Posts Tagged ‘boston’

Walk Boston’s Freedom Trail in Winter

January 31, 2011

Millions of visitors to Boston walk the Freedom Trail – a two-and-one-half-mile red stripe on the sidewalk that takes you to 16 historical sites pertaining to the Revolutionary War – our fight to gain our freedom from Great Britain in the 18th century. 

What most visitors don’t realize is the Freedom Trail does not shut down in winter. The Freedom Trail Foundation offers daily guided tours of the first mile of the trail, weather permitting, starting at 12 noon from the Boston Common.  The tours are given by members of the Freedom Trail Players who are actors and school teachers portraying historical persons from the time of the Revolution. 

If you can’t get a tour then purchase a map or a guide book at the visitor’s center and be your own guide. 

Each of the Freedom Trail sites is open year round.  The official start of the trail is the Visitor Information Center

Freedom Trail Foundation Players

near the Boston Common.  The trail is marked on the sidewalk by either a red stripe or red bricks that winds its way up to the gold-domed State House, then down to the Park Street Church.  Next to that is the Granary Burial Ground, across the street to Kings Chapel and burying ground, then down to the Old South Meeting House, around to the Old State House in front of which is the Boston Massacre Site. Then it crosses to Faneuil Hall, past the Union Oyster House, the oldest continuously operated restaurant in America, to Paul Revere’s House, then onto the Old North Church and Copps Hill burying ground.  The Freedom Trail continues across the bridge to the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument. 

Other advantages of following the trail in winter; there are no throngs of tourists waiting to get into the historic buildings, and, the cold is a good excuse to stop into a café along the way for some hot cocoa or a historic pub such as the Green Dragon for a pint of Samuel Adams beer. 

So, layer up your clothing, dig out the mittens, hats and scarves and take a walk on a winter’s day in Boston, one of America’s most historic cities. 

For More Information go to: The Freedom Trail Foundation or the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau.


African-American Patriots Tour of Boston – February is Black History Month

January 23, 2011

February is Black History Month, and a good way to observe and learn about African-American patriots in Boston is by walking the Freedom Trail

Routes of history 

During the tour he leads visitors past the Boston Massacre site in front of the Old State House, to Granary Burial Grounds (where Attucks is buried), past the Park St. Church, where William Lloyd Garrison later gave his stirring anti-slavery speeches, and to Beacon Hill. The tour ends at the Museum of African-American History on Beacon Hill.   

Tales of bravery

Woven throughout the 90-minute walks are stories of bravery and defiance by black Bostonian patriots. Other African-Americans whose deeds and lives are mentioned on the tour are the first published African-American poet Phyllis Wheatley, the prominent citizen Prince Hall, founder of the African Lodge of Freemasons in America, and Peter Salem, a former slave who was a veteran of the Battle of Bunker Hill and several other battles of the American Revolution. 

Tour details

Tours must be reserved 24 hours in advance. Tickets ($13.65 for adults, $11.55 for seniors and students, $7 children 4 to 12 years of age) can be purchased online, at the Visitor Information Center on the Boston Common, or at the Bostix booth inside the Quincy Market building at Faneuil Hall Marketplace. 

For further information; The Freedom Trail Foundation, 617-357-8300.

Massachusetts Farmers’ Markets

July 8, 2010

At this time of year Massachusetts farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.  We should take advantage of this and support the local farmers that bring their produce to the hundreds of farmers’ markets across the state. 

From the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to the hills of the Berkshires in big cities and small towns there’s a farmer’s market happening every day.  In the hot weather we have been having lately nothing beats the taste of fresh locally grown produce.

The list below is divided by Massachusetts counties and gives details where you can find a farmers’ market.  For more information go to

Unless otherwise noted these markets run May to November

Barnstable County (Cape Cod)

Buzzards Bay – Fridays 10am – 2pm, Main St., Bourne

Dennisport – Mondays, 2pm – 6pm, Village Green

Falmouth – Thursdays, Noon – 6pm, Peg Noonan Park Main St

Berkshire County

Adams – July to Oct., Fridays & Saturdays Noon-6pm, 60 Columbia St

Lee – Fridays 10am – 1pm, next to the post office

Lenox – Fridays 2pm – 6pm, Library Park Main St

Pittsfield – June to Oct., Thursdays 4pm – 7pm, North St. on the square

Bristol County

Fall River – two locations;

Saturdays 7am – 12:30pm Kennedy Park

Wednesdays 9am – 1pm at Ruggles Park

New Bedford – three locations;

Mondays 2pm – dusk Brooklawn Park on Ashley Blvd.

