Over the past few weeks, my move to Boston has become more temporary. To explain why is deviating from the point of this blog, but I found myself with free time to take the T downtown on a Friday night. The city of Boston is chalk-full of history and sights, and I’m still excited that my camera can take photos at night.
“Makin’ My Way Downtown…”
The city of Boston isn’t actually that physically large. In terms of population, it ranks somewhere between 15th and 23rd in the US, depending on whether it’s counting metro area or city proper. I’m currently down by Boston College which is essentially opposite Logan International Airport, and to traverse the city (without traffic) takes maybe 30 minutes, though “without traffic” is a hopelessly optimistic statement.
For a city this small, the public transit system is surprisingly robust. The “T” consists of four train lines, two with multiple branches, and bus service to fill in the gaps.. The train line that I live near is a tram that stops about every 50 feet and, from what I hear, is horrendously unreliable. Living in Chicago all these years with its reliable public transit has spoiled me. If I were staying here long term, I would get to experience the city’s plan to drastically overhaul of the T’s aging fleet of train cars.
Nevertheless, I made like Vanessa Carlton and made my way downtown.
There are plenty of new, nice buildings in downtown Boston. But those aren’t interesting to me. No, the buildings that I liked were the ones that have been standing since the 1700s, like South Station. It’s formidable. It looks down on you like a disapproving grandfather watching his grandson play a war video game.
I’m aware that this part of Boston is being kept the way it is for posterity’s sake. I’m sure if developers had their way, this would have been torn down years ago and replaced with condos. But for whatever reason they kept the old architecture alive, I appreciate it.
As I kept walking, I noticed something very odd. This will sound sort of dumb, but bear with me: Boston is super patriotic, which is surprising because Boston is also super liberal. That kind of chest-thumping patriotism isn’t commonly found in American cities that go blue, but I suppose this was the birthplace of America. Their football team is even called “The Patriots”.
So keep doing you, Boston.
As darkness fell, I took advantage of my camera’s ability to shoot at night. I know that I’ve had my new camera for a while, but I’m still impressed by being able to take pictures after dark. The Park Street Church sits at the north end of the Commons.
Later that night, I came back and it looked like a beacon when fully lit.
Boston doesn’t conform to the standard cardinal directions; the streets go wherever the hell they want. So I walked in a direction, following the Freedom Trail until it lead to the Massachusetts State House.
With no real plan (I didn’t plan this walking excursion at all), I walked southwest down the length of the Commons. And again, I had a great time with my new-fangled nighttime photo-taking capability.
Trinity Church and the Back Bay
I still had time to kill, so instead of hopping back on the train, I walked down Boylston St. I wasn’t actually looking to take any more pictures, but I stumbled upon a few cool things like the Trinity Church.
Looking at these pictures again, I understand why I’m geeking out over nighttime photography. I like the idea of choosing what’s lit, and finding new ways to emphasize details. The church above, for example: it’s a beautiful building during the day, but it’s not formidable. It’s not overbearing. It doesn’t look like a Hogwarts set.
Same goes for the Boston Public Library. During the day: neat building. At night: architectural marvel.
Before I went home, I got a quick shot of the T underground at Copley Station. That’s the train that would take me home.
Forewarned is forearmed, I’ll be dropping off the grid again shortly. As I alluded to above, I won’t be staying in Boston long and that means stress and sorting out new things in my life. I check Twitter a lot, even if I don’t post. When I come up for air, I’ll be sure to post there.
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Or keep reading the other post(s) about Boston: