Wednesday, August 31, 2016


A few weeks back I went on a long weekend to Boston! I'd never been before, and I gotta tell you, it was weird and exciting being in a city that wasn't Manhattan.

You see Manhattan's layout? That perfect grid, where directions go along an X and Y axis and include "if you hit water, you went too far?" 

Well, here's Boston.

Gigantic clusterfuck. It's like the streets are laid out like the spokes of a wheel. Overlapping with other wheels. Radiating a harbor. It was pretty confusing to drive around, but luckily I didn't do much driving that weekend. Hey, blame the colonials, they just paved over what trails were around at the time. Then again, Manhattan did that too, but like I said, it was all a grid, Broadway aside.

And while Manhattan's architecture is mostly either Art Deco or sleek modern, Boston's known for bricks.

Lots of brick, lots of red buildings and cobblestones. You really get a feeling that Boston is a working class city, with a few modern high rises here and there. Most of that brick is original, too. 

You read that right, that building has been here since 1755. Boston was where a good chunk of American history took place, and it doesn't let you forget it.

Pictures is a map of (among other points of interest) the Freedom Trail, a red brick line that goes through a good chunk of North Boston that guides people to famous revolutionary landmarks.

Like Faneuil Hall, a famous meeting place, now a gift shop and a museum.

Paul Revere's house.

The Old North Church where Paul Revere saw the lanterns that started his famous ride.

And Paul Revere's grave.

After Tom Brady, Larry Bird, and that Big Papi guy, Paul Revere is high on the list of people Boston holds in ungodly high esteem. He's also not the only famous person buried here.

Like Samuel Adams, of the famous beer (I got to visit the brewery, the beer is quite good)

And John Hancock.

Yeah, no shock that his tombstone was the biggest one there.

On a good day, you'll see lots of vendors and historians dressed in revolutionary-era garb, like this awesome guy:

I joked that he was a Team Fortess 2 cosplayer. Please don't make me explain that joke if you don't get it.

Boston's also known for being the final resting place of Cheers.

Of course this wasn't the real bar the one from the show was based on, that would be the Bull & Finch Pub, which is located in a different part of town that I didn't get to go to. This one was in Quincy Market, Boston's historic shopping district. But make no mistake, the bar was a pretty exact replica of the one from the show. If I actually watched an episode of it, I would've been impressed.

There's lots of old bars and pubs in Boston, and these things are EVERYWHERE in Old Boston, where I stayed.

See, here's the view from my hotel room. Around that one building there were at least five bars and pubs, not counting the one in the actual hotel.

Here's a pub I actually went to, the famous Bell in Hand Tavern, founded in 1795. Yes, you heard me, it's that old and it's one of the oldest pubs in the country. I don't think I sat in the original section of the bar, but drinking beer in a place that predates most of our ancestors was interesting enough.

Of course while I was in Boston I had to have some authentic "chowdah."

Or "shaudere" as certain characters from the Simpsons would say. It was quite good. 

Right next to it is the Union Oyster House, also one of the oldest bars/restaurants in the country.

1826. Damn. Sadly, I didn't go in because I wasn't in the mood for oysters, plus it was really tiny and crowded and I kept hearing it was overrated.

Turns out I was in the historic pubs district, I knew this because I was seeing people on a bar crawl with "Historic Boston Pub Tour" pins on them. I'm kinda jealous of those guys, that sounded like a fun tour.

That's not all the cool historical stuff I saw while I was there.

Like this old state house. Half of it is a museum, and do you know what the other half is used as? A subway station. I kid you not. That wouldn't fly in New York. I'm conflicted if that's a good thing or a bad one. At least the building's preserved?

It's also the site of the Boston Massacre:

Sorry for the awkward shot, but that was taken in the five seconds where there weren't a dozen feet on it. I've been imagining that ninja turtles would open that up like a manhole cover and crawl out of it, having Boston accents and everything.

This is only historical in the sense that I don't see 1980s fonts like that in signs these days. If I passed by that place when it was open there was no doubt I would've went inside to see if there were any other cools signs like that.

And I have to mention how much stuff there was to do in Pokemon Go while in Boston. I might not have blogged about it here, but I got into the game just as much as everyone else did, then lost most of my interest when Niantic fucked everything up. This just happened to be my favorite Pokestop. Yes, there were a bunch of bronze newspaper embedded into a road, and I was only able to get a picture of it via the game BECAUSE the road it was embedded in was covered in traffic.

And while typical towns like mine look like this: 

Boston looked like this: 

Pokestops and gyms were EVERYWHERE. This was only the tip of the iceberg. I went through level 18 just from going through Pokestops. There's that many. Hell, I was able to get to two just from sitting in my hotel room! And if I go to Manhattan again I know I'd encounter just as many. 

Back to the historical stuff, there was also a walkway that had markers for several odd events that happened in Boston over the years. This was my favorite:

A plaque commemorating the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. I can't believe there was a marker for that one, and as a lover of weird history that might've been my favorite thing I saw the whole trip.

All in all, I thoroughly recommend visiting Boston, I hope I can go back...eventually.

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