Saturdays 9am – 1pm Clasky Common on Pleasant St.

Thursdays 2pm – dusk Wings Court on Union St.

Westport – July – Sept., Saturdays 830am – 1pm, Westport Grange, 870 Main Rd.

Dukes County (Martha’s Vineyard)

Vineyard Haven – Tuesday 9am – 1pm, 144 Beach Rd

West Tisbury – Saturday 9am – Noon, Grange Hall, State Rd

Essex County

Gloucester – July – Oct., Thursday 3pm – 6:30pm, Harbor Loop, Rte. 127

Newburyport – Sunday 9am – 1pm, Tannery Marketplace, 50 Water St

Franklin County

Greenfield – Saturdays 8am – 12:30pm, 20 Court Sq. on the Common

Turners Falls – Wednesdays 3pm – 6pm, Great Falls Discovery Ctr., between 2nd St and Ave. A

Hampden County

Springfield – six locations

Springfield Cooperative, Saturdays 7am – 11am, Avocado St

Forest Park at the X – Tuesdays 12:30pm – 6pm, parking lot of the Forest Park Cyr Arena

Indian Orchard – Fridays 11am – 4pm, Hampden Bank, 187 Main St

Mason Square – Saturdays 10am – 2pm, 11 Wilbraham Rd

Shriner’s Hospital – Thursdays 11:30am – 1:30pm, 516 Carew St

Tower Square – Fridays 11am – 2pm, Main & Bridge Sts

Hampshire County

Amherst – Saturdays 7:30am – 1:30pm, Amherst Ctr, Spring St. parking lot

Easthampton – Tuesdays 2:30pm – 6:30pm, Union Plaza

Florence – Wednesdays 2pm – 6pm, Florence Civic Ctr

Middlesex County

Cambridge – six locations;

Central Square – Mondays Noon – 6pm, parking lot #5 at Bishop Allen Dr. and Norfolk St. behind the Harvest Coop

Charles Square – Fridays Noon – 6pm and Sundays 10am – 3pm, Charles Hotel courtyard in Harvard Sq

Harvard University – Tuesdays 12:30pm – 6pm, Saunders Theater, Oxford and Kirkland Sts

Kendall Square – Thursdays 11am – 2pm, 500 Kendall St

Kendall Square Main Street – Wednesdays 11am – 6pm, Cambridge Ctr Plaza, 500 Main St

Cambridgeport – Saturdays 10am – 3pm, Morse School parking lot Magazine St and Memorial Dr

Nantucket County

Nantucket – two locations;

Nantucketown, Monday – Saturday 9am – 1pm, Corner of Main & Federal Sts

Nantucket Farmers’ and Artisans Market – Saturdays 9am – 1pm, North Union and upper Cambridge Sts

Norfolk County

Brookline – Thursdays 1:30pm – dusk, Center St, Coolidge Corner

Quincy – Fridays 11:30am – 5:30pm, Quincy Ctr, John Hancock Municipal Parking Lot

Plymouth County

Duxbury – Wednesdays 12:30pm – 4:30pm, Tarklin Community Ctr, Rte. 53

Marshfield – Fridays 2pm – 6pm, Marshfield Fair Grounds, Rte. 3A

Suffolk County

Boston – six locations

Boston Medical Ctr – Fridays 11:30am – 2:30pm, Menino Pavilion, 840 Harrison Ave

Boston University – Thursdays Noon – 5pm, 775 Commonwealth Ave

Prudential Center – Thursdays 11am – 6pm, 800 Boylston St

South Station – Tuesdays & Thursdays 11:30am – 6:30pm, Dewey Sq across from South Station trains

City Hall Plaza – Mondays & Wednesdays 11am – 6pm, Cambridge St

Copley Square – Tuesdays & Fridays 11am – 6pm, between Trinity Church and the Boston Public Library at St. James Ave, Dartmouth & Boylston Sts

Haley House Cafe

April 30, 2010

I love food, I love to eat it and watch while it’s being prepared notice; I said “while it’s being prepared” that means someone else, not me, doing the cooking.

