Boston map

Satellite view

Boston view

Boston photos

Aerial photos

Steady blue, clear view.
Flashing blue, change due.
Steady red, rain ahead.
Flashing red, snow instead.
* (or today's Sox game is cancelled)

-- John Hancock weather beacon

Boston Harbor Seaport District Boston memories Buildings Boston accents
Boston driving The Big Dig Sightseeing Going out Portals Civic Transportation
Maps Massachusetts Colleges Sports Media Webcams Other

Charlie on the MTA

Dirty Water
  I came to Boston from Seattle in 1973 for college and like many of the area's students, I grew roots while I was here and never left this city, that has some of the world's best colleges, hospitals, technical development, restaurants, neighborhoods (SoWa?), and the liberal policital views correspond well with mine. (After decades of living in several apartments in the city and owning a couple of suburban houses, we currently live on the South Shore in Hingham, in a house we bought and rebuilt.) The city has such a rich history and I am fascinated to see the locations of events from America's past that took place in Boston.

I regularly pass by the location of Ben Franklin's birthplace, which is identified by a bust of Franklin that nobody seems to notice above the 2nd floor windows of an office building at 17 Milk Street (there is a big red Sir Speedy sign on the first floor now), just around the corner from the front of the Old South Meeting House on Washington Street (see intersection showing Franklin birth place in background). On daily walks at lunchtime my good friend Margarette and I walk a 3-mile loop from our office that circles around the Boston Common and Public Garden, strolling past the Bull and Finch pub on Beacon Street that was the supposed setting (shown during the theme song) of the TV show, Cheers (I've been inside the actual building which looks nothing like the TV show). Margarette and I also do a 20-mile, fundraising Walk for Hunger every year.
  One cool thing about Boston (where I have lived most of my life) is that jaywalking is tolerated and you can usually cross the street anywhere you can do it safely because drivers will typically yield to pedestrians. I am not recomending you step out onto a road full of traveling cars and expect them to stop, but if the road is empty for a half-a-block you can safely proceed, and if the drivers can see you they will slow down and not run over you. I have to remember this is not true everywhere and some locations expect (require) you to only cross the street where this is a cross walk with a lit up WALK sign.
I get a feeling of pride when I notice how many people there are on the streets of Boston carrying tourist maps, knowing they have chosen to come and explore the city where I am thrilled and privileged to be every day. I love to explore the city myself as a tourist when friends from out-of-town visit, and once even went on the Boston Duck Tours with my kids.

History of Boston
Sites of interest in Boston
Financial District - lots of good links to explore on this site
Boston/Downtown - Travel guide at Wikivoyage
Mapping the 10 Buildings That Tell the Story of Boston
Five Big Post-World War II Changes That Shaped Modern Boston
Full of BeansScot Lehigh, The Boston Globe Magazine1, October 19, 2003
You know you're from Massachusetts if...
Things you should know if you're coming to Boston
You know you're from Boston when...
How Boston prepared me to travel the world – great Kate McCulley article (see more at Adventurous Kate)
Low bridge claims another truck – this happens every year when college students rent vehicles to move
How you're supposed to navigate a traffic rotary – I've driven a few rotaries in my 40+ years living in Boston
Boston photos on Google Maps – as you scroll through each photo you can see where it is on the map in the lower left
The Globe Collection – black & white photos of Boston through the ages, from The Boston Globe
A new lease on life for Kenmore's Citgo sign – the sign was in danger when the building that hosts it was sold to a developer
Where to Stay in Boston – a very good guide of things to see in Boston
Boston Neighborhoods
Google Maps
Neighborhoods map
Boston:  A City of Neighborhoods

  Here are some of the neighborhoods I'm familiar with.

  Downtown Crossing   (Google Maps)
  the intersection of Washington, Summer, and Winter streets
Downtown Crossing – working in the Financial District I stroll here regularly
Downtown Crossing through the years – longtime residents have lived through many changes

  Back Bay   (Google Maps)
  FYI, between the Public Garden and Mass. Ave. the street names are alphabetical (Arlington, Berkeley, Clarendon...)

(Click to enlarge)

"Boston Back Bay" by Sfoskett at English Wikipedia - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Back Bay history slideshow – scroll through black & white photos

  Quincy Market   (Google Maps)
  not far from the building I work in
Fanueil Hall Marketplace – (aka Quincy Market)
Quincy Market photos – these are Google images
Old photos

Boston weather
  Boston has four very scenic seasons—Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Here are photos showing the same setting in all 4 seasons, and some New England weather humor.

4 seasons

Weird weather

Theater scene
  Boston has great theaters, where we've enjoyed seeing touring Broadway shows like
Lunch favorites
  For decades I have lived on the South Shore and worked in the Boston Financial District taking a commuter boat into the city every day. The following eating places are near my office and I go to them regularly. I believe these are primarily for office workers to grab lunch so they might not be available on weekends, but I could be wrong and a lot of these places might be catering to tourists and always be open. Quincy Market is located near my office, and I eat there sometimes at the food court. (I apologize, some of these Google Maps Street View links change sometimes.)

