In a previous blog posting, I praised a living aboard experience in Washington, DC. It is only fair that I give equal time to the other end of the Northeast Corridor megalopolis — Boston. I sailed from Washington, DC by way of the C & D Canal and down Delaware Bay to Cape May. From there it was an offshore passage to Cape Cod Canal and my final destination, Boston.
I spent a summer tied up at the Constitution Marina
in fashionable Charlestown, a short walk across the Charles River from downtown Boston. The marina is adjacent to a delightful urban environment steeped in early American history and frequently compared to a European cultural experience.
The U.S.S. Constitution
, “Old Ironsides,” is moored directly alongside the marina. This is the oldest active-duty warship in the United States Navy, commissioned in 1797. Every morning I heard canon fire announcing the flag-raising ceremony. A young midshipman in a traditional uniform stood on the bow saluting the flag while playing the anthem on a boom box. On weekends, the U.S.S. Constitution draws tourists and a variety of sightseeing boats, including old wooden classics sailing by in tribute to another era.
Directly over the bridge, only a short walk away is “Little Italy” in the North End. This is where I indulged myself in delicious pastas, pastries, and an open-air vegetable and fruit market. On many weekends, the narrow curving streets teemed with celebrants honoring one of many patron saints with music and a sidewalk feast.
Further on, along the waterfront of Boston Harbor, is the Faneuil Hall (Quincy Market) where every imaginable taste treat awaits. My favorite early morning fare included a Finagle-a-Bagel with a steaming cup of Coffee Connection brew.
I spent many delightful days wandering the Boston Commons & Public Gardens, browsing boutiques on Newbury Street, and sightseeing along the elegant brownstones on the narrow streets of Back Bay and Beacon Hill.
As the wonderful summer drew to a close, my marina neighbors started talking about the winter ahead. A group of them was organizing to hire a shrink-wrapping service. They planned to cocoon their boats under a skeleton of plastic pipes to create a hothouse environment. It was definitely time for me to leave. Someone once told me never to live in a place where the average temperature is below one’s age.