Celtics Blog – Boston Duck Tours NBA All Star Kyrie Irving
The Celtics have high hopes for their future with their acquisition of NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving

Kyrie Irving has been a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the past 6 seasons, but now he will be turning in the blue and yellow for the white and green, as he will now be a member of the Boston Celtics. This came as a shock to many fans and analysts around the NBA. As a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyrie Irving and fellow teammate LeBron James made the NBA Finals in three consecutive years, and many around the league suggested that it was a forgone conclusion that a fourth trip to the NBA Finals was imminent. This is why the trade request from Kyrie Irving was such a shocking revelation. People have claimed that Kyrie was tired of being the Robin to LeBron’s Batman in Cleveland. Irving believes that he is better than just a sidekick on a championship team.

The star point guard believes he is capable of leading a team to the championship, and with his trade to the Celtics, he will have the opportunity to do just that. The new look Celtics will now feature a roster with only four returning players from the 2016-2017 team that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. Al Horford, Terry Rozier, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart will be the only same faces we will see in a Celtics uniform this season. This should make for a very interesting season for head coach Brad Stevens, who is well-respected around the league as one of the best young coaches in the NBA.

Although this was seen as a great move by many around the league, bringing Kyrie Irving to Boston did not come without a cost. Fan favorites Isaiah Thomas, and Jae Crowder were sent to Cleveland to complete the trade for Irving. This angered many Celtics fans, stating that the Front Office acted unemotionally toward Jae Crowder, and especially Isaiah Thomas after all of his contributions to the Celtics organization and the city of Boston. At the end of the day people need to understand that this is a business, and winning is the ultimate goal. If the Celtics end up winning a championship and ride through the streets of Beantown on the “World Famous Boston DUKW Boats,” I don’t think many people will be complaining then. The Celtics have always been known as a winning organization, and it is time to get back to those ways, regardless of the cost.

Welcome to Boston Kyrie!

Shojo Blog – Boston Duck Tours Shojo Monkey from Logo< Shojo Logo for restaurant in Chinatown

When my roommate invited me to go out with her and some friends to a bar downtown in Chinatown the other night, I was hesitant – living in Brighton and not feeling particularly like going all the way downtown – but trying to be a good friend and roommate I reluctantly accompanied her. When we arrived however, I was pleasantly surprised – a quirky, cozy brick-walled dining area with hip-hop music playing and Kung-Fu movies playing silently at the bar provided the perfect casual atmosphere for the 5 of us to get a table and check out the art lining the walls.

I was particularly enthralled with the massive mural taking up most of the wall. I found out that they have a new mural painted every year, but I personally loved the colors in the current one that we saw depicting an ocean scene or sorts with what looks like a pirate or sailor and a Mermaid:

According to Shojo’s Website, a “Shojo” is a Japanese sea spirit with red face and hair that has a fondness for alcohol, especially Sake. One of the restaurant’s claim to fames is its extensive list of Japanese spirits – everything from sake to Beer and lots of cocktails in between – For my drink I got “The Loneliest Monk” – Plantation 5yr Rum, Jungle Rum, Frangelico, pineapple, and lime. Served in a fun green porcelain cup and garnished with a flower, it was yummy and VERY strong so certainly worth the money. The menu is Asian-fusion with a focus on small sharable plates, tapas style. For my food, I got the duck-fat fries and the “Shojonator”: A Quarter Pounder Burger with Bacon, Pickles, and their “Kimcheese” Sauce – on a house-steamed bun. It was SO GOOD I almost cried, I loved having the Steamed Bun instead of a normal hamburger bun you might get anywhere else

Although my evening started out with me reluctantly going out for dinner with my roommate and some of her friends, it turned into a discovery of an amazing bar I probably never would have found otherwise – tucked into a crowded Chinatown street it is easy to miss, but I have found a new favorite and will definitely be bringing friends in the future.

Skywalk Blog – Boston Duck Tours 111 Huntington from the Skywalk Observatory
The Prudential Tower at 800 Boylston St in Boston, MA

My love for the Skywalk Observatory starts with my love for Boston. Located on the 50th floor of the Prudential Center, the Skywalk gives you a breathtaking view of the city of Boston. Built in 1965, the prudential Tower is one of the tallest buildings in all of Massachusetts. To get to the Observatory, you must take the prudential elevator 50 floors up to the top. As you make your way up to the top, you begin to feel how high you are by this weird feeling you get in your stomach. Finally, your ears begin to pop as you reach the top floor, and you enter the Skywalk Observatory. You are able to see up to 100 miles out from all sides of the Skywalk. It was really fun seeing all of the Boston Duck Boats in the Charles River. The massive replica military vehicles looked like tiny matchbox cars from the top of the Prudential.

