Even though New York wowed me with its whirlwind ways, it was Boston I truly fell in love with.
The first thing that stood out at me was: it was clean, spacious, and it had nice people. And most things were within walking distance.
It’s an education city, so you’d expect it to be so well pruned. It was refreshing to see a city with only a handful of skyscrapers, while the rest of the buildings were in the old style.
And the parks! So wide and spacious and just perfect for random walks of fresh air. We managed to enjoy a nice sunny weather when we first arrived.
The second thing we did was catch the equivalent of a Hop-on Hop-Off bus in Boston. If you haven’t tried these wonderful rides in any other country yet, I really suggest you do– it’s so much fun if had a live tour guide, covering awesome landmarks in a day. Very convenient and easy.
Much to my delight, the drivers were the live tour guides during the ride, and while the stories they told varied from bus to bus, with no sequence to the stories as we rode through Boston, these drivers had an awesome sense of humor.
What struck me most in the first few days was how NICE Bostonians were. And so down to earth, which made me love them more.
We also went on a boat tour, glimpsing Boston’s beautiful skyline in the daylight (what would I give to see it at night). This city is full of history (something I’ll be mentioning again and again in this post), and Bostonians know it like it’s an invisible mark of identity on their skin. And they’d think of the most creative ways to bring that history to life.
The boat tour itself took us to see an old fighting ship and a marine fighter ship from WWII, both still preserved and maintained you’d think it was a new replica model. It’s that stunning.
On land, you’d see people dressed in the old 1600s costume, sometimes in-character, giving tours. We had our first experience of a historical live-retelling when we visited the Boston Harbor, where the infamous Tea Party took place.
I have to admit, before my visit, I never cared much for the American Revolution. French and Russian Revolutions? Yes– mainly because both had an interesting set of royals who screwed up or were disillusioned (and both had really, really tragic endings). The American Revolution, not so much. I mean, there was bloodshed, but it didn’t really sink in how much, and for what.
That tour, which had people reenacting individuals who played a part in the revolution, opened my eyes. The gist of it is, that revolution was a declaration of independence for the colonies, who were taxed highly by England. It was in Boston that the revolution sparked, and which set the rest of American’s history. Also interesting to note, the Irish were migrating to the US because of the potato famine, and specifically in Boston, so no wonder the rebellious streak!
The effort put into reliving these events, with real characters from the revolution, relics, objects was super impressive. I don’t think I could ever forget the emotions that stirred just imagining their purpose and cause– truly beautiful.
It rained the next few days of our stay, and we decided to visit my second or third favorite place (bookstores and home always battle it out for the first spot)– the art museum. To be more specific, the Museum of Fine Arts (MoFA). Sometimes, these museums tend to be the same; the Egyptian exhibit, the Roman, Greek, Italian, etc. But one unique aspect of this one was the vast collection of American art from American artists, and it was simply stunning. It made me realize how I’m used to the artists being European rather than any other nationality (I do acknowledge our Emirati artists of course).
It was a truly educational day for me and my parents, browsing the portraits and landscapes, and reading their stories– we spend FIVE HOURS there, something we’ve never done before.
The visit to Boston was pretty laid back, but I loved every languid moment of it. A few things I especially enjoyed was the food. Two places worth eating at in Boston; Thinking Cup (killer hot chocolate with bagels!), and Max Brennen (DESSERTS GALORE).
It’s probably worth adding here that the food was a double-edged sword for me. The portions were gigantic, and (other than mentioned above) didn’t always taste great. Thank goodness for Boston Common to take out our gluttonous frustrations!