Hi! Even though I still didn’t travel outside the Boston and Cambridge area, the travel posts keep coming. First of all, I want to say that this afternoon walk and post comes this soon in my stay in the area due to a coincidence. I had gone to a bar nearby Newbury Street and I forgot a sweater there. Since I had to go back to pick it up (and fortunately nobody grabbed it and it was in the lost and found), why not to turn this event into a photographic walk from the MIT? Again, like in my previous post about Beacon Hill, I chose a very windy and cold afternoon to take some pictures.
Let’s start by the Harvard Bridge, the bridge I crossed by foot to arrive in the area. Let’s see again how the bridge looked the last time I had crossed it.
Doesn’t even look like a river, no? Well, the snow days were gone and the view we were greeted with when we walked across the river was this:
Much prettier, no? I just can’t get enough of walking through Memorial Drive and glancing over the skyscrapers in the south bank of the Charles. Finally, after crossing the bridge, I went down to the Charles River Basin, which is a very nice area to sit, reflect on life and relax, and even to run. Something that people way braver than me with these cold temperatures do.
It was very windy to be by the sea, so it was a good idea to head away from the river into the quiet houses of the neighborhood. Back Bay is knows for its Victorian Brownstone houses, the public buildings and for being a good area for shopping. We will start with the houses. I believe Newbury Street is the best place to see the rows of Victorian houses. Nevertheless, the houses you can see in other streets in the neighborhood in brownstone are lovely but distinct. Even though the Beacon Hill also has houses with brick walls, the ones in Back Bay project a somewhat different and more orange-like light to my eyes. I got lost in calm streets before reaching the quite busy Boylston Street
Before I knew, I was facing myself with the busy and less whimsical Boylston Street, stading right in front of the very tall Hynes Memorial and Prudential Center, which I hope to get to climb up and see the view over the city from someday. I went to the bar and my sweater was there fortunately.
Happy with this, it was time to explore this large avenue up until reaching the Boston Public Garden. The first place that amazed me was the Boston Public Library. While I did not enter, the majesty of this building made me curious. In fact, this library was established in 1848 and it is the third largest public library in the United States with 23 million items. It seems any resident of the state of Massachusetts may borrow and enter the library, so I hope to work from there someday. Maybe I should start a photographic project on all the libraries I’ve worked from here.
Reaching the intersection of Boylston with Darthmouth, the large Copley square opens up with its churches. The Old South Church has a very interesting combination of architecture styles, seeking a neo-Gothic combined with some mudejar and renaissance influences to my untrained eye. Well, I saw the style is called Venetian Gothic. While the church was first erected in 1669, it was only completed like it is today in the 20th century. The church belongs to the protestant congregation of the Church of Christ.
Right across the Copley square, we found the Trinity Church, a National Landmark consecrated in the Anglican Christian tradition. It is actually a very distinct church, with the current location and style dating back from the 19th century. While the round arches easily depict a Romanesque inspiration, the stone used and colors suggest a different style. I found that the church is in fact Richardsonian Romanesque, related to the works of Henry Hobson Richardson, the architect of this church.
Towards reaching the end of Boylston Street, I couldn’t help but being impressed by the 500 Boylston Street, a tall yet harmonious retail and office complex. However, I was more than ready, since sunset was approaching, to turn my attention to Newbury Street, which I had seen by night and thought to be so cozy yet fancy.
Newbury Street seems to me to be the fanciest shopping street in Boston. While I am not into luxury shopping, I liked watching all the fancy stores intertwined into the cute brick Victorian houses. However, there is much more to the street than luxury stores. There are cute cafeterias and restaurants and geek shops, like The Fairy Shop that sells all the Harry Potter merchandise you can imagine and an anime shop full of Pokemon stuffed toys. I didn’t take that many good pictures due to the low light but I have to say this is definitely one of my favorite streets in Boston. It did not have the magical effect in me that Charles Street had, but anyway it was very pleasant to visit.
Ironically, so much time has passed since I first started this post, and I have been pretty much away from blogging ever since. And as I finish this post, I’m back at the Back Bay again writing. I urge all of you to visit this part of Boston that gave me such inspiration. Until then, I hope to keep on posting new stuff.
Did you visit Back Bay already? What are your favorite houses and shops around? Feel free to let me know in the comments below! In the meantime, follow my journey around my PhD in the US in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to keep up to date!