Boston in Black & White

Bring back the Boston Rag
Tell all your buddies
That it ain’t no drag
Bring back the Boston Rag

The Boston Rag by Steely Dan, 1973
Skyline of Boston from our rental apartment at Boston Christopher on Columbus Avenue.

We spent 6 days in Boston, Massachusetts at the start of a long trip to USA/Canada/UK and stayed in an upstairs apartment at Boston Christopher on Columbus Avenue, an area with some wonderful old brownstone buildings. From the rooftop garden of our building we had a magnificent view over the city of Boston.

Petit Robert Bistro

Right outside our apartment was the lovely Petit Robert Bistro and a wine emporium – so a good start. The area had many small restaurants, cafes and shops and was well located to walk to some nearby shopping areas, parks museums and cultural spots such as the Boston Symphony Hall.

The Wine Emporium

Cafe Madeleine was our local breakfast stop cafe serving good coffee and a selection of freshly made breads and pastries.

Cafe Madeleine
Union Church


The streets around the area we were staying was full of beautiful brownstone buildings. Brownstone is a brown Triassic-Jurassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. The term is also used in the United States to refer to a townhouse clad in this, or any of a number of aesthetically similar materials.

Back Bay, Boston, is known for its Victorian brownstone homes – considered some of the best-preserved examples of 19th-century urban design in the United States.

A typical architectural detail of brownstones is the stoop, a steep staircase rising from the street to the entrance on what amounts to almost the second-floor level. This design was seen as hygienic at the time many were built, because the streets were so foul with animal waste.

Harriet Tubman Memorial Park

Close to our apartment was Tubman Square Park with the Harriet Tubman Memorial. The Harriet Tubman Memorial honours the life of abolitionist Harriet Tubman. It was the first memorial erected in Boston to a woman on city-owned property.

The memorial is a 10-foot tall bronze sculpture by artist Fern Cunningham and depicts Tubman leading a small group of people. She holds a Bible under her right arm. The figures are backed by a vertical slab, on the reverse of which is a diagram of the route Tubman took when accompanying passengers on the Underground Railroad, and several quotes by and about Tubman.

A short walk from our apartment was Copley Place Shopping Mall with a wide variety of upmarket shops and restaurants.

Christian Science Center

Next to Copley Shopping Mall was the Christian Science Center, a 13.5-acre site on the corner of Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue. A popular tourist attraction, the center is owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist, which refers to it as Christian Science Plaza. Here you can also see a large reflection pool and fountain.

Church of Christ Scientist
Church of Christ Scientist
The Christian Science Monitor

Skywalk Observatory

From the Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential Building gives you the chance to see some incredible panoramic views of Boston.

Dillon’s Restaurant and Bar on Boylston Street is an interesting old building that used to be a police building.

Boston Public Library

The Boston Public Library is a magnificent building sitting next to Copley Square. According to its website, the Boston Public Library has a collection of more than 23.7 million items, which makes it one of the largest municipal public library systems in the United States. 

Trinity Church

The Trinity Church is located on one side of Copley Square. The building’s plan is a modified Greek Cross with four arms extending outwards from the central tower, which stands 64 m (211 ft) tall. The church sits in the shadow of the John Hancock Tower. Having been built in Boston’s Back Bay, which was originally a mud flat Trinity rests on some 4,500 wooden piles, each driven through 30 feet of gravel fill, silt and clay, and constantly wetted by the water table of the Back Bay as they will rot if exposed to air.

Old South Church

On the opposite side of Copley Square is the Old South Church and is a historic United Church of Christ congregation first organized in 1669. Its present building was designed in the Gothic Revival style by Charles Amos Cummings and Willard T. Sears, completed in 1873, and amplified by the architects Allen & Collens between 1935–1937.

Edgar Allan Poe Statue

On the southern edge of Boston Public Garden you can spot an interesting statue of Edgar Allan Poe, the famous American writer, editor, and literary critic who was born in Boston. Poe is best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre.

Massachusetts State House

Heading closer to the waterfront you come into the historical portion of Boston. The magnificent Massachusetts State House is the state capitol and seat of government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston.

Old State House

The Old State House is a historic building in Boston, Massachusetts, at the intersection of Washington and State Streets. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798, and is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States.

Quincy Market

Quincy Market is a historic market complex near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was constructed in 1824–26 and named in honour of Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organised its construction without any tax or debt. The market is a designated National Historic Landmark and Boston Landmark, significant as one of the largest market complexes built in the United States in the first half of the 19th century.

At Quincy Market you can sample some wonderful local food at the many food stalls within the hall. Of course you must try the famous Boston lobster.

South Station Train Terminal

Cheers Pub

Cheers Beacon Hill is a bar/restaurant located on Beacon Street in the Beacon Hill neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts, across from the Boston Public Garden. Founded in 1969 as the Bull & Finch Pub, the bar is best remembered internationally as the exterior of the bar seen in the hit NBC sitcom Cheers, which ran between 1982 and 1993

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park

Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park is a park in the north end of Boston right at the waterfront.

Boston Waterfront

The waterfront area offers a number of ferries that take you on various tours in Boston Bay and to some of the islands. From the sea you can get a wonderful perspective of this beautiful city.

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4 thoughts on “Boston in Black & White

  1. Love the old buildings and Dillons bar and Restaurant. AND Cheers of course, loved that programme.

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