Thursday, March 27, 2008

Boston Harborwalk MP3 Tour

With the weather soon to warm up (it will, right?) the Boston waterfront will again be bustling with activity. A great way to soak in the waterfront and the harbor, even when the weather isn't balmy, is to take a stroll along the Boston Harborwalk. The Harborwalk stretches for nearly 40 miles along wharves, piers, bridges, beaches and shoreline from Chelsea Creek to the Neponset River.

One of the better stretches is the downtown waterfront between the North End and South Boston. I've done this walk countless times, particularly in the past year while hitting the harbor island ferries at Long Wharf, but I just experienced it a new way with the Boston Harborwalk MP3 Tour. You can download the Boston Harborwalk tour from this web site onto your iPod or other mp3 player.

Unlike many audio tours, this one is FREE. And the narration continues along the entire walk, so you don't have to pause the audio until you reach the next location. And did I mention it's FREE?

The audio tour starts in Christopher Columbus park with the dulcet tones of Mayor Menino welcoming you to Boston Hah-buh. The tour then leads you along the waterfront to the end at the Moakley Courthouse. It lasts for about an hour and includes interviews with a Native American sachem, a marine mammal trainer from the New England Aquarium, and Ed Hook of Hook Lobster.

Now, they must have done a lot of trial and error in putting this audio tour together in getting the timing just right because as I said, it constantly plays as you walk from one location to another. The directions are great, although I recommend printing out the map of the route when you go. It was amazing how my walking pace was right in synch with the commentary. The sound of shoes pounding the pavement plays in the background on the walking stretches. Maybe I subliminally fell into the same gait in my walking?

There are good historical tidbits, with a lengthy mention of the Portland Gale of 1898 and a brief mention of sea serpents. What I learned from the tour: John Hancock had an office in the Chart House on Long Wharf and his safe is still on the second floor; an alewife is a fish, not just the end of the Red Line; and there is a tank of lobsters in the window of James Hook & Co. that had lobsters with claws the size of Kevin Garnett's mittens.

There's another mp3 tour of Fort Point Channel, which I hope to do shortly.

1 comment:

Rhea said...

I'm a big fan of the HarborWalk and didn't know about the MP3 tour. Thanks for the info!