Before Ruth & I left for Boston, I found and made a copy of “20 Strange Attractions”. This is becoming a common on-line phenomenon for big cities with lots of familiar attractions, like Beantown’s famous Freedom Walk. Tracking down some of these lesser attractions can be fun. Leigh Harrington created the list, and, without much effort, we saw about 5 of the 20.
Leigh updated her list in August, 2017. Nevertheless, I showed it to a Bostonian who told me that the steaming kettle, #1, is gone. I made no effort to verify this, and Ruth & I also didn’t see The Skin Book, Scarlett O’Hara’s house, the Hood Milk bottle, etc.
The main attraction on the list we had seen on a previous trip to Boston was The Mapparium. This very colorful, stained-glass globe in the Mary Baker Eddy Library at Christian Science Plaza was assembled in 1935 and has never been updated. It, therefore, shows the world frozen in time 5 years before World War II. The entire Christian Science complex, including its huge reflecting pool is under reconstruction, but we relocated the map that 11 million people have reportedly seen. However, when we got there, we learned that the only way to see it now is to take a paid tour. We exited. This is not to say that this quaint attraction isn’t worth seeing.
So are the Sacred Cod and the Golden Grasshopper Weather Vane. Hanging in the old State House, the cod is a symbol of Massachusetts’ colonial success in the fishing industry. Like the Mapparium, we had seen it before. But we had been to Faneuil Hall, perhaps Boston’s most popular attraction, and not seen this grasshopper time capsule because we didn’t look up. This time we did, thanks to Leigh, and saw this weather vane, a historic hoot.
So is Daniel Chester French’s John Harvard Statue at Harvard Yard. It’s now a magnet for students with cell phones who touch his foot for good luck and take selfies with faux John in the background. This memorial is known as the Statue of 3 Lies because Harvard died in 1638 and French didn’t know what he looked like when he crafted the statue about 250 years later. He hired a student to pose for him. Harvard left his library to the new college but didn’t actually found the university that was named for him.
We made it to the Warren Anatomical Museum but not to #20 on Leigh’s list, another statue. She notes that it shows Leif Erickson with “a little too much sass in his hip jut” as he stares at an exit ramp in Charlesgate East.