COSI – great salads! (14 Milk Street and other locations)
Flame Cafe – a Greek and Armenian place with great a chicken gyro plate (2 Oliver Street)
Jane's Salad & Buffet – a Japanese buffet with Teriyaki, Tempura, and Sushi (274 Franklin Street)
Boston Kebab – Turkish and Mediterranean delights including a cold buffet and a hot buffet (7 Liberty Square / Kilby Street)
Lanta Asian Cuisine – Thai food, formerly Rock Sugar, I love their Massaman Curry with Chicken (38 Batterymarch Street)
U&D Kitchen – Thai cuisine (184 High Street)
Chacarero – Chilean cuisine, the only makers of a chacarero sandwich (101 Arch Street)
Deli One Deli – the chicken-kabob is fabulous, and one of the few places to get an omelette! (85 Arch Street)
Tossed – great salads! (One Post Office Sq on the corner of Milk & Oliver)

  Food trucks
  Another type of eating establishment that is popular are the lunch trucks that appear daily around downtown at lunchtime. There are several at intersections or parking lots near my office in the financial district, the Boston Common, and Government Center. You order food to go and eat it elsewhere.

Milk Street

Boston Common


Govt. Center


Dewey Square
Food Truck Schedule – see what trucks are where on any day

Top of page

Boston Harbor
(read more)
Boston aerial
from NE
Skyline from boat
Rowes Wharf
and waterfront
Looking East
Nice aerial
Rowes Wharf from
commuter boat
Boston Light
View from Fan Pier
Friend's photo
My photos

  In recent decades Boston harbor has gone through a lot of changes, both in cleaning up the water and improvements and development along the waterfront, primarily in the Seaport District of South Boston. To get to work I ride a commuter boat from Hingham to Boston, so my first sight of the city each day is a spectacular view from the harbor (see my photos). An interesting feature of Boston Harbor is that Logan Airport is located directly across the water from downtown, so one method of getting to the airport from Boston is by water taxi from Rowes Wharf (there used to be water shuttles that ran every 15 minutes—maybe they will come back someday). Many people traveling to the airport from the South Shore take the commuter boat to Rowes Wharf and a water taxi to the airport, or take the Harbor Express from Hingham, which goes directly to the airport and also functions as a commuter boat to Long Wharf in Boston.

What's really exciting in the harbor is all the development that's happening in the Seaport District.

The Boston Harbor Association
Seaport Hotel and Seaport World Trade Center
Massachusetts Water Resources Authority
     Swimming at Boston Harbor Beaches
Tide Chart Index
The old Northern Ave. bridge operator's house   (see actual photo)
Boston Northern Avenue Bridge Ideas Competition
Boston By Boat
Commuter boat photos

Boston Harbor Islands
  You can take a boat from Long Wharf or Hingham to visit the islands.
Boston Harbor Islands National Park Area
     Ten Islands – island profiles, facts, tidbits, maps
Official Boston Harbor Islands Guides
Boston Harbor Islands State Park
Friends of Boston Harbor Islands

Top of page

Seaport District

Seaport location in Boston

Before & after

Historical view

The Rise of the Seaport – a good description of what's going on

  The Seaport District (aka Innovation District), the part of South Boston that borders the harbor, is getting a lot of recent development (pre-development photo).
Some of the first things that were built there are: There are office buildings, restaurants, hotels, and residential and retail space coming up all over. One interesting incident happened when they were excavating the foundation of a new building on Seaport Boulevard and they came across the remains of a 19th-century shipwreck buried underground (apparently the Seaport District is mostly landfill and this ship had sunk in a location that must have been water at one time). Archaeologists were called, who came and took it away. The building was completed with this great slogan. I pass the Seaport District every day on my boat commute to Boston and it is fascinating to watch all the ongoing development as it occurs.

Amazon has announced it will lease a massive new office in the Seaport District and hire at least 2,000 more employees in Boston over the next few years. It would nearly triple the e-commerce giant's workforce in Boston and Cambridge, and make the company one of the region's biggest private employers. This is in addition to their search for a second HQ location, of which Boston is being considered.

Reebok is relocating from Randolph to the Immovation & Design Building.

