Friday 24 July 2009

Bostonian Culture

After enduring a four-hour bus ride (for only $10 I might add), losing my umbrella, dealing with a lost taxi cab driver, and standing in the pouring rain for a bit, I finally made it to Boston! After the night's ridiculous adventure, it was time to explore the city.

Brittany Burton had work that Friday, so her roommate was kind enough to walk me to the T station. The strong winds blew our umbrellas topsy-turvy while the misty rain sporadically came down on us. Let's hope for consistency!

The first stop was to the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Focused on contemporary art beginning 1948, the museum not only features the best-known contemporary artists, but has had a large hand in developing the artists themselves.

The two open galleries featured Shepard Fairey! Besides designing the world-recognized 2008 Presidential Election picture of Barack Obama, Freley was also responsible for the OBEY movement, an experiment in phenomenology.

The most famous of Fairey's work: The Obama Hope Poster

I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit in part because of Fairey's background story: he started his career as a college student just making a practical joke with "Andre the Giant Has a Posse." His influences were not traditional artists, but rather hip hop culture, Warhol, and the Sex Pistols amongst others. He also understood the imagery utilized by Corporate America in advertising and soon he grew into making political and societal statements.

Next stop: Bunker Hill! This was easy to find as one would just have to walk towards the giant monument! Be warned; however, the reaching the top consists of climbing 294 steps up the circular staircase!

The Bunker Hill Monument

Of all the lost battles for the United States, the Battle of Bunker Hills was arguably the most important. It showed that the young country could stand against the British as they thwarted the British plans to invade Dorchester Heights. This led to the eventual dismissal of the British from Boston. I made my own mark by putting a coin through the window!

View from the Bunker Hill Monument plus my dime!

It was a walk down Freedom Trail to the U.S.S. Constitution, the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat in the world. Charlestown was so quiet! Although a Friday afternoon, there were hardly people walking the sidewalks or cars driving in the streets. However, it does look like a very nice palace to raise a family!

The wait for the free tour on the Constitution lasted roughly forty-five minutes. Standing in line behind me was actually an individual that dated a girl that went to high school with somebody that lived on my floor freshman year of college! Further, he went to dinner at my roommate's apartment senior year; thus, he had dinner in my apartment before I moved in. Small world!

The U.S.S. Constitution a.k.a. "Old Ironsides"

The Constitution tour was fantastic! It was very interesting to learn that canonballs could not dent the boat because it was made out of live oak. Thus, the ship is nicknamed "Old Ironsides" as one of the original seamen shouted, "Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!" during the War of 1812. They actually provided an interesting lecture as we learned all about "powder monkeys," the kickback of a canon, and how live oak only exists in the Southeastern United States.


One can also stroll next door to the U.S.S. Cassin., a destroyer commissioned in 1913 and utilized for WWII. The Constitution Museum was a good treasure as well. It was very heartfelt to see how the Constitution means so much to our nation's history and touchs the hearts of our veterans. It is a must-see in one's lifetime!

Tip: Make sure to watch the movie at the Constitution Museum! It will be well worth your time. Although super cheesy, you will learn a thing or two!

Brit and I met back at her place in South End . We chit-chatted a bit with the building mates and then took a night tour around B-town. We walked from the Prudential Building to the Public Gardens to Common and to the North End. Nice and quiet!

We ran into Brit's friends on the way back to the apartment and headed to "Our House" for a bit. As Northeastern's local campus bar, one can only stay there for a bit!

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