By Jaime Yarbrough – October 7, 2023
Recently I took an opportunity to get away from it all and went to Boston for
a week. The initial purpose was to visit a long time friend in New Hampshire
but things didn’t work out but I had already bought the ticket so went as a
tourist from California. I had spent almost a year in Maryland, and traveled
a little to upstate New York, but had never been to Boston. For those who
haven’t been I highly recommend it. I had a wonderful experience.
I was on pins and needles as I started my trip wondering if I could
make it over to Medford on 199 or must go up around via Bandon. I was in
one of the first trips, the thick smell of smoke in the air and devastation
were prevalent. I left on a Monday and arrived about 6:00 AM Tuesday at
Logan International Airport. My trip from the airport via the Silver Line 1
BUS to South Station was spooky. Much of the trip was via a mixture of
dedicated transit tunnels and a public tunnel.
I had reserved a ‘basement’ apartment via Priceline, so my first mission
was to discover how to get to it via the public transit system. I had no idea
what to do as a tourist weeks before my trip, so I consulted BARD, the
Google AI. It instantly listed out a dozen popular tourist attractions, so I
picked several I wanted to see. When asked about the best way to get
around BARD recommended, I got a “Charlie Card” – MBTA transit pass.
There was such a vending machine at the airport. I bought a 1 week pass for
$22.50. It gave me ‘unlimited’ use of the bus, subway, and a couple of
Knowing it is a tourist town my first objective was, obviously, the
Tourist Center. There I got a couple excellent maps in addition to the map I
acquired at the South Station subway station of the subway system where
the FREE Silver Lie 1 dropped me. This was my first picture in The Boston Commons America’s oldest park. Founded in 1634.
This is a picture of the Capital dome and one of the notable fountains.
Turning around is a picture of the new sculpture honoring Martin Luther King
and Coretta Scott King “The Embrace,” a massive bronze piece by Hank
I spent much of the day just walking around the park, looking at the map and
occasionally listening to one of the many Paid groups tour guides in 3-corner
hats spewing out the history of Boston to groups willing to pay for a walking
tour around the Commons. These people are amazing with all the information
they provide. If you have the time they are also recommended. About mid
afternoon I made my way on the subway the Orange line to my residence.
I found the key in the lock box and made myself at home. I wandered out to
investigate my surroundings and find dinner.
Situated in a typical multicultural working-class neighborhood I quickly
found a couple restaurants and amazingly, a Target store with a food
section. The trip took about 20 minutes from the city center by subway and
5 stops via connecting bus, across the street from my residence. NICE.
Securing a source of morning coffee paramount, I discovered there is no
shortage of “Dunkin’ Donuts” in Boston. Sort of like Starbucks on the West
Coast, except where I was staying so I bought cold coffee and warmed it up
in the microwave with pastries
Day two, my objective (via the transit system) was to go to the
Museum of Science. All the major attractions have a charge for entry. It is
a large complex with 3 floors. For those who are familiar with the California
Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park and the Exploratorium would
recognize many of the natural, historical, and interactive exhibits. It was
there I witnessed my first robot dog.
This is a static picture but there was one that went through a programmed
course in a small enclosure to demonstrate it’s ability to navigate stairs and
uneven surfaces. There are tons of videos of these things on YouTube.
Moving on, the next stop was The MIT Science Museum. A few blocks
away is the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Along
side the Charles river (source of the inspiration for the song “Dirty Water”
a song by the American rock band The Standells – 1965. Note, the reason
the water is so dirty is due to the tannin in the local vegetation. Another 3
floors of discovery and awe. I am not sure if I was going in the beginning
direction but started out in an area where MIT’s science history was
highlighted, then on to a section dedicated to computing an artificial
intelligence. The last section I visited was the most impressive. It displayed
the history of CRISPR – gene editing technology and the discovery of the
amazing Cas9 protein that is incredibly complex yet holds tremendous
potential in vaccine applications. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cas9)
Exploring Boston, going to various tourist attractions, like any major
metropolitan city requires considerable walking and time slips away in
museums. Day 3 my objective was to explore the Boston Public Garden
adjacent to the Boston Commons on way to The VIEW. The Public Garden is
just another park but with a beautiful layout, water venue and meticulously
kept plant life. The VIEW is also called the Prudential Center (yeah, the
insurance company) where for $44 you can take the elevator to the 52 floor
and walk around the entire building, look through the massive glass windows
down on all of Boston. Go one story down and walk around outside. The
weather was perfect, so I did both. On a clear day visibility reaches 32
miles. The city scape, the 36 Cape Cod islands, MIT, Cambridge, Boston
University, Harvard and Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox can all be seen.
Next stop, through a large governmental section of the city was The Green
Dragon Tavern where Samuel Adams and many of his cohorts had many a
discussion about the revolution and shared as many frothy beverages. The
same building, the same bar and tables preserved. It was here, with my
Guinness, I had my first, to-die-for, world famous Boston Clam Chowder. And
it was like no chowder I have ever had, thick, lots of clams and a hearty
Afterwards I sought out a Charles River tour aboard the HENRY
LONGFELLOW. It is a simple river tour upstream towards Harvard with a
few notable historical buildings, churches, and views of the city. With a Sam
Adams lager it’s a soothing ride and a good opportunity to meet fellow
travelers, exchange stories and origins.
The following day from Bards list I made my way to the TEA
PARTY MUSEUM, the jewel of my entire trip. $28 buys an unforgettable
hour of mind-blowing history about the days of the revolution. The guide, in
traditional revolutionary attire was very personable but never once broke
character in her explanation of what transpired the night of the great tea
party. Explaining that the tea did not technically go into the waters of
Boston Harbor but due to at ‘kings tide’ (extremely low tide) it went into the
mud the ship was sitting in ! As the intricate tale of the taxation of the
worthless tea was explained and the background of the tension over the
oppression of the crown, through the various displays and enactments one
could not help but get that lump in their throat and their eyes water as they
realize they are truly standing in a focal point of human history.
My last day I wandered the 3 floors of the Boston Museum of Fine
Arts. Fascinating, and extensive collection of art from history and around
the world. If you like museums of fine art.
I wasn’t expecting to spend an entire week in Boston but I am glad I
did and I would love to return. Am told as most know check the weather
because it can be nasty cold. I was too early to catch the changing colors of
the trees this time but that’s best appreciated further North. There is no
shortage of places to go or things to do. There is a massive treasure trove
of historical information regarding the birth of the United States of
America. The fruit of those early days, the sacrifices of those involved are
evident in the institutions and technology that surrounds us. IF you are
thinking of a vacation, check the weather and head for Boston. You will not