New development:

  Things that are changed or gone:

Seaport piers


Pier 4

Parking lots
About the only original parts of this section of South Boston remaining are Commonwealth Pier (renamed World Trade Center in 1986) and Fish Pier, home of Boston's seafood restaurant, No Name (see video) which has the best Seafood Chowder! (I ate at the No Name in the '70s, before it added the 2nd floor dining room it has now). A long-time favorite fish restaurant on Liberty Wharf, Jimmy's Harborside closed in 2007 and has been replaced by other restaurants including Legal Harborside (Legal Sea Foods) and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steak House. Another great seafood restaurant on another pier, Anthony's Pier 4, has been demolished and new buildings are being developed on the pier that used to be a parking lot for Anthony's. The old Northern Avenue Bridge, spanning the Fort Point Channel and connecting downtown Boston with Fan Pier, was a drivable swing bridge with Northern Boulevard going over it, and in 1996 the fixed-span Evelyn Moakley bridge (named after Senator Joe Moakley's wife) was built nearby with a new road, Seaport Boulevard, going over it, and the old bridge closed to vehicles in 1999 and became a pedestrian bridge until 2014, when it closed for good due to structural problems. For a long time, during its pedestrian use, it had Julian Opie's LED walking figures ("Suzanne walking" and "Julian walking") mounted on it. My commuter boat docks nearby and I was amused by these figures in motion. They were sponsored by the ICA, where Opie had an exhibit in 2005-2006, and they were removed some time after that. Hopefully it will reopen for the many people who walked across it daily to their jobs in the Seaport District. Decades ago—before Fan Pier devolopment—I remember driving into Boston and parking my car in a parking lot on Fan Pier and walking across that bridge to get to work in the Financial District (and even driving across it occasionally). Those parking lots are long gone.

No longer there:
Here are some photos of Fan Pier over the years:
Old waterfront
(Fan Pier marked)

About 1920

As rail yard

Federal Courthouse

Under development


Top of page

Boston memories


John Hancock
"Plywood Palace"

Gas tank with
Rainbow Swash

Kenmore Square

Fenway Park

Harvard Square

John Hancock

FAO Schwartz Bear

Fan Pier

  I have lived in Metro-Boston since I came here for college in 1973. My first apartment was in Brookline on Beacon Street near Cleveland Circle, and to get to school, or anywhere in the city on public transportation, I hopped on the Green Line trolleys, which ran down Beacon Street with a stop in front of my building. "More than a feeling", a wonderful article in The Boston Globe Magazine1 by a writer who's early memories of Boston are similar to mine, contained the rhyme at the top of this page that corresponds to the weather forecasting light on top of the Old John Hancock building. In 1972, the year before I came to Boston, the old Hancock building had become overshadowed by the new, all glass John Hancock Tower (history), and the new building was having problems with windows falling out and crashing onto the streets below. Until the problem was solved there were many sheets of plywood replacing missing panes of glass and the building was referred to as the "Plywood Palace." Twenty years later Robert Campbell, the Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic of The Boston Globe, wrote a great article about all this in the Globe, "Builder Faced Bigger Crisis Than Falling Windows," and he also described the problems that occurred when the foundation for the tower, which was built in the ground fill of the Back Bay, created structural problems for Trinity Church across the street. Once in the mid-70s when I was in Copley Square I stepped inside Trinity Church to look around, and the treasurer of the church happened to be there and he showed me that if I stood in a particular spot and looked up into the corner of the room I could see the sky outside because the walls had separated from the stress of the Hancock construction. The Campbell article also has a good description of the damper system used in the tower to prevent the building from swaying too much in the wind. Because of its central location, the observatory on the 60th floor of the tower, still the tallest building in New England, provides some of the best aerial views of Boston, but unfortunately it has been closed since 9/11. Now for aerial views go to Skywalk Observatory at the top of the Prudential building. (There is more about recent changes of the Hancock Tower here.)

South Boston Seaport District

Government Center
  Starting in 1962 Government Center replaced Scollay Square.  

Last Days of Scollay Square: 1940 - 1960 – great photos

Post Office Square


  A rather ugly parking garage in Post Office Square was replaced in 2009 by a beautiful park, Post Office Square Park.

Gone but not forgotten
  There are many places that had their heydays in my early years in Boston but are no longer there, like the jazz clubs I went to when I was in college in the 70s, the Orson Welles cinema on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge; the Combat Zone, Boston's district of x-rated clubs and bookstores (and the associated illegal activity).

The follwing stores that I shopped at over the years are gone now—either out of business or just closed in Boston.


Jordan Marsh

Now that the Filenes building at Downtown Crossing has closed for remodeling (the history of the Filene's complex), several great food take-out places located on the outside of the building have gone, but I will keep my reviews here for nostalgia.

This was a takeout window on the front of the building on Washington Street. They specialized in gyros (pita bread wrapped around salad and rotisseried beef+lamb or chicken) but I liked their delicious Greek salad with the gyro meat as a topping and balsamic vinagrette dressing.


This was just around the corner on Franklin Street and served great Mexican food.


