Sunday, August 20, 2006

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Friday morning we didn't do such a great job at getting up and about early in the morning. We opted to sleep in a bit. Then packed up all our things so we'd be ready to load the car right after check-out.

Then we headed back into Boston to Faneuil Hall Marketplace (also known as Quincy Market). Faneuil (rhymes with Daniel, as best I can tell from listening to the locals) Hall is four places in one location - Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market, and South Market, all set around a cobblestone promenade where street performers from all over the world entertain the passers-by.

In 1742, Boston's wealthiest merchant, Peter Faneuil, built Faneuil Hall as a gift to the city. The building was home to merchants, fisherman, and meat and produce sellers. George Washington toasted America's 1st birthday there. The market remained a vital business hub throughout the 1800s, but by the mid 1900s, the buildings had fallen into disrepair. The 1976 renovation was the first urban renewal project of its kind.

There was lots of food to choose from, but we decided it would be best to stick with local cuisine. We had New England Clam Chowder. Then we walked through the marketplace shops. I found a rubber stamp store called Stamp of Approval, which was tucked in among several shops in a sort of craft/tourist mall area. It's about the tiniest stamp store I've ever seen. More like a booth at a trade show. Probably about 6 feet wide and maybe 8 feet deep. Inventory was packed in, but there didn't seem to be much that was fresh or recent. I was specifically looking for acrylic blocks, but the woman that worked there didn't know what an acrylic block was - she tried to sell me some metal tins instead. Despite her "help," I did manage to find one long acrylic block. I was a bozo and left ALL of my blocks at home, but brought LOTS of rubber stamps on EZ Mount with me. So, the one block will have to suffice, unless I manage to locate another rubber stamp store.

After shopping, we stopped to watch the street performers. They were fairly entertaining, but could use some practice before they hit the big time. The funniest joke one of the performers told was when he was explaining to the crowd that they are trying to earn enough money to go back to England. And if they don't earn enough money, they'll have to stay here. And marry one of your daughters. Or sons. Because this is Massachusetts. And that's legal here.


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