Boston Common

America's oldest public park

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Sure, it looks lovely now, but the Boston Common was once knee-deep in cow poo. In colonial times, the muck became so fragrant that the city set a maximum capacity of 70 cows — with the understanding you could substitute four goats for one cow. Historically unpleasant, the Common was the site of gruesome public hangings, riots and protests. The British even camped out here in the mud during the Revolutionary War.

Eventually, fortunately, the nation’s oldest city park blossomed. In fact, the flowers and trees you see now just might be the result of all that manure.

Nowadays, the Boston Common is the city’s most important meeting place and urban recreation area. Bring a picnic and take a lunch break; play Frisbee (or Quidditch!); ice skate on the Frog Pond; catch a political demonstration (of every stripe and persuasion); and more. Whatever can happen on open, green space in a city, can happen here.

T: Park/Green or Park/Red

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