This was also on Franklin Street, a hugely popular takeout place named after the only item they served, a Chilean sandwich. Their current takeout location has moved to 101 Arch Street, and they also have a website, and a restaurant on Province Street. One of the things that made the takeout experience at Chacarero special (besides the delicious sandwich) was the line of customers. You had to wait in one line to order and another line to pick up. I used to get the Chacarero when it was only sold on a pushcart. Their website has a great Phantom Gourmet video review.
The Blizzard of '78
  We had a snowstorm in 1978 that dumped 3 feet of snow on Boston in 36 hours, totally shutting down the city for days. I took a series of photos which I have since scanned and put on my website. When I first created this Blizzard of '78 section on my Boston page, I mentioned having photos I had taken of the storm that I would be posting someday. I was contacted by Bostonia, the alumni magazine of Boston University (my wife Patti's alma mater), about the possibility of using some of these in their Spring 2003 issue's Blizzard of '78 25th anniversary article. Unfortunately, I didn't locate my photos before they went to press. Since then I have been provided with another chance to get my photos in print, and get my 15 minutes of fame!
My wedding
  Another event that occurred in my Boston life in the seventies was my wedding to Patti in 1979. We were married in an antique house in Waltham named "The Vale" (the Lyman Estate). We had previously been to a wedding in this beautiful house in the fall, and decided that it was where we wanted to have our wedding, but when we got married in July the temperatures were in the 90s, and we couldn't use the unair-conditioned house for much more than a setting for photos. All wedding activities were outside under a big canvas tent. "The Europeans," a British film starring Lee Remick, was filmed at The Vale (this was released in 1979 so it was probably filmed not long before our July wedding). Someone else married at The Vale took these great photos of the house.
Our home
  Since 1982 we have lived in Hingham, a Boston suburb. I lived in apartments in Brookline and Boston when I was in college, but since 1977 Patti and I have lived in suburbs, originally Weymouth, then Hingham. I work in Boston's Financial District and take a commuter boat to the city every day. Patti, who's a Nurse Practitioner, works in a couple of clinics in Dorchester.

Top of page

Boston buildings & settings       
  Boston tries to preserve its history as well as promote new development2, so you can walk around downtown and see skyscrapers right next to buildings and cemeteries dating back to the 1600s. The routes of some of the streets are centuries old, originally having only foot, cart, and animal traffic, which causes them to be pretty narrow and windy (giving directions can be a real challenge).
  People are probably most familiar with the local buildings that are famous from the War for Independence, which you can see by walking the Freedom Trail, but there are other buildings, some not quite so old, that are also of historical interest. Much of the recent development and new buildings are in the Seaport district.

  My building
  I work in a building in the Financial District in downtown Boston that is identified in this photo. I have been at my current company since 1994 and plan to stay there until my retirement in 2018. That grassy area is called the Rose Kennedy Greenway where there used to be an elevated highway called the Central Artery that was put underground in a tunnel a few years ago in a project named the Big Dig that was the most expensive highway project in the history of the country.

  International Place
  International Place, built in 1992, is made up of 2 buildings, One International and Two International. I remember walking by the site when they were preparing to blow up the building that was there before, and watching the construction was quite interesting. I have only been in the lobby of the connected buildings and once, when I was taking photos I was asked to stop or my camera would be confiscated for security reasons (this was after 9/11).

  Rowes Wharf
  I take a ferry to work ever day from my home in Hingham and walk through the arch at Rowes Wharf. I have been doing this daily since 1983 and it is the best commute to Boston from the South Shore (suburbs South of Boston). I get a monthly pass for the MBTA (Boston's transit system) that works on the commuter rail on the rare occasions when the boats are not operating. When I was first taking the boat Rowes Wharf was not developed and the area was very industrial with no shelter (it is now quite elaborate with a hotel, ferry terminal, and other things). I used to walk under the elevated Central Artery, now I walk across the Greenway.

  John Hancock tower
  The John Hancock Tower, a beautiful glass tower in Copley Square that is the tallest building in New England, has been renamed to "200 Clarendon" (its address) since John Hancock Insurance, whom the building was built for, has vacated and moved to another building in the Seaport District. Most Bostonians will always call the building by it original name, the "John Hancock Tower". Because of its central Boston location the John Hancock Observatory in the tower had the best views of Boston before it closed after 9/11. I was fortunate to have been there before that.

  Trinity Church
  This is located in Copley Square, across the Street from the John Hancock Tower. An interesting piece of trivia—I was once in the Trinity Church, and was shown by the treasurer of the church, who happened to be there that day, that because the Hancock building was built on landfill it caused cracks in the church and if you stood in a certain place you could see the walls had separated in the corner of the church. This probably resulted in lawsuits.

  Millenium Tower
  The Millenium Tower, a residential skyscraper that was built attached to the old Filene's building on Washington Street, is one of the newest buildings in Downtown Crossing. My friend Margarette and I walked by this every day and witnessed the construction. One interesting aspect of this building is that the intersection of Washington Street and Franklin Street used to be one of the hottest in downtown Boston on a summer day because it was in the sun all day, but now it is in the shade and much cooler.
View from Common

  Old Corner Bookstore
This building is a Boston Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It started out as a bookstore and has gone through many uses, and is currently a Chipotle Mexican Grill.

