In this second installment of See Beantown Like Nobody’s Business, I would like to share with you a day in Boston starting once again from the Common, but with two options for those of you with a time crunch or just different styles: the Esplanade Park or strolling Newbury Street.
The Boston Common is the public gardens, park, and recreational area of downtown Boston. Denoting the historical relevance of Boston, the Common is peppered with statues of a former President, writers, and yesteryear’s influentials. The center of the Common is picturesque in the summer when the yard and flowers are beautifully maintained and in bloom. The bridge over the Swan boat pond is probably the ideal picture spot. There you can get a photo with the swan shaped paddle boats and the weeping willows. However, in winter the Common is also fun as the Frog Pond is frozen offering ice skating for the young and young at heart.
I have always thought that the Common is a picnickers paradise. I would suggest making your own picnic basket, but if you don’t have the time or a kitchen there are lemonade, sausage, and pretzel vendors outside the main entrances. I would bring a blanket or choose a park bench close to one of many musicians or the world renowned ducks. As the ducks are a tourist’s highlight in the Common, it means good people watching from parents taking pictures of their children on the ducks to groups of friends and adults taking the opportunity for a group picture all with or on a duck (Ms Traveling Pants did it!). You may wonder why statues of a family of ducks? They are there as an honor to a book written about a family of ducks that wanted to raise their family on an island in the Boston Common, called Make Way for the Ducklings. Believe it or not, the ducks have gone missing at times. Here is a news story just earlier this year of a kidnapped mallard.
After enjoying the Common, you can choose between two itineraries: Charles River and the Esplanade park or Newbury Street. For the first option, head to Arlington and take Beacon one block away from the park and cross Storrow Drive to arrive at the Esplanade Park. Bordering the Charles River and overlooking Cambridge, the Esplanade Park is great for walking, running, and roller blading. If you fancy sailing, there is also a community yacht club offering small sailboats. You will see the famous Hatch shell pavilion, which is where the Boston Pops Orchestra plays every year for the Fourth of July. Fireworks beautifully punctuate the 1812 Overture speckling the Boston and Cambridge sky.
For those that are looking for a more artsy, perhaps shopping experience, Newbury Street should be your option. Close to the Common, the stores are couture; only the finest global fashion brands line this portion of the street. Within a manner of blocks, you will begin to see along both sides of the brownstone lined street many cafes. I would have to recommend Stephanie’s on Newbury, Tapeo, Joe’s, or Charley’s. In fact, Charley’s was one of my former employers for close to two years of my time in Boston (pictured below); while, Joe’s was a former employer of both myself and my better half. For shops, Newbury comics is always a fun place to check out music, fun t-shirts, and rock posters, but there are also many second hair consignment stores that offer trendy hand-me-down fashion.
If you feet are tired and you would like to get a great view of Boston, Cambridge, and of course Fenway Park and the Green Monster. I would recommend going to the Prudential building (pictured above) and going to its top floor, called the Top of the Hub. The restaurant does serve full meals, but you can also get good seats at the bar while having an appetizer or a nightcap and dessert. If you are a jazz lover, they do have live jazz. Just think good music, good view, and good company….
And that is a wrap of my See Beantown Like Nobody’s Business – Part 2.
Take a peek at my video of Boston for the Fourth, click here.