Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Everyone has been telling me that I mustn’t miss the Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Even the usually staid AAA guide says it is “considered by many to be Boston’s top attraction … the very embodiment of shopping as entertainment.” So yesterday we decided to give museums a rest. Here you see Bao and his new, best friend, just outside Faneuil Hall proper, which is now a museum.
Faneuil Hall was built in 1742, financed by a wealthy merchant named Peter Faneuil. It stood on what was then the waterfront, and was basically a fish and produce market with a town hall upstairs. It’s as historic as all get out. They do talks and tours and all that. But as I say, we were having a rest from culture.
Little old Faneuil Hall is totally dominated by the massive, copper-domed, Doric-colonnaded, glass-canopied Quincy Market. This pile looks as if it belongs on a Greek mountain-top, rather than in the middle of New England. It’s all façade, though. Inside there’s just one food stall after another. Indian, Italian, Chinese, Greek, Mexican, all the usual suspects. Plus lots of fish, from aristocratically pricey lobster salads to proletarian fried clam rolls and chowders.
Quincy Market is flanked by two extremely long but architecturally unremarkable granite faced, brick warehouses, North Market and South Market. These, and the tree-filled cobblestone walkways separating them, constitute the real marketplace. Every available square foot is packed with shops and stalls and pushcarts selling everything from miniature jade animals to egg cups. They say there’s nothing you can’t buy here, and they may be right. True, most of it is tourist tat, but it’s interesting, unusual tat. Besides, you don’t come here to buy things. You come to watch all the other people who’ve come to watch.
The cobblestone paving was a bit rough on the stroller, but Bao was busy leaving messages on the trunks of all the trees, and didn’t get tired until it was almost time for lunch.
And I did end up buying something, an interesting pair of shoes. They look like clogs, but they only weigh about an ounce, and they’re perforated so your feet don’t perspire, and incredibly comfortable. They’re called Gekkos.
We had lunch in the peaceful shade of huge trees at McCormick & Schmick’s. Fresh oysters and a spinach salad dressed with pecans and strawberry vinaigrette, washed down with lashings of Pinot Grigio.
And I had my hair done, which (as you will know if you’ve been looking closely at the photos) was a matter of some urgency.
Shop ‘til you drop, then eat ‘til you explode.
And go home looking better than when you left.
I can think of worse ways to spend a day.

2 Comments:

Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

Oooops! Should have asked you to check and see if Hog Wild is still in business!

1:31 PM

 
Blogger Betty said...

Sounds like a fun day. Bao is a lucky dog, getting to do all this traveling.

1:38 PM

 

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