Many cities have green oases in the middle of them. New York has Central Park and Vancouver has Stanley Park. In Boston’s case, there are two green spaces right next to each other, which I guess you could think of as one larger space. However, they are named separately and are bisected by Charles Street in the middle.
Public Garden and Boston Common
The Public Garden was founded in 1837 (just like the sign says). It is a park full of meandering trails, public works of art, and the lagoon that fills up the centre of the park. It was meant to showcase floral and decorative in botanical gardening.
The Lagoon is largest feature of the Public Garden. Swan Boats are available for rental. When we were there, it seems like there were no boats on the water. It must have been too early for the boats. However, the Lagoon provides a beautiful foreground to the greenness of the Garden and the glass and brick of the surrounding buildings.
This was an idyllic Saturday afternoon to be walking through the Public Garden. The afternoon sun gave the Garden a warm, welcoming tinge. It surprised me a little that the trees were all yellow. It makes me think of the fall more than the spring.
The Public Garden Foot Bridge right in the middle of the lagoon offers a focal point to the Garden and gives great, peaceful views of the Lagoon and Garden. Normally, the Swan Boats would be plying right under the bridge. Again, it was probably too early in the season for them to operating.
The Public Garden also has its collection of monuments and sculptures. The first we came across was the bronze statue of George Washington, except at the time, we didn’t know it was George. So we totally passed by his statue. I only took a photo of it from afar. Sorry, George.
The next thing I just had to see was Make Way for Ducklings. It is a sculpture inspired by Robert McCloskey’s children’s storybook of the same name. It is a heart-warming and adorable piece of art. It is very appropriate since the story itself takes place in the Boston Public Garden. This was on my must-see list. My coworkers were very happy that I insisted on coming to see the Ducklings.
The other notable public art piece we came across was the Triton Babies fountain. Triton is in reference to the sea god, Poseidon. However, the fountain babies to raise quite a few eyebrows of many passersby wondering why one child looks like he/she is straddling the other child in a somewhat suggestive pose. Also, the fountain wasn’t running yet because it was still early in the spring and somewhat chilly at times.
As we were exiting the Public Garden, we came across a one-man-band busker. Boy! Was he ever playing a lot of instruments at once. He was doing his own rendition of 3 Doors Down’s Kryptonite. Obviously, it wasn’t as rock, but he was definitely rocking the song in his own unique way.
Then we exited the Public Garden, crossed Charles Street, and entered the Boston Common. The Boston Common had a lot less trees and shrubbery compared to the Public Garden. The paths were primarily straight lines cutting through the green, rolling pasture-like park.
The big highlight of walking through the Boston Common this day was the game of Quidditch being played in the baseball diamond. This was the one time I wished I brought my telephoto zoom with me to Boston, but I hate carrying that weight with me when I don’t tend to use it much.
Quidditch in the Common
Oh yes. Young men running with faux-brooms between their legs. Somebody out there must be getting a kick out of that.
We didn’t linger much in the Common. We ended up making a b-line for Massachusetts State House just past the northeast corner of the Boston Common. The Freedom Trail starts in the Boston Common and makes for a good self-guided walking tour of Boston. You could also hired a guide in a period costume to lead you down the Freedom Trail, as well. We just didn’t have time to take in such a tour, but it may be something that interests you.
Massachusetts State House