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After awhile, even photogenic kids lose interest in pumpkins

Kid and pumpkins in old Boston

Can you place the scene in this photo taken by Philip Hresko back in the day?



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First, that is Quincy Market.

Second, that kid is Jed Hresko.

Now all I need to do is find out how old Jed is, then we have a date.


Was my brother.

The kid really wants the bike that's for sale!

The building looks like Quincy Market. Given the shadows, I'd say North Market Street, at the west end.

And then there are all those pieces of sewer pipe.

Small back wheel. Large rear sprocket. Lawn mower engine, probably says 'Briggs and Stratton 2 1/2 HP' on the side.
Kid's wearing sandals, so anywhere from 1968 to the early seventies.

Only question,,,when was the major sewer line being installed?

Hundred bucks seems a little high for carnations.

It looks like the 1970s to me.

I would guess this was Quincy Market in September or October 1973 or 1974.

The film qualities are consistent with color photos from that era. Clothing is also consistent. The grime level speaks to the type of fuels used at that time.

The rebuilt marketplace opened in August of 1976 - this looks like preparation for that preservation and reconstruction into a modern shopping zone. The area had been slated for demolition.


Yes the drain barrels behind them are key to the year.

Swirly, I like your comments about film quality and clothing.

The central Quincy Market building with the food hall opened in August 1976. The south building opened a year later, August 1977, and the north building in August 1978.

In 1975-76, the upper floor of Quincy Market was devoted to a Bicentennial exhibit about the American Revolution. That was open even while the construction was going on for Quincy Market; but the other vendors there had to vacate. I remember there used to be an all-night breakfast place, but I never got to eat there.

In the photo, the flower vendor is still there, so '73 or '74 is a good guess indeed!

The shadows are long enough that I would say late October.


My dad says it was Columbus Day weekend - the Monday holiday was celebrated October 8, 1973, so thereabouts. I was there, just not in this picture.

Also, the guy pictured immediately behind the carnation sign looks like a time travelling George W. Bush. But why would he want to travel to Quincy Market in a long-ago October?

Many questions.

Zoom in , the guy is too chubby to be W.

Also while zooming in I came across a sign for one dollar carnations. Which solves your other question, those 00 should be smaller and higher up to denote one dollar.

This is Boston how I remember it growing up. I was born in 81... Everything about this scene makes me a little nostalgic. It's kind of gritty and not fully refined


I feel the same way. I sometimes miss the grittiness. I know the city is cleaner and prettier now but I have nostalgia for the elevated train lines and boisterous signs competing for attention. I also miss the old Garden and the drama of climbing those dingy ramps only to emerge into that glowing arena with the parquet below and banners above. It was dazzling to me as a kid going to my first Celtics game. And it was the contrast that made it so exciting and dramatic.


... but I miss the weird old businesses that felt like they'd been there since the 60s and beyond. Stuff like the old Kenmore Square, the bowling place under Fenway, stuff like Windsor Button and Filene's basement. The rents being too damn high and the internet have done for all that and it's a bummer.


The old old stores that grew into local folk legend over the years, not because Beyonce was spotted in there or Guy Fieri had it on his show!


I grew up in the 60s and 70s and downtown Boston had so many niche and hole in the wall places that seemed like they'd been there since the 40s or 50s. There was even a religious store on Chauncey Street behind Filene's that sold all kinds of Catholic paraphernalia (if that's the word). There were cutlery stores and even a place on Tremont that sold only cheese. And SS Pierce gourmet foods. Mickey Finn's was kind of an Army-Navy store. And Sherman's Appliances on Bromfield. Also the mainstream places like Woolworths and Neisners and Kresges and Grants. And record stores and head shops which were thrilling to a teenager like me. Between all of these places one could obtain any single thing one needed, be it a common item or a more esoteric thing. This was a very reassuring thought. The same can be done on Amazon now, but it's not quite the same. Besides, on Amazon you can't go in Bailey's afterwards and have a sundae served to you (literally) on a silver platter.


There actually is still a religious accoutrements (I don’t know what to call it either) store on West St. And I appreciate that a store like Wig World can still survive on Temple Place (I hope the pandemic doesn’t finish it off). I cherish these bits of older Boston while I can.


