An Afternoon On The Common

Friday was a gorgeous day here. In the afternoon I managed to finish work early and headed into Boston for a couple of hours. The bright blue sky was just too much of an opportunity to miss out on, so I threw my camera bag over my shoulder and risked life and limb on the subway with the other screaming hordes, hopping a couple of stops across the river to Boston Common. I can thoroughly recommend a visit if you’re in the city – it’s a public park slap bang in the center of town, surrounded by all that Boston’s crazy traffic has to offer!

Emerging from Park Street Station on the Common is always somewhat thought-provoking – it’s actually America’s first subway station. The park itself is also the oldest city park in the country, dating back to 1634. Way back then it used to be a place where cows were put out to pasture. Then before the Revolutionary War it was used as a camp for British soldiers. And even up until as late as 1817, it was a site for public hangings.

These days it’s free of cows, soldiers, and gallows, and instead is the site of all kinds of fun things like concerts, pumpkin festivals, and ice skating. It was eventually declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.

On the northeast corner of the Common stands the Robert Gould Shaw and Massachusetts 54th Regiment Memorial. It serves in particular as a memorial to the first African Americans to fight in the Civil War. The 54th was the first African American regiment in the north – a volunteer infantry regiment.

Robert Gould Shaw was a colonel in command of the 54th which entered the war in 1863. He was sadly killed in the Second Battle of Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina.

It was such a lovely afternoon, I was so glad I was able to grab some time out and head into Boston for some photo opportunities. I don’t get into Boston for fun as often as I’d like – I really should make more of an effort to visit, especially since I only work in Cambridge.

I have more photos from Friday’s spree anyway, so I’ll dig them out and share some more of my visit with you.

Boston has so much history and culture to offer 🙂

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