Places to Visit in Boston

The following is the abridged form of an article which appeared in last week's Boston Transcript by Gwendoline Keene.

Every summer they come out--these articles on how to see little-known Boston, New York or San Francisco on practically nothing. And every summer the visitors get hold of them, follow directions, and are greeted by howls of delight from the natives when they recount the joys of the three-cent forry ride, or the tasty messes at Silvios, the Svenska Brot or Chez Rose-Marie.

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Boston, however, really does have an impressive little handful of inexpensive things to do that even Bostonians don't know about. Her first summer attraction is, of course, salt water, and this means the harbor. Few people know that there is a chance to take part in the harbor life every Tuesday and Friday morning from the first of June through September, when the launch of the Seaman's Friend Society makes the rounds of the harbor ships and heaves packages of magazines and books aboard each. The launch leaves from a float under the Chariestown end of the Charlestown bridge--the big one that the elevated goes over--and two large signs identify it. There is room for twenty visitors. There is no charge, you simply go down to the float at ten o'clock and get taken aboard.

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For private cruises there is a "water taxi" stand in back of the South Station and another at Charlestown, under the old Warren Bridge, which is north of the one the Seaman's Friend launch sails from. The Charlestown taxis are extremely inexpensive, in fact fifteen cents takes you a long way. You can just cruise, going way out to Brewster if the weather is good, or you can take along a lunch and be left to spend the day on Governor's Island or Peddockls, Governor's Island has the ruins of old Fort Winthrop, and is large and explorable but a trifle grubby; Peddock's is way down near Hull. These islands, however, are apt to be crowded on a weekend.

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The harbor suggests the Navy Yard, and if you have ideas about disarmament you may go there to watch the framework of the new destroyer being laid down. Saturday and Sunday afternoons are the only times when you are shown on board the Navy ships.

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If foreign atmosphere is what you want, and there's even a chance of east wind, try the North End, for often the North End will be skipping around in this salty blessing when the city proper doesn't know it exists. The gay and picturesque "festas" for which the North End is famous are held on week-ends, Friday evening through Sunday, by societies of former residents of various towns and villages in the old country, mostly in Sicily. They celebrate the village's patron saint and include concerts, processions and evening illuminations. The society of San Giueppe di Riesi will celebrate July 28-30 and that of San Giuseppe di Pietra on Aug. 4-6. Others who have not yet set a date are those of Maria Santissima della Cava di Pletraperzia, San Calegro di Sciacca and the Madonna di Anzano.

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All the world knows about the Boston Athenaeum; few know that non-members are not only allowed, but invited, to push open its massive doors at 10 1-2 Beacon street. It would be a distinct breach to ask to see the famous collection of "scruple" books in which the members dip at will; and you mustn't even cast a longing eye at the Vanity Fairs laid out in the magaxine reading room. The Athenaeum, however, is a place no explorer should miss, even if the glimpse is a brief one, for the Athenaeum is the distilled quintessence of Bostonlanism. Hours are nine to five-thirty on other week-days.

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But perhaps you prefer Bostonianism strictly modern. Then have you tried a "dollar hop" at the East Boston Airport? You can hop for fifty cents at another one, but most people would prefer to spend the extra half-dollar. Saturday afternoons the Army planes go up, and Sunday afternoons the others, and there are always passenger planes coming in or taking off. Sunday afternoons during the summer there is sometimes a special program, and in any case a flight, or even the sight of others trying it, is a certain cure for boredom.

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