... is The Liturgical Apostolate Center, but it doesn’t really cater to the general public. It sells vestments, statuary, chalices, candles and candle holders, and other altar accoutrements. Clergy are the main customers and old school Catholics who donate a chalice or vestments or other paraphernalia to a parish or priest in memory of a loved one. The store which used to be on Chauncey St. was completely different. It was called Sheehan’s and stocked things like prayer cards, missals, bibles, rosary beads, statues, medals, and First Communion & Confirmation items. Later on, they began stocking some of the items the LPC focuses on. I won an award in a Catholic High School drama competition which consisted of a St. Genesius medal (Genesius is the Patron Saint of Actors). Sheehan’s was the place I went for a replacement when the medal mysteriously broke in half (“badly forged” they told me). The store was recently resurrected on the ‘net— https://www.matthewfsheehan.net/


...was recite the “ Ejaculations” (yup , that’s what they were called) at the back of your missal to get those!


Bromfield still has a little camera shop on that street but I have no clue how they survive. I went in and they were very polite but didn't seem very selling focused. I inquired about some filters and he practically gave them away... I need to go back next time I need random stuff for my cameras.


I love Bromfield St.! It’s one of the few places I can feel like I’m a bit further back in time.

Yes, but it was better when a big swath of it wasn't a blank gray wall of that Suffolk building that faces Tremont Street.

When was the last time you were there? Bromfield Camera is gone.

Maybe two years ago... When did they close? Maybe that's why they seemed so chill, they knew they were closing maybe?

Supposedly they put up a sign saying they would be closed for a week after New Years Day -- but never did reopen. No further info provided by either an updated sign or any other mode.

I remember in the 70s there were any number of camera stores on Bromfield Street. It used to be known for that.

Phew, for a moment I was thinking maybe I walked into a ghost camera store!

I haven't been in Boston Proper, well while things were open, for several months.

The candy counter at Bailey’s. I had friends that worked there. Fun times.

The candy counter at Bailey’s. I had friends that worked there. Fun times.

I mainly the loud boisterous signs For all the directions, and the central artery. Back then you could really see the city when you drove through downtown. I also miss how much quieter it was in the residential neighborhoods. I miss the random stone walls and boarded up three deckers and mansions in Roxbury and Dorchester. I miss the grittiness of Ashmont and Jamaica Plain.

Everywhere felt so intimate and undiscovered...

I miss all the places you mentioned and a whole lot of small cool retail shops with eccentric owners that had been around since the 60s.

But I don't miss the grit or the crime or feeling unsafe. My old neighbor's house was dilapidated. It wasn't fun, it was depressing and occasionally scary like when one of the owners threatened us.

So I don't understand longing for the grit. I long for it being affordable to run an independent shop but most of those old timers cashed out after working hard for 50 years and I don't begrudge them.

Yes the original Garden, wow! That place was wild. I miss secret parking spots and random walkways that only locals seemed to know or dare use lol. Being able to just pull over , you can't even pull over anymore.

I was born in 81 and in Chelsea. So maybe my baseline is completely out of whack but yes I feel the same as you. Happy it got better while still not quite feeling like it's home.

I loved being able to go out of the place after a Celts game directly onto the elevated platform at North Station.


Born in '77 and I miss the same things. Man, the real Filene's Basement. Flipping those tags to see the date! And visiting the pet section of Woolworth's in Downtown Crossing, up the elevators! Birds and fish and smaller furry things. Were there cats? Dogs? The cutlery shop was Stoddards, right? Tho to be fair, the Combat Zone was pretty rough. And Copley Place was a parking lot! Sigh.


Yes, Stoddard's cutlery was on West Street. The pet department at Woolworths sold MONKEYS for heaven's sake. So did Raymond's, if anybody remembers that store ("where U bot the hat" was their undecipherable slogan). It must have been somebody's job to take care of them. I'm not sure who was buying them, but surely the whole shebang would be illegal now.
The Combat Zone, too, had it's place. Remember it was the 70s and "red light districts" were considered a vital part of any metropolis. In 1977 Mayor Kevin White held a ribbon cutting ceremony declaring the Combat Zone "Boston's Official Red Light District". I absolutely am not kidding.

Wow, Quincy Market in the modern era (no petticoats, horses, or even hats), but before it became a Festival Boreketplace.

I'm imagining what could have been if it was preserved like Pike Place or the Reading Terminal Market.

Most of the wholesale vendors moved out in the 1960s. The meat vendors went to Newmarket and the produce went to New England Produce Center. Traffic congestion in town was too much, and the produce people got rail access in Chelsea. The Union Freight Railroad, along Atlantic Ave., did serve the fringes of Quincy Market, but the rail access was pretty poor. And the BRA wanted to take up the tracks on Atlantic Ave. and Commercial St., so they shut the railroad down.

Some meat vendors stayed on Blackstone Street, and a few of them are still there today.

around 1972ish when they had a flea market there.