Catching the flavor of Faneuil Hall

... Boston, down to earth

from Don Norris

There's no way better to get the flavor of downtown Boston, better than grabbing the 'T' for an afternoon of star gazing. They're not all stars, but they do reflect on our town and on our country. Yes, even the tourists.

Take this good lookin' lady above. I'll bet she's been to the Museum of Fine Arts, and has walked down Huntington Avenue to the reflecting pool at the Christian Science Center -- just when two far-reaching generations crossed paths. Her name is Lorry Norris and she's from Melrose. In fact, she's the author's partner and wife. I think the youngster has other business.

There's a city story here. The mother, at left, is from Florida and her daughter is from Georgia. The pair have developed a habit of picking out shows they want to see, and jumping aboard an airplane for a short escape, a change of scene. The show was "River Dance" at the old Shubert, and our (Lorry's and my) tickets were $53.70 for two seats -- almost at the ceiling. We were actually looking down upon the chandelier. The show was good, but not what we expected. Later that night we were wandering around Park Square and we ran into our new friends in the lobby of a ritzy hotel. Funny, for just then two or three professional women - hookers - came running through the hotel, followed by two detectives who were (ahem) out for a bust. And that's the whole story.

If you're interested in the mechanics, the photo was taken with a $300 Nikon S-10 that is articulated, so that you can look down at the screen while the lens is pointed in another direction. Sort of sneaky, but super for unposed pictures.

There's is no spicy story here. It is just the repetitive nature of the architecture, window after window without change, without color. The blue sky does add a really dramatic backdrop, however; the photo without the brilliant sky would be nothing. The building is where? (No peeking). It is on Tremont Street in the theater district, between Boylston and Kneeland.

Don't look at the shabby. Look first at that narrow alley, one wagon wide -- probably as old as Boston, and that goes back to the 1600s. There's even a patch of cobblestones showing. Look again at the geometric patterns, the buildings, and how the subtle red brick building just pops right out on this gray day. Just in case you can't read the sign on that building, that is The Massachusetts Bible Society. How's that for coincidence.

Beauty and her beast.

This is the real Fanueil Hall, the walking mall, the strolling mall where everybody comes to eat, shop, and people-watch. It is a beautiful place -- about as beautiful as this family of towheads. There must have been (and I spell this out) five hundred thousand people, maybe more, at the market place that summer day. It's the place to go when you come to Boston.

March 7, 2008

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