We enjoyed a five-day whirlwind tour of the Sunshine State including visits to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom theme parks, a spring training game at the Red Sox JetBlue Park, beach-side activities in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, and an airboat tour at Everglades Holiday Park.
Here on the steps of Boston’s most architecturally renown Christian church, Massachusetts’ political leaders and religious leaders of different faith traditions (including my friend Reverend Laura Everett) spoke of our promise to love and defend our Muslim neighbors and welcome immigrants and refugees of all backgrounds.
This all happened steps away from where two immigrant brothers detonated bombs that murdered three and wounded hundreds, purportedly in the defense of Islam. The 25,000 people who marched today know that banning Muslims and rejecting refugees does nothing to protect us from attacks like the one on Boylston Street, and if anything further fan the flames of hatred.
“Let’s be clear: Donald Trump’s order has nothing to do with security. Little girls who flee murderers are not a threat to the United States. Elderly grandparents in airports are not a threat to the United States.
“No, this order is not about terrorist threats. This order is about religious tests, and the United States does not impose religious tests—period.” – Senator Elizabeth Warren.
Last Saturday, with my family, church community, numerous friends I met along the way, and around 125,000 other people, I participated in Boston Women’s March for America.
I’ve been First Night and the Fourth of July celebrations in Boston.
I’ve been to the Boston Marathon and Red Sox victory parades.
And I’ve never seen that many people in the same place.
Estimates place attendance around 125,000 people. We were in the back of the crown on Boston Common, and couldn’t hear much of anything from the politicians who addressed the crowd. Once the march began, it was more of a shuffle as everyone was stuck shoulder and shoulder, and could only move an inch at a time.
But none of that mattered because this was also the friendliest crowd I’ve ever seen in Boston too. I mean, Boston is a grumpy place and Bostonians generally don’t react well to sharing their personal space with others.
But on this day we filled the Common and overflowed into surrounding streets. It was awe-inspiring. And while every person had a different sign, a different reason for showing up for the march, I’ve never felt such unity.
On Saturday we went on a Halloween Prowl at the Moose Hill Wildlife Sanctuary. For this non-scary activity, we were lead along a candlelit trail through the woods where we met costumed characters telling their stories, including a druid, an opossum, a dragonfly, a dung beetle, a witch, and my absolute favorite, a great blue heron singing Sinatra tunes (“…egrets, I’ve known a few…). Along the way we saw a barn full of jack-o-lanterns and finished off with a hot cocoa, popcorn, s’mores, and a campfire singalong. It was a great family activity, and while it seemed to be mostly younger children even my nearly 9-year-old son enjoyed it (except for the singalong, which he wanted to leave as soon as possible, as is his wont).
To celebrate the beautiful weather our autumnal holiday, I wanted to get out of the city, get the kids outdoors, and enjoy some foliage. We go to do all three with a visit to Old Sturbridge Village, where we also witnessed an ox plowing competition, rode on a stagecoach, watched a musketry demonstration, and was amazed by a potter at at work at the wheel, among other things.
Here are some highlights of a most photogenic day.
The kids & I visited Fenway Park on Tuesday night, taking advantage of their free Kid Nation tickets on Xander Bogaerts bobblehead night. This was our last Red Sox game of the season and thus most likely the last time we ever saw David Ortiz play in person. Sadly, it was not a great game for Big Papi and the Sox, although he did drive in a run on sacrifice fly that was snagged on a great catch. Hanley Ramirez put the Red Sox ahead on a home run past the Pesky Pole, but the Tampa Bay Rays hit a home run to tie the game and then another to go ahead for good. Still, it was a lovely night out at the old ballpark near the end of summer.
David Ortiz performs pre-game warmups
Drew Pomeranz pitches
The kids under the lights
Hanley Ramirez touches them all.
Dustin Pedroia dances off third with Papi at the plate
Last week, my daughter Kay was invited to go on a Pirate Cruise with her friends. My son Peter didn’t want to go on a pirate ship, but he did want to go on a boat, so we rode the ferry from Long Wharf to Charlestown and back. We even passed the pirate ship, and the surprisingly friendly crew just waved instead of board and pillaging the ferry.
My daughter and I visited with my mother in New York this weekend and it was blazing hot. Nevertheless, we spent a lot of time outdoors at Bryant Park, Summer Streets, an Upper West Side street fair, and inevitably at playgrounds in Central Park. Here are some of my more arty photos from the weekend.
Interesting building overlooking Bryant Park.
Ducks on The Pond in Central Park.
Kay straphanging on the subway.
“Look Up,” a sculpture by Tom Friedman on Park Av
Grand Central Terminal and the Chrysler Building from an angle not usually accessible to pedestrians
Jewelry for sale on Amsterdam Av.
Interesting building overlooking Central Park.
The Bethesda Fountain
Boaters on the Lake (people who must enjoy sweating more than I do!)
On Saturday, my family spent 7 hours at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI and we didn’t even see a baseball game! We started with a free on-field clinic for the kids with PawSox coaches and players as instructors. Then we settled onto a blanket on the grassy berm in centerfield and waited for the game to start, the kids getting batting practice balls tossed to them by a Buffalo Bisons pitcher. But just as the game was set to begin, a torrential downpour swept through, and we huddled under a tent with scores of other fans to wait it out. A beautiful rainbow graced the heavens after the storm, but the field was flooded and it took a long time to determine if it would be safe to play. The game was postponed, but the superhero-themed fireworks went ahead as scheduled. All in all, a dramatic day at the ballpark!