There is one exhibit in the Skywalk that shows you how difficult it was for immigrants moving to America hundreds of years ago. It depicted the struggle these people went through in their home country and the motivation that drove them to Boston. The promise of work, food, and shelter was enough for some people. Most immigrants were not able to bring their whole family, but instead had to travel to Boston alone. They would frequently send back money overseas to their family just so they could survive. It was a hard life, and one that became the backbone for the hard working blue-collar way of life for early Americans.

  This sweeping high vantage point attraction also includes an audio tour of the Greater Boston Area. It is really cool to see Fenway Park, TD Garden, the John Hancock Tower, and all of the other phenomenal landmarks Boston has to offer. It is absolutely amazing that on a clear day, you can even see Cape Cod and New Hampshire. The Skywalk Observatory is a MUST-SEE for tourists in Boston. I highly recommend checking it out after your Boston Duck Tour.

Greenway Blog – Boston Duck Tours Aerial Shot of Boston
Image from Wikipedia (Wikimedia Commons)

As a nanny and a babysitter I am always looking for fun and free activities to do with kids – one summer when I was nannying full time I discovered the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway for the first time: After an afternoon at the New England Aquarium I had an infant in a stroller and a 3 year old girl – it was hot out and I wasn’t sure what we were going to do next so we started walking away from the aquarium and we spotted The Rings Fountain – rings of water jets spouting up sporadically as children ran around in the water screaming and laughing – I parked the stroller under a table with a chair and an umbrella and as I fed the baby, the 3 year old ran around in the water giggling and playing with the other kids. I looked up where we were and saw that the Greenway stretched a mile and a half through some of the classic Boston neighborhoods and that there was a lot more to discover in this 15-acre linear park!

The history of the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is as compelling as its attractions – it first opened in October of 2008 on land created after the demolition of the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway as part of the “Big Dig” – a massive project that removed the highway and instead created a tunnel system below the city. Named after the matriarch of the Kennedy family who was born in the North End of Boston – The Greenway was created as part of a movement to beautify the city and was a joint effort between the Massachusetts Transportation Authority, The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, The City of Boston, and various civic groups. Since 2009 the park has been operated by the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy – an organization established in 2004 as an independently incorporated non-profit organization to guide the emerging park system and raise funds for the project.

Each park within the Greenway is different and has its own unique features: As part of the Wharf District Park in addition to the rings fountain we went through the “Harbor Fog” sculpture by Boston artist Ross Miller – a set of structures that release a cool water mist and sounds of the Harbor in response to your movement – a unique art piece and a cool escape from the heat for a very sweaty nanny! The Wharf District Park is also home to the “Mother’s Walk” – a pathway in the Greenway’s Wharf District Parks that consists of 2,500 pavers inscribed with names and personal messages honoring caregivers and loved ones. The “Light Blades” provide quite a show at night with twelve vertical glass and steel sculptures with LED lights that can show up to 16.7 million different colors, along with an array of patterns, speed, and intensity. There is also the Greenway Carousel – a truly one of a kind carousel which offers you the chance to ride on animals native to Boston such as lobsters, a sea turtle, a cod, a peregrine falcon, a grasshopper, a harbor seal, a fox, a skunk, a whale, three types of butterflies, a barn owl, and a sea serpent.

One of the best parts about the Greenway is the beautiful flowers and landscaping designs throughout the park: From three types of Bamboo in the Chinatown Park, to all kinds of trees and flowers throughout Dewey Square Park, Fort Point Channel Park, The Armenian Heritage Park as well as The North End Park – you can find some beautifully designed green spaces in the middle of our bustling city. The Armenian Heritage Park is dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide and acknowledges the history of Boston as a port of entry for immigrants worldwide – celebrating those who have migrated to Massachusetts shores and contributed to American life and culture. The park included The Abstract Sculpture, a split dodecahedron mounted on a Reflecting Pool and represents the immigrant experience. Then there is The Labyrinth – a circular winding path paved in granite and set in lawn that celebrates life’s journey and can be used for meditation. Finally, the North End Park has a covered area for seating overlooking a big grassy area with perennials as well as a long shallow “canal” fountain that again offers a great place for kids to run around and play in the grass or splash through the water jets.

