Monday, Jun 27, 2022
Boston. In the rain.
The few side alleyways still paved only with old cobblestones glisten with the wet, inviting the unwary traveler to a tumble or two. It’s no wonder that eighteenth-century ladies needed pattens to negotiate these streets in their thin silk shoes…
But there is nothing like walking in Boston in the rain (unless it’s walking in Paris in the rain). Somehow the grey and the dampness seem more suited than bright sunshine to this city which was founded almost 400 years ago. Memorials are everywhere…statues, plaques, pillars, monuments. There is a dizzying amount of history to take in.
The old cemeteries clustered around the Boston Common are filled with graves whose dates of death are in the 1600s. The Old Granary Burying Ground hold the remains of notables such as John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and the parents of Benjamin Franklin. A statue of Ben Franklin himself is in front of the Old City Hall, its plinth decorated on all four sides with scenes from Franklin’s life – one being him working as a printer!
The wet rain seems to make the Boston Gardens more lush. The water drips drips drips from the trees down into the ponds. The statue of the ducklings, placed there to commemorate the famous children’s book Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McClosky (pub. 1941, and which is set in the Boston Gardens), almost seems to come alive with the ducklings paddling through the water following their mama duck.
The rows of brick townhomes in the Back Bay bring to mind Henry James’ The Bostonians. Gracious and aloof all at once, the homes perfectly epitomize the Boston Brahmins who have lived in them for centuries. They seem rooted to the very ground, totally at home in this city which has lived through and witnessed so much.
And bookshops, of course, were on the schedule for today…Brattle and Bromer, with Commonwealth planned for tomorrow. All filled to the brim with treasures, each shop different, each shop special.
If anyone reading this has not yet visited Boston, I encourage you to put it on your bucket list!