Boston Rambles

Boston Rambles

A Rambler Walks and Talks About the Hub of the Universe

Wayland, Massachusetts: Waylaid in Wayland

Upper Boston Post Road #5 (UBPR #5) “We were resolved to go the Sudbury road, (which was the main road that led to Worcester ) and go as far as the the thirty-seven mile-stone, where we had left the main road and taken the Framingham road.” Ensign Henry DeBerniere, from his report to General Thomas… (read more)

The Slowest (and Best) Route Possible: On Post Roads, Turnpikes, Highways, and the Art of Walking.

For Cheryl, whose journey was cut short. ***** Why? This is the most frequent question I am asked about this project. What possible reason could I have for wandering along some old road on foot when I could much more easily and comfortably drive to all the interesting spots along the way and get to… (read more)

Weston, Massachusetts: The Myth of the Wild Weston

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #4 (UBPR #4) “It was my dream that screwed up, the stupid hearthside idea that it would be wonderful to follow one great red line across America…” Jack Kerouac, On The Road, p. 13. ***** There’s no @*&# sidewalk! Standing on the busy edge of Route 20 next to Dunkin’… (read more)

Westwood, Massachusetts. Mile 14: Shunpiking Ye Waye Through Ye Swamp (WTPR #15)

“Great commotion about the course of the turnpike thro’ Dedham. Many dread it as bad as a standing army, to spunge them of money.” Fisher Ames Diary, May 19, 1802. “plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”) ***** This is entry… (read more)

Waltham, Massachusetts: Across The Plains

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #3 (UBPR#3) “Sudbury Road, now Main Street, early laid out as a principal thoroughfare to the western settlements, extended through the comparatively uninhabited plain, important only as a means of communication to distant regions. The fact that the territory was unsettled doubtless accounts for its generous width and straight direction…”… (read more)

Dedham, Massachusetts. Mile 10: Trials and Tribulations (WTPR#12)

“He told me that this place was the most sharping country ever I was in and that this little piddling trick was only the beginning of it and nothing to what I should experience if I stayed there but some weeks.”1Dr. Alexander Hamilton, Gentleman’s Progress: The Itinerarium of Dr. Alexander Hamilton, 1744. edited with an… (read more)

Waltham, Massachusetts: Stuck at the Border or, Pilgrim’s Lack of Progress!

Upper Boston Post Road Entry #2 (UBPR #2) “You will go through the counties of Suffolk and Worcester, taking a sketch of the country as you pass; It is not expected you should make out regular plans and surveys, but mark out the roads and distances from town to town, and also the situation and… (read more)

Mile 0, Boston, Massachusetts: The Origin of the Post Road (WTPR#2)

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people upon us.” John Winthrop, A Model of Christian Charity *** This is the second entry from my previous project, Walking the Post Road. I have been slowly transferring the entries over to this project for a… (read more)

Milestone 5, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts: The Art of Walking (WTPR #1)

“I have met but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of walking…” Henry David Thoreau, Walking *** This is the very first of the entries from my previous project, Walking the Post Road, which I have been slowly transferring over to this project for a number of… (read more)