This day, I woke up early and took to the streets of Boston with a snarf map and a 13-page spreadsheet detailing every snarf on the map, color-coded to show if I’d already snarfed it on a previous trip to Boston or not. I didn’t want to waste time going out of my way to get a snarf, only to find I had already snarfed it #firstworldproblems. I was also determined to walk the parts of the Freedom Trail I hadn’t tackled in previous trips (which I accomplished on Day 8, so more on that in the next post). The T was a short walk down a walking path from tobysrus’s place, which was quite convenient, meaning I could come and go whenever I liked. There were even some snarfs in Cambridge along the path on the way to the station! Ha!
I situated myself a bit south east from where the conference location had been, in an area south of most of the freedom trail and parts already snarfed. There were historic hotels, statues, parks, and more. My plan was to work counterclockwise and hit as many snarfs as possible, taking the T if I needed a walking break or to bypass large already-snarfed chunks.
I ended up reaching the Boston Public Gardens pretty early on in the day and, naturally, I had to leave a copy of Make Way for Ducklings at the statue. (A good rule for BookCrossers out snarfing: try to get your books released as early in the day as possible to make the load lighter as you venture forth on your adventures). It was a pleasure to see the statue again, and I especially liked the little snow duck someone had sculpted:
I headed north from there into Beacon Hill, where I discovered that it is best to go in a downhill direction. Unfortunately, I ended up going uphill, painfully, then downhill, then uphill again a bit in order to catch some more snarfs. I wish I’d done it the other way around, because those are some seriously steep and exhausting uphills! But they came with dogs… who seemed terribly eager to see me.
What I was eager to see was a sign for a Black Heritage Trail. I love trails, and I hadn’t known this one existed. So I started following the signs to the start. It took me forever to find the museum, and then I was nervous to go in. But I finally did and picked up a brochure with a list of the stops. Unfortunately, not all of the stops had markers, and there was no specific trail marker. So I had a little scavenger hunt I hadn’t counted on. But I ended up seeing some amazing buildings, including some owned by fugitive slaves who ended up in prestigious positions and others that were abolitionist meetings houses or stops on the underground railroad. I also passed Louisa May Alcott’s home.
I was so exhausted after this climbing walking, I took the opportunity to take a train to the next area of the city. I emerged from the T station, which was supposed to be right next to a marker on the National Register of Historic Places called the Sears’ Crescent. I looked high and low for it… but I couldn’t find it. I typed its GPS coordinates into Gillian… but I still couldn’t find it. I found the first telephone call (bonus snarf!)… but not the Sears’ Crescent. I found a nice gentleman who saw that I looked lost and wanted to help, though. He asked what I was looking for, and I told him. I’m sure he was expecting something more touristy. He said he’d lived there all his life and had never seen such a thing. I told him it might not have a sign or plaque on it, but that it should be right there. We wandered to the other side of the T station, right next to the exit… and I looked up. There, right there in front of me, was a GIANT building shaped as a crescent with the words “SEARS’ CRESCENT” written on it. All I’d needed to do was to look up. The guy laughed and said he’d never even noticed that building before; I bet now he’ll always notice it when he uses that T station!
That wasn’t my only encounter of the day with a helpful Bostonian. I guess seeing a girl walking around with a map, a spreadsheet, a camera, and an Eeyore is cause for asking questions. I was trying to find a plaque I’d missed before in a spot at the heart of the city, passing tons of markers I’d already snarfed, looking for the one I’d missed. An older man asked me if he could help me find something. I told him he probably couldn’t and that I was hunting a small historical marker. He pointed me toward the large buildings like the Old State House Museum. Yeah. I’d seen that. I kindly talked to him about Markeroni then shook him off. But I ended up finding the plaque I’d been looking for nestled on a building on the opposite side of the street, then I resumed my looking alone. One of my favorite things was this outdoor bookstore.
I was winding up a very long day by snarfing in the theatre district when a young man came up to me, asking if I’d donate to the Human Rights Campaign. I hate doing this kind of thing on the street, but I was familiar with the organization already. He asked what I was in town for and when I said it was for the AWP conference, he said he’d heard of the org and had friends in the lit department who were in it (which I only half believed, LOL). But, yeah, I work for a nonprofit, so I couldn’t donate much, but I ended up setting up a small monthly reoccurring donation.
Exhausted, I headed back to Cambridge and realized that the art in the park I walked through to get to & from the station were actually snarfs! That was a happy surprise! So I walked around snarfing all of them, the end of a pretty darn successful day of marker hunting. I saw a lot of neat sites of Boston I’d never have noticed otherwise… especially those that are crescent-shaped!
For dinner, tobysrus and I went to an Irish pub. I can’t remember what I ate, but it was most likely a salad.