|Earliest: March 16, 2003||Latest: June 13, 2019||Total: 278|
|June 13, 2019|
On Dartmouth Street, between the Boylston Street and Newbury Street, is a special memorial to one of Boston's community activist Kip Tiernan.
Cui Bono? Who sets the terms of the debate around poverty and homelessness? Who decides who gets the condo and who gets the cardboard box?
The pain of being homeless- the endless waiting in welfare offices, the thoughtless dismissal, the terror of the streets the endlessness of the long, dreary days, especially Sundays. The burdensome struggle to carry every you own with you, the desperation of loneliness, the fear when the sun goes down, the dining cold of a careless February afternoon. The longing to have just five minutes alone with your kid for just one night, the distant memory of shared moments of joy and peace a long, long time ago. These are all real thing that happens to real people.
All words are taken from Kip Tiernan's writings.
|June 6, 2019|
As you ride on the Swan Boats in the Boston Public Garden, you may spot a large lantern near the pond island. There's a lot of history behind the lantern.
|May 30, 2019|
In Boston's North End is a small monument to the Merchant Marines that died in World War Two. The monument is located in Langone Park.
On one of the side, where the bush is growing next to the monument, you can see a U.S. Maritime Service Logo with the slogan, "By Their Deeds Measures Yours"
Names that appear on the front side:
On the bottom it says, "Presented to the people of Boston by the U.S. Maritime Service"
Names that appear on the right side:
|May 23, 2019|
This past weekend we visited Happy Place in Boston. It's a temporary exhibit designed around creating interesting Instagram photos. There are various stations where you can interact with the exhibits to create interesting photos.
Happy Place opened on April 5th. It was supposed to close on June 1st, but due to popular demands, they have extended the time until the 30th.
It's a fun place to go with the whole family. It's a quick trip as the whole experience probably won't last longer than a 1/2 hour - depending on the crowd size.
Happy Place is located at 500 Boylston Street. The nearest T stop is the Green Line Copley station. Parking is available at the Clarendon Street garage.
|May 16, 2019|
Located between Berklee College of Music and Boston's Symphony Hall is a small community park. This park is mostly for the seniors that live in the near-by Morville House.
Park has been around for many years, I wasn't able to find any history of when it started. I did find some events mentioned in the mid-1970s but overall it's not a park with a lot of history.
Since 2007, local organizations, such as the Fenway Civic Association, has been busy updating the park.
Jacob Kulin's musically-theme artwork is the largest visible artwork in the park. The design is 16-foot tall made of granite, Corten sweet, bronze and stainless steel. The design helps tie the connection of the park with nearby musical surrounding. The sculpture was unveiled on August 18, 2016.
There are free fitness classes, morning Yoga and Line Dance classes going on regularly in the park. All classes are free and open to the public. See the schedule on the plaza for today's events.
On Tuesday Evenings, Berklee College of Music takes over the park and selectively invites alumni to perform in the park. (Check out this summer's schedule.)
The park is located near the Edgerly Road and Norway Street in the Fenway section of Boston. The nearest T stop would be the Orange Line's Symphony Station.
This is a nice quiet park. If your visiting Boston, this might be a nice Tuesday stop on a nice Summer Night concert. (Not a lot of events happen on Tuesday nights.)
|May 9, 2019|
Next to the Massachusetts State House is a building with some unusual architecture. This is the home of the American Congregational Library.
Did you know: A Massachusetts law of 1659 punished offenders with a hefty five shilling fine for celebrating Christmas. It would be interesting to read up on documents from that time period about this - something that can only be done at the American Congregational Library.
Sign on the Building
This is the transcript of the sign on the building:
The primary purpose of this building, The Property of the American Congregational Association, is to provide housing for Congregational Societies and other religious and Charitable Organizations. It is the Fifth home of the Congregational Library. The building was dedicated on December 21, 1898 to the last ideals lived by those First Congregationalists to settle on American Shores.
The carvings above represent four of those ideals:
The American Congregational Building is located next to the Massachusetts State House. It's located on the second floor of 14 Beacon Street.
The library collection is open to the public.
|May 2, 2019|
Every year the Boston Public Library has a contest with the ultimate goal to encourage students to read and write over the summer break. It's called "Read Your Way to Fenway."
This contest encourages students to read over the summer and get a chance to see the Red Sox. This contest is open to all Boston Public Library holders.
|April 25, 2019|
This year marks the 47th anniversary of the Vendome Hotel fire. The hotel was located on Commonwealth Ave Mall, near Dartmouth Street.
On June 17th, 1972 the building caught on fire. Nine firefighters were killed while trying to put out the fire. To this day it is still the worst fire in Boston's history.
Hotel Vendome was completed in 1871 - named after a similar hotel in Paris. In 1882, it was the first hotel in America to have electric lights - Thomas Edison stayed at the hotel to personally see it.
The hotel suffered during the depression. On December 28, 1969, a fire broke out in the hotel - when the top three floors were badly damaged. The owners couldn't recover from the fire and sold the hotel a couple of years later.
The new owner was upgrading the hotel to the apartment and a two-floor shopping area.
At the time of the fire, the building was still under construction. There were 100 people in the cafe and some construction workers upstairs. An electrician was the one that reported the blaze by pulling a local firebox around 2:35 pm
By 3:06 the fire went to four alarms.
