Sunday, September 11, 2011

Boston Exploration Excursion (BEE) #1: Haymarket

This is the first post of what I hope will be an ongoing, intermittent series.  While I'm here in Boston for a while (probably five years!) I am hoping to have opportunities to explore some of the local sights, culture, restaurants, etc.  BEE posts will give you the opportunity to explore Boston with me from afar!

BEE#1:  Haymarket, Quincy Market, and Boston Harbor

My roommate, one of her friends who came into the city for a visit, and I decided to check out the discount produce market known as Haymarket, which takes place on Fridays and Saturdays year round.  According to a local tourism website about Haymarket, people have gathered here since about 1830 to buy and sell produce!  It resembles a farmer's market with tents and handcarts full of produce and lots of people jostling around to purchase fruits and vegetables.  
Haymarket Produce Stands

Vendor at Haymarket
However, there is one big difference.  The produce for sale is stock cleared out of warehouse stores across the river to make room for new shipments, so it is ripe and needs to be used or frozen quickly but is also sold at incredible prices.  As we walked around we saw everything from garlic to oranges, onions to cantaloupe, carrots to mangoes, and much much more.  To give you an idea of the prices, I got two pounds of white mushrooms for $3 and three small plastic containers of red raspberries for a total of $2.  My roommate got 8 pluots for a buck or two and a large eggplant for $1.  You have to do a bit of picking to avoid overripe produce...but it's well worth it!  We're going to have fresh mushroom pizza tonight, and I froze half a quart of red raspberries.  Another cool thing was one of the vendors let us try an Asian fruit called longan.  It has a tough covering, but once you peel off the covering it looks like the inside of a grape with a pit!  We all thought it was pretty good.

After we were done at the market, we walked over to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, which are nearby.  This is one area where I will return to explore more later, but this time we stuck with Quincy Market.  Quincy Market opened in 1826 and more information about it's history and the surrounding area is available here.  
View outside Quincy Market (The crowd is watching a street performer.)
Quincy Market is a long building with two wings lined with food vendors selling basically every type of cuisine imaginable.  For dinner, I ate veggie Mac n' Cheese from one of the vendors.  It had onions, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, and cherry tomatoes and was delicious!  The center of the building is two levels filled with public seating.  We sat upstairs to eat and enjoyed people watching as well.

Inside Quincy Market, looking down from upstairs seating area
Boston Marina
 Finally before heading back to our apartment via the T (public transit system), we walked out to see the water.  I have never lived near the ocean, so being within an hour of a beach and the ocean is superbly exciting!  We walked through Christopher Columbus Park where an arts festival was going on to a marina on Boston Harbor.  The view was beautiful, and you could also see planes coming in over the water to land at Logan International Airport across the harbor.  Here is a look at the view:

Boston Harbor (plus large plane landing at Boston Logan!)
More adventures to come in the future!


  1. I love Quincy Market. Also the aquarium is something pretty neat to check out. Thanks for keeping us in the loop with what is going on in your life. God bless!

  2. So awesome. These blogs are going to convince me to come visit at some point!