I soon found myself hustling through a lunchtime crowd right smack down in the Boston downtown. It was crazy and very reminiscent of my days spent in New York and Paris! Here I am at the intersection of Devonshire and State Street, in the proximity of the Old State House. Please excuse my messy hair! My hair wasn't cooperating with me, and I didn't bring a brush along:
The intersection of Devonshire and State Street is an important one because it is the site of the Boston Massacre, an event that heavily foreshadowed the start of the American Revolution five years later! When the bus driver dropped me off, a park ranger was in the middle of giving a speech about the historical event, so of course I stopped to listen. The sign that he is standing behind gives some good basic history, so I will copy it here for you:
On March 5, 1770, in the street before you, nine British soldiers were confronted by an angry mob.
"The soldiers did fire without orders and killed five of his Majesty's good subjects . . . How fatal are the effects of posting a standing army among a free people!"
Samuel Adams' description of the Boston Massacre and Paul Revere's engraving of the scene fueled public outrage, and helped arouse revolutionary fervor of colonists all over America.
The first person shot to death by the British was an American named Crispus Attucks, a mixed-race runaway slave (turned sailor). Little is known about him other than his involvement in the massacre. Still, he is the most remembered in history books.
After listening to the park ranger speak about the Boston Massacre, I crossed over to Quincy Market. Otherwise known as Faneuil Hall Marketplace, it is a historic shopping mall that caters to tourists like myself. It is located near Faneuil Hall, which has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742, and has played host to notable speakers like Samuel Adams (a monument of his likeness is in front of the building) and others promoting the idea of independence from Great Britain. It was also ranked as #4 in America's 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites by Forbes Traveler in 2008!
A sign located in the proximity gave me some good background information about Quincy Market. Here is what it said:
"The marketplace has been a vital part of Boston since 1826 (named in honor of Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organized its construction without any tax or debt) when it first opened to accommodate local merchants and city residents. You are one of the 18 million (!) visitors we will host this year.
Keeping true to its roots, the marketplace strives to maintain a balanced mix of diverse shops, independent merchants and local artisans. Today, the North and South Market buildings are home to retail shops, restaurants and business offices. Quincy Market houses more than 40 different food vendors (!), featuring an array of delicacies from around the globe. Our world class restaurants offer innovative and eclectic dining."
Also in the same proximity is this giant sculpture of a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese noodle! Talk about random, but I guess it's a good indicator of where to get food in downtown Boston! "You know you love it?" Okay, I'll admit it. I do love Kraft Mac & Cheese! It's a great comfort food.
Talk about 'love,' I was a hit among those little girls in the right-hand corner! They noticed me posing for pictures and couldn't stop staring. I felt famous!
I snapped these photos of Quincy Market while I was eating. The open air market stalls reminded me so much of Florence, Italy - at least from what my friend Chiara has told me about them. With the booming Italian American population (The city greeted over 44,000 Italian immigrants in the early 20th century, as compared to 14,000 Irish and 17,000 Jews!) in Boston, I guess the similarity to Italian cities shouldn't be surprising!
So, here's a question for you, and you should've seen it coming! Do you like Kraft Mac & Cheese? If not, what is your favorite food?