The Swan Boats return to the Public Garden

Swan Boats return to the Public Garden

Charley A couldn't help but notice the return of the Swan Boats this morning from their winter nesting grounds.

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    That truck

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    Is casting a shadow on the park!

    Get your pitchforks!

    I really don't understand why

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    I really don't understand why we need to subsidize silly boat rides for the precious kiddies of the privileged few! This is a complete waste of tax payer funds.

    that's not my complaint about the swan boats

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    Granted, I am not the audience for these but it seems boring? It's not a very big pond so it's not exactly taking a gondola through Venice or something. I mean, you can walk around the whole thing in maybe 10 minutes tops.

    Maybe if they brought back Louis...

    Moment of Zen

    Anyone can be the audience for the swan boats. I've lived in Boston all my life and don't have any kids, but I make a point of getting in at least one ride per season. What you call boring I call a peaceful moment of Zen, a mellow trip around the pond with a closeup look at the island (ideally including a view of turtles basking on the little ramp.) It's one of my favorite things to do in the city.

    That's good to hear

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    Seriously, that's great that for you they are a cool thing about the city. Kind of the reason we all live somewhere where there are a lot of variety of experiences out there I guess.

    Apart from the "Zen" bit

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    Apart from the "Zen" bit, I agree, it is a nice experience.

    I know that this is a common usage in popular culture, but Zen is a form of Buddhism, a spiritual practice, not a name for any experience that feels vaguely good.

    Spiritual practice

    Point taken. However, you pursue your spiritual practice, and I'll pursue mine, such as it is. I actually did mean that I see a ride on a Swan Boat as a brief meditation and not just an "experience that feels vaguely good."

    They're fun to watch too

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    I haven't taken a ride in years but I walk thru the Garden often in nice weather. It's nice to just see the boats cruising around. I'm a fan.

    Kids do love them too

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    I doubt I'll get on a carousel again at my age but like carousels the swan boats really thrill kids.

    And to me there really isn't a simpler pure pleasure than seeing joy and wonderment in kids.

    Not much of that is left after life kicks you around for over 50 years so it's nice to see its still there.

    Yawn. This fun-hating, kid

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    Yawn. This fun-hating, kid-hating, park-hating comment is predictable. For what it's worth, plenty of us who grew up in the greater Boston area have come to Boston and ridden the swan boats with our families who are far from privileged.

    Actually a revenue source

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    The Pagets pay the city a fee for the concession based on some percentage of gate receipts.Apparently it's completely unaudited so it's possible they aren't paying what they are supposed to, but otherwise it's a money maker for the city.

    It goes up for bid regularly, but one of the conditions is that you need access to Victorian era swan boats, so lotsa luck undercutting the bid.

    And precious few? Seriously? It's like $2 to ride the damned thing.

    True confessions - after 23 years of living a few blocks away, I finally rode for the first time last year. As someone said, very zen.

    Best Questions / Statements We Got As Swan Boat Pedalers

    "Are y'all Kennedys?"

    "The Motor On This Thing Is Really Quiet"

    "What Do You Do With The Ducks In The Winter?"

    "You Ain't Peddling This. There's a Chain Pulling This"

    "I'm Going To Call The Visitors Bureau if you do not open early for my tour group that just showed up unannounced"

    Other than occasionally getting spat on by people on the bridge, getting crapped on by seagulls in the spring, hearing the homeless defecating in the bushes, no work (no pay) if it is raining, and getting asked "Which Way To Cheers?" 986,426 times a summer, that is a great summer job for a teenager. I still have calves of steel nearly 30 years on.

    The Paget family has preserved a wonderful tradition for this city. Take a ride and relax.

    This.

    I hear from friends who had the same job as you, that there was strong esprit de corps, that the Pagets treated the staff as family, and that many of y'all bonded over the experience and are still friends decades later