The Unicorn of Independence and other things to love about Boston


We don’t get very much time off in Boston. Most crew members go downtown for food, internet and shopping …and of course, Duncan Donuts (there’s practically one on every street corner). It becomes a bit of a routine. I however, need adventures more that toiletries and so I either pick a direction and walk, or I google what’s around and go find it.

The other day on one of my adventures, I stumbled upon this building and had to stop to photograph it for it’s effing magnificent unicorn: 


Unicorn, public house, boston
Effing magnificent unicorn

Unicorns make me happy and it probably wont surprise you that it has become a habit of mine to stop and photograph them on my travels. 

Top things to do in Boston
The whole effing building of the effing magnificent unicorn

The unicorn and the lion (like the one on this building) form part of the British coat of arms, so it’s always easier to find them in places that are British territories or former British colonies. That explains this one that I also recently found in Bermuda:

Unicorns from around the world


Scotland acknowledges the unicorn as their national animal so when I was there a few years back I found quite a few: 

Unicorns from around the world

Unicorns from around the world

Mythologically, unicorns are known for their healing powers and so these days they are often featured in pharmacy iconography like South Africa’s ‘Clicks’ and this one I spotted in Denmark:

Unicorns from around the world


And in Norway, I found this anatomically correct unicorn, because well, Norway is awesome and a little inappropriate.  


Unicorns from around the world

This, however, was the first impressive American unicorn that I have stumbled upon, which, in retrospect, is a little disappointing considering I have been to Disney World. (What is up with that?)

Later, I was googling something else about Boston and I found a website that explained that, not only is this the oldest surviving public building in Boston, but that it was from that balcony on “The Old State House” (that’s what the building is called) just below that unicorn that the Declaration of Independence was first read out on July 18th, 1776. 

Go America!


Unicorns from around the world

So next time you hear about the establishment of the U.S. as a nation, just think of the person who was there that day, somewhere in the crowd, who was so distracted by a single-horned sparkly magical pony that they didn’t hear a word that guy said. - Come on, there must have been at least one!

Of course, the unicorn, despite being awesome was also British, and the British were the bad guys and so it was then incinerated and then later reconstructed again. 

Apart from the Unicorn of Independence (as I have named him), other things I love about Boston include:


  • Primark
That’s the Mr. Price of America and okay, it’s a bit of a cliche for crew members to go there. But how can you not love a place that will sell you a bikini for a dollar? - That happened! 



  • Random historical parades: The red coats are coming!




  • Flower boxes.
I just think they’re cool and European looking.




  • The Boston Commons, 

Top things to do in Boston

…and its pond that doubles as a public kiddie pool,

Best things to see in Boston

…and the fact that you can hear the church bells chime there at noon.



  • The Rose Kennedy Greenway (It's like a strip of public parks that winds through the city) 


Boston highlights

Boston highlights

...and it’s quirky public art: 
Like this one:

Boston public art

And this one:

Public art - Boston

I especially like this one:

House - public art

This one does nothing for me:


And this one disturbs me:

Public art

Then there was this piece of public art which is basically a 3D printer printing a rooster in a glass case outside China Town:


Public art - china town rooster

I didn’t feel the need to take the time to read the profound rationale with its big words that rationales have, but I’m going to assume that there is either a political statement or a sexual innuendo in here somewhere. 

It also has a labyrinth:


…And a teeny tiny honour system library:

Tiny library

...And this interactive perspective trick thing which would be more fun if I were traveling with another human being and not a lawn ornament.

Forced perspective
What it looks like from far away

Giant lawn ornament, little human.

Perspective trick
Giant human, really little lawn ornament

What it’s supposed to look like if you do it with other humans



  • The aquarium where you can take a seal selfie without paying entrance:

Boston highlights
#sealselfie



  • This building (I think it’s also technically part of the Greenway): 


Public Art

Just so you know mom, it’s only painted to look 3D. There are not really 200 faceless people releasing a giant red inflatable balloon through a round hole in a concrete ceiling - it’s just a painted to look that way. 


  • The Christopher Columbus Park - With its archways and plastic bottle fish decorations. (It’s not litter if it’s suspended!)



  • These lanterns outside China Town.

Boston highlights


  • These shimmery rainbow tinsely random things that hang between buildings that I’m going to assume is also some form of public art. (Basically, I just like colourful things that are suspended.) 

Boston highlights



I have no idea who it’s by or what it signifies but I appreciate that someone went to the effort to add some sparkle to my day.


  • The fact that around every corner you stumble upon a piece of history like Faneuil Hall, built 1740 (partially funded by the slave trade),




…or the Quincy Market, built between 1824 and 1826, 

Best of Boston

…or the Massachusetts State House, completed in 1798,

Boston highlights

…or the Custom’s House, completed 1915 (okay, by Boston standards it’s not that old),

Boston highlights


…or Paul Revere’s house. (Okay, I haven’t actually found that one yet but it’s around here somewhere.) 

  • The Public Gardens (Near the Boston Commons but not the same thing)


…with its Washington Statue,


….and its lollipop bushes 

Boston highlights


…and this albino squirrel:

Boston highlights

In a way the Unicorn of Independence is a metaphor for the whole city: It’s steeped with history but has its quirks.


11 cruises down, 14 more to go
Number of times I’ve used the word “unicorn” in this blog: 15


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Sharon Waugh

Sharon is a writer, cruise ship entertainment host and freelance unicorn wrangler, living it up on the high seas. She also likes to photograph a plastic lawn flamingo in exotic locations because it seemed like a good idea 10 years ago and 53 countries later, it’s probably too late to turn back now.

 Sharon greatly dislikes reading “travel blogs” by people who are just rephrasing press releases or composing lists like “15 ways to travel the world for cheap”, specifically formulated for SEO, with absolutely no evidence that the writer has ever left their bedroom. (This is not one of those blogs.) Sharon also dislikes bigotry and referring to herself in first person, apparently.

To find out more about Sharon and Rodrigo’s travel aspirations read this.