I have no idea what coach Rab Shields is doing in a field of wheat, but I always enjoy posting photos of the kilted coaches Rab & Stephen and it has been too long since I last posted a photo of one of them.
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5 mile path that winds through several downtown neighborhoods in Boston, identifying 16 historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution.
The Freedom trail meanders through Beacon Hill, the North End and Charlestown but it can be a bit repetitive with multiple cemeteries and churches each with a slightly different historic significance. To liven things up, over the years, I’ve provided friends a modified version of the Freedom Trail. All that walking and learning works up a thirst so I “enhance” the walk by strategically selecting hydration stops and pointing out unique (but historically irrelevant) sites. Below is the Boston Freedom Trail according to BosGuy, which uses the city’s official Freedom Trail map.
One can start the Freedom Trail from either the Boston Common or Bunker Hill Monument. I suggest starting in Charlestown so you are back in the center of Boston when done. Grab a ride to Bunker Hill in Charlestown (pronounced, CHARLES-TOWN, unlike the city in SC) or hop on the Orange Line to the Bunker Hill Community College station and walk there. Feel free to walk up the 221 foot obelisk designed to commemorate the 1775 Battle of Bunker Hill. I’m slightly claustrophobic so I prefer to sit on the hill and look out at the harbor.
After, walk down to the U.S.S. Constitution (commissioned in 1797). I enjoy going aboard but you can get a better selfie from the dock so if boats aren’t your thing, snap a photo then walk over the N. Washington Bridge to the North End (you’ll pass the Converse HQ on your right – in case any of you are fans of their classic Chuck Taylor sneaker). The next stop on the trail is Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, but I skip it since there are other burying grounds on the tour, and I walk friends down Hull Street to show the “House of Spite” a.k.a. Skinny House on the way to the Old North Church.
The Old North Church is probably best known for alerting Paul Revere on how the English would attack, hanging lanterns in their steeple, “one if by land and two if by sea”. From the church, walk down the Paul Revere Mall on your way to Paul Revere’s House. Dating back to 1680, it is one of the oldest buildings in Boston. This home is interesting because of its history but if you’re getting hungry skip going inside and walk to The Modern Pastry on Hanover Street. Buy a cannoli or some other sweet (this is a cash-only establishment) and enjoy it on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. It makes for an ideal resting place. From that vantage point, I like to show friends the Union Oyster House, which has been operating since 1826 and has a booth on the second floor where President Kennedy liked to dine with Jackie and others.
Faneuil Hall, the next stop on the tour is a tourist trap but deserving of a visit. Despite having just finished a cannoli (I strongly recommend eating desserts first), if hungry the neighboring Quincy market and (the slightly less busy) Boston Public Market offer many options for lunch. If you’re not hungry but all that walking has made you thirsty take a photo by the Sam Adams statue and pop into the Sam Adams Boston Tap Room.
The Parker House Hotel is next to King’s Chapel and has the distinction of being the longest continuously operating hotel in the US. It happens to be where the Boston Creme Pie was invented in 1856 and where both Ho Chi Minh (from 1912-1913) and Malcolm X in the 1940s worked briefly. The first a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician and the other, a prominent African American muslim minister and activist.
The next stop, Granary Burying Ground, is one block down on Tremont Street. This cemetery has many famous graves including the Franklin (as in Ben’s parents) family grave, an ostentatious tomb for John Hancock and a grave for Samuel Adams but my favorite is the tiny grave for Elizabeth “Mother” Goose (1665 – 1758). Next to the cemetery is the next stop on the Freedom Trail, Park Street Church, which I typically skip. Perhaps it’s my Catholic roots, but I find old Protestant churches stark and uninteresting on the inside.
The second to last stop on the Freedom Trail is one worth entering, The Massachusetts State House. While this isn’t the largest State House it is architecturally beautiful and has many historical points of interest. You can sign up for a building tour, here. The top of the state house dome is capped with a pine cone. For those who enjoy trivia, the reason for that is explained here. After finishing the tour, go next door to the 21st Amendment Pub. Toast the repeal of prohibition and for completing the Boston Freedom Trail. The final stop, The Boston Common, established in 1634, is one block away.
