Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Quirky Boston

You know I always look for the odd, unusual or just plain weird things wherever I go.  So I thought I'd treat you to some of the quirkier things I saw in Boston.

These boxes are on street corners all over Boston.  Installed in 1852, they were the most modern system at the time, using telegraph to notify the fire stations.  They are still in use today and still relying on the telegraph!

Gas Station?
What looks to be an ordinary gas station turns into a parking lot during home games of the Boston Red Sox.  According to our tour driver, the owner of this station can make as much as a half a million dollars a season just by parking cars.

Eat and leave!
This sign in McDonald's warns you that you need to eat your McMuffin in 20 minutes or less, then leave.  While we were catching a quick breakfast one day, the city police came through and told one individual he needed to leave - he was sleeping in one of the counter chairs.  So they do mean business!

Can you guess who this is?
Edgar Allen Poe was born here, although he fought a career-long battle with  Boston area authors.  In 2014, he finally returned home.

Purple glass
See the two panes of glass that are purple in this row house?  You can find this glass in structures around the city.  When the John Hancock building was being built, the glass maker used the wrong formula for the glass for the 60 story tower.  It resulted in glass that would turn purple when the sun hit it.  Not a good look, it was decided.  Since the glass maker had to absorb the astronomical cost of the mistake, he sold the glass to individuals who then used it in their buildings.  So, today, it's a status symbol to have purple glass in your home!

The skinny house
As in any major city, real estate is expensive and limited.  This shows that any sliver of space can, and will, be used.

Cemeteries are all over the city.  I think one of the earliest tombstones we saw was from the late 1600s.

This church was originally a wood building, erected in 1688.  In 1749, this stone church was built around the original structure and, when completed, the wood was disassembled and removed through the windows.  Our tour guide told us the plans for the building of the church were sent in three parts and, for some reason, the package containing the third part, the steeple, was never received and that's why it doesn't have one.  Sounds like an interesting story, but I couldn't verify it.

The Boston Commons, where the bandstand is located, is today a smoke-free zone.  But in the mid-19th century, when public smoking was banned city-wide, this is where the gentlemen of the era would come to partake of the wicked weed.  It consisted of a circle of benches and came to be known as "Smoker's Circle."  The bandstand replaced the benches in 1912.

For my Colorado and Oregon people, I couldn't resist taking a picture of this tshirt!

Until next time...

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