Our 4th of July Independence Day celebration was pushed up to the 3rd due to an approaching tropical storm. So the evening when there's usually a casual rehearsal for the Boston Pops and musical guests (this year: the Beach Boys) turned into the real thing. I scrambled to get into town late the night before since many of the streets would be blocked off a day early. Then on the evening of the festivities, as we watched on TV preparing to wander down the street to watch the fireworks over the river, a thunderstorm was racing in so they pushed those up suddenly, cutting short the concert and setting off the fireworks even as we hustled into our shoes and down the street. The rain poured down about 15 minutes after they finished, when the real boomers went off. All a bit rushed, but mission accomplished.
After watching the PBS show on Frederick Law Olmstead on Saturday night, we decided to go explore the Back Bay Fens section of Boston's Emerald Necklace, the interconnected system of green space designed by Olmsted, stretching from Franklin Park in Dorchester to the Back Bay -- and connecting to three older parks not designed by Olmsted: the Commonwealth Ave Mall, the Public Garden and the Boston Common, 7 miles in all. We'd been through some of the Fens before on our way to and from the Museum of Fine Arts, which sits alongside the Fens. But we hadn't crossed the Muddy River to wander on the other side before.
The first thing we saw was the World War II, Korea and Vietnam memorial for service men and women from Boston killed in those wars. The World War II memorial names list was filled with Donovans and McDonoughs and O'Donnells and O'Neils and Walshes and every Irish name in the book. I didn't get around to reading the names on the Vietname war memorial, but having grown up during the Vietnam war, the S-shaped map and its place names were very familiar to me from the daily TV news and the magazines of the time. D of course was more directly affected by Vietnam as his generation was targeted by the draft (he joined the Peace Corps to avoid it).
Behind the war memorial park was the loveliest rose garden, the James P. Kelleher Rose Garden, established in 1930. D has lived in Boston most of his life and never knew this garden existed. Apparently it went to seed a bit during the 1980s but has since been restored to glory with thousands of new plantings and renovated structures.
In the garden, couples sat on canopied benches around the perimeter as a fountain geysered in the middle in a small pool. Along the pathways were roses of all varieties, marked with their names, such as the Chihuly Rose and the Julia Child Rose. We spotted a baby rabbit munching away on something, although it didn't appear to be roses. At any rate, there were plenty, more than any little bunny could put a dent in.
After leaving the garden, we decided to cut through the MFA to get the T back (D has a membership, otherwise it would be a very expensive cut-through). But one can't just cut through a museum without getting lured hither and yon on the way. No time to get into the visit now, but I'll share this one photo from the nearly ended exhibition of Latin American contemporary art - recognize us?