As the airplane neared Boston, I could see a bed of greenery and trees beneath me, spreading like a blanket over the city of red brick buildings.
It reminded me of London. To a large extent, England’s capital and this beautiful and vibrant city in Massachusetts have much in common. Both are rich in history and overflow with art and culture. For both, you definitely need more than a day or two to explore.
Museum Devoted to the Boston Tea Party
When you say “Boston” to a Brit, what probably comes to the minds of most is the Boston Tea Party. My starting point was the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Authentically dressed reenactors greeted me as I boarded The Beaver. “Lendall Pitts” and three of his comrades told me the story of what transpired on the night of Dec. 16, 1773, and the events leading up to the American Revolution, when Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty, the colonists, tipped 342 chests of tea into what used to be Griffin’s Wharf to protest the Tea Tax imposed by the British. Every year, the East India Brewing Co. donates fresh tea to the museum to be thrown into the water for the re-enactment.
Magnificent Works at the Museum of Fine Arts
Next, I stepped into Boston’s vibrant art scene. First opened in 1876, the Museum of Fine Arts houses more than 450,000 works of art. From master works from the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Ancient World, to textiles, fashion and jewelry, the museum impresses. I took in the new Art of the Americas wing. Magnificent works are on display by John Singer Sargent, Thomas Sully and John Singleton Copley, the latter of whom moved to England in 1774 during the American Revolution. Some say the timing of his departure from Boston was not coincidental.
Legacy Realized at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
I then walked to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood of Boston. The outside façade is modern in design and features a Luisa Rabbia work of art titled Waterfall. Inside, the museum is housed in a stunning 15th century, Venetian-style palazzo with three stories of galleries and a beautiful courtyard garden.
I started my tour of the intimate museum in the Gothic Room, which primarily contains objects from Europe during the medieval period. In this single room are stained glass windows, tapestries, rare books and manuscripts. Dominating the room is John Singer Sargent’s portrait of the museum founder.
Everything at the museum is kept in the same position that Mrs. Gardner originally placed them. She put things together in a way that was aesthetically pleasing to her, not necessarily with things from the same era, country or even continent. A formidable woman, Mrs. Gardner would not be forgotten. To make sure of this, she mandated in her will that every year on her birthday, April 14, a memorial service be held.
From Presidents to Performers: Other Boston Icons
Not to be missed during your visit to Boston is the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum on the waterfront at Columbia Point. This modern building stands on pristine four-hectare grounds and is dedicated to the life and legacy of the 35th president of the USA.
Looking for an excuse to dress up? Head to Symphony Hall, home of the world-famous Boston Symphony Orchestra and The Boston Pops. On July 4 each year, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular takes place at the Esplanade on the banks of the Charles River.
This iconic city gave me a wealth of memories to take home. I will definitely return for more adventures, and you should, too.