  Ames Building
The Ames Building (1893), State Street at Washington Street, is one of the tallest load bearing-wall structures in the world. At Library of Congress you can see the view in 4 directions from the top of the Ames Building in 1894.

  Winthrop Building
The Winthrop ;Building, built in 1893, the first steel frame "skyscraper" constructed in Boston. You can stand in one spot on Washington Street and in one direction see the Ames Building, one of the last of the old style (load bearing-wall) buildings in Boston, and in the other direction the Winthrop Building, the first of a new style (steel-frame).

  Boston's tallest buildings
Tallest Buildings in Boston
Existing and Proposed Buildings
List of tallest buildings in Boston
Boston's Tallest Buildings (

  Here are some links to photos and images of Boston buildings. See more below under Sightseeing.
A View on Cities - Boston
     Boston Buildings – photos & stats of individual buildings
Boston Pictures & Travel Journal – by Keith Stanley
Boston Skyscrapers – from Skyscraper Picture Collection
Boston Images – paintings of Boston settings
Boston Online - Historic Photos
Aerials Only Photo Gallery of Boston
Boston Aerials Photo Gallery by Della Huff – beautiful photos here
     tree view many, many more pages of photos here
Now and then: How the Boston skyline has changed
Financial District - lots of building links under Notable Buildings

2 In his article Urban Scrawl, Boston Globe architecture critic, Robert Campbell, says Boston's obsession with history may be stifling new architecture.

Top of page

Boston accents
  (and terms)
click on image to hear a classic "Bawstin" accent
  (Doahchestuh. You cahn't get theyah from heah.)

When I first came to Boston, as a newcomer to the Northeast I had to adjust to the local accent (chowder is pronounced "chowdah"). Then I had to learn the local vocabulary, which (sadly) has become somewhat watered-down over the last few decades with words used throughout the rest of the country, probably because so many of us outsiders have chosen to live here. Shelley Murphy of The Boston Globe, is a native Bostonian with a true Boston accent.

Here are videos with some good examples of Boston accents.

Boston city councilor

Whatayou, retahdid?

Boston Sports Nuts

Parking machine

Good fake accents

Some people born and raised in Boston try to lose their distinctive accent, sometimes for professional reasons.
Shelley Murphy pronounces the Boston accent
Listen up: Just say 'ah'
Bostonspeak Primer – from an email
As heard in Boston – terms spelled with a Boston accent
Wicked Good Guide to Boston English – Adam Gaffin's definitive glossary
Boston accent - Wikipedia
U.S. Regional Vocabulary Differences – has a great map showing terms for "soft drink" by county
Locals try to lose Boston accent in class – from The Boston Globe1
A typical example – from Facebook
Boston accent on the Today show

  For a silly (but true) page of Boston facts see "Things you should know if you're coming to Boston".
 Colorful terms
  In Boston we have our own terms for many things which are found everywhere, and some things which are only local. A few of my favorites are:
  • tonic (soda, any carbonated soft-drink)
  • frappe (a milkshake, pronounced "frap," not "frappay")
  • bag (you leave a store with your purchases in a "bag," not a "sack" as they say in some parts of the country)
  • rotaries (traffic circles)
  • expressways (never called "freeways")
  • "the T" (the MBTA, the local transit system)
For an hilarious take on the language and cultural discrepancies between the Northeast and the Midwest (or the rest of the country for that matter), see Jenna's "Culture shock" posting on her blog.

 Local places
  Some of the local places have wonderful nicknames, such as:
  • "Southie" (South Boston)
  • "Eastie" (East Boston)
  • "the Cape" (Cape Cod)
  • "the Vineyard" (Martha's Vineyard, pronounced "vinyihd" with the local accent)
  • "Comm Ave" (Commonwealth Avenue)
  • "Mass Ave" (Massachusetts Avenue – the state name is abbreviated as "Mass" regularly in names)
  • "Mass Pike" or "the Pike" (Massachusetts Turnpike)
 Town names
  Sometimes we pronounce the name of a local town very differently from the way it is spelled (a good guide is "How to Pronounce Massachusetts Town Names").

Here are some local places:
  • Worcester ("WOOS'-tuh", where "oo" is the short sound in "book", not the long sound in "moon")
  • Dorcester ("DOAH'-chestuh")
  • Green Harbor ("Green HAH'-buh")
  • Leominster ("LEM'-inster")
  • Peabody ("PEE'-bdee", not "pee'-body")
  • Quincy ("QUINS'-ee", not "quin'-see")
  • Woburn ("WOO'-burn", where "oo" is the long sound in "moon")
  • Haverhill ("HAYV'-eral", the second "h" is silent)
  • Scituate ("SIH'-chuat") - comes from the Indian name, Satuit
  • Dedham ("DED'-um", not "ded'-ham")
  • Chatham ("CHAT'-um")
  • Needham ("NEED'-um")
  • Hingham ("HING'-um", rhymes with "gingham") - where I live
How to Pronounce Massachusetts Town Names

After hearing these terms so many times over the years (since 1973) they have become part of my vocabulary. I don't think I speak with a Boston accent, but I have been told that I do by people I knew from my youth in the Northwest. Hmmm? I'll have to ask my muthah. I know I pronounce the names of some Western places differently than I did growing up. I now say Nevada as NEVAHDA and Colorado as COLORAHDO, but I DON'T say OREGAHN . . . yet!

