One thing I like about the hotel in Boston is its free breakfast. We woke up somewhat early to have breakfast in the hotel since it is served until 9:00 A.M. Then on our way we were to the Boston Public Library, which is rated in the top fifteen library in the nation. In our east coast trip, we did not get to visit the Library of Congress, but at least here is the Boston Public Library. The library here is indeed pretty. One image from my brain that I can recall from the library would be the hall that was filled with green lamps facing down on the desks, and with a semi-circle ceiling. If you were to stand at one end of the room, you would be able to have a very nice view of it. Another thing that stood out to me was the set of swirling stairs that I saw in one of the rooms. It was quite a small staircase but I just thought that it was quite interesting. Last but not least, the outdoor water fountain pool at the lowest level of the library building was a beautiful view as well.
Now the next stop for today -- MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). Unfortunately, when we arrived at the college, we learned that today is actually their graduation. With that said, it is impossible to find anyone to give us a tour around campus (if only my cousin was still here she might have been able to show us around). So what we did was a self-guided tour around the college with the maps. We only walked through some parts of the college as the grassland area in the middle was blocked for graduation and also with the limited time we had. MIT does seem to be a very nice college campus indeed, with a nice view of the harbor across the street as well. We then took the metro back to the stop of Government City and went pass the State House again and to the Black Heritage Trail office. However, later we decided that there may not be enough time to do a tour around the trail, since we had to meet up with ACDC (Asian Community Development Corporation) in Chinatown afterwards. So what we did instead was to save the trail tour for tomorrow and headed to Boston Chinatown. Chinatown was actually not that far from where we were so we walked there within about fifteen minutes. We ate at a restaurant named Gourmet China, in which we later learned that it was actually a newly built restaurant. We had quite many dishes on the table, but more than half of them were spicy (as about half of the food items on the menu were spicy) so I probably did not eat much. After we placed our orders, the waiter recommended us to take one more order as it may not be enough to feed all of us, so we listened to their recommendation and took a XinJiang dish, with much regrets in the end. Next, most people in our group went to buy some egg puffs while the rest of us headed to the Chinatown gate to wait for the ACDC group that was going to give us a tour around Chinatown. I was standing there, waiting with excitement, because I know that later on I will reunite with my friend whom I haven’t seen for two years. She was once a participant in the Urban Institute summer program in year 2014, and that was when I met her, also the same case for some of the others in our group for this trip. I actually did not realized that Debbie (I’m going to say your name here) was from Boston, although I do know that she was, but just didn’t come to realize until the day before we headed to Boston. Just when I was trying to figure out how I would meet up with her, she told me that she is working for ACDC now and that her group is actually scheduled to meet up with us, the CCDC group from SF. Wow that was pretty surprising to hear. Although I was almost sure that I would see her in Boston when our two groups meet, I did not tell the others as I wasn’t 100% sure that it would happen and I don’t want to bring disappointment to them. Well, now it came out pretty well since it brought surprising moments to them.
We were given a See-Town tour around Boston Chinatown by two youth tour guides from the program A-AVOYCE. Now our first stop was the front gate in Chinatown where next to it was a park where we saw many elderly citizens playing card games. This also reminded me of Portsmouth Square in SF, as well as the Columbus Park we visited earlier in our trip at New York. A slight difference would be that this park does not have any shelters so I would wonder if seniors would still come out on rainy days. Another thing that stood out to me was the hexagon shaped features that were placed on the other side of the Chinatown gate, which I learned from the tour that they were just newly added to the park area, intended for children to play on. In my opinion, those features seem a bit dangerous for little children to play on because of the empty holes they have in the middle. The concept of having those added to the park though, was to have children and elders to play around the same area. Throughout our tour, we saw a very big mural (which is the only mural in Boston Chinatown), a few alleys, a statue of Confucius, a Chinese school, and several tall buildings. After the tour we did a youth exchange with the ACDC group and unfortunately Debbie had to leave for work. It has been a while since I’ve done a youth exchange, and now it is back. Both of our groups basically shared what we each do, with all the youth programs and projects that we have done and are currently doing. We stayed inside the building for a while to chat with them before we headed on to the next stop for today. We finally left their office and made our way to the Boston Market. We got off the metro station and the market was literally right there on the block, and it was an indoor market. We went in and explored about the market, where most of us stopped to check out a donut eating contest (perhaps because today is National Donut Day). I was really amazed at how much donuts they can intake within that short amount of time. The donut smell that was floating around did somewhat make me want to eat a donut, but I later gave up on that thought as I found that it was too expensive. This Boston Market here somewhat reminds me of the Lonsdale Quay Market I have visited about one year ago in Vancouver, except this one here is much smaller.
Then we headed onto our last stop of the day -- Skywalk Observatory. Back to the Prudential Center we were at earlier just yesterday, we went to the counter and almost all of us bought a ticket for $7 and up we were on the elevator to the 50h floor to view Boston from high above the surface (this was actually not that high compared to the observatories that I’ve been to in Chicago and Seattle in the previous two trips)! Now this was when I realized that my phone did not have service after two other people from our group who also uses cricket as their server (it was nothing much to panic though, as I learned later in the day that something was wrong with the cricket server so the problem was actually nationwide, and basically we just couldn’t use our phone for about 1⁄4 of the day). We stayed at the observatory for a good one hour to see the sunset, although I was somewhat disappointed because I wished to see the night view of Boston, but too bad the Skywalk Observatory closes at 9:00 P.M. anyways.
To end our day, we went to a Japanese restaurant named Wabora for a quite pricey dinner. I ordered a rainbow roll and it was pretty decent. This concludes my second day in Boston, and I am looking forward to the remaining two days (or one and a half day rather) of our east coast trip as it is approaching to its end. Now that my phone has no service, there is nothing better to do except sleeping a bit earlier tonight and get some rest!