Boston

A couple of days in Boston can only scratch the surface! We were staying in the Copley Square Hotel so spent the first day wandering round that area. It might be a bit of a busman’s holiday for me, but I felt that Boston Public Library wasn’t to be missed. It’s a work of art in its own right, built round a beautiful courtyard with water feature:

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I’ve written about it and posted more photos on my library blog.

There are two beautiful churches near the library, Old South and Trinity. The latter has an amazing collection of stained glass windows by various artists including (below) Edward Burne-Jones and William Morris.

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I liked some of the quirky statuary around Copley Square and the nearby Public Garden: the Hare and the Tortoise (related to the Marathon), Make Way for Ducklings, polished by generations of children climbing on them, and Washington with his eccentric apparel. In Glasgow, it would be a traffic cone.

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Slightly further away was the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This falls into the same category as Glasgow’s Burrell and the Frick in New York – the collections of one enormously rich patron of the arts. The difference here is that the collector was a woman, a very talented and imaginative one. Isabella (1840-1924) hired an architect for the museum, which opened in 1903, but insisted that it be built to her own specifications. She also directed how the exhibits should be arranged, and they remain as she left them to this day. Photographs weren’t allowed, but I took this picture of the internal courtyard before I knew that. It’s a wonderful place and well worth a visit.

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On our second day, we crossed the river to Cambridge and wandered round Harvard. The heart of the University is Harvard Yard, presided over by John Harvard himself:

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He has a very shiny foot because visitors rub it for some reason – we refrained because we had read that it was also a challenge for students to urinate on it! Just outside the yard is the Memorial Hall commemorating Harvard men who died in the Unionist cause:

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Further out on campus, we also liked the quirky decorative brickwork on this building – and the rhinoceros.

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After Harvard we hopped on the “T” back into Boston and spent some time wandering down by the harbour.

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Copley Square was a great place to stay with plenty of restaurants nearby, interesting sights within walking distance and good transport links for exploring further. A wonderful start to our New England holiday.

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