Where the Puritans Sailed

I had a conference in Boston several weeks ago, so I made the long trip across several oceans to spend a week in the great state of Massachusetts. This gave me the chance to stay with my sister, Jocelyn, visit a lot of colleges, and enjoy air temperatures below 75 degrees. On my one free day, my mom, sister and I and traveled down to see my aunt Wendy in New Bedford, where we took a stroll along the harbor walk:

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It’s an old mill and whaling town, so you see a lot of buildings like this:

IMG_4119We drove over to see the Azorean whaleboat sailing competition, in which sailors from both New Bedford and the Azores race in boats using traditional techniques:

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None of us followed the race really well, but we had a good time trying to figure out what was going on…

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… and mom and I enjoyed walking out onto the jetty:

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We also had a nice picnic sitting out in Wendy’s garden — and I was, of course, glad to be back in the land of familiar flowers of the sorts I used to grow myself.

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That evening our old friends Rob and Rachel took us on a boat ride in the Boston Harbor, which looks nothing at all like it did in John Winthrop’s day. The Puritans never imagined cargo ships like this (this was, by the way, the closest thing to Singapore I saw all week)…

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… or oddities out on piers like this …

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… or a skyline like this:

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And I have no idea what the Puritans would have made of airplanes:

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In fact, the Boston Harbor just keeps growing. It has changed radically since I last visited it twenty years ago. They are building around the waterfront as fast as they possibly can, especially in the Seaport area where the conference was held.

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While the Seaport area feels a bit soulless — it’s filled with large glass office buildings — I appreciate that there’s one cool museum right on the water: the ICA, or Institute of Contemporary Art. Jocelyn and I had fun playing in these chairs outside (and we’re still not sure why they spin but won’t fall over):

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If you do find yourself down by the Boston Convention Center, I recommend making the trek to Flour (a bakery — try the kouign amann), Committee (excellent Greek food), and Drink (self-explanatory — order the Trinidad Sour or the drink they light on fire). If you’re lucky, you’ll cross over the bridge from which you can watch post officers in training learning to deliver the mail!

Wandering a bit further afield, I visited Larz Anderson Park in Braintree. It’s a pretty place for a short wander.

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And while I didn’t go in, they do have a car museum in their old carriage house:

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I also made a pilgrimage after one of my college tours to see Winthrop House, my dad’s alma mater, at Harvard:

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Harvard is incredibly crowded with tourists! I had a wonderful meal at Alden & Harlow in Harvard Square — I never thought I would say anything good about a kale salad, but I could rave about that one for hours.

 

2 responses to “Where the Puritans Sailed

  1. You are such a world traveler–Singapore to Boston. Wow Postal workers being trained to deliver mail. Things have changed since I was a mailman. No training. We just threw things at the houses. (Yes, I was a mailman part of the time I was in college). Keep those flower pictures coming. Dennis PS. Our house is off the market. You can still visit someone in Baltimore.

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