I’m not someone you will often find at a college football game, but I got free tickets from work (full disclosure: my employer has a football team) and my son enjoys going to sporting events of any kind. So on September 26, Peter & I made our way to Harvard Stadium to see the Crimson take on Brown. A few years back, we saw Harvard run up the score in a torrential downpour against Holy Cross. For this game, the weather was crisp and clear, a perfect autumn night, but Harvard still ran up the score.
I may not be a big fan of football, but I love historic sporting venues and seeing a game in Harvard Stadium is a treat (when it’s not raining). It was also nice to be there when a lot of other fans were present for the atmosphere, including a large number of students who we first saw having a rowdy tailgate in the parking area. Unfortunately, with the score 37-0 at halftime, most of the other spectators departed, making it feel very lonely in the cavernous stadium. After the game, kids were invited on the field and Peter got autographs from a couple of Harvard players which was pretty cool.
Maybe I’ll do this again in another three years.
Refs in the zone.
Peter tries to identify the players.
Harvard defense prevents Brown from scoring.
The band’s half time show was full of painfully bad jokes.
No Brown players will be going in here.
Soldiers Field panorama
The Harvard dance squad does a quick show between quarters.
Peter in the end zone
The bass drum is running for president.
This Sunday I will be leading a Boston By Foot Tour of the Month of Cambridge Common, both the park and the neighborhood surrounding it which includes churches, collegiate campuses, and family homes. It’s fun and chock full of history! Buy tickets online at Boston By Foot, and meet us at the Harvard MBTA Red Line station/Out of Town News in Harvard Square before 2 pm!
Founded in 1631, Cambridge Common Park was once the common pasture for Old Cambridge. Later it served as an encampment for the Continental Army. Today it’s home to playgrounds and ballfields, surrounded by historic houses, churches, and buildings of Harvard University. We’ll explore nearly 400 years of history & architecture on our loop of Cambridge Common.
The fifth annual JP Music Festival took place at Pinebank Field on September 13. Too my shame, I missed the first four festivals, but I took the kids to a few hours on Saturday afternoon. Sadly, the kids weren’t too interested. My son was completely bored, my daughter was having fun but mostly because she enjoyed tackling me. We did get ice cream from the JP Licks tent and the kids enjoyed a bunch o’bacon from The Bacon Truck.
The performances are impressively organized with acts coming on to stage with very little break in-between. If you didn’t like what you heard, just wait a few minutes and someone else would be on stage. In the short three hours we were there I must’ve seen 8 different acts ranging from jazz to punk to Afro-Latin percussion to dance. Highlights for me include Junko Ogawa‘s song about a caterpillar, the punk saxophone of Fur Purse, and the young dancers of the Tony Williams Ballet Youth Ensemble pretty much stole the show.
The food trucks are a yummy part of the festival.
Junko Ogawa takes the mic.
This photo would be much better if you could see the shiny silver pants of the lead vocalist of Fur Purse.
Festival art honors the albino squirrel of Jamaica Pond.
Tony Williams dancers.
More dancing in the grass
The setting sun lights up Boston’s landmark architecture on my bike ride home on Friday, September 11, 2015.
The Freedom Trail may be the most hackneyed of Boston tourist destinations, but it’s still worth it for a resident to take a walk on it every so often. And taking my children on the walk for the first time, I got to see it through their eyes. Plus, there are always some surprises, like a pop-up concert by the Handel and Haydn Society at King’s Chapel (which entranced my daughter).
Walking the line.
Massachusetts 54th Memorial
Skull & crossbones at Granary Burying Ground.
Listening to the Handel and Haydn Society vocalists.
Traffic cones need to pray too.
“Statue of Benjamin Franklin, do you have a reservation?”
An obstacle to Freedom
The circular staircase of the Old State House dates to 1830 when it was renovated to be Boston City Hall.
The view from the Old State House balcony.
Paul Revere wants a high five.
Kitty at Old North Church.
Tired little patriots.
On the second day of taking my kids to see extremely touristy things in our hometown, we took a Boston Duck Tour and then viewed Boston from the Prudential Skywalk Observatory. In-between we enjoyed a picnic lunch by the fountain in the Christian Science Center plaza.
Admiring Boston’s great architecture.
And not so great. Our conducktor pointed out that this resembles a robotic frog.
Splashing down in the Charles.
Professor Quackinstein lets the kids take the wheel.
Playing by the fountain.
The fountain looks much smaller from up here.
A Boston guide entranced by the view and his audio guide.
This last week of summer in which there is no school and no camp, I’m taking my children to be tourists in their own home town. When I asked them what they wanted to do, they both agreed that they wanted to go on a whale watch. This made me cringe because I’ve been on whale watches twice in my life and found the experience underwhelming.
Well, third times a charm, because in addition to enjoying a cruise with two enthusiastic children, we saw a lot of whales! We saw a mother humpback whale and her calf, and even witnessed them nursing. We saw a whale practicing “kick feeding” a practice unique to the humpbacks of the Gulf of Maine, and it turned out to be the whale who invented this type of feeding. We saw her calf imitating her, and it was very cute. We also saw minke whales and a blue shark.
I think what made it extra special is that on the long journey back to port, the naturalist came through the ship to talk about the whales we witnessed, showed us pictures, and had the kids flip through binders to see if they could help identify the whales by the patterns on their flukes. We took the New England Aquarium Whale Watch through Boston Harbor Cruises. I highly recommend it.
I did. And so did the whales.
And a humped back.
The whale’s head.
Mouth wide opening.
And a whale of a tail.
Identifying the whales.