Tag Archives: walking tours

Decorative Defects on Beacon Hill

Wandering the cobblestone streets of Beacon Hill was as artistically satisfying as an evening in a favorite art gallery. So many details foreign to my suburban existence in Midwestern Ohio. So much history, both recorded and unspoken. The urge to see it all pulled against my desire to linger and take it all in.

Just steps away from the Massachusetts State House, the area hums with an energy all its own. Historical echoes or the glamor of present day politics? No matter. Beacon Hill is a fascinating ramble.

Defective glass panes are a mark of distinction on the faces of the staid brick mansions and bowfront row houses. Many of these unconventional splashes of lavender date back to a defective glass shipment from England in the early 1800s. An increased amount of magnesium in the panes caused them to turn purple with sun exposure and clear windows began sporting individual stained glass panes.

Reportedly, the company that produced the changeable glass was unable to duplicate its mistake for future profit, lending the few “defectives” that remain an unexpected charm and value.

Boston Things To Do


Ducklings in Boston Public Garden

Tucked amidst the solemn and the historic of downtown Boston in Boston Public Garden is a sculpture honoring a classic children’s picture book.   Created by Nancy Schon, “Make Room for Ducklings” commemorates Robert McCloskey’s book of the same title.  The whimsical piece features Mrs. Mallard and her brood of fledglings en route to their chosen home on a lagoon island in Boston Public Garden.

McCloskey’s book is the official children’s book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the sculpture is a charming contrast to the taller skyscrapers and monuments that epitomize downtown Boston.

Boston Things To Do

Downtown hotels within walking distance of Boston Public Garden and the “Make Room for Ducklings” sculpture include the Four Seasons Boston, The Ritz-Carlton Boston Common and Fifteen Beacon.


The Embarcadero


A palm-lined boulevard stirred by the clanging of cable cars and a steady breeze…


“The Embarcadero” is the rather grand moniker of the roadway lining San Francisco’s eastern waterfront.  It begins below the Oakland Bay Bridge, winds past the old Ferry Building, Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, finally ending at Pier 45.


Along the way, one has views of many San Francisco landmarks including Coit Tower and Alcatraz Island.  The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) can be easily accessed at the Embarcardero Station southeast of the Ferry Building.

It’s an easy reference point:  wander west in San Francisco and eventually you’ll land on the Embarcadero.   Further still?  Wear a swimsuit.


San Francisco Things To Do


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