Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Time to take a look at the city I reside in. I took all of these pictures myself on my travels, in an effort to convey the city's cosmopolitan suavé.

If I can convey the magic and power of the place, then mission accomplished. It's a historical and majestic locale.

Hell, it's where one can find the nation's first subway AND the nation's first college.

One of the most interesting things about this city is that most of it sits atop a man-made island. Indeed, the original area of the city was much smaller, until the diligent people who lived here expanded it over the water.

Starting with the armed forces memorial outside the fire department in Arlington. I live practically next door, and walk past this about every other day.

The centerpiece of Boston's skyline is the John Hancock tower, seen here from neighboring Copley Square.

The Hancock Tower as seen from the Prudential Tower lookout. It's unique for its mirror-like surface that reflects its surroundings when viewed from any angle. At 60 stories and 791 feet tall, the Hancock Tower is the tallest building in the city. It also has 2,000,000 square feet of surface area.

 A view of the streets, from up high.

 Copley Square has some impressive architecture.

One of the hallmarks of this city is the way beatitude-esque sayings seem to find their way onto all kinds of plaques and building-fronts. The sayings in question give their locales a palpable sense of history and significance.

 One of the parking lots of my university, with a view of the ocean.

 Boston Common is our answer to Central Park. It's pretty snazzy and full of green-ness.

 The view down Newbury Street, one of the more famous streets the city has. To quote a guy I once ran into in the park, "This is where the Kardashians shop. Maybe it's where you shop too."

Unfortunately, it isn't.

Another look at Copley Square. In front of the tower is Trinity Church, while in the tower's surface you can see the reflection of the nearby Old John Hancock Tower. Originally, it was the highest point in the city in the pre-skyscraper era.

The interior of the Prudential Center is well-decorated and a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. From here, one can embark on all kinds of interesting city tours.

In addition to beatitude-esque plaques, the city is also brimming with noble statues. Considering that this was such a major landing place for English settlers during the initial European colonization of North America, the statues tend to be of major figures from that era.

And sometimes, there are statues that ALSO have beatitude-esque sayings inscribed on them.

Not all of the city is city-like. Here's a glimpse of the Boston Arboretum in Roslindale, home to plants and nature of all kinds.

Spy Pond in Arlington is another of the many nature-riffic locations around here. It's home to ducks and swans. Unfortunately, the swans are ornery, so it's best to stay out of their way.

The Atlantic ocean, seen from the harbor around my school.

 The Boston Common has a sizable pond in the middle of it. This place is home to a brigade of famous ducks. Someone special I used to know once read me a story about those ducks and their noble march through the city to find a place to chill.

A bridge crosses the pond and makes for a good vantage point for picture-takers.

Walking through the Boston Common during rainfall is one of the more relaxing things to partake in here.

In the center of Quincy, the Christmas decorations go up early.

Here's Smith and Wollensky Steakhouse, somewhat legendary for looking like a castle on the outside.

The MIT campus, seen from across the Charles River. Said river has a major Miami Vice vibe going for it what with all the parked sailboats. The foreground ramp leads down to the bike/walking path that goes along the river's edge.

This giant Citgo sign is somewhat famous in and of itself for being next door to Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox.

Sox fans encompass all manner of hooligans and people of all stripes.

A look at the field itself right before the start of a game.

If anything can be said about Bostonians in general, it's that they love their sports. It's easy to see why, since the city's sports teams are winners on all fronts.

Spike's Hot Dogs is probably my favorite hot dog joint around here. They have a distinctive retro look and some pretty damn good hot dogs.

This sign above the door greets people as they're leaving, and it's no lie.

The Christian Science building is one of the most visually impressive structures in the whole city.

Here it is, as seen from high above.

Next to it is an iconic man-made pond, which one can look down to get a good vantage of three towers (left to right: Prudential Tower, 111 Huntington Avenue, and the Christian Science Administration Building). It's iconic because this very scene has appeared in more than a few paintings of the city.

The pond, from the air, after being drained (as it is from time to time). Note how small that tower looks from a higher tower, compared to how it looks from the ground.

Also in this plaza: A ring of water spouts, which makes for a good time in the summer.

Copley Square's Trinity Church.

The city's tallest building, flanked to the left here by its old counterpart.

Also in Copley Square is the New Old South Church, which is an impressive structure. Across from it is the Boston Library, which I'll get to soon.

On a nice afternoon, the Boston Common fills up with people.

Not that I need to say it, but he was right.

The thing about the city is, you can either end up loving it or hating it... depending on what you expect out of it and how you approach it. If you go there expecting to be able to drive everywhere, you will quickly hate it for the atrociously bad mid-day traffic and commutes. If you go there and ease your way into the swing of things (and by that I mean aren't afraid of the subway), you'll find it a much more relaxing place to be. They don't call it "The Walking City" for nothing. With how consolidated everything is, it's easy to get around without a car.

Even some government buildings have interesting architecture.

One look at the amount of detail on even the simpler older buildings in the city shows how much work and effort went into making it the place it is today. It is pretty clear that this city was built by people who refused to accept complacency.

Outside city hall.

And I... I took the path more traveled. The one with all those people on it.

Finally, we come to Boston Public Library, my new favorite place. Located in Copley Square, this massive library has just about everything.

The entrance stairwell is watched over by these lion statues. It would be interesting if they came to life and rampaged around the city, like those two dog-things in Ghostbusters.

This Hogwarts-esque study hall is where people go to quietly work on their computers. It smells like knowledge.

This map is circa the 1850's, and shows the city in an earlier state.

This map puts things more into perspective, showing just how much of the land is man-made.

The courtyard in the middle of the library is pretty amazing. It's roomy and quiet, and feels like a scene out of Highlander. The kind of place where Methos would spend his lunchtime. This could be your lunch hour too.

In the center is a statue of a sexy woman. I wish I could say who this is; all I know is that it's nice to have a statue offsetting the myriad statues of men in the city.

The bookshelves get particularly well-illuminated at sunset.

This makes me think of Chronopolis, or perhaps Bioshock's Rapture.

95% of the people reading probably went "huh?" at that first one, unfortunately...

I barely even began to scratch the surface in terms of sights to see in this place. Tune in for the second and last part of this series tomorrow, where I will focus on the city at night.


  1. Jericho!!!!!! These pictures are awesome and it makes me miss Boston sooooo much. My friends and I used to drive in and hang out on Newbury St all the time in high school; I did the AIDS Walk 2 or 3 years and walked by so many of the places you pictured - and I have old photos of me and my friends in front of that fountain in the Commons.

    Thanks for the nostalgia - and keep taking pictures!!!

  2. I'd just like to say that beatitude needs to be reworked into our modern lingo. It's a goldmine waiting to happen!

  3. Lovely shots! It's really amazing to see how MUCH history Boston really has. I bet it'd take weeks to fully get through it all!

  4. I've seen that Citgo sign behind the left field wall on SportsCenter for years. I always imagined it was skyscraper high. Good on you to take pictures of autumn leaves and the John Hancock on a sunny day. Is that swan as ornery as a black swan?