A tavern, a monument, and lots of ducks

Some months ago, we discovered a great little place in Charlestown–the Warren Tavern. Apart from the lure of the historical (supposedly the oldest tavern in the U.S., a favorite haunt of Paul Revere, and a place where George Washington was known to quaff a pint), we like it because (and this would horrify Washington, Revere, and the rest of the Patriots), it feels so ENGLISH. I’ve been to so many fake-Irish pubs (pubs-in-a-box, some of them built in modular form in Ireland and shipped over), it’s nice to have a meal and a pint in a place that seems a bit more authentic. (That said, this place has probably changed so much over the centuries that it most likely bears little resemblance to its 1780 self.)

So on Sunday, we headed north to Charlestown to have a leisurely lunch at the Warren Tavern and to see what we could see.

Gaslights–real, or reproductions? I think they’re pretty fabulous, whether they were put up in 1880 or 1990…

Of course, no trip to Charlestown is complete without a trip to the Bunker Hill Monument. Okay, so the battle actually took place on Breed’s Hill, but what’s a little historic specificity among friends? I have yet to make it to the top of this thing, and I can confidently say that I never will. The last time I tried it, it was about 95 degrees and wicked humid outside, and I was (unbeknownst to me) in the earliest stages of pregnancy. I hiked like a maniac up the spiraling stairs, higher and higher, ignoring the growing feelings of claustrophobia while climbing inside an obelisk with only a few random slits in the stone to let some natural light in. About 10 steps from the top (and there are 294 steps to the top), my head started spinning, I broke out in a freakish cold sweat, and I knew that if I didn’t sit down That Very Minute, I would pass out and tumble down each and every one of the 284 steps I had climbed.

Needless to say, I’m not keen to give it another go.

But being near the Bunker Hill Monument is pretty darn fun on a beautiful summer day. We had blue skies and cool breezes, and the kids enjoyed frolicking on the lawn.

Aidan has learned to do cartwheels, which he demonstrated proudly.

We puttered around the area for awhile, soaking up some atmosphere and taking pictures of architecture. The house we’re buying in upstate NY was built in 1876 and is currently painted in a shade I think of as Tedious Boring White, so we’re looking for interesting color schemes. Out came the camera!

I love the colors on the house on the right–they’re a bit richer in real life than in the photo. They seem wonderful rich and warm, without being in your face. Something to think about…

I love the roof pattern of this house and the details around the window.

Our new old house has pairs of rather plain brackets just underneath the roof line, and while I wouldn’t replace anything that’s authentic to that particular house, it got me thinking about brackets.

What I have often found interesting about historic houses in the Boston area is that the exteriors may be ever-so plain, but the brackets show off the age of the house.

Well, I could only keep a soon-to-be-three-year-old and a 5-year-old interested in architecture for just so long, so we hopped on the Orange Line and headed back into familiar kid territory. Time to visit Mrs Mallard and the ducklings in the Public Garden. But on the way we saw…

…the weirdest bike thing I’ve ever seen. This is a Pedal Party bike, where 6 or 8 people can sit on the thing and pedal it together. It looks like a weird kind of fun, and if the kids had been just a bit older, I’d have said we should hop on and give it a whirl!

So we finally made it to the Public Garden. This is the time of year when they try to fool you into thinking that Boston is tropical. I never get used to seeing palm trees in the Public Garden!

And every year, they bring a mating pair of swans to the pond there. They fence them away from nosy visitors and cross their fingers in the hopes that the eggs will hatch and there will be little cygnets on the pond.

Mama Swan is doing her best. When she stood up to change her position, I could see a number of eggs in the nest.

But there are always duck families on the pond in the summertime. Here’s a happy duck family–could it be Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack, and Quack, and Mrs Mallard, too??

Toward the end of the day, a stroll down to Copley Square. The reflection of Trinity Church was tremendous. What a great place for peaceful contemplation (if only that were possible with kids in tow!)

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One Response to “A tavern, a monument, and lots of ducks”

  1. Fiberjoy Says:

    what a busy day you had! (Yes, I’m just catching up with you.) I love seeing Boston through your lens. I will miss these vicarious trips with you.

    The paint colors of the house on the right are soothing. It’s a pain to paint all the trim features but it’s worth it when done. (We’ve twice helped paint our 1894 meetinghouse with its Victorian trim work – a tri-color scheme)

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