9 October 2012

The Spirit Of Boston

Breaking away from NJ, I boarded my Amtrak train to Boston, Mass! From the 'Freedom Trail' to Harvard University, the great city of Boston had many different charms that make this city so individual compared to its Northeastern cousins, D.C. and New York. Boston showed me something familiar with its many British towns names, a sense of colonial charm could be felt.

Taking a stroll through 'Boston Common' to capture a quintessential view of Boston, it was one of those places where I stood still and visualised the what the colonial British way of life would have looked like back in the 1600's. I tried my best to block out the gloomy weather as I walked through this spectacular park. Boston possesses all the key ingredients to be a perfectly balanced city with a small-scale feel, unlike its cousin New York City that doesn't have a second to think about anything else. I must admit the weather in Boston was identical compared to a drizzly and unsettled winters day back in England, needless to say the similarities will never end! You could say Boston was not quintessentially American! This trip was a quick escape from Newark, NJ for being in the current concrete surroundings of Newark's Ironbound it did feel good to be surrounded by some green park space for a change! Boston had spirit!

My trip to Boston was quite a spur of the moment thing, before taking my stroll through Boston Common I arrived into the city's own South Station by an Amtrak train from Newark, NJ. I didn't want to take the coach, leaving Megabus for the return leg of my trip I enjoyed the coastal route as the states of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island before arriving in Massachusetts. That Mass trip was the first where I stayed in a hostel, not feeling as plush as my D.C. Marriott splurge I saw nothing wrong with that Hostelling International Boston dorm room. The area around my hostel was crazy, it was slightly unnerving at points but I had become accustomed to the streets of Newark and its Ironbound District. Forgetting about my 4 am alarm I had a great walk around the cosy city streets of Boston's Beacon Hill side of town, a familiar sense of an English city came to me as the dusk fell over Boston. Concluding my first evening I decided to see 'Pitch Perfect' at the movies! Yes!

I wanted to seek something different, something regal whilst I was in the city of Boston! On my second day I decided to take on the historical 'Freedom Trail' its a must to when in Boston. The 'Freedom Trail' was a really easy way to see the top historical buildings that this city boasts and to see others sides of the wider city centre area too. Some of the top picks include; Massachusetts State House, Boston Common, Park Street Church and the 'sensational' Fanueil Hall. Captured to the right is 'Fanueil Hall' a place that oozed a colonial edge! Navigating the trail was somewhat complicated at certain stages as the red line on the pavement disappeared every once in awhile. I took this challenge very seriously for I hadn't gone to Boston to sleep! Nevertheless, I soldiered on through the trail aiming to see as much as possible. I got stopped by two students who asked me if I was voting for Obama! Oh, no! I'm a Brit!

Even though my working hours at the airport get crazy I wanted my trip in Boston to be full packed, making sure of that I wanted to see more of the Freedom Trail. By chance,I found the charming preserved neighbourhood of Bunker Hill, loosing the red line somewhere along the way I found the historic war ship the USS Constitution docked in front of me. Finding myself along a normal residential street I must of taken a wrong turn, trusting Boston for that moment I came across a serene colonial maze of pastel coloured houses, the area felt like I was back in the days of the first British settlers in the New World. Looking up I saw a grey tower, the Bunker Hill Monument took me an age to climb to the top but the misty view of Boston I got from the top was well worth those stone steps. The Freedom Trail had showed me heaps, I now understand why I didn't entertain any of Boston's nightlife because I was constantly on the move. Yes honey, Boston had me exhausted!

Leaving a quiet corner of the city near the USS Constitution I got onto the metro to Harvard. Yes, the world famous Harvard University.' I wanted to see the American University that everyone talks about when they visit Boston, I have to say that I wasn't disappointed! What a formidable looking place this educational institution fared to be. The small Harvard Square oozed perfect student environment with a difference, I would say its gave a sense of borderline kitsch, for it was still a student town after all. I decided to take a break from my military style sight-seeing antics by having some really tasty Chinese food at a local Harvard town restaurant, I must say that the price was very kind to my wallet. Peering through into a courtyard with many coloured chairs I knew I there was going to be limits. Of course the student halls looked just like they did in the movies, well the dorms! I had UCB not Harvard!

Stepping back into time I took the commuter rail to Salem in search of a witch hunt. Choosing to take a rail journey that I no clue about, departing from Boston South Station I set out for Salem. No, the Sanderson Sisters weren't going to be making an appearance, with that being said I had high expectations of Salem but saw a town that heavily relies on the distant witch trials of 1692. On the whole I tried my best to look past the tourist haunts to find an original grave memorial for the women who were hanged, all believed to be witches. Now that's mad! Making the most of my last hours in the 'Bay State' of Massachusetts I stumbled upon 'Pioneer Village' a modified village that resembled British life in the 1692 era. Making for a great end to my Bostonian trip I got real, rushing back to South Station in just the nick of time for my Megabus back to New York City! From the feelings of home to the bizarre tourist traps of Salem I couldn't of possibly taken more in that weekend!

Get Me Back To Boston!

Joseph Harrison

No comments: