[Walking Around Downtown]

Today got off to a slow start on my part. Jackie was up and out of the apartment before 8 a.m. — apparently work doesn’t take a break simply because your favorite sister comes to visit — but I stayed in and relaxed ’til a little after noon, just enjoying a cup of tea and wondering if I wanted to venture out in another gray, chilly day.

Well, clearly I did.

I first had to deliver my sister her lunch, so I hopped on the T and rode down a few stops. She pointed me to a creperie, Crispy Crepes Cafe, where I chowed down on a delicious apple, nutella, and coconut crepe. It was a good start to my day of solo exploration.

After lunch, I hopped back on the T and headed downtown to the Mary Baker Eddy Library and the Mapparium. If you’ve never heard of the Mapparium, no worries. I only found out it existed two days ago.

The Mapparium is a walk-in glass globe of the world. It’s 30 feet in diameter, and shows the face of the world as known by its creator in 1935.

You could say it’s “frozen in time,” because Yugoslavia and French Indochina are still countries, Soviet Russia is a thing, and my world history class clearly failed me.

What’s more, the acoustics are amazing. Because it’s a globe, if you stand in the direct center and whistle, it creates perfect surround sound. However, if you drop your phone or your keys off the walkway, they have to retrieve them from the South Pole. Unfortunately, due to copyright, no photos were allowed.

After the library, I hopped around downtown and walked down Newbury Street for some time, ducking into shops with interesting names and more interesting contents. Thankfully for my bank account, most of those contents were well out of my budget, although I spent quite some time debating in Newbury Comics and sat down for a coffee at Trident Booksellers and Cafe. I managed to wrestle myself away from all the lovely, tempting books — only to head straight for the Boston Public Library.

Oops.

Can you blame me, though? The place is gorgeous. History, architecture, maps, rare books, and just so much fun to explore. There’s even a beautiful courtyard between the old building and the newer addition (which holds the new books, the DVD/CD collection, and all the tech labs, in addition to a more modern coffeeshop).

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The library held my attention for a few hours, at least, sticking my nose into every room and basically being a tourist. And wishing just a bit that our libraries were as steeped in history. Nothing against my library, of course, but it doesn’t have this … grandeur.

Jackie eventually directed me to meet her at the harbor after she got off work, so I wandered again for some time before hopping back on the T (after a near miss with going the exact opposite direction I wanted).

We met at Haymarket, and strolled through yet another public green space. Despite the chill and the gray skies, Boston is still a beautiful city.

We walked through winding streets and into a little Italian bakery, where Jackie tried to talk me into eating cannoli for dinner rather than chocolate-covered strawberries. I won. We had giant strawberries and some calzones for dinner.

The wind started to pick up, and it got colder, so we walked over the bridge and through Paul Revere Park back to the T.

While we didn’t spend my last night in Boston tearing up the town, I did get to meet some of my sister’s college friends when they came over for drinks, snacks, and a few episodes of GBBO. (I fear I may have created a new summer activity for those three.)

As for the photo to the right, Jackie insisted on posing. And yes, she’s typically this dramatic when she’s in a good mood, little snarky sister that she is. I will miss her, and I’m glad I got the chance to come out and see a snapshot of her life.

So this is goodbye, Boston. I fly out early tomorrow morning, and I likely won’t return for years. I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the streets and the shops you had to offer, and I thank you kindly for treating me well. Ta, and be well.

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