After our long, exhaustive walk of Boston’s Freedom Trail, we capped Day Three with a quieter, shadier stroll through the Boston Public Garden, across the street from Boston Common (under which we’d parked for the day). Both the Common and the Garden comprise one large idyllic hangout the size of several square blocks, smack in the heart of the city. It’s their version of Central Park, except smaller and less frequently seen in movies.
A forested path surrounds the Garden, dotted with the occasional tribute and artwork that blends comfortably with the verdant backdrop. Exhibit A: a statue of noted 19th-century civil rights activist Wendell Phillips.
Along the same path stands Tadeusz Kościuszko, the most prominent Polish hero to take our side in the American Revolution.
Every American citizen recognizes George Washington on sight, even when he’s risen above us and cloaked in a Boston Bruins hockey jersey. ‘Twas the season, I suppose.
On a much smaller scale, but possessed of their own special level of fame, is the cast of the classic children’s book Make Way for Ducklings, as written and illustrated by Boston’s own Robert McCloskey. This was the toughest photo to capture because kids wouldn’t stop hugging or climbing them. Kościuszko only wishes he could earn that kind of tourist affection.
It’s only fair for the Ducklings to have an established presence since the book’s key action takes place in the lagoon in the center of the Garden.
Not all the wildlife is artificial and immobile. Ducks and swans coast around the lagoon and loiter in large numbers along the shore. Their presence is much more upfront and interactive than the narcoleptic captives you see and pity in the average city zoo.
The star attraction my wife wanted to check out was the Swan Boats. For those not merely content to rest in the benches or fall asleep on a picnic blanket in the grass, the Swan Boats let you glide around the lagoon while an employee pedals the craft for fifteen minutes or so.
For only a few dollars per person, the Swan Boats are among the cheapest, calmest entertainment options you’ll find in the area. If you behave on the ride, maybe the head of your party will buy you ice cream from a street vendor over in Boston Common.
If you don’t behave…the ducks might have to have a word with you.
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!]