 The other day I tasted some really great food at the Haley House Cafe.  This back-to-the-earth eatery was started in 2005 and is run by Didi Emmons owner of the  much beloved Veggie Planet in Harvard Sq. and author of two cookbooks. 

The cafe’s menu reflects the ethnic diversity of its Dudley Sq. Roxbury location.  Hot lunch plates choices are Jamaican jerk chicken plate and Southwestern turkey meatloaf  each is served with homemade corn bread, vegetables and homemade slaw.

Lunch sandwiches is where the kitchen really  excels, choices run the gamut from turkey swiss panini wrap with carmelized onions to a vegetarian quesadilla with roasted veggies and cheddar cheese to a wrap loaded with steak, roasted red peppers, carmelized onions and slaw. 

Not to be missed are Didi’s homemade brownies, muffins, scones and her signature coffee cakes.

The cafe is open late three nights a week offering live jazz and arts and crafts by local artists.

All of the food prepared here is made with organically grown products that are grown at the Haley House farm, Noonday Farm in Winchendon Springs Massachusetts.  The farm is run almost entirely by volunteers many of whom travel to it from the Roxbury community.

Haley House Cafe will not only nourish your body with its great food eating here will be good for your soul. Proceeds help to support Haley House, a non-profit organization that continually gives back to the community with 112 units of affordable housing for elderly and others of limited income, a culinary arts school for adults and teenagers, and a bakery training program that teaches homeless adults an income earning trade.

This destination cafe is definitely worth the trip for your body and your soul.

Go out to eat for Boston’s Restaurant Week March 14th – 26th, 2010

March 18, 2010

The economy is still tanked, all over the country people are tightening their belts but, during Boston’s Restaurant Week, you can eat great food and not have to dip into your retirement fund or the kid’s college savings.  How great are the savings…..a two course lunch costs $15.10, opt for three courses and it’s $20.10, three course dinners are $30.10.  

Restaurant Week started this Monday the 14th and ends on the 26th (excluding weekends). Over two hundred restaurants are participating; Brasserie Jo at the Colonnade Hotel, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Legal seafood, Locke Ober, and Sol de la Terre to name a few.

Dine out for Boston’s Restaurant Week for the next two weeks where you can dine like royalty but not have to pay a princely sum.

For further information go to the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau at

Stop raining on my parade

March 13, 2010

I can’t stand all this rain it’s driving me crazy.  My friend Hilary writes me that she’s skiing at Sugarloaf and the sun is shining.  Bah! 

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is tomorrow, March 14th, in South Boston.  It starts at 1pm regardless of heavy rains or high winds the parade will go on.

As it happens every year hundreds of Massachusetts politicians will  crawl out of the woodwork to walk the parade route stopping to shake hands and kiss children.  Oh brother!

All week the weather has been beautiful here in Cambridge and the weekend comes and it’s a washout.

Technique Restaurant

March 5, 2010

Today I had a wonderful experience; lunch with friends at one of Cambridge’s newest restaurants, Technique on the campus of the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute, yes, the same Le Cordon Bleu that Julia Child graduated from in Paris.

Located in the historic Athenaeum Press building the restaurant is run entirely by students of the culinary institute.  It is one huge gorgeously retrofitted room boasting floor to ceiling windows and exposed brick walls that give it a French bistro feel.

The open kitchen showed students hard at work chopping, slicing and dicing.  Although the menu is a bit limited it offer some very good choices.

The lunch menu includes salads of romaine with bacon and bleu cheese or radiccio and endive with sherry poached apple.  Appetizer choices ran the gamut from seared scallops with macomber turnip puree to mushroom and goat cheese tart.  There are assorted sandwiches (that change frequently) and brick oven pizzas with roasted root vegetables. 

We all chose the hot roasted chicken on ciabatta topped with celery root remoulade and house made potato chips.  We all agreed that the tartness of the remoulade  blended well with the tangy light BBQ sauce on the chicken.  Desserts were the apple tarte tatin and housemade chocolate ice cream and they did not disappoint us.  Believe me there were a lot of empty plates going back to the kitchen.

My next time there will be for dinner.  Some of their prime entrees are sole en papillote with shemiji mushrooms, grilled pork chops with broccoli rabe, and grilled flat iron with pommes fondant and creamed spinach. 

Technique is a great place to gather with friends for good food and it won’t break your budget.  Prices range from $6 for salads, $9 for appetizers (which are large enough to have as a meal), $8 for sandwiches and entrees are $16 to $18.