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A "Revolutionary" Journey Part IV (Boston)Author: Host Ciao (More Trip Reviews by Host Ciao)
Date of Trip: December 2008
Somehow I managed to miss the Old Corner Bookstore where Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Charles Dickens hung out. Probably I missed it because it's not a bookstore or a Boston Globe souvenir store any more. One guide book said it was a jewelry store. Deciding it was time for lunch I stopped at Beantown Pub. I ate Barristers Burger with onions and a special sauce with potato salad and a beer—good food and about $19.
The outside of Old South Meeting featured a market stand of flowers and vegetables. Inside pictures were not allowed, but there were interesting exhibits. A group of grade school students were visiting and having a great time listening to revolutionary talk and loving being able to yell "Huzzah!" at the appropriate times—and in a type of church too. This was a very important meeting house, the scene of many protest meetings against the British taxes. It was from here that the group of patriots stirred up by Sam Adams headed to the wharf to hold the Boston Tea Party. (I couldn't visit the Boston Tea Party ship because there had been a fire there. It should reopen in 2009.)
The British, when they took over early in the Revolution, used Old South as a stable. Benjamin Franklin was baptized here in 1706, and in 1771 Phyllis Wheatley, the first African American author to publish a book was baptized here and became a member of the congregation. The meeting house also featured an exhibit called "Voices of Protest." Old South in 1919 established a free speech policy that allowed open discussion of controversial subjects.
I found one last interesting spot on my walk that was not really part of the Freedom Trail. This was the site of the first public school in America, the Boston Latin School. There is a statue of Ben Franklin there and nearby is the old City Hall, now the home of a Ruth Christs Steak House. Also in the yard here is a statue called "Discussion," featuring a donkey and a set of footprints—yeah kind of different.
After a day of lots of walking, I headed back to the hotel to pack. Again I had no aches and pains. Must be age that it takes three weeks for that to happen! For dinner I headed to the North End to eat Italian again. So many restaurants there I can't remember where I ate, maybe Saraceno. I had Spaghetti all' Amatriciana, which was good but had more meat in it than I've had before—must be for American palates. I also had two glasses of wine and espresso for $33 with tip. I stopped for gelato at Quincy Market$5 fro a cup of tiramisu and panna cotta, a very good ending to a good day.
I was up early to finish packing. I checked out and waited for the shuttle I had reserved with a company called Zebra. Traffic was awful on the way to the airport; however, that was not crowded. I paid the $25 for my extra bag, ate lunch, and the plane took off on time. Obviously nothing very revolutionary about the end of my journey, but it was a great trip, and I thoroughly enjoyed brushing up my long ago learned United States History lessons.
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