Monday, November 20, 2017

Fun Times in Boston

Jon and I went to Boston last week for the Schwartz Center Compassionate Care Awards Dinner. Jon was one of six finalists for this award. The final winner was Dr. Rana Awdish, a physician in Detroit. It's a huge honor to be a finalist and the dinner was an impressive affair. The governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker was there! Jon's mother and three of his brothers came from Buffalo, Pittsburg, South Carolina, and New Hampshire to attend the dinner with us, and Jon's niece who lives in Boston came as well, and also the associate dean of the UVA school of nursing, who came to represent UVA, but who is also a friend. Not only that, my friend Norah, an old classmate from high school and college works in healthcare in Boston and attends the dinner every year. We haven't seen each other in years, so it was great to hang out with her and her colleagues. Altogether a fabulous evening!

But Wednesday night and most of the day Thursday I had to myself because Jon was busy with Schwartz Center activities. Wednesday night, I had dinner with Swati - she and her sister Chitra are my first friends.  We moved to Boston when I was three and my mother almost immediately made friends with one of the other mothers at our library story hour. This other mother had recently moved to the US from India and she and my mom, both new to Boston became very good friends and also became friends with a mom who'd moved here from Germany. So our three families, all transplants, became close and even spent holidays together. My family moved away when I was five, but we continued to keep in touch and visit back and forth. It's funny how after an absence of over twenty years you can still pick up with an old friend as if you'd only seen each other yesterday.

The T red line from South Boston to downtown

Thursday, after getting my hair styled at a blow out bar near our hotel (we stayed in the Seaport area in South Boston) I took the T downtown. First I visited the New England Holocaust Memorial.

Each of the glass towers represents one of the concentration camps. The assigned number of each prisoner is etched into the glass of each tower.

I wandered around the North End, sort of following the Freedom Trail, but I lost it after passing through a construction zone. I ended up at Paul Revere's house, which I toured . The house was built in 1680, and 17th century houses are quite different from the 18th century houses that we usually associate with the colonial era. It is forbidden to take pictures inside, but the house is dark and cozy with stupendous fireplaces and impressive wood paneling and beams. The first floor is furnished with authentic 17th century furniture and upstairs are 18th century pieces that belonged to Revere himself.  I was the only visitor, so maybe that helped, but it was easy to imagine what life might have been like in that house in the 17th and 18th centuries. There's also an adjacent visitors' center with more exhibits, including silver made by Revere, and a gift shop, where I couldn't resist buying their cross stitch patterns. For the modest $5 entrance fee, it's well worth it to visit.

Paul Revere House

The manganese used in glass making would discolor over time, leading to these colored glass panes. People at the time considered it to be a defect. Below are some random North End pics.

I love the old-fashioned letter box. Still in use!

In Copp's Hill Burying Ground

I want to buy this house and turn it into my Fortress of Solitude

It had begun to rain, so, sheltering my hairdo under a hood, I made my way to the Boston Public Market, a large indoor market with everything from groceries to prepared foods and coffee to gifts and handicrafts. Everything sold there must be local. I love, love, love markets and this one reminded me of the English Market in Cork, Ireland. I settled down with a chai latte and then returned to the T and rode back to the hotel, rested for a bit and then headed over to the dinner at the nearby Boston Convention Center. We had a great time, but I made an early night of it since I had a 5:50 am flight home the next morning. (It's totally worth it to get up insanely early and be one of the first flights out. I had no delays and was in Cville by 9:30 am. Jon, on the other hand, had a later flight and could sleep in, but got delayed and wasn't home until nearly 11:00 pm.)


  1. Are we sure that letter box isn't a time machine?

  2. What a fun trip. Congrats to Jon! I saw he had been nominated on the local news.

  3. I love Boston. Great photos of the North End. And that last house - surely that is something from Harry Potter.