Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover: Day Three was set aside for our long walk of Boston’s Freedom Trail, a ground-level guideline to escort tourists past all the most noteworthy locations to bear significance from previous centuries. In some areas of town it’s a painted red line; in others, it’s a series of bricks built into the very sidewalks, as seen here at far left, next to one of many quaint cobblestone back roads not conducive to comfy driving, biking, or navigating via phone app.
Several of the famous sites on the Trail are churches that predate every house of worship in our home state. Closest to our Boston Common starting point was the Park Street Church, dating back to 1809 and still holding services today. It stands next to the Granary Burying Ground exhibited in Part 1 of this trilogy-within-a-series.
Up Tremont Street from there is Kings Chapel, whose congregation technically dates back to 1686, but whose present exterior wasn’t a necessary expansion till 1749. Its adjacent cemetery is one of three we saw in the same day.
The most famous church of them all is the Old North Church, the integral setting of the famous “One if by land, two if by sea” lantern scene from Paul Revere’s story. Eagle-eyed readers should have spotted its cameo in Part 2.
For those who prefer politics to religion: the balcony of the Old State House was the vantage point from which the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence was held. This landmark piece was given thousands of Likes from the audience below.
Much younger than the Old State House is the current Massachusetts State House, off the northeast corner of Boston Common. The spire atop the Capitol dome was undergoing renovation when we were in town.
Quincy Market is an expansion behind Faneuil Hall (cf. Part 2), originally used in the 1820s as a sort of indoor farmers’ market. Today it’s a vibrant food court, so the passing centuries haven’t had too drastic an effect on its lot in life.
On a lower level in Quincy Market: Cheers! This cramped recreation of the famous TV hangout had very little seating and not much room for us to enter and take photos without tripping the waitstaff. The nearby Cheers merchandise shop had much more room to walk around because it had virtually no customers. Bear in mind, this isn’t the original Cheers location. The Bull & Finch, the real bar on which the show was loosely based, is off the Freedom Trail, along the north border of Boston Common.
If you find downtown historic Boston too claustrophobic, keep following the trail north toward Charlestown, where some breathing space opens up and the sites grow fewer and farther between. Anemic public fountains saluted us along the way.
Assorted odd sights helped remind us that Boston remains a thriving seaside port, a stone’s throw from the Atlantic Ocean and teeming with seafood restaurants and watercraft. In my head this pic is titled “Boat of Car” because I’m all about random They Might Be Giants references, even though they’re from Brooklyn and therefore off-topic.
To be continued!
[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]