This is a nice little piece of Boston history. Most people don’t realize almost all of modern Boston began as landfill projects. I believe Back Bay was the first major city area built on landfill.

This is Real Life.

boston_1630_1675The year was 1630. They looked across a swampy bay that seemed somewhat eerie in how quiet it was. They could see their boats in the distance bobbing up and down in their newly made harbor. The smell of the mud and animals wafted up toward them as they stared into the future of what this land could behold.

Almost 400 hundred years later, I looked across the same water. It was in a very different shape now; wrinkles and hills still shaping the streets of the old city. Boston has been shaped and melded into an industrial, financial, and scholarly city that is very different from its beginnings.

I was taken to Boston the new-fangled way, a very different trip than the first settlers. Boston Logan International Airport is fairly atypical for a large city because it’s so close to downtown. It took a quick subway ride to get to…

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Black & White Sunday: Layers

This is one of those prompts that I find complicated because it’s so simple. It mean so many things and can be interpreted in many ways. I love Paula’s photograph showing layers of history. Lacking layers of history, here are two photographs, the first from me, the second from Garry:


Through the arch passing under Boston’s Statehouse


Through the fence to the iron cowboy in Arizona


On September 11, 2001, I had just gotten back from overseas. I’d been in Israel, a business trip. While there, I picked up some kind of nasty bug that kept me very close to home — and a bathroom — and so, I was at home when the phone rang. Sandy and I were in my bedroom, sorting through some clothing. It was Owen — her husband, my son — on the phone.

“Turn on the television,” Owen said.

“What channel?” I asked.

“Any channel,” he said. “Do it now.”

I did. “The World Trade Center is on fire,” I said.

“A plane hit it,” he said. And as I watched, another plane hit the other tower and the world spun round and nothing was the same after that.

Hitting the Tower

We watched, silently. Owen was watching at work, on the other end of the phone line. Then, a tower was gone.

“The tower is gone. Gone,” I whispered.

Then, the other tower fell.

Nothing remained but a cloud of dust and a giant pile of toxic rubble. Information started to come in. One of my co-workers was supposed to be on one of the planes that had hit a tower. I called, but he said he had changed his mind at the last minute. He felt he didn’t want to go on that flight. He’d take a different flight, later.

Close as we were to Boston, everyone was calling friends, family, trying to find out who was where, who was not, if anyone knew something. We watched television, we waited. Garry got home from Channel 7. He said the newsroom had been a very strange place that day. Very strange.

We knew the world had changed. We didn’t know how much.


15 years later, we know. It will never be the same. So many differences, some subtle, most not-so-subtle. It was the end of our belief in our invulnerability. Here was an enemy we didn’t know we had, didn’t know was out to get us. Didn’t recognize the hatred behind the rhetoric.

This is a good day on which to remember who lived, who died. And how hatred is still ruling the world.

Has anything we have done, any fighting in which we have been engaged during the past 15 years made the world safer or in any way better? No? Then we need to start fixing the reasons for war.

Terry Pratchett defined Peace as “that period of time during which nations prepare for the next war.” We need to change that. I do not claim to know how, but I’m not running for President.



I have to dive into WordPress and see why I’m not getting Paula’s notifications. Fortunately, I saw someone else’s post and it wasn’t too late!

Downtown city night

Downtown city night

I love shooting at night. These are both taken in Boston, at night. I wish we got into town at night more often. Next time will be next month – October – for another concert. Same theater district. But hopefully, new views.

Schubert Theater boston night

Thursday’s Special: Nocturnal



This is as iconic a view of Boston as there is. Taken from the top of the tallest building on State Street, overlooking the harbor, Custom House, Logan airport, and East Boston across the harbor.

Taken using my not-very-good cell phone because I didn’t have a camera. Through a window. Nonetheless, a view worth preserving.


The buildings change as time goes on, yet I’m sure Sam Adams and the other revolutionaries would easily recognize this view. It is Boston. Totally, absolutely Boston.

Black & White Sunday: Always there



It’s oddball photograph time again. Thank you Cee!

This is a pile of empty boxes from lenses, cameras, and other photographic equipment. I can’t seem to bring myself to throw them out. Half of them are in a trash bag … but I still have the bag. And the boxes. Just in case.


In the following photograph, a Japanese tourist was acquainting himself with America’s foremost fomenter of revolution, Sam Adams.


Which would be …


This would have been a perfect time to take some garden pictures … except that the rain is coming down in sheets. There’s a hurricane racing in from the Gulf of Mexico and a huge, unrelated storm charging up the east coast. It’s going to be a gray, soggy week. Funny about that. This is usually the best weather of the year.


It looks as if the kayakers abandoned their belongings on the pier. Given the weather, who could blame them?



A Photo a Week Challenge: Phone-tography

From Nancy Merrill:

“Cell phone photography is so prevalent these days, I figured it was about time I had a challenge where you pull out your phones and take a picture. There’s no theme other than a photo taken with your phone.”

I  am not a fan of cell phones. The sound quality is pathetic and I can barely read the text, with or without glasses.

They aren’t good telephones and aren’t cameras at all, even though you can use it to take pictures. Photography is more than just capturing an image.


Last weekend, we went to a wedding in Boston and I did not bring a camera. In my defense, I was carrying an evening bag into which a camera would not fit. When we got to the event and I saw the view from the 33rd floor of 60 State Street. I wished I’d brought a camera even if it didn’t go with my dress. I had tucked the phone into my bag, so for the first (only) time, I took some pictures using the phone.


The quality isn’t fabulous, but it was the what I had available. I’m glad I got pictures because “not great pictures” beats “no pictures.”