Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Iwalked Boston’s Haymarket

Iwalkedaudiotours.com - Haymarket is an open-air fruit and vegetable market open every Friday and Saturday morning at the approximate intersection of Hanover Street and Blackstone Street. In this market, which dates back to around 1830, you will find dozens of push carts and stands selling some of the cheapest produce in town. The reason that you are able to buy these goods at such a low, low price is that these items are typically acquired by the vendors from wholesalers needing to make space for newer and fresher shipments.

Boston’s Haymarket
Boston’s Haymarket
While the produce may not be the freshest off the vine, the quality is still sufficient enough to draw large crowds here every weekend. A large reason for the attraction, and part of the charm of Haymarket, is the ambience. You have vendors yelling at each other, yellowing at the crowds, and it’s just a very festive atmosphere.

Haymarket has been such a long standing tradition in Boston that even when the Big Dig was performing construction in the area; crews were forced to shut down at 2pm every Thursday so as to allow vendors to begin setting up for the next day. This being a project, mind you, that at its peak was operating at a cost of $3 million per day. All shut down to allow the sale of 99 cent fruits and vegetables.

If you find yourself in the area either during the market or some day in-between, there is a wonderful sculpture embedded into the concrete to take notice of. Embedded into the pavement are little brass pieces of fruits and vegetables that are the symbolic work of Mags Harries. This work was originally created in 1976. Some 30 years later additional symbols such as mushrooms were added. The work is titled Asaroton and, quite fittingly for this area, means “unswept floor.”

  • Website: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_Square_(Boston)
  • Address: Intersection of Hanover Street & Blackstone Street (address is approximate), Boston, MA
  • Cost: Free to visit. Cheap produce is extra

Monday, June 6, 2011

Iwalked Boston’s Zero Marker – The Boston Stone

Iwalkedaudiotours.com - If you glance at about ankle height you will find embedded in the brick wall a small hollow stone that measures about two feet long. This infamous stone is known as the Boston Stone which was brought over from London in the year 1700 by a painter named Tom Childs. No word on whether baggage fees were associated with bringing the stone stateside.

The Boston Stone
The Boston Stone
Mr. Childs formerly had a shop here and used the stone as paint grinder. Originally the stone was four times its current size before being broken on some four separate occasions. In 1737 the stone was embedded within the brick wall and a stone trough was added to keep carriage wheels from striking the location.

Many sites will have you believe that this stone was once the Zero marker—that being the point from which all distances to Boston were measured. This, in fact, has never been the case. The Massachusetts State House has served this purpose for years, either as the Old State House on Washington Street or its current home on Beacon Street.

  • Website: http://www.celebrateboston.com/sites/boston-stone.htm
  • Address: 10 Marshall Street, Boston, MA (Address is approximate)
  • Cost: Free