At 5:20 pm, the southeast corner of the building collapsed trapping and crushing nine firefighters. (The southeast corner faces Dartmouth street.)
The collapsed occurred during a shift change when a large number of firemen were out of the building. There were 25 firemen in the building when it collapsed occurred.
The fallen were Thomas W. Beckwith, Joseph J. Boucher Jr., Joseph P. Saniuk, John E. Hanbury Jr., Thomas J. Carroll, Paul J. Murphy, Richard B. Magee, John E. Jameson and Charles E. Dolan.
It took 50 firemen nine hours to recover all the bodies from the fire.
One other woman died in the fire.
The actual cause of the fire has never been determining. In addition, Fire Marshal also wasn't able to determine where the fire started. It is believed that it was an accident and not intentionally set.
You can learn a lot more detail about the fire on the Boston Fire History website.
The monument was dedicated on June 17, 1987 - the 25th anniversary of the fire.
It is located diagonally across the street of the former Hotel Vendome.
There is a timeline on the monument, as you read through it your facing towards the former hotel.
The memorial was designed by Ted Clausen and architected by Peter White.
November 15, 1942 - Six Firemen died at the 110-year-old Lyceum Hall in East Boston.
October 1, 1964 - Four Firemen died at a toy factory on Trumbull Street in the South End.
|April 18, 2019|
Pope John Paul visited the United States of America on October 1st-8, 1979 - the first visit of the Pope to America. His Apostolic Journey began in Boston.
A monument of Pope visit is near the location of where the Pope Spoke in 1979.
In July 1976, Cardinal Wojty?a spent the summer traveling North America giving speeches - including one at Harvard University. In 1979, he was elected Pope and took the name Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul left Ireland the morning of October 1st, and landed in Boston and kiss the American soil at 3:02 pm. Was greeted by Mrs. Rosalyns Carter along with other distinguish Massachusetts politicians.
It took 55-minutes to get from Logan Airport to Dorchester - as the motor cage traveled slowly as people wanted to see the Pope.
He said his first Mass in the United States at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with 2,000 local priests in attendance.
Later that day, Pope John Paul II celebrated his first North America outdoor Mass at the Boston Public Commons - an estimated 400,000 people attended the service.
The Mass was to start at 5:30 pm, but he was about 20 minutes late
The service lasted an hour and a half as the crowd stood during a heavy rainstorm. His homily lasted 37-minutes.
He gave communion to 160 individuals - while 300 priests served communion to the crowd.
After saying the Mass, he left to spend the night at the Cardinal Medeiros home in Brighton.
You can read all the speeches that he gave in American on the Vatican website.
A Monument was proposed to the City of Boston Park and Recreation Commission on February 12, 1981 (5-Months after the Pope visit) The initial request was turned down because they didn't have the correct approval from the Art Commission and Friends of the Public Garden.
Once the monument team got the correct approval, they met with the City of Boston Park and Recreation Commission again and received approval on May 27, 1981.
The monument was installed near the location of the altar during the Mass.
The monument was paid for by funds raised by the Order of the Alhambra.
The fact that 400,000 people attended the Mass at the Boston Public Gardens is impressive. Consider the following:
The Boston Public Library has a collection of documents from the Pope's visit. These are on reserved and not for checking out of the library.
When I went to the library earlier this week, I was told that the documents have gone missing. The librarian informed me that this occasionally happens when people misplace certain documents.
|April 11, 2019|
In Boston's Fen area, near the World War 2 memorial, is an old Japanese Bell. I have discovered that there is a bit of history on how this 343-year old bell ended up in Boston. (You won't find this on the sign at the Bell.)
The Bell weights 450-pounds and is four foot tall.
The Bell Came from crew members of the USS Boston from Japan after the Second World War.
The Bell was discovered by US Navy crew members in a scrap yard in Yokosuka, Japan.
After the war, the USS Boston docked at San Francisco and the Bell was shipped to Boston - cost $42.80 in transportation charges. ($557.94 in 2019 value)
The Bell was given to the City of Boston by Captain Marion R. Kelly - who had retired after the War after nearly 29-years of service.
Originally installed on the Boston Commons on April 25th, 1946. It was moved to the Back Bay Fens in 1953.
There is a small plaque that says the bell was cast in 1675 - Making the Japanese Temple Bell the oldest man made object on display in Boston. (The only this possibly older is the MillStone by Haymarket)
Shortly after the Bell was moved to the Fenway to a permanent location. Some Bostonians wanted the Navy Department to take another look on how the Bell was obtained after the war. Some people thought it was looted from a Buddhist or Shinto Temple in Japan.
The Navy department did an investigation and determined that Boston is the rightful owner of the Temple Bell.
The Bell sits near the World War 2 Memorial, and has face some tough times over the years. The surface is badly corroded. The base has been painted to cover graffiti. The bell is also cracked in several locations.
Temple Bell from Japan Cast in 1675 Brought to the City of Boston by the Officers and Men of the United States Ship Boston With the Blessing of the Manpukuji Temple-Sendai as a Symbol of Friendship and a Bond of Peace
Note: Did you notice that the plaque text downplays how the Temple Bell was discovered in World War 2. It makes it sound like it was a gift, when in fact it was taken from Japan during the war. Only later did Japanese officials allow Boston to keep it as a way to rebuild friendship.