Top of page

Boston driving        
  "Survival of the fittest" summarizes the philosophy of the Boston driver, a very interesting breed. When I first drove in the traffic here, I thought Boston had the most out of control drivers I had ever seen. Now, after decades of living here, I have become a Boston driver and I understand the concept. In Boston, somewhat regardless of traffic laws, as a driver you are basically on your own. Everything you encounter on your journey behind the wheel is treated with equal respect, whether it is a traffic light, road sign, or pedestrian. What this means is that you assess what influence each object really has on you and act accordingly, and in Boston traffic you are in a continual state of assessment and adjustment. OK, I admit it, this does tend to raise your stress level a bit, but it might be the only way to function in our traffic, which can be pretty overwhelming. This way of thinking also applies to pedestrians. We J-walk freely, judging our ability to cross the street safely using survival instincts, rather than depending on Walk signs. ("Power to the people!") I think this makes us some of the most aware pedestrians and defensive drivers anywhere. (Unfortunately, this also makes us terrors to drivers coming from elsewhere!) I think these methods are necessary because of the volume of traffic on our inadequate roads. It often seems that if the current laws, many written years ago when traffic was much lighter, had 100% compliance we would have eternal gridlock. When we are several cars back from a traffic light that is turning yellow, we know we will make the light because at least 2 or 3 cars tailgate through the intersection after every light changes to red. Sometimes it's the only way you will make that left turn. When we are the first car waiting at a red light, after the light changes to green we always pause before proceeding to watch for drivers on the cross-street continuing through after their light changes to red, and you must also watch the car waiting opposite you who may "bang a left" and cut you off. Driving in a rotary is another situation with its own set of unwritten rules. By law, the car in the rotary has the right-of-way over a car entering the rotary from a street. However, what occurs is that a car in the rotary is traveling at a speed slow enough to manage the tight curve, whereas the car entering the rotary is driving on a straight road and could be going 40 mph. Typically the car in the rotary yields to the faster car entering the rotary. An interesting concept in Boston driving is that if you can make another car yield you assume the right-of-way, and usually the other driver accepts this as a normal condition of driving here. Crazy! My advice to outsiders driving here is:

    Be assertive—but also be alert and cautious.

They say if you can drive in Boston you can drive anywhere!

More information about Boston driving . . .

Honk if you drive like us - from The Boston Globe1
Go with the flow - from The Boston Globe1
Excerpts from "The Boston Driver's Handbook"
More Boston Driving Rules
Massachusetts Driving Rules – from an email
Basic rules for driving in Boston
Yelling at the car in front of you – I copied this off Facebook (now it's gone) and it fits right into Boston driving
The Boston Driver Song – this is hilarious!
Drive through Boston in 1964

Driving in Boston
Top of page

The Big Dig
The Greenway  

The Central Artery
Then & Now    
  Please note:   The Big Dig was finished in 2005 so some of this content, which was written prior to that, may have to be adjusted.
or I guess this section could just be removed. (But I lived through it for years, so it stays!)

When Boston was a Big Dig of a mess - Massachusetts news - – a nice slideshow with great captions

  The largest public works project in U.S. history, bigger than the Panama Canal or the Hoover Dam, took place in Boston, concluding in 2007. The old Central Artery highway opened in 1959 to handle 75,000 vehicles a day, but by the 90s it was carrying almost 200,000 vehicles a day, making it one of the most congested highways in the United States. The ground was broken in 1991 for the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (the Big Dig's official name) with a projected cost of $2.2 billion, which has grown to an estimate of over $14.6 billion (and it has come to light that $1.1 billion of this was due to mistakes by the engineering firm). The scheduled completion date for the project is December 2004.

The Big Dig consists of several main components:

  • Replacing the elevated six-lane highway (I-93) that slices through downtown Boston with an eight-to-10-lane underground expressway directly beneath the existing road
  • Extending the Mass. Pike (I-90) to Logan Airport, including a series of two tunnels
  • Building a new bridge for I-93 across the Charles River (see the Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge)
  • All the interchanges to connect these components
I walk across the new Rose Kennedy Greenway every day on my way to work (see my building), so I see the day-to-day construction progress.
The Big Dig – great narrative on the whole project
Current Street View on Google Maps – looking across Atlantic Avenue at the Boston Harbor Hotel
Then and Now – a series of photos from the Globe Magazine, March 2, 2008
The Central Artery/Tunnel Project - The Big Dig
The Greenway Today – photos from the Globe, July 22, 2007
Beyond The Big Dig – ideas for using the new ribbon of land
Aerial photos (Aerials Only Gallery)
A colleague's photos
The Grass Isn't Greener1 – the writer makes a good point—joining the two sides instead of separating with a greenway
Boston Greenway provides new look to old neighborhood – a mile of gardens, walkways from North End Park to Chinatown

