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Hello! Welcome to my online travel-food-life journal/virtual scrapbook. I am a poet, playwright, journalist, editor and basic jack-of-all-trades writer. I was born in El Salvador and raised in Minnesota. I have just returned home from a year and a half in South Africa.

21 March 2013

Boston 2: Dim Sum, Freedom Trail & North End

So, we loved Hei La Moon so much for dinner that we went back the next day for DIM SUM!  Can we talk about dim sum?  I love dim sum and one of the few sorrows about living in Minnesota is that I have yet to find good dim sum ... Does anyone have any suggestions?  Cuz, really, is there any better breakfast than spicy clams?  We don't think so!

Thus (heavily) fortified, we started The Freedom Trail:

Remember how I said if you have 2 days in Boston then you have to do the MFA?  Well, if you only have one, then you absolutely must do the Freedom Trail.  It is a 2.5-mile walk that takes you through 16 historically important sites through Boston.  It's free and simple, just follow the red-bricked road!

I've done this now a bunch of times, and each time I learn something new and am re-enchanted with the living history Boston embodies.

You start at Boston Commons and quickly reach the Massachusetts State House and the Granary Burying Ground.  Paul Revere, signers of the Declaration of Independence Samuel Adams and John Hancock, and Phillis Wheatley -- slave and first African-American poet and first African-American woman to publish a book -- are all buried here.

Another of my favorites is The Old South Meeting House:

From the organization point for the Boston Tea Party to modern-day rallies and events, The Old South Meeting House reaffirms that one of America's greatest strengths is -- and has always been -- its rabblerousers who refuse to let injustices go unchallenged.  One of my favorite statues inside is of Margaret Sanger (1883-1966.)  A plaque next to this stunning sculpture reads, "As a public health nurse (she) witnessed the disastrous effects of unlimited births on poor families.  Her life's mission was to legalize birth control.  She was arrested numerous times for distributing information and lecturing about sexual contraceptives.  When officials barred her from speaking in Boston's public halls, Sanger taped her mouth shut to protest and dramatize their efforts to silence her."

Close by is The New England Holocaust Memorial:

Haunting.  And infuriating (why don't we ever learn?)

You keep walking and hit Paul Revere territory in the North End:

Now, I know I said that the trail is only 2.5 miles long, but with all the walking and stopping you do at each stop, you get tired!  To will ourselves to finish we stopped for a break and I had to indulge in one of my college favorites, a plain donut with Dunkin' Donuts' crack-tastic coffee:

Then it was off to The USS Constitution, she was launched in 1797 and today is America's oldest commissioned ship:

Aaron is a big historic-boat buff and I'm just a big history buff in general, so we loved it!

We went below decks and I made Aaron stop and grab this picture of me:

Why there?  Well look what this cannon was nicknamed:


The ship is located in the former Charlestown Navy Yard which has a fascinating history of its own, especially during the World War II era:

I almost walked out of the museum shop with this:

By this time our feet were killing us, but we were determined to make it to the end of the trail, Bunker Hill, the site of the first major conflict between British and Patriot forces in the American Revolutionary War, fought here on June 17, 1775:

On our way down the hill we ran into this little guy:

Quite possibly one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken.  Look at his jaunty, swingy-ness.  Like he's taking his last bow, doing a little shuffle dance & saying "Hey folks, it's been great, thanks for coming out, catch you next winter! <<JAZZ HANDS>> Goodnight!"

Now it was still early, but after all that walking we were famished!  Thankfully we were close to the North End, Boston's historic Italian neighborhood which is cram-full of every kind of Italian cuisine you can imagine. Can you hear the angels sing?

We ended up going to  Panza; and I highly recommend it!  It got rave reviews online with the caveat that there were often long waits.  Well, thanks to being so early, we got in with no wait and had a prime table.

I wish my pictures had turned out, but it was just too dark inside.  Take it from me though, the food was scrumptious.  We had a perfect Caesar salad to start, Sicilian ribs as an appetizer then I had a free-form lasagna with pepper-pasta (amazing) and Aaron had some sort of sausage and rigatoni mish-mash that I wanted to steal from him.

To finish our epic day we had coffee & treats at a nearby cafe ... I had my favorite filled Italian cookies:

Then back to the studio and some serious foot-rubbing ... tomorrow would be our last full day in Boston and we'd be going for a grand tour of my alma mater!

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