A Boston State of Mind

If I told you I am on the oldest ship in the world still afloat would you know where I am? Hint: its nickname is Old Ironsides.

That’s right, the USS Constitution. Naval crew still serve aboard her. She is one of the six ships constructed after the United States gained independence from the British. Her greatest glory came in the war of 1812 where time after time she defeated the British and earned the nickname Old Ironsides because cannon fire from enemy ships seemed not to be able to penetrate her strong oak hull.

It is an easy walk through the North End to get here. I am surprised how touched I am to see the crew quarters, guns and facilities on the top and also the decks below. My Dad was a gunner in the Navy in WWII and I feel his presence as I walk around the ship and talk to the uniformed crew.

There are great views of Boston from here as well.

After leaving I take a detour to the Mapperium. This is a three story tall inside out stained glass globe that is bisected in the middle by a glass walkway. Once on the walkway I am inside the globe and it is fascinating to see the earth from this perspective. The Mapperium has not changed since 1935 so you can see Siam and a large USSR.

I head back as I am taking the train out to Lynnfield to meet Francie and Bill, long time friends of my neighbor Gale in California. I take the T as far as I can and then buy a ticket on the railroad for the remainder of the trip. I am so excited to see my new friend’s 1720 home. I am greeted by a quartet of wild turkeys on their property.

They have lovingly restored every inch of this gorgeous home and graciously give me both a lovely glass of Sancerre and a house tour. Afterwards we have a beautiful dinner before they drive me back to Boston

Today my friends, Vince and Jim, are arriving from Connecticut for an early birthday celebration, but first I meet Eileen, a friend of my California friend Lila, for a coffee at Tatte. She is so nice and we end up walking over to Louisburg square so she can show me the “purple” window panes on the oldest houses.

Jim and Vince come over from the Liberty Hotel and we go to two rooftop bars before finally deciding on drinks at Wood Hill Pier 4 .

Now we walk along the new dry dock section of the seaport to the wildly popular restaurant Chickadee. We basically order everything on the menu because we can’t decide…and it is all wonderful!

Champagne all round ends a fabulous evening with great friends.

And in case any of you missed it, you can copy this link into your browser to see my inept opening of that champagne

The next day my friends leave and I decide to go out to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard, a 281 acre preserve in the heart of Boston. I am truly amazed at the scope of this beautiful place and walk for miles through the paths.

I even come across the set up for a marriage proposal.

All this walking makes me very hungry so I walk into the Jamaica Plain neighborhood to find El Oriental de Cuba reported to have the best Cubano sandwich in the entire city. Oh yes!

I meander home in a food coma but interestingly I am able to go out later to my local Bin 26 Enoteca. I intend to eat outside, but a car accident on the street makes it too crazy to do that so I move inside. I meet a great bartender, Ross and we discuss art and travel and , well given the accident out front, just how bad the drivers are in this area.

I better go home now as tomorrow I leave for Woodstock, Vermont. I’ll be posting about that soon. Hope you can join me on that trip!

One thought on “A Boston State of Mind

  1. So much fun to spend a piece of Shirleyfest with you. This is our second one, Rome and now Boston. These our special experiences for us! Vince & Jim


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