One of things we missed seeing in Boston on our July weekend is the new carousel on the Rose Kennedy Greenway. First, let me explain that I-93 used to be a terribly tortuous, torturous elevated interstate highway threading its way through downtown Boston. Then came Boston's Big Dig, a 15-year mega-public works project which rerouted the highway through a tunnel under the city at a cost of $14.6 billion. (whew … makes you take a breath).
Beyond construction of the new tunnel system, the Rose Kennedy Greenway was constructed. It's a series of parks that stretch for a mile or so where the I93 surface artery used to be. It's absolutely lovely and the new carousel which opened at the end of August 2013 is part of the loveliness.
I love traditional carousels. Remember the vintage Looff carousel in Pawtucket last summer and there was that one in Hobart's Botanical Garden in Tasmania when we visited? The new Greenway carousel is traditional in a way, but it's over the top in creativity. The designer, Jeff Briggs, is a sculptor and does carousel designing for a living. Can you imagine designing carousel critters as your life's work? When pursuing the creation of the Greenway Carousel animals, he was inspired by local kids' animals drawings as well as local fauna and, wow, did he ever have some inspiration.
No hobby horses here. Instead, kids ride on a lobster, a cod fish, a sea turtle or a sea serpent. There's a peregrine falcon, a squirrel and a fox, butterflies, bunnies, a bright green grasshopper and a seal … all wonderfully lifelike, all very New England-y and all in lustrous colors … 36 seats in all. Some go up and down, some are bench-like for sitting, some are stationary, but all are wonderful.
In addition to traditional carousel songs, we heard a James Taylor tune. I read that at night the carousel lights pulse with the tunes. I definitely need to add this to my “Things to See and Do” in Boston list.