Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Come Sail Away

Somerville, Mass - I'm not normally one to let the weather get me down. But when the snow and sleet are accompanied by a Republican upset in the special US Senate election, that's downright depressing.

Fortunately, I've got something to lift everybody's spirits - and whisk us away to warmer climes, at least for a minute or two.

I had to temporarily remove my video of the ICA Boston (from my last post): apparently we don't have all the legal issues sorted yet. In the meantime, I have this clip from Down Under, featuring your favorite travel writer sailing the Whitsunday Islands. Come sail away with me!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Contemplating the contemporary, the controversial and the downright confusing

Boston, Mass - Lonely Planet TV has a new video, this one featuring yours truly at the ICA Boston!

It is rather short. I actually provided loads of footage, much of it shot at the Shepard Fairey exhibit that got so much attention last year. Unfortunately, most of it could not be included, due to copywright issues. (Ironic, since we all know how Shepard Fairey feels about taking artistic license in using other peoples' images.) If you are interested, you can click here to read more about that exhibit.

In the meantime, I have used this opportunity to revamp my page about Boston and New England, which will show off the new video and the new Boston City Guide and Boston Encounter. Check it out!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Grand Union in Union Square

Somerville, Mass - Everybody knows about the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Bunker Hill, but what about the little piece of Revolutionary history that played out on New Years Day, right here in Somerville?

On January 1, 1776, George Washington ordered the Grand Union flag be flown from a 76ft mast atop Prospect Hill. Bearing 13 stripes representing the united colonies with the crosses of St Andrew in the corner, it is considered the first American flag and this is the first time it was so proudly waved.

The flag flew over Prospect Hill until British troops were driven out of the city; and it served as the national flag until the new nation officially adoped the Stars and Stripes the following year.

Nowadays, the city of Somerville hosts a re-enactment every year on New Years Day. George Washington prances in on his horse and orders the flag to be raised, after which the Charlestown Militia fires their muskets. Somerville was part of Charlestown in the early years, so it's all historically accurate, except maybe George Washington's Boston accent.

This year, the ceremony was accompanied by plenty of speeches, a little Woodie Guthrie and coffee and donuts for everyone. (That part might not be historically accurate either.)

Afterwards, the granite tower (built in 1903 to commemorate the site's hitorical significance) is open for anyone who wants to climb to the top. You can see why the patriots chose this spot to wave their flag, as the tall tower gives a spectacular panorama across Cambridge, Charlestown and Boston.