Having walked a good piece of the North End, I almost would expect it was still there. Most places around it still retain a hint of the old feel, the buildings darken and age a bit as you walk off that side of the Commons. There's the old stone church, which would be perfectly at home in Providence. It seems to loom a bit, an sunlight never seems to reach the few ancient graves out front. All the markers are new England slate,slowly beign worn this and illegible by the dour rain that washes over them season by season. Government center sits upon it all like a cap. A steel plate set grandly upon the scarred scalp, a proud scab shot into the earth with support and mass transit tunnels. It's all set on the original island, if I'm not mistaken. No fill underneath it except what sins they buried to set up the place. There's bedrock there, and anything there above that wasn't fit to wipe away. (Certainly, it was no clean wipe. Some things are never done to completion, especially where big fat contracts are involved.)
Boston is an old city, a prejudiced city, but for all that also a good city. The parks, the arcades, the streets and the venues, it feels overwhelmingly well executed and safe. There's an expectation hanging over it, like the expectation to concept drawings of a new public park. It all looks like the rare shot of Earth in "Star Trek", clean, safe, and utopian. I sit and relax on its surface sometiems and reflect, this may be one of civilzation's high water marks. Will it last? Will it decrease and fade out? No trace left on the surface of the people pushed out, of the burning and rebuilding. Like many others, this is a city on a hill, but it is no kingdom of conscience. It will crop up eventually, only after it's old enough to call "archeology", and then they'll see what my father's father's father did to theirs.
Then we'll have casinos.
If we're thinking of the same place, The Athanaeum overlooks it and also houses a book bound in human skin.
Oh, please don't be pulling my chain...
What stop on the T?
Unfortunately it isn't always on display, it's a rotating exibit. I guess it's the journal of some infamous highwayman who bound it in his own skin. When we went they weren't showing it, but it's free admission and has some nice exibits inside. My girlfriend still likes to make fun of me for a bad joke I made in front of the guy at the security desk.
"How was your visit?"
"It was nice; we were really looking for the journal of the infamous highwayman, though."
"Ah, the skin book. We've all had it up to here with the skin book."
"So I guess you could say it's really getting under your skin?"
"That was terrible, you should be ashamed of yourself."
He actually told me I should be ashamed of myself. So yeah, I recommend the place.