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Top of page

WBZ-TV anchor

(click to enlarge)
Jack Williams, an anchor on WBZ-TV News, was a small-town DJ at a local radio station where I grew up in the 60s, KSRV in Ontario, Oregon (across the Snake River from my hometown, Payette, Idaho) and he is actually from Idaho, same as me. I wasn't sure if there was an appropriate place on my website for this photo, but it was emailed to me in 2009 by our mutual acquaintance, Bob Dye (a rock promoter in those days, he passed away in 2012), and I HAD to put it someplace.
(Jack probably wouldn't be thrilled to see this but I think it is amusing!)
Top of page
B   O   S   T   O   N         L   I   N   K   S

Favicons for sites that have them are shown next to the links.

     Historical buildings & sites

The Boston Historical Society and Museum – located at The Old State House
     Historical Marker Program – includes a list of historic markers by neighborhoods
Skywalk Observatory – best views, at the top of the Prudential building (see photos)
The Paul Revere House
The Old North Church
Boston's North End Website
Boston Tea Party Ship and Museum
     Where was the actual Boston Tea Party site?
USS Constitution – aka ""Old Ironsides"
Bunker Hill Monument
Old City Hall
Faneuil Hall Marketplace – (also known as Quincy Market)
Boston History and Architecture
Architecture of Boston, MA - Great Buildings Online
Digital Archive of American Architecture
     Architecture in Boston: Walking Tour
     Walking tour 2 Downtown Boston
Postcard Museum - Boston – buildings and places at different times
Boston Travel Guide of Historic Sites, Attractions, Museums and much more
     Site Map
Fan Pier – across the water from downtown, now under development
     Master plan (pdf)
The Boston Harborwalk
Retro Snapshots – Old Boston Photos and Panoramics

     Museums & exhibits

John F. Kennedy Library & Museum
New England Aquarium
The Children's Museum
Museum of Science
The Computer Museum – (now part of the Museum of Science)
Museum of Fine Arts
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
The Museum of Afro American History
The New England Holocaust Memorial
Boston Tea Party Museum Aerial and Bird's Eye View
The Institute of Centemporary Art (ICA)


The Freedom Trail – take the Virtual Tour
     Freedom Trail Map
     Interactive Map – click each red light for more info
Boston Duck Tours
Swan Boats at Public Garden
Boston By Foot - Guided Tours
Boston National Historical Park (National Park Service)

     Public restrooms

Wicked Good Guide to Boston Restrooms
Relief Map of Boston (Gone, but archived)
Public relief – article from The Boston Globe1
Boston's High Tech Toilets

Top of page

Going out

The Boston Phoenix Listings Section / Arts & Entertainment
     Movies (find theaters by town)
     Events (30 days)
Broadway In Boston - Arts & Entertainment
Blue Man Group – you must see this show!
American Repertory Theatre
Jambase Shows – local musical event finder
Blue Hills Bank Pavilion – formerly (Harborlights, BankBoston Pavilion, FleetBoston Pavilion, Bank of America Pavilion)
Tweeter Center
Shear Madness – a hilarious whodunit!
Boston Symphony Orchestra
Boston Ballet


Boston Phoenix Restaurant Reviews
Boston Magazine Restaurant Reviews
Yahoo! - Boston Restaurants
CitySearch: Boston: restaurants
DiningGuide Boston
Boston Restaurants' Menus

Top of page

Portal sites and other collections        
Boston Online – check out the Wicked Good Guides
     The Boston FAQ – from the Boston Globe
CitySearch: Boston
The Boston Information Server
CityBuzz Boston
Yahoo! Boston Metro - Boston, MA
Digital City: Boston
BostonHot.Com – what's HOT in Boston and the suburbs
Top of page

City of Boston – the official homepage
     Crossroads Initiative – some aerial photos
     Back Bay Architectural District – Back Bay history
     Maps of Boston – Redevelopment Authority zoning maps
Boston Public Schools
     Neighborhood maps – find a school by location
The Boston Public Library
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Coast Guard Group Boston
Top of page

Transportation         "Oh,will he ever return?"
Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT)
     Highway Division
     Transit Division – trains, busses, boats
     Registry Division (RMV)
     FAST LANE – breeze through the toll booths on the Pike
MBTA – Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the  – Schedules and Maps
     Subway map
     CharlieCards & Tickets – name inspired by the Kingston Trio song
MASSPORT - Logan Airport
     Getting to and from Logan

Boston Harbor Cruises – harbor cruises, whale watches, commuter boats
Massachusetts Bay Lines – harbor cruises, whale watches, commuter boats
Harbor Express – commute by boat from South Shore to Boston and airport

