We went to Boston , November 12, to see the John Singer Sargent Watercolour Exhibition at the Boston Museum Of Fine Art. I will be reporting on the exhibition itself soon but this post is just about the city and the bits of Massachusetts that we saw. This was our first visit to Boston and we were captivated by the city. To say that it is steeped in the history of the US particularly the early revolutionary days is an understatement. We stayed in the historic area of north downtown. This is the steeple of the Old North Church which was about 20 metres from our B & B. They hung the lanterns in this steeple that fateful night 238 years ago to warn about the approach of the British (1 if they were coming by sea, 2 if they came by land). This is the message that Paul Revere raced all night to deliver. His house is just a few blocks away.
This neighbourhood is all narrow streets and tall narrow row houses. Very difficult to drive a car there. Parking in the neighbourhood – forget it but a great place to walk.
Some nice coffee shops and a late night grocery store.
We stayed in a B & B on the 4th floor of one of these old buildings.
Here is the view from our bedroom. You can just see the steeple of the Old North Church. Most of these places got virtually no direct sun.
This is the street corner right in front of the Old North Church.
Below is a look up one of the side streets. Very typical of this area.
It was very interesting to watch the big garbage truck negotiate these streets. They don’t use garbage cans just put the bags right on the sidewalk.
Even though we were there between Nov 12 – 19 as you can see from this view of the Boston Public Garden there were still the vestiges of the fall colour.
I did a little painting of this bridge. This lady came and sat by me and watched a bit. She also asked to do a drawing in my sketch book.
This is my painting. It was such a beautiful day.
After 3 days in Boston we rented a car and drove around Massachusetts a bit. The first stop we made was in Carlisle about 40 miles from Boston. Like many towns in New England the cemetery features prominently. I liked these stone walls that are everywhere. They made me think a lot about Robert Frost who, in his poetry, referred to them and many other sights of New England.
This is my painting of the main intersection in Carlisle.
It turned out that we would drive for less than an hour and then we’d stop and paint for a couple of hours. It was neat with Susan and I both sitting in the car and painting different scenes.
The top image is a very typical New England house from Forge Village.
The house on the hill was up a back alley in a town whose name I can’t remember, possible Eastham.
This rock pile, again with the stone wall, was somewhere near Cape Cod.
We made a wonderful connection with some people who live on Cape Cod and we were able to spend 2 nights with them and to spend one entire day and night exploring Cape Cod. Fortunately, we were in the off season. I now understand why it is so packed with tourists in the summer. To describe the highway that travels the length of the Cape, as picturesque simply doesn’t do it justice. Beautiful houses, beautiful scenery. We travelled right to the northern tip of the Cape which ends in the town of Provincetown. It’s special geographic location possibly has lead to it’s rather special character. It seemed like a world unto itself. It also is packed in the summer season. It has become a predominantly gay town and I understand it can get very alternative in the summer.
We stayed in a lovely hotel, The Bradford House & Hotel, that was decorated very richly in an almost Edwardian style.
This is Susan painting by lamplight.
Inspired by the light I tried to capture the moment.
This is an impression of the Provincetown Harbour. There is a long history of fishing here which still carries on even though the numbers of people fishing is declining.
This is the main street in Provincetown. Very colourful, very walkable, very scenic.
This is my painting of this scene. The weather was so pleasant that I sat on the steps of a store to paint this. Just after I finished the painting it started to pour rain and never stopped for the rest of the day.
All in all it was a fabulous trip and I wouldn’t mind revisiting there some day.