Sightseeing, Ducky Style

My parents were in town last week, so I had the pleasure of doing lots of touristy things. Probably the biggest thing I did was go to a Red Sox game (which for a Seattle Mariners fan like me does, in fact, constitute tourism). I also did many smaller things. The best small thing: going on a Duck Tour. (1) Because I happen to really love ducks, and (2) Because our tour guide wore pajamas and pretended to be friends with Christopher Walken. I don't remember his name, but I do remember that he was awesome.

There's nothing quite like seeing the city you live in from an outsider's eyes. Sure, walking around and familiarizing yourself with somewhere new is liberating and can be deeply personal. But there's also something incredible about being a voyeur. At least in terms of tourism. On a tour, you get to listen to someone explain their love for the city--their favorite parts and favorite stories--while you simply keep quiet and watch, asking questions when queries arise.

On the Duck Tour, I learned that Mother Goose is supposedly buried at the Granary. My children's literature classes have taught me that she isn't a real person. Or, if she is, she is based on multiple people. So, though I contended that "fact," it was nice to fantasize.

I also learned that the Copley Plaza Hotel is the Tipton Hotel from Disney's The Suite Life of Zack & Cody. This I had no reason to doubt, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I not only knew the show but also once considered myself a fan. (Side note: Look where Sprouse is now.)

Perhaps the most magical thing I saw--and heard about--was a pair of running shoes in a Back Bay window that had flowers planted in them. Our tour guide revealed these to be old running shoes that get put out every year in honor of the Boston Marathon. What made the shoes so magical for me was that they probably aren't world famous or anything, just a bit of local lore. And local lore is the best kind of lore because, in some ways, it feels like it's yours. Like you're let in on a secret.

Anyways, the point of this blog, I guess, is to remind you not to make Boston only a place for school, or for work. I've been especially guilty of this lately. True, there are so many wonderful professional opportunities here. But don't forget about the littler things that make this city great. And, who knows, maybe you'll create your own local lore while you're here.  


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