union oyster house (george3q)

union oyster house (george3q)

Today's photo comes from Andrew George who lives in the Charlestown Navy Yard with his dog Logan (named after Logan airport). Andrew is originally from Minneapolis, and it's his second time living in Boston, having lived in Boston 6 years ago. Andrew has this to say about Boston:

"My favorite part about Boston is that it is a perfect hub for exploring everything that New England has to offer. As a transplant to Boston I try to make the most of my time here by using my weekends to see different parts of New England whenever I can. Whether it’s the coast in Maine, skiing in Vermont or a beach on the Cape I love that so much is within a few hours’ drive."

Oysters were plentiful and popular before settlers arrived in Boston. Native Americans used to eat oysters for protein. The Union Oyster House, established in 1826 on 41 Union Street, claims to be the oldest restaurant in Boston. Now there are numerous restaurants in Boston serving oysters.

According to the timeline on the Union Oyster House's website (which is an interesting read) "the toothpick was first used in the United States at the Union Oyster House. Enterprising Charles Forster of Maine first imported the picks from South America. To promote his new business he hired Harvard boys to dine at the Union Oyster House and ask for toothpicks."

During the colonial period, wealthy New England women influenced by European styles, would wear pearl earrings and necklaces (pearls primarily come from oysters). However, since natural pearls were rare and a luxury, many women couldn't afford them. That didn't mean they couldn't be painted on... in portraits. Many paintings during that time showed women wearing pearls who never actually owned them. John Singleton Copley, known for being one of the first colonial painters to glamorous colonists in art, was known to lend pearls to some of his subjects.

In 2011, the MFA opened a gallery devoted to jewelery with rotating exhibitions every 3 years. In its inaugural exhibition, “Jewels, Gems, and Treasures: Ancient to Modern,’’ it featured Rothschild American Natural Freshwater Pearl Necklace.