I still call Boston home even though I’ve lived in South Carolina for over 20 years. Boston is where I know and where I am known.
This Christmas my family and I decided to do the tourist thing and get our Charlie Pass and board the MBTA from Boston College to Park Street. It brought back memories of standing room only, jostling back and forth stuffed in-between the other “T” riders. Some people were too busy on their smartphones or taken anywhere but where they stood by their earbuds but there were some, older “T” travelers who looked up and smiled at the three trolley novice riders. We stopped at every stop along Commonwealth Avenue. Some people boarded. Others disembarked. I looked out the dirty windows as if I’d never seen the place before but the truth is, it brought back a lot of childhood memories.
When we entered Kenmore Square it got dark in the trolley as it glided down below the city. I smiled when we disembarked at Arlington thinking so much had changed in my city but the smells of the Green Line subway had remained the same.
First stop on our adventure was the historical Boston Public Gardens. I was there to enjoy the sites with my family and take pictures but my mind remembered Christmas’ from my childhood when my dad, brother and I walked from the Boston Public Garden parking garage to Jordan Marsh. We walked that cold and sometimes snowy path every Christmas Eve to go and see Santa and to walk through the Jordan Marsh Enchanted Village. Ah, who could forget the spectacular Enchanted Village and those famous Jordan Marsh blueberry muffins? Today it is displayed at Jordan Furniture in Avon, MA but in the old days it was a downtown Boston Christmas paradise!
The Boston Public Gardens was full of people. Some jogging, others feeding the ducks and others, like us walking in the chilled air looking around and taking pictures. Traditionally, the Public Gardens was for the upper crust types of the city. Today, it’s just a beautiful park and never empty.
Next on our journey as tourists was Beacon Hill. Regrouping and warming at Starbucks we made a plan and headed up the hill. We walked along the cobblestone sidewalk, stopping to gaze at the beautiful townhouses and decorated gas street lamps. The State House dome was brilliant gold in the setting sunlight and down Park Street stood the steeple of the Park Street Church amidst taller and more modern office buildings. The ice rink in the Boston Common was crowded and steadily the tree lights illuminated the park for the several large tour bus groups that emptied out at the top of the Common.
Christmas in Boston with or without snow draws people. It blends the new and the old and it does it well. The Boston Common, historically a place where the common folk gathered, was no disappointment. Street vendors called out their wares amid the sounds of the street musicians hoping to gather a few dollars in their hats.
We ended our day at the corner of Park and Tremont Street, I paused a moment and glanced up Tremont catching a glimpse of my old church Tremont Temple. I looked around and took it in and took more photo’s to aid my memory as another 20 years may pass. Boston is my city and I was happy to be home.