Throughout The Greenway you can find public art exhibitions, food trucks, exercise classes, musical performances, movie screenings and artisanal & farmer’s markets. There is always something going on down at The Greenway whether you are looking for a nice place to run through, a place for a picnic, or a nice walk with the kids where they can run through the fountains on a hot day. The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway is a beautiful use of our space providing an aesthetically pleasing place that people young and old can walk through and enjoy.Somerville Theatre and MOBA Blog – Boston Duck Tours Front shot of the Somerville Theater
The Somerville Theatre in Davis Square is a unique, historic theatre over 100 years old – It was originally built in 1914 as a vaudeville house and movie theatre. In addition to digital releases of current and older films – the theatre can present virtually any film format including old 35 mm and 70mm film prints! They also have shows, live music, dance, and comedy performances, as well as silent films with live musical accompaniment! The theatre offers popcorn, pepsi-cola products, Ice Cream as well as Wine and Beer for legal guests over the age 21! You can grab some popcorn and a craft beer and go enjoy a film in one of the unique screening rooms.

The first time I went to the Somerville Theatre I was impressed with the aesthetic and being able to enjoy a glass of wine with my movie – but I wasn’t ready for the surprise two-for-one experience when I went downstairs in the theatre to use the restroom after the movie: Located in the basement of the theatre I discovered The Museum of Bad Art – a collection of absurdly terrible and also glorious pieces of weird art. It turns out The Museum Of Bad Art (MOBA) is “the world’s only museum dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of bad art in all its forms” according to their website.

MOBA was founded in the fall of 1993 was originally housed in the basement of a private home in Boston. Once their collection started growing the Dedham Community Theatre allowed MOBA the use of their basement for their first permanent gallery, and sticking with the theme opened up their second gallery in the basement of The Somerville Theater. There is an additional gallery in Brookline and they now exhibit online, publish an email newsletter, and offer a book, Museum of Bad Art : Masterworks you can purchase for the art lover (or hater) in your life. They now have over 600 pieces in their permanent collection, displaying around 50-70 pieces throughout Boston at any given time.

Located in Davis Square, there are tons of things to do in the area including stores and places to eat, so a trip to the Somerville Theatre and the Museum of Bad Art is a fun, off the beaten path adventure to tell friends and family about!

Museum of Fine Arts Blog – Boston Duck Tours Back entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts
Image courtesy of mfa.org

One of my favorite places to visit in Boston is the Museum of Fine Arts – this massive museum originally opened on July 4, 1876 (the nation’s centennial) and the museum’s collection has nearly 500,000 works of art! You can spend as much or as little time as you desire wandering around the museum– there are permanent collections of work on display that I can return to as well as over 16 rotating exhibitions that change constantly and provide a brand new experience each time I visit. You can walk around on your own using their free map, or get a Mobile Guide (free for visitors who are deaf or blind) in which a selection of collection highlights are narrated in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and ASL – you can choose from a variety of different tours included one specifically geared towards children!

The permanent collections of the MFA include Art of the Americas, Art of Europe, Art of Asia, Art of Africa and Oceania, Art of the Ancient World, Photography, Prints & Drawings, Musical Instruments, a textiles collection, and even a jewelry collection. There is also a collection of Contemporary Art including even performance art: The MFA is actually one of the first encyclopedic museums in the US to fully integrate performance art into its collection, exhibitions, and programs – like performances that unfold in the Museum’s galleries and engage with its collection, works that form part of cross-media contemporary art exhibitions, as well as interventions that appear in unexpected spaces inside or outside of the Museum itself.

In addition to the permanent collections, the Museum offers over 16 different exhibitions at a time that stay for limited periods of time before making room for another visiting exhibition. These are what make the MFA a new experience each time, even for people like me who live locally, and there are a wide variety of current exhibitions that may peak your interest at the MFA right now: For example, “Matisse in the Studio” is the first major international exhibition to examine the importance of 20th century painter Henri Matisse’s personal collection of objects, which he believed was instrumental and inspirational to his studio practice. There is also an exhibition titled “Botticelli and the Search for the Divine” a collection of works by famous Italian Renaissance painter Sandro Botticelli, it is apparently the “largest and most important display of Botticelli’s works in the United States.” An exhibition titled “New Women for a New Age: Japanese Beauties, 1890s-1930’s examines the changing image of Japanese women through prints, book illustrations, and photographs made in Japan. There is even a new exhibit titled “David Ortiz: King of the Diamond” with all of David Ortiz World Series Championship rings on display for those Boston sports fans out there!

With all of these collections and exhibitions, as well as special events like studio art classes and lectures, you can absolutely find something at the MFA that sparks your interest. You can get some sustenance from one of the four dining options located at the museum, and you can grab a gift to take home at one of the 3 gift shops – no matter what exhibitions you check out, it will definitely be worth your time. The Museum is open 7 days a week, children under 6 are always free and children ages 7-17 are free on weekends and after 3 on weekdays.