Boston Transit: The MBTA – great train photos and info
SmarTraveler Boston – Boston area traffic report
Mass Highway 511 – traffic webcams Boston – traffic conditions and accurate current drive times – all about roads in the Boston area

Top of page

MapQuest Maps: Boston
Yahoo! Maps: Boston
Boston Subway Map
Boston Online - Boston maps
Maps Over Time – explore the transformation of Boston by overlaying old, new and future maps
Microsoft TerraServer Image Page – a zoomable satellite view of Boston
MapQuest: GlobeXplorer – another zoomable satellite view of Boston – interactive site locator
Travel Graphics – another nice locator
The Boston Atlas – a zoomable, photographic map
Islands in Boston Harbor – I got this from National Park Service

Top of page

Official website of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
     State Agencies
     Massachusetts Judicial Branch
     The 182nd General Court of Massachusetts
     Senators and Representatives by City and Town
     Department of Environmental Management (DEM)
     Divison of Insurance
     Office of Consumer Affairs
     State Library
Massachusetts Area Code Map
     Area Codes by town
Department of Education
Board of Higher Education
Massachusetts City / Town / Locality links
Cape Cod by Philip Greenspun – beautiful photographs
Better Business Bureau
Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism
National Register of Historic Places: Massachusetts
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Do Not Call Registry – shut out telemarketers
State Symbols, Facts, & Trivia

Senator Ted Kennedy's website
Senator John Kerry's website

Top of page

Colleges (a more complete list at Boston Online)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Boston University
Boston College
UMass Boston
Northeastern University
Berklee College of Music
Harvard University
Tufts University
Emerson College
Massachusetts College of Art
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts
Boston Architectural Center
Campus Visit Boston

Top of page


New England Patriots – the Pats were Super Bowl champions in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017, and were undefeated (16-0) in 2007!
Super Bowl 2017

Julian Edelman
incredible catch

James White
real MVP

Victory Parade
Super Bowl 2015

Malcom Butler

Last few minutes
of game

Victory Parade
Boston Red Sox – the Sox won the World Series in 2004, 2007 (highlights & parade), and 2013! (victory parade photos)
Boston Celtics – the Celts have won 17 NBA Championships, most recently in 2008 (view the victory parade)
Boston Bruins – the Bruins have won the Stanley Cup 6 times, most recently in 2011
New England Revolution
Boston Marathon
Boston teams' championships

Top of page

     Newspapers & magazines

The Boston Globe
The Boston Herald
The Boston Phoenix
Boston Magazine
The Harvard Crimson
The Tech – MIT's web newspaper

Google Maps: Boston Television Stations
Boston: Television Stations
The Boston TV Market – a list of all Boston area TV stations
City of Boston - Film Bureau &ndash includes television
     Radio  (more FM streaming audio on the Music page)

Boston Radio Archives
Boston Radio Watch – latest news on the Boston radio scene
The Archives @ – live Internet radio
Boston Radio Stations

Top of page

Webcams (see more webcams at Favorites and New York City)
EarthCam - Boston Cam – a webcam view from the top of the Prudential
WB56's CityCam view of Boston
WCVB's CityCam5
MMA Webcam: Corner of Temple Place & Washington St.
LiveWave: Camera Browser – Logan Airport, Boston I-93, Providence I-95, others . . .
Aberdeen LiveCam – showing Custom House Tower with airport in background
BU Alumni Web :: Web Cams

     Traffic cams
Boston Traffic Cameras
WHDH-TV - Traffic Cams - Current traffic

     Other New England cams
United States Traffic Cams, others too...
Nantucket Live Cameras
The Maine Webcam Network
Mount Washington Observatory | Webcam Network
Baker Tower Camera – Dartmouth University

Top of page


Boston on Wikipedia – lots of information
Paul Revere Boston photos one of the best sites I've seen for Boston photos
National Weather Service - Boston
Jewish Boston Online
Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
Massachusetts Convention Center Authority
Bayside Expo Center
Government Center – a webpage of info on the neighborhood
Arnold Arboretum
Boston Library Consortium
Citywide Reservation Services – hotels
Welcome to Harvard Square
walkBoston – a non-profit membership organization dedicated to improving walking conditions in cities and towns across Massachusetts
Boston MA Weather Satellite by – live image of New England
Digital Atlas of Boston and Vicinity
Boston Harbor Sailing Club
Discover Newbury Street – Boston's Rodeo Drive
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
I'll miss the Sagamore rotary
The Boston Harborwalk – a walking path through the city's waterfront neighborhoods
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy – this replaced the Central Artery in the Big Dig project
Map Collections – historical Boston aerials
Panopticon Gallery of Photography
Last Days of Scollay Square: 1940 - 1960
Breaking new ground: When Boston built the Prudential Center

¹ Click on Street View to see actual location.
² Some links expire too quickly so I save the pages offline.