Posted by: Alex MacGregor | December 13, 2012

Boston by the Neighborhood

Work took me to Boston just in time to enjoy some unseasonably nice early-December weather. Like Brazil, these travels were again sadly Caroline-less.

Since I didn’t have enough time for proper sightseeing, I decided to skip the big tourist draws along the freedom trail and focus my exploration on the neighborhoods that really make Boston unique.

Beacon Hill

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Beacon Hill is definitely such a neighborhood. Classic Boston through-and-through, and home to distinguished folks past and present, ranging from John Hancock to John Kerry, Sylvia Plath to Uma Thurman.

beacon hill3

beacon hill2

state house1

Beacon Hill is home to Massachusett’s capitol building, State House…

beacon hill cheers

…and the Cheers bar!

Public Garden

Sandwiched in the middle of everything is Public Garden, an oasis in the hustle and bustle. It sits adjacent to the more famous Boston Common, and is sort of considered the same park, but I liked Public Garden better.

boston common1

The park was designed by Olmsted, who designed Central Park in New York and Druid Hills in Atlanta (and whose sons designed Piedmont Park).

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A statue of George Washington in Public Garden, with the Boston skyline in the background.

boston common downtown

The view from Boston Common into downtown.

Back Bay

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Another of Boston’s legendary neighborhoods is Back Bay.

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The neighborhood is laced with leafy linear parks, which were especially leafy due to municipal leaf-blowing operations occurring as I passed through.

Alas, I didn’t really get enough time in Back Bay. At least if you miss something in a place like Boston you know you’ll probably be back someday. But when you’re somewhere like the Ilha de Mocambique, you’ve got to consider it your one and only shot.


Long time readers of this blog know Caroline and I love Chinatowns, having visited them in the Domincan Republic and Cuba.



The distinctly Bostonian Chinatown here is a lot more authentic–I had some great Dim Sum!–and vibrant. Sorry, Santo Domingo and Havana.


cambridge harvard sq


I was able to spend a day with my friend from high school who now studies at Harvard.

r charles

Cambridge is across the River Charles from Boston.



Although it feels a long way outside of town, everything in Boston is small-scale compared with Atlanta. It’s only three miles as the crow flies from downtown to Harvard; by Atlanta standards, that’s nothing.



The statue of John Harvard.



Harvard’s beautiful campus.


  1. these pictures and your comments of course remind me of Don and our many trips to boston and of course the Parker stories which we both loved. Very ,very nice. I enjoyed this. Patty

  2. […] a place like Boston or even Brazil, traveling alone isn’t so bad. Even if you can’t communicate with […]

  3. […] exotic is China or Brazil, but there are worse places to end up), and, given my recent post about Boston, I decided to extend the series to Massachusetts’ second largest city: […]

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