ADAM & ANDY is set in the fictional New England town of Woodfield, CT. You can learn more about Adam and Andy and purchase a copy of “the definitive collection of Adam and Andy” by visiting, adamandandy.com.
Cathedral Station THURSDAY: Bar and Kitchen open – no programming FRIDAY: Red Sox vs Rangers @8PM | NBA Playoffs Game 6 Celtics vs Bucks @TBD SATURDAY: Red Sox vs Rangers @7PM | NHL Playoff (if needed) Bruins vs Hurricanes @TBD SUNDAY: Brunch starts @11AM | Red Sox vs Rangers @2:30PM | NBA Playoff Game 7 (if needed) Celtics vs Bucks @TBD
Trophy Room THURSDAY: Bar and Kitchen open – no programming FRIDAY: Red Sox vs Rangers @8PM | NBA Playoffs Game 6 Celtics vs Bucks @TBD SATURDAY: Red Sox vs Rangers @7PM | NHL Playoff (if needed) Bruins vs Hurricanes @TBD SUNDAY: Brunch starts @12PM | Red Sox vs Rangers @2:30PM | NBA Playoff Game 7 (if needed) Celtics vs Bucks @TBD
Much thanks to the Twitter account @oldmasc for initially sharing this fantastic photo. I’m assuming this dates back to the 1970s. Can anyone offer insight on when this was taken?
I dedicate this weekly post, featuring vintage gay photographs, to the men and women who lived in a more critical time where being true to yourself and loving who you want wasn’t always an option and came at a great price. Do you have a photo you would like to share? Email me at email@example.com.
The Boatslip tea dances traditionally hosts their first tea dance of the season on the first Friday in May. However, construction forced this year’s tea dance to be delayed by a week. Tea dances at The Boatslip will take place each Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through early June. Daily tea dances at The Boatslip will begin on Thursday, June 16 and run through Labor Day Weekend. For more details about The Boatslip tea dances and other events hosted this summer visit, theboatslip.com.
Join DJ Maryalice this Friday at 4:00PM for the inaugural 2022 Boatslip Tea Dance in Provincetown.
School Days by Jonathan Galassi is a rivetting gay fiction novel told from the perspective of Sam Brandt, a former student of Leverett, an elite boarding school in New England, and current English teacher at the prep school.
The story opens in the fall of 2007 when Sam is asked by the school’s head about a disgruntled former student who attended Leverett when he was a student there. The conversation transports Sam back to his days as a student in the mid-1960s and life at the (then) all boys boarding school. Galassi paints a picture of love and longing (both platonic and erotic) as Sam reminisces about his high school years, his group of friends, and Theo Gibson, a teacher who went on to have a profound impact on him, his friends and many associated with the school. As a teenager, Sam is unable to come to terms with his sexuality and a love that could not be returned, by his schoolmate Eddie. Reminiscing about those years, he recalls an “irresistible tropism toward Eddie’s knotted masculine integrity, his warmth… which he could only experience in those tight embraces”.
As the book switches back to the early 2000s, Sam is forced to look at those formative years through a more adult and critical lens when accusations of impropriety and possible abuse are raised by a former student. These two storylines are profound and strike a nerve with me. Sam’s teenage years — filled with a sense of confusion, longing and feeling of “otherness” — are too easy for me to relate to. As an adult, Sam’s, unrequited emotions, repressed for so long come to a head as he reconnects with former friends and classmates. Through these conversations and rehashed memories, he is forced to accept responsibility for the choices he made, make peace with them, and move forward.
The setting and Sam’s memory provide a romanticized backdrop of his formative teenage years. Yhe range of emotions and struggles he faces are relatable even for those who never attended boarding school. While the story initially appears to be about Sam trying to learn the truth about what happened on campus all those years ago, the real take away is the need we all have for acceptance and love. The book is entertaining and satisfying on several levels thanks to Galassi’s easy writing style and the beautiful way he uses language to depict touching and important moments in Sam’s life. The two storylines from life in 1967 and 2007 entwine, separate, and come back together again seamlessly and provide Sam with some fairly profound insights about himself and the school he loves so much.
If you’re interested in purchasing this book and open to supporting local bookstores, try one of the links I’ve shared. You’ll be able to order it online in just a couple of clicks. Alternatively, you can check your local library for a copy of this book. Here is a link to the BPL copy for School Days.