenway.

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Thank you all for stopping by and reading.  In my upcoming third and final installment of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway, I will be focusing on some of the entertainment on the Greenway!

Sometimes it seems like your phone’s camera takes better photos then your camera, especially during the evening when you don’t have your tripod.  Click on the link below to access my Facebook page and view more night time photos and videos from the Greenway.  And give the page a “like” while you’re at it!

New England Nomad on Facebook


Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Part I (Boston, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 12, 13, 18, 19, 2018

Location: Various locations in Boston, MA

Hours: Open daily, 7 a.m. until 11 p.m.

Cost: Free

Parking: there is some street parking available at some parts of the Greenway (particularly on Atlantic Ave) and several parking garages in the area.  There are also several MBTA train stations within walking distance to the Greenway such as South Station

Trail Size/Difficulty: 15 acres, 1.5 miles/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers,scenic,dog friendly, historic

Websites: Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Overview

Good Historical Overview Of The Greenway Project

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Like it or not, the morning and evening temperatures are beginning to plummet and the days are growing shorter.  Since I only have a short window to visit some of the more interesting outdoor venues for this season, I finally made it out to Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.

Named after the matriarch of the Kennedy family, the Greenway has a wide variety of attractions.  From a carousel to works of to the beautiful gardens and flowers along the trail, the Greenway has something for everyone.

Since there is so much to see and photograph along the Greenway, I decided to break up this blog series into three parts.  The first part, which I will post today, is going to include the gardens and flowers at the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  Part 2 will include the art on the Greenway and Part 3 will include the entertainment along the Greenway.  And, of course, there will be dogs included in each post as well!

Once upon a time, specially from 1959 when the elevated John F Fitzgerald Kennedy-Central Artery construction ended and 1981 when the “Big Dig” (an underground tunnel project) began, an elevated highway spanned what is now the Greenway.  Fun fact: some of the dirt from the “Big Dig” tunnel project was used to resurface Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor.

The first thing you’ll notice on the Greenway, particularly during the spring and summer, are the bright, beautiful plants and flowers.

The gardens and flowers along the Greenway are all treated organically so people do not have to worry about their children and pets being affected by any pesticides and make the flowers look beautiful.

There are pollinators along the Greenway.  The pollinators, which were installed in 2016, are designed to attract and support pollinator species.  Since pollinating insects are important to all seed propagated plants, the pollinators provide an important role in the growth of the plants.

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The Greenway also has a garden where they grow edible fruits and vegetables such as bluberries.  The blueberries and other fruits and vegetables are a big hit with the birds.

I especially like how the buildings provide such a stark contrast to the beauty of the plants and flowers.

In fact, the buildings are so impressive I couldn’t help but take a few photos of the buildings as well.

Although it is only 1.5 miles long, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is full of surprises and special areas such as “Mothers’ Walk.”

Along the The Mothers’ Walk are engraved bricks with the names of loved ones.  For a measley $500 donation people could have names inscribed on bricks along the walk.

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Along the wall there is an inscription that reads, “To all who have cared, encouraged, inspired, laughed and loved, this Mothers’ Walk is dedicated to you and to those who have supported this beautiful Greenway.

There is also a park along the Greenway called The Carolyn Lynch Garden.  The garden was dedicated in Summer 2018 to Carolyn Hoff Lynch, an avid gardener and a leading philanthropist, who passed away in 2015.  The garden is bursting with colors in the spring and summer and has some scenic views.

Along Carolyn Lynch Park and other parts of the Greenway you will find historic events summarized on a timeline about the area.  The dates and events vary depending on where the timeline along the fences appear.  For instance in the part of the Greenway located in the North End, there are dates of events that took place in that area and quotes from people in the area.

The Greenway is a wonderful place to take your leashed pet.  Below are a few of the dogs I saw on the Greenway.

Tommy is a 6 year old Boxer, Labrador, Retriever, Beagle mix rescue dog.  Tommy is a social media star.  You can find him at bostondogtommy on Instagram.

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Jack is a 12 year old Pomeranian.

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Stayed Tuned for Part II coming soon!


Pond Meadow Park (Braintree, MA)

Dates Of Visits: August 4 & 5, 2018

Locations: 470 Liberty Street Braintree MA, 390 Summer Street, Weymouth, MA

Hours: Open daily year round from sunrise to sunset.   The entrance gates are open 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM (or sunset) during the summer, and 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM (or sunset) during the winter

Cost: Free

Parking: There are two parking areas.  The main parking area at the address listed for the park is in Braintree.  There is another parking area in Weymouth as well.

From Weymouth, vehicle parking is available in the parking lot off Summer Street.  From Braintree, vehicle parking is available in the upper lots near the park office, and the lower lots near the start of the bike path.

There are about 5 or 6 parking spots in front of the gate in the Braintree entrance.  So you can park and enter the park before the gate is opened at that entrance.

Trail Size/Difficulty: 320 acres/easy difficulty

Highlights: wildlife, pond, easy trails, biking paths, benches, tents, benches, snow shoeing,cross country skiing,boating (non motorized), fishing

Website: Pond Meadow Park

Pond Meadow Park Trail Map

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Since 1976, Pond Meadow Park has been a source for fun, adventure and beauty for generations in the Braintree and Weymouth (MA) area.

Initially built as a flood control project for the Weymouth Landing area, Pond Meadow officially opened as a park in May of 1976.  While the park has changed over the years, especially from its initial design as a flood prevention.  But the dam is still there.  In fact, you can actually walk along the dam.

IMG_9270There is beauty all around at Pond Meadow Park.

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Benches with phrases on plaques attached to them for loved ones who have passed are located along the trails.  They are located in peaceful areas at the park.

While I was hiking the trails and taking my photographs, I met this nice lady who had an interesting story about this park.

Dawn has been coming to this park ever since she was a kid.  Her mom loved the park as well.  She still comes to the park regularly for a hike and to look at a bench.  It turns out the bench I was photographing and the plaque on it was dedicated to her mom.

She was kind enough to sit on the bench dedicated to her mother with her friend (possibly her significant other but I’m not one to assume) and her dog Toby, a 10 year old rescue Beagle.  “Always In Our Hearts” and Dawn’s mother’s name are inscribed on the plaque on the bench.  What a wonderful way to remember someone.

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Along the trail near the entrance is a rock dedicated to Joseph D’Ambrosio, an avid cyclist and engineer who was instrumental in the development of the bike and walking trails at the park.  So, next time you are cycling along the trails at Pond Meadow, don’t forget to thank Joseph!

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There is an abundance of wildlife at Pond Meadow.  During my visit I saw a swan,

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a rabbit

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A snake.  This is the “non deadly” North Atlantic Water Snake but it also bears a striking similarity to the venomous Water Moccasin.  They are both common to the New England area, although the North Atlantic Water Snake is more common.  And they do look similar.  So do be careful and don’t go trying to sneak up on them and photograph them.  Oops.

 

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A frog

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You don’t see the frog?  How about now?

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How about now?

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Don’t get too close to the other side of the pond, buddy.

And, of course some cute chipmunks, or this may very well be the same one in each photo for all I know.

A pretty butterfly

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and, of course, there were also Canadian Geese and ducks at the park.

There were some other cute animals there as well.  The trails at the park are easy with very few inclines for your dog to walk and play on (try the Ranger Trail if you do go).  The dogs below had a wonderful time on the trails.

Lincoln is a one and a half year old Boxer.

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Molly is a 2 year old mixed breed dog.

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Oakley (on the left) is a 4 and a half month old Golden Retriever and Cooper (on the right) is a 6 month old Chocolate Labrador.

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