We went up to Gloucester MA (sp?) today and my girlfriend introduced me to a bit of television history of which I was totally unaware. The show Bewitched shot the episode 'Darrin On A Pedestal' there. Im probably getting the name wrong but Sabrina, the atrociously evil cousin, thought the gentleman in the photograph was 'of hearty stock' and Darrin was a limp-wristed nerd (or something to that effect) and used her mojo to swap them around. The interesting thing to me is that apparently not much has changed in the intervening decades, at least as far as the streetscape is concerned. My girlfriend showed me the Bewitched episode and sure enough, the same houses that showed up on screen are still there.
On a more historical note, the memorial itself is kind of serious. It's dedicated to memorialize mariners from the area who lost their lives at sea. As I recall, the memorial goes back to the 17th century and there are approximately 5,000 names there.
Well, here are my first impression(s) of Boston... I think they'll make a little more sense after I've had a chance to put some photos to them.
Being a history buff I think its pretty neat how you can walk around and see so many historically important sites. There's a lot of history in San Antonio but its by no means walkable. I'm not sure but I'd imagine that most of the history here took place centuries before the advent of the auto and all that. We were up in the North End, which is apparently the Italian district, and it sort of struck me that there were no pedestrian crossing lights. Then it struck me even harder that there wasn't really any need for them since it was quite obvious that the streets had probably been buggy trails and that they were just paved over when the car took off.
Another thing that hit me were the historic cemeteries. We walked through a couple of them today and saw the final resting places of some pretty significant people. One thing I noticed was the way the headstones were decorated. There were skulls and crossbones on quite a few of them and they were pretty ornately carved as well. And they were also quite a bit thinner than ones you see today. I'm by no means hung up on that sort of thing but it would be interesting to read a history of how and why that has changed over time. (If any of you know of any resources feel free to send them on :-))
Another thing that got my attention was the architecture. And it wasn't just the architecture, it was more the way you walk down the street and see the building where the Declaration of Independence was read to the people of Boston and right behind it would be a 40-story highrise yet somehow it sort of all fit together. I know some historic preservationists back home, think I'll run it by them and see what their professional opinions are. And I saw my first Frank Gehry designed building today as well. We were taking a trolley tour of the city and it took us through the MIT campus. If I recall correctly he designed one of their residential buildings a few years ago and we drove past it. Let's just say it was visually impressive, meaning it totally did not fit in to its context, and leave it at that. Not a big fan of 'starchitecture' and this did nothing to change my mind on that. Oh, we also went past the international headquarters of Christian Science. There's another one that didn't do much for me. And there was one other building that the driver mentioned that I wish I could remember the name of. He said it had been in Departed and Inception. Really wish I had snapped at least a pic or two of that one. Oh well, such is life.
Oh, and the trolley ride was an experience in and of itself. It was a narrative tour so the driver basically pointed out important sights and gave a little information on each of them. Well, the first one we had was pretty good. He was professional and more or less kept straight to the facts, which were all I was interested in. Didn't want a lot of (attempted) humor, which is what we got with the second guy. We jumped off the bus at Cheers thinking we'd take the time for a photo op. Personally, I kind of wish we had stayed with the first guy cause the other one was all about which celebrity had been seen where and how Tom Brady owned a multi-million brownstone over there. Call me a stick in the mud but I could only take so much of that before I had to abandon ship and go back to the hotel.