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Seeing What I See

I was able to take a bunch of pictures while out and about last weekend (I’m regretting not bringing my camera to Kowloon). Anyway, I started off Saturday by going to the Boston Public Library to get a book for my class. This has to be one of my favorite buildings in Boston. Here are some shots of the lobby and courtyard (all pictures were taken by me except for the first one):

Across the street is my favorite named church in Boston. Originally, there was the 1700’s Old South Church on Washington Street (which is still standing and was where early Bostonian’s conceived of Boston Tea Party). In the 1800’s the congregation built a new church in the brand new Back Bay neighborhood and called it, oddly enough, the New Old South Church. Wouldn’t it be great if they moved it north and called it the New Old South North Church?

Across the park (Copley Square) is H. H. Richardson’s Trinity Church – considered one of the Top 10 buildings in the country.

Later in the day I took a walking tour of the Greenway (which is where the old highway was before the Big Dig submerged it). There’s a little  known secret that most peopel aren’t away of: there is an observation deck at the top of the old Customs House tower. The Customs House was originally built in 1847 as a three story greek style temple with a dome on top. In 1915, a tower was added over the dome, making it Boston’s first skyscraper. The observation deck is not advertised (to locals our tourists) and there are no signs in the building leading you to it. But you just walk into the lobby (the building is now a Marriott time-share) and take the elevator up to the 19th floor. Then you grab a second elevator to the 25th floor. It’s Boston’s only hi-rise outdoor observation deck and if offers the most amazing views. Of course, I was there when the sun was at an angle that preventing any good photos from being taken facing west. The first pictures are of the rotunda (where the dome once was). The others shows the views and you can see the plots of land were the parks will soon replace the old highway.

Though, I have to say my favorite picture is the following one. I think this is a perfect example of patriotisim gone awry. This is Arlington Street subway station. Years of neglect have left this station with crumbling paint, nasty floors and poor lighting. Ironically, this station is also in one of the most expensive neighborhoods of the city next door to the Public Garden, the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Hotels and some luxury condo buildings. You can see the crumbling paint was covered over by a ratty American flag (lord forbid we raise taxes to pay for such infrastructure improvements). I’m particularly fond of the “temporary” foam-core signage that was installed for the Democtratic Convention a year and a half ago (and never removed) And how can you not love the garbage can below the flag? Makes me proud.

That night was the Kowloon kitsch-fest (see yesterday’s posting). On Sunday, I got together for lunch with Heath. We went to Boca Grande in Cambridge and pigged out on yummy Mexican food. Craving coffee, Heath suggested we go to a nearby coffee shop. And as we walked through the door I noticed a dapper fellow waving at me from the back of the cafe. It was Marcus – the well-behaved German fellow from the gay southern decadence camp-fest that was my previous weekend. Heath and I sat down and chatted with him for a while before I returned home to study.

HMMM -I sense this posting won’t get the 20+ comments that yesterday’s posting did. Maybe I should add some bare flesh or scandal to keep people reading? Nah – here’s just a bit of photographic whimsy instead:


  1. Comment by Dave in Chicago (2) on March 14, 2006 3:03 pm

    Mmmmm. Legs.

  2. Comment by Brad on March 14, 2006 3:23 pm

    3 comments in one! 1) I don’t see any bare flesh. I WANT BARE FLESH!!! 2) I love Boca Grande. It has the best Guac in the city. 3) LOVE the pics. What a beautiful city Boston is and we all take it for granted.

  3. Comment by Doug on March 14, 2006 8:35 pm

    YAWN…where is the real Karl??? LOL…Great pictures Karlina…Brad is right we take it for granted, I never bring a camera with me anywhere and I should.

  4. Comment by Will on March 15, 2006 1:52 pm

    OK, here’s a fourth comment to bring you up to 20% of your goal.

    Clearly, I have to visit the Custom house. In all my years in Boston, i’ve never set foot inside. Thanks, Karl.

  5. Comment by Dean on March 17, 2006 5:19 pm

    nice pics.

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