Around Boston

By Christopher Warren

The first question many ICSE attendees may ask is, "Where do I go if I want to have a duel?" The answer: Boston Common.

In 1728, two young men fought it out in the common over a lady they both loved. One of the men died, and is buried at Granary Burying Ground--not far from the grave of Peter Faneuil, who helped the duel's winner escape to Europe.

(Dueling is currently frowned upon by the authorities, so modern duellists are advised to arrange their own European escapes beforehand.)

But Boston Common is nice to visit even if you're not the duelling sort. It's the oldest public space in the country, purchased from Boston's first resident, the Reverend William Blackstone, in 1640. To get to the Common, take the T to the Boylston or Park Street stops--it's a trip of only a few minutes.

Boston Common has a fair share of monuments; Flagstaff Hill for Civil War veterans; Brewer's Fountain, a gift that duplicates a Parisian fountain; Founder's Monument, showing Blackstone's meeting with other city founders, and many others.

There's natural beauty added to the man-made structures, in the form of grass, trees, and flowers

Tip: t'ai chi ch'uan classes often practice in the Common. It may look innocent, but it's a martial art, so don't tease the students. (Portions of the material for this article taken from The Boston Globe Guide to Boston, Third Edition, by Jerry Morris.)