Two Evenings With The Boston Pops

Keith Lockhart

Week 21 of 52

We’re seeing not one but two Boston Pops concerts this week. Unlike Red Sox games, we were able to get tickets… (maybe they need to work some sports angle into their marketing). Shown above is their conductor, Keith Lockhart, who looks like he’s winding up for his pitch??? Anyway, he was wonderful to watch; lots of energy and it really looks like he’s having fun. GO POPS!!!

We heard a tribute to Richard Rodgers and George Gershwin Thursday night, and tonight’s concert begins with some fun orchestral music including the William Tell Overture followed by a performance by bluegrass music stars Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder. Symphony Hall in Boston is renowned for its sound, and Harrison was there regularly in the early ’70s when he worked for the radio station that broadcast Boston Symphony and Boston Pops concerts. It’s been a treat for him to hear music there again after so many years.

Boston is a great town, but it’s had its challenges. Like many big cities in the last 30 years or so, they’ve made some decisions that are painful to implement but result in big quality-of-life improvements. Back in the 1950s, Boston split apart the historic area we’re living in by building a gigantic, poorly designed, and extremely ugly elevated freeway right through it. In the mid-1980s they decided to move the freeway underground. That project, known as The Big Dig, was expensive and remains controversial, but from our perspective it was sure worth it! Almost every day we walk on or by the Rose Kennedy Greenway that replaced the freeway when the Big Dig was completed. We see a neighborhood, a community, fountains, parents playing with their kids and their dogs, people reading on the grass, playing in the fountains, riding the carousel. A total transformation of the ugliness Harrison remembers from his time here.

So here’s a request to all of you out there who ever have an opportunity to vote for re-routing highways or other creative ways of re-creating green space. Even if it costs a gazillion dollars and takes 20 years, we’re here to tell you to support the cause! (If you can believe this, Seattle, normally a very progressive city, voted DOWN one such proposal and is considering a ballot measure to vote down another. HEY SEATTLE… come to Boston and take a look.)

Our dear friend Ann from the Big Island came to visit us in the big city for a couple of days. You might remember we visited her and her husband Richard at their place on Cape Cod. The three of us visited the New England Aquarium (we wouldn’t put this on our Do Not Miss list; we’d give it 5 out of 10 stars). But we saw a cool 3D movie at the IMAX, hit happy hour at the Chart House nearby and had some great pupus (they call them appetizers here!), then took a nice evening walk home. The next day Ann and Sharene walked through the Public Garden (a beautiful botanical garden in the middle of the downtown Boston) to fancy Newbury Street and did something they never do back in Hawaii… went shoe shopping! (Flip flops are just fine back home, but shoes are a bigger deal here!) They also toured magnificent Boston Public Library, built in 1848, which is definitely ON the Do Not Miss list.

Chihuly at MFANo, this isn’t the glass museum in Tacoma, but it is the work of the master glass artist, Dale Chihuly, from Washington. He has a current exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts and is it a hit! The photo here is part of a long glass “garden” that takes up an entire room. If this traveling exhibit comes to your town, don’t miss it (10 out of 10). There was so much to see at the MFA, we need to go back to finish up. Besides the Chihuli, we saw all 4 floors of the new Art of the Americas wing, which leaves at least 3 wings of art still to see! Luckily, the price of admission gets you in twice in a 10 day period. We like that idea!


With Fred and Brenda in Boston

We’re toasting our dear, dear friend Fritz who passed away last year. We sure miss you and wish you were here with us!

Saturday we had old friends Fred and Brenda, formerly from California now living near Boston, over for lunch and then a walk to Hanover Street for some afternoon coffee and dessert. Brenda is Dutch so we got some good tips from both of them on things to do and what to expect when we start our time in Amsterdam. So we would like to say Dank u wel! for coming to visit us and for all the great advice.

Honolulu Tower 2003 Home PageSometimes we call ourselves retired, but we still do have a number of business obligations to take care of on the road, including maintaining the websites for and our rental properties. Harrison spent some time this week updating several of those sites and realized that some of you who read these weekly updates might find our About Us page interesting. For those of you who don’t know us very well, that page talks about our early days together and how we wound up in Hawaii.

Our month in Boston is flying by! Here it is the third week and now we need to think about packing for our big trip across the pond on July 6. It’s been a wonderful time so far and every day we are grateful to be on this adventure. It’s all the more fun to know that so many of you are joining us on the virtual ride.

A hui hou!
Sharene and Harrison