Codzilla Blog – Boston Duck Tours Codzilla isn’t just one of Boston Harbor Cruises premier attractions, it truly is a unique “once in a lifetime experience.” This massive speedboat accelerates up to 40 mph in the Boston Harbor. It can stop on a dime and maneuver itself through the waters like nothing you’ve ever seen before. This new-age vessel is at the peak of innovation in the boating community, and guests just can’t get enough of it. Get ready as I discuss with you my own experience with this epic ride.

Codzilla Codzilla launching off for a cruise

As me and my brother were waiting in line to board the boat, we saw the joyous and satisfied faces of the lucky people that just experienced Codzilla. At that moment we looked at each other, and knew that we made the right decision to skip the beach. When I first stepped foot onto Codzilla, I knew I was in for a treat. Metallica was blasting from the waterproof speakers and immediately got my blood pumping. Before you know it, you are reversing out of the port and straight into the harbor. As we slowly glide out of the safe zone we were greeted with an amazing cruise guide that began to tell us about the scary and terrifying “Codzilla”, that is said to inhabit the waters over by Deer Island. After the guide tells us the backstory of the Codzilla, we make it out of the safe zone past a green buoy, and then the ride really begins. As the engine started revving up, it seemed as if the music was roaring in sync with the sounds coming from the beast of a boat. “Last Resort” by Papa Roach starts blasting on the speakers, so loud as if it was echoing throughout the entire harbor. We start advancing through the water at high speeds, with planes and helicopters flying right overhead.

If that’s not enough for you, the ship captain (who does a PHENOMENAL job by the way) takes your cruise to the next level. The Captain starts making quick turns and out of control spins that makes the ride that much more intense, and brings you on the edge of your seat. Oh yeah and if you don’t like getting wet, this ride probably isn’t for you. These 360 degree turns don’t come without huge splashes of water that drench the entire boat, including you. The water comes from any and all sides so be prepared to dress accordingly. On this 85 degree day however, the cold water was welcomed with open arms.

As we near Deer Island, the story of the Codzilla comes back into the fold, and the guide gives the crowd a great show. The script was created by Hollywood writers specifically for this insane ride. We continue to weave and twist through the Harbor at high speeds but now we are trying to avoid the dreaded “Mutant Codzilla.” This part of the ride adds just another layer to an already incredible attraction. As we start to near the harbor port we slow down to get a breathtaking view of the City of Boston. The view heading back is absolutely beautiful and is a calm ending to a rather exciting ride. If you haven’t been on the Codzilla yet, then make sure it’s on your to-do list for this summer!

Mike’s Pastry Blog – Boston Duck Tours Down in the North End of Boston is one of the most iconic shops for treats and goodies in all of the Greater Boston Area. Mike’s Pastry has been a fan favorite for tourists and locals for over 60 years. Although Boston Duck Tours is the premium tourist attraction in Boston, Mike’s Pastry certainly qualifies as a premier spot to visit while in town. None other in the Boston area challenges the wide variety of cannoli’s, biscotti’s and cookies that Mike’s Pastry has to offer.

Mike's Pastry Logo

Mr. Michael “Mike” Mercogliano founded Mike’s Pastry way back in 1946. Mr. Mercogliano ran the Hanover street bakery from its conception, up until about 2010. The famous owner sadly passed away back in 2012. He was a Grandfather, father, and husband who left behind a great legacy in the North End of Boston. If you consider yourself a fan of cannoli’s, you need to try out the best Boston has to offer. When you arrive at the store, you will be greeted with over twenty different types of cannoli’s. Be sure to know what you would like ahead of time, as there will be plenty of customers behind you drooling over their choice of pastries.

Mike’s Pastry has even expanded its business to include a third location at the popular Assembly Row complex in Somerville, MA. This spring they have joined other restaurants in the area including: Legal On The Mystic, Fuji at Assembly, Earl’s Kitchen + Bar, Totto Ramen, River Bar, and a new brew house from Somerville Brewing Company. You can learn more about the shops and dining options that the Somerville plaza has to offer at assemblyrow.com. In a press release over at Boston.com, Mike’s Pastry General Manager Angelo Papa said, “Mike’s Pastry is incredibly excited to continue to expand the brand with yet another location at Assembly Row. Just by hearing these words from Angelo, it is safe to assume that this third shop will not be the last one to open in the Boston area. The other Mike’s pastry location (aside from the original on Hanover street, and the new location in Assembly Row) is in Harvard Square, which debuted in 2014.

