Shades Of Words

Downtown Boston


Downtown Boston

Well that is probably not the best heading for this post because a single post could not cover all that Downtown Boston has to offer. Here I am going to talk about one lovely sunny weekend that I spent walking around that area. I am actually working on Bolystn street, so walking during lunch time had made me familiar with the area. Right next to our office building was the gorgeous Trinity Church. I was so fascinated by its exterior I knew that I had to come and visit it. And right next to the US Heritage site of Trinity Church is the shimmering glass building of John Hancock tower – the tallest building in New England Imagine the contrast!

I planned my day in such a way that I would cover Trinity Church, The Boston Commons and Gardens and the Brattle Book shop ( talked about it earlier).

The Trinity Church – Founded in 1733, this is one of the more treasured heritage churches in the US. I was lucky enough to make it in a time for a free guided tour. I learned a lot about the history and making of the church some of which I will share in this post.

The man behind Trinity Church was primarily Phillips Brooks. A Rector by calling, he had travelled the world and was influenced by the elaborate Eurpeon and middle-easter religious structures. He wanted to the buildings to have domes, arches and lots of colors.The man who helped turn his vision into reality was Henry Hobson Richardson. Richardson’s first major achievement was the Trinity Church and his architetural style came to be known as ‘Richardsonian Romansque’  characterized by use of colors in interiors and multiple patterns of arches.

That was for the facts. When we walked inside the sanctury my jaw literally dropped. Yes I know I impress easily but this was by far the most beautiful church that I saw. It was also different. Lots of color, lots of gold and lots of stained glass windows.

Trinity’s collection of stained glass windows is one of the finest in the world. And apart from the gold gilded Chancel – they are probably the second thing that stand out.

As the Trinity Church was constructed , the windows were ordered from various European artists. The seven windows in the Chancel are all by Clayton & Bell of London and depcit the  various stages in Christ’s life. There are 6 more, each  on the north and south side of the church.And the south walls have some ten or more. All-in-all there are 36 stained glass windows. Well almost. One of the most significant works of art here are the glass windows created by La Farge – these were just not stained glas windows ie to say they were not created by painting over glass. The colors and images were created using a proces of layering opalescent glasss. An entire windows was made of thousands of pieces of glass to create one coherent image ! The three main glass windows with this work are currently undergoing cleaning – a process that has taken nearly a year and cost the church a couple of million dollars !!

After grabbing a sandwhich I decied to walk towards the Boston Common gardens.The weather was perfect – sunny but not warm. I picked up a couple of leaflets from the tourist information center on the way. Boston Commons is a vast garden today with a smallish pond  which is popular with visitors in summers. Lots of kids playing in the water. Boston gardens is also the place where the famed ‘freedom trail’ starts – Its basically a walking trail across boston that covers monuments of significant history in the freedom movement of America. Its something that I wanted to do but never got around to doing it.

Maybe next time.I did get a view of the Massachussets State House which looked quite opulent against the blue sky.

Boston common and the Boston Public garden are separated by a street and both appear popular. However, Boston Public gardens is definitely more well -maintained. The Boston Public  garden is famous for two things – The Swan Boats and the ‘Make way for the duckings’ sculptures. The Swan boats sail through the lagoon that runs across the public gardens. I did not take it simply coz I thought this was more of the tourist hype ( also the long waiting line) – but I did take a lot of photos.

Some of the memories that stayed behind from Boston Public gardens – brilliantly colored flowered beds, the bridge over the lagoon that gives such a lovely view of the boats, the willows on the bank , the statue dedicated to the discovery of ether as an aneasthetic with the words’ Neither shall there be any more pain’ and the craze for taking photographs with ducks ( wtf!!).

Now about the  ducks. Boston Public gardens has both – the real ones that are really people friendly and keep hopping on and off on the lagoon banks and the bronze ducks. The bronze ducks are actually the reproduction of the illustrations of the award winning children’s story ‘Make way for the ducklings’ by Robert McCloskey , about a family of ducks that tries to make their home in the lagoon at the Boston Public gardens. Well for some reason the statues are really famous. Everyone from 5 to 50 was taking snaps next to them in various poses. A 55+ yr man saw my amusement and came to me and said ‘ I read this story as a kid. I really did. I had no idea they were this famous!’

By the time I walked around Boston Public gardens I was exhausted and hungry and just ready to go home.
For more photos on of the above places please visit my album at


Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

10 thoughts on “Downtown Boston

  1. John Hancock towers – Tallest building in ‘New England’??? Am I missing sth here?
    Vipula your English is getting horrible…This post has so many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors…Please proof read and make corrections.

  2. I will proof read !!
    and new england refers to the area of Maine, Mass and Rhode Island!

  3. Ah your style has definitely changed Vipula… I’m quite fascinated with the Trinity Church and eager to know more…the first pic of an old architecture against the backdrop of a modern one is quite good. But I still feel that the Westminster church is more beautiful than this one. Great pics… Can I use the church for my next painting if and when I get around finishing the current one?

  4. BTW I like the blog header…

  5. Zoya – I have never been to Westminster so cant compare. But Trinity Church is much more beautiful from inside. And I like the way it has written and it is definitely from the heart
    Kapil – Thanks for the compliment- hmrf!

    • I didnt notice the header but it looks great 🙂 This header goes well with the theme you know…well churches can’t be compared…its just that the European ones are so old world and these were built much later compared to them.

  6. I am enjoying my tour of Boston through your eyes Vipula. You put so much into your descriptions, which I appreciate very much too! I hope to play tourist when I get to visit Boston some day and ride a swan boat…..I have a ‘thing’ for swans. It looks like the duckling statue is well loved, you can see shiney parts where people have touched them…We have been having gorgeous open the windows kind of weather here in Virginia too, so nice with hardly any humidity and high heat! I’m off to see more photos, thank you for sharing the Picassa ink 🙂

  7. Patty – Thanks for stopping by. I am planning to do a few more posts on Boston. I am returning to India on next Friday . The stay here was really nice – lovely weather and good people.
    You should plan a trip to Boston – its perfect for a weekend getaway too.

  8. Thanks for sharing photos (and sending me flickr links). I’ve never been to Boston, but it has so many places of historical significance–someday! Lovely photos!

    • Danielle – thanks for stopping by ! I am dying to go back home so that I can make time and catch up on the blogs.
      Boston is a nice mid-sized city – the weather has been good so had a lot of time for long lazy walks

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