Born in Boston

December 02, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

For many, Thanksgiving weekend is synonymous with holiday shopping. While I prefer to pass on the retail mania I look forward to the immediate post-Thanksgiving period for another reason; it means cities and towns everywhere are lighting lights and decking their halls. 

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....the next installment of The Christmas Project!

Born in Boston in late November 2010, it wasn't a "project" right out of the gate. I was just going into the city to photograph the massive Faneuil Hall tree on the day after Thanksgiving. This was completely out of character: normally I steer clear of the Black Friday frenzy. I enjoy holiday displays, though, and there was a lot of hype that year around the fancy new synchronized light show (Boston Blink) at the Marketplace. It was enough to lure me in.

All it took was that single outing to get me hooked. I worked nearly a dozen locations between Thanksgiving and Christmas that year; it became apparent this could morph into something bigger.

You can hardly ask for a better place than New England to find scores of quaint holiday scenes. It's an embarrassment of riches. 

Every autumn I'd research options for the approaching holiday season and map out my plan. I focused mostly on New England but branched out to include places like Manhattan and my home city (Chicago).

It was smooth sailing until I moved to the Intermountain West where The Christmas Project is a wee bit more of a challenge. There's the obvious issue of logistics: it's sparsely populated and towns are spread out. The bigger problem? Let's just say a lot of these municipalities aren't going to win awards for decorating prowess. 

This has left me to broaden my horizons. I've traveled thousands of miles to keep this thing going.

Right now I'm at the first 2021 Project location and have been working here for the past few days. (A second site is planned for mid-month.) Any idea where I might be? It's in the United States - west of the 100th meridian and south of the 42nd parallel, and less than 750 miles from Idaho Falls. Looking to the south, I'm pretty sure I can see a falcon. 1,760 yards means something here.

Send me your guess!  

If we were in Chicago I'd buy a Tom & Jerry's at Miller's Pub for the first person to answer correctly - but instead the winner will have to settle for bragging rights. 

In the meantime, let's take a little trip and enjoy some holiday sights from The Christmas Project.

'Tis the Season!


Window WreathsWindow WreathsFaneuil Hall (built in 1742) is ready for the holiday. The statue of Samuel Adams stands behind the building on Congress Street. The inscription on the pedestal reads in part: A Patriot - He organized the Revolution, and signed the Declaration of Independence.

Boston, Massachusetts

Faneuil Halll - Boston, Massachusetts

O Come, All Ye FaithfulO Come, All Ye FaithfulAnchored by the stately spire of the North Church, the center of downtown Portsmouth is the quintessential New England scene year-round; the addition of holiday decorations only adds to the charm. Here, rainy streets on an early morning amplify the glowing lights.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Lobster Trap TreeLobster Trap TreeThe lobster trap Christmas tree at Fox's Lobster House on Cape Neddick complements the lights on nearby Nubble Light.

York, Maine

Lobster Trap Tree and Nubble Light - York, Maine

Rickety RacquetsRickety RacquetsThe International Tennis Hall of Fame gets into the holiday spirit: wreaths on the front double doors are decorated with tennis balls and vintage wooden racquets....strings busted, of course!

Newport, Rhode Island

International Tennis Hall of Fame - Newport, Rhode Island

Let There Be LightLet There Be LightThis whimsical string of enormous Christmas lights sits outside the McGraw-Hill Building on Sixth Avenue.

New York, New York

New York, New York

The LionThe LionThe South Lion at the Art Institute (built in 1893 for the Columbian Exposition) wears his Christmas wreath handsomely. In the background, both the Prudential Building and Two Prudential Plaza are lit in the colors of the season.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago, Ilinois

Love's Pure LightLove's Pure LightVibrant Christmas lights create a festive backdrop for these Christmas lanterns.

Temple Square
Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Old World ChristmasOld World ChristmasDay breaks on Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, the oldest stone church in North America. Construction began in 1687 and was completed in 1723.

Old Town Québec City, Canada

Québec City, Québec

AglowAglowParliament Buildings and Front Fountain, ready for for Christmas.

Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria, British Columbia

Dreaming of a White ChristmasDreaming of a White ChristmasTown Square
Jackson, Wyoming

Jackson, Wyoming

Silent NightSilent NightAs light fades from the sky, this lovely Christmas tree takes over to brighten the quiet darkness.

North Hampton, New Hampshire

North Hampton, New Hampshire

Up on the RoofUp on the RoofPerched 600 feet above ground, the Space Needle's Christmas tree adds a festive holiday touch to the skyline.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

YesteryearYesteryearThis landmark covered bridge stands at the entrance to historic downtown Long Grove, Illinois. On a mostly overcast afternoon, a bit of color still managed to peek through as the sun went down.

Long Grove, Illinois


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