Our second day (first full day) in Boston was very busy! Before we left, I purchased a Boston CityPass for each of us, which included admission to the Prudential Skywalk Observatory, the New England Aquarium, the Science Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Harvard Natural History Museum or the JFK Library. We used four of the five tickets, so it was a fairly good deal, though I’m not sure we would have done the Prudential Skywalk if it hadn’t been in the package. In any case, since we had tickets, we thought we’d use them, and it seemed a good way to begin the day. Our walk to the Prudential took us by Copley Square, and the Boston Public Library had an exhibit of vintage Boston-related postcards. Seeing those was fun! Actually, that was more fun than the Skywalk. The audio tour device I was given didn’t work, and when I got a replacement, that didn’t work, either. I gave up on it. Hearing about the buildings and areas we were viewing probably would have made the attraction more fulfilling.
Vendors around Copley Square and Boston Common were setting up for the evening’s First Night festivities. Many children already had hats and noise-makers purchased from the stalls. I coveted both, but George wouldn’t let me purchase anything from the vendors. Look how fun and colorful and tempting the wares were!
Next up for us was Cambridge. We visited the Harvard Museum of Natural History, which was mostly disturbing to me, though I did love the glass flowers exhibit as well as the mineral room. The Peabody Museum of Archaeology is adjacent to HMNH, so we went there as well. I enjoyed this much more, as it had many current pieces of Native American art as well as older artifacts, including some Choctaw.
We had some time to visit the Harvard Coop Bookstore, but the Harvard Bookstore was closed when we went by. It was about 5:30 by this time. The Ellis Paul New Year’s Eve concert at Club Passim didn’t begin until 10:00, so we circled Harvard Square again and again and again. Finally, we stopped at a bar and had a few drinks – as well as delicious french fries – while we waited for the show.
Ellis Paul’s annual New Year’s Eve concert was the reason I planned a trip to Boston in the middle of winter! I’ve always wanted to go to one, and it did not disappoint. Ellis’ band included Don Conosenti, Radoslav Lorkovic, and Glen ?. In addition to performing Ellis Paul standards, the group performed a set of covers: Walking After Midnight/Change (Patsy Cline/Sam Baker), Take on Me (A-Ha), Footloose (Kenny Loggins), and I Want You to Want Me (Cheap Trick). Ellis said, “We intended to do these as a parodies, but it’s clear [from the audience reaction] that we are rockin’ out these songs.” At midnight, we all got a glass of champagne, and Ellis sang Auld Lang Syne.
Besides having the band, the NYE show was different from other Ellis Paul shows because there were fewer song introductions. One reason may be that most of us in the audience are die-hard fans and have seen Ellis Paul perform multiple times; another might be the time constraints.
My high expectations from almost ten years of wanting to attend Ellis Paul’s New Year’s Eve show were met. The banter among the band members was funny, the songs were amazing, the energy level high, and the crowd respectful (except for one heckler, who may have been a plant). The only thing I personally didn’t like was that Snow in Austin was the final song of the show – it’s not one of my favorites, perhaps because it mentions dead armadillos – but I also would have rather left having heard a higher energy song. I am already wanting to attend the 2011 show; I’m guessing tickets will go on sale in October, so you can join us at Club Passim for New Year’s Eve, too!