Two special events will be turning Boston into a mecca for tourists this spring around Patriots' Day on April 16. First, thousands of marathon enthusiasts, both runners and spectators will take to the streets of this old New England city for the running of the world's oldest annual marathon race. This hugely popular event coincides with the celebrations of the opening salvo of the American Revolution over 200 years ago. This year, the festivities include a re-enactment of Paul Revere's famous ride, as well as of the pivotal Battles of Lexington and Concord. For more information, go to www.bostonmarathon.org andwww.bostonusa.com
There was an article in my newspaper this morning about something new (and better yet, free) on offer in Boston. If you have an ipod and you're planning to visit Boston, check out www.bostonharborwalk.com You can download a map and a free hour-long narrated walking tour of the Boston Harbor Walk direct to your mp3 player. The tour includes the sounds of the waterfront, the voices of residents, a palatable dose of history and colorfully-told stories and you can do it at your own pace. The program is free to all, courtesy of the city of Boston.
I have a friend who's visiting Boston for the first time next week, so I sent her this first thing this morning. Boston is a wonderful city and a terrific place to walk. But please, do yourself a favor and don't attempt to drive in the city. The Boston streetplan is not for the faint of heart driver!
Took a look at the harborwalk website link you provided. Terrific information on strolling along the Boston waterfront. Unfortunately, I don't yet have an MP3 player, so couldn't take advantage of listening to the audio tour. I'm sure the narrative with the background sounds included makes for a fascinating and informative audio package for visitors and residents alike. I'll have to borrow my son's MP3 and download the program. My wife and I have been in Boston several times over the past 30 years and have always found the city very enjoyable. Our favourite part is the area near The Boston Common, Faneuil Hall, and the nearby Market. Though we've often walked through this historic and colourful area, we've never found driving yet to be a particular problem. I'd assumed that once the disruption caused by the "Big Dig" project to bury the downtown expressway was over once the work was completed (had heard it was finished in 2006), that traffic would be no problem any more. Is that not so?
By the way, the Blue Jays play a three-game stint against the Red Sox here in Toronto later in April. I'll try to catch a game and cheer the Jays to victory.
The Big Dig certainly moves more traffic THROUGH Boston, but once you're off the Southeast Expressway, you're still dumped onto narrow, twisting streets originally laid out along the cowpaths to and from Boston Common. So that part of it will never improve. The set up of Boston streets is so convoluted and full of one-ways that it's baffling for anyone who doesn't spend a good deal of time driving them.
I live an hour away from Boston and I have to drive in from time to time for work. During the Big Dig, this was a real challenge because they kept moving my exit! One week it would be on the left hand side of the highway and the next on the right hand side, 100 yards earlier. My secret weapon was a friend of mine who drives an ambulance in Boston. I used to call him before I hit the road to ask "OK, where is my exit this week?"
The Big Dig sounds like it's certainly not all it was cracked up to be. Too bad. Like your strategy for getting around the worst of the construction mess and delays. An ambulance driver sure would know what the best route would be and what to avoid when you're in a hurry to get somewhere by car in Boston. How are your Sox doing so far? My Blue Jays won their home opener!
Well, you know the old saying. All's fair in love and war and baseball! The season's still young and the fortunes of the teams may swing back and forth before the Boys of October take the field for the MLB championship series.