Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

May 12, 2015

Back Bay

I had to get a shot of this old church that's being torn up and remodeled guessed This used to be the Church of Scientology and this creepy guy with a vacant look in his eyes used to stand out front and ask passing students if they wanted to take the free personality test.  Since this was on the way to Emerson's dining hall (if you missed the shuttle bus it was just faster to walk than wait for the bus to circle around again), we were asked to take the test frequently.  One time some friends and I caved in to curiosity and agreed to take the test.  We were literally waylaid inside that church, forced to watch an old black & white movie of L. Ron Hubbard, forced into listening to their schpiels, then the test which was unbelievably long and with questions worded so that a yes or no answer would be appropriate.  Then instead of analyzing all the tests at once with four counselors, they did it one at a time and took a half hour or more with each person.  Two of us bailed and never got our results...after the four of us were able to be together again, we demanded to be let out and they finally let us go.  It was after dark and by the time we got back to the dorm at the other end of campus, everyone was looking for us.

Crossroads was THE Emerson bar.  Of course the two biggest dorms were down this end of Beacon so that's why it attracted so many students.  But I lived nine blocks in the other direction so I didn't go here very often.

The MIT Frat houses are also located along this strip of Beacon between Mass Ave and Charlesgate East.  You did not want to be walking on the sidewalk on a weekend never knew what was going to come out the windows....

This is the old Charlesgate Hotel, which has a long history of hauntings due to the deaths and suicides that took place both when it was a hotel and as Boston University and Emerson dorms.  I only went inside a couple of times and the rooms were really cool.  Many had gorgeous fireplaces (non working), some of the rooms were suites with 3 bedrooms and their own bathroom.  

It's humongous.  And of high priced condos.

Directly across the street is the old Fensgate dorm.  Our dining hall, which was known as SAGA, was on the first floor.  That was the extent of my visits to Fensgate as I didn't know anyone that lived here well enough to visit.  Guess what they are now?  

Had to grab some more pics of Charlesgate though.  Beautiful concrete work.

This is on the Marlborough Street side and it has some very unique architecture.  I have heard that this building was expanded upon and they just kept wrapping new layers, which is why the side looks like this.

This is just the coolest part of the building.

Continuing on my walk in the Back Bay and leaving the old Emerson campus, I crossed over Commonwealth Ave to get a shot of the famous Citgo sign in Kenmore Square.  You can see this at Fenway Park and it's all lit up at night, but the way the lights come on is really cool to see. I can watch it for's mesmerizing.

A shot of the Prudential Building, aka The Pru.

The Fens.

Statue on Comm idea of what or who since the lettering appears to be in Greek or something.

This is on Mass Ave.

The Exit Ramp to I-90 West, known as the Mass Pike.  It ends 3,000 miles away in Seattle.

This is on Haviland Street near Berklee College of Music.

I was so bummed my old fave hippie store wasn't open!  I think it opens later in the afternoon but I was there right before noon.  This used to be one of the only places where I could find any Grateful Dead stickers, shirts and other cool hippie clothing.

Then I walked over to the Christian Science Church and campus.  I wanted to go to the Maparium, which used to be a self tour type of thing, but when I went into the building (not this church), the receptionist said that it's now a paid 20 minute tour and the next one was in 3 minutes.  Unfortunately I was starting to run out of time because I wanted to be on the 1:15 bus and it was now about 12, and I still had a ton of places to see plus walk all the way back across town to the bus station, so I had to bail on the tour. 

Not sure what this is but it's a cool old building.

A new high rise near The Pru.

Reflection pool at the Christian Science campus.


  1. Great pictures as usual JoJo. Where do all the students live these days.

    1. Well the whole campus has moved....the class rooms and residence halls....over to Boylston Street. Those pics are in a post in a few days. I stumbled on the new campus quite by accident. I forgot it was over there.

    2. I forgot to comment on the Scientology. What a very scary experience. I started reading "the Book" until I realised who L. Ron Hubbard was. I am surprised so many people have been taken in by this cult. Glad you managed to get away.

    3. Oh yeah it was creepy for sure. It shocks me that so many celebrities are taken in and donate gobs of money. I think they believe they are descended from an alien/human hybrid race. That blows my mind. So glad Katie Holmes got away from Tom Cruise.

  2. Great pictures. Love seeing the architecture. It is quite different from anything we have where i live.

    1. Yeah Boston is very unique...I could shoot so many more pics of the architecture. I really want to go back and shoot more of a specific church on Boylston Street (pics in the next post). Next time!!!

  3. Hey JoJo,

    You most certainly capture the essence of the architecture. Some of it looks rather haunting. I had to de-programme my ex sister in law who was brainwashed by the Church of Scientology. They had her doing menial jobs for several hours a day for free.

    Never been to Boston. Okay, I've been to the original Boston :)


    1. Thank you Gary! That Scientology Church experience was creepy as hell. I am glad there were 4 of us b/c of the strength in numbers thing, but I never expected to be literally trapped in there for hours. But we were at least able to caution everyone not to fall for it and do the personality test just as a goof, b/c the same thing would happen to them. And yet all these celebrities are so taken in by it. Kudos for Leah Remini for finally breaking free.

  4. Your area is overflowing with history and beauty.
    What a scary, creepy experience with the Scientologists practically holding you hostage. (Freaks.)

    1. Thanks! Yes it is. This is the birthplace of our nation. Philly and Virginia get a lot of the credit too, but the Revolutionary War started in Boston. Scientology is a really scary cult. We didn't realize it at the time. They were really pushing that Dianetics book on us. One of my friends who got trapped with me made a total mockery of the book and the test and boy were they angry. That's part of the reason they finally let us go after we demanded the doors be unlocked or else.