If you are taking a Boston Duck Tour at our Museum of Science or New England Aquarium location, I would absolutely recommend taking a stroll down to the Italian North End. Mike’s Pastry is within walking distance from both of those departure locations. The renowned store has everything you want in taste, and flavor. Just don’t expect to eat anything healthy. As Mercogliano once said, “Low-fat cookies? They taste terrible. They taste like clay. If you want low-fat, don’t come in to Mike’s.”

Fenway Park Blog – Boston Duck Tours Fenway Park Opening Day

For as long as I can remember, the Boston Red Sox have always had a special place in my life. From my days as a toddler to my adult life now, keeping up with the Red Sox has been a priority in my life. This is because I was born in Massachusetts and it is thereby my duty to support the Sox till the day I die, well at least according to my family. I am not alone is this practice, a vast amount of my friends feel the same way as do their families. I think this is why the Red Sox have such a unique fan base, because we’re all crazy diehards. So if you are from Massachusetts and haven’t been to Fenway Park, you aren’t fulfilling your duties as a Massachusetts resident. If you aren’t from Massachusetts, you should also visit Fenway Park to see some of the craziest sports fans in the world and experience the environment it offers.

Fenway Park itself is the oldest, most historic stadium in the MLB today. Erected in 1912, Fenway Park has over 105 years in existence with countless baseball games and memories transpiring. It has been the home for greats such as Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Carl Yastrzemski, Manny Ramirez, and Big Papi aka David Ortiz who are all first ballot hall of famers. Fenway has other facets that separate it from other ballparks such as the green monster, a 37 foot tall wall in left field and perhaps the most exciting place in the league to watch a baseball game. Additionally, there are the two foul poles named after Carleton Fisk and Johnny Pesky, and the Lone Red Seat in the lower right field bleachers where Ted Williams hit the farthest home run at Fenway Park (502 feet). These are just some visible examples of the broad history of what has occurred at the field.

Fenway Park also separates itself through the environment in which it creates during a Red Sox baseball game. Red Sox nation is different from other fan bases, these fans truly care about each and every game. This pushes the Red Sox team to go all out every single game, which makes it possible to not ever have a bad time there. In the case that they do lose, there are many things that can cheer a person up such as an infamous Fenway Frank, singing “Sweet Caroline” during the 7th inning stretch, or going to one of the bars down the street after the game is over.

When in Boston, everyone should try to experience Fenway at least once in their lives whether that be a game or a tour that they run. I promise you will not regret your experience.

Barking Crab Blog – Boston Duck Tours Barking Crab Image courtesy of http://barkingcrab.com/

The Barking Crab has always been one of my favorite restaurants in Boston both for the food as well as the super cool atmosphere and environment. The Barking Crab first opened in 1994 (same year that Boston Duck Tours started) as an outdoor summer restaurant, and over the years has actually expanded to the adjoining Neptune Lobster & Seafood Market with a wood-burning stove for a year-round experience. The Barking Crab is located right in the Seaport District of Boston on the Fort Point Channel – they even have their own Marina located alongside the restaurant with temporary slips for day visits, so whether you are coming by land or sea, you can enjoy what The Barking Crab has to offer.

They have unique “crabby cocktails” such as the Crabby Margarita, Crabby Mai Tai, or the Barking Tea Party to wet your whistle with, and if you are looking for a classic New England “Clam Shack” feel and some amazing New England Seafood, this is the place! True to the name they have a bunch of “Crabby” food choices such as a Crab Dip starter or some delicious crab cakes. They also have lots of lobster (my favorite food) whether you want to take it apart yourself, get a classic lobster roll, or have yourself some yummy Lobster Mac n’ Cheese. In addition, you can take your pick from Calamari, Steamers, Clams, Scallops, Shrimp, Haddock, Swordfish, Salmon, Flounder and more. Even if you don’t like seafood, you can still grab some steak tips, choose from a variety of salads, or get the “Barking Burger” so you can have something from land rather than sea.

Their big tent outside is my favorite place to sit when I go, it is right on the water with a view of Boston Harbor and they have live music in the tent Tuesday and Thursday Nights as well as Sunday afternoons. It is an awesome place to enjoy a lobster roll and some steamers with friends or family – sitting outside looking out onto the Boston Harbor and listening to some live bands for entertainment. Located in the Historic Seaport District it is near tons of museums as well as our New England Aquarium departure location, so once you have taken a Duck Tour, head over to the Barking Crab for a classic New England Experience! As for the question of whether or not crabs bark? You’ll just have to go and find out! (And then let us know)