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Alicia explores the Southtowns: Foliage, cemeteries and cider: a fall adventure in Boston

GRAVEYARD GIRL — Here I am, walking amongst old souls at the Maplewood Cemetery next to the Berean Free Presbyterian Church. Photo by Jessie Owen.

BOSTON — The Southtowns, for me, is a strange world. I have only ever really lived in urban settings, my whole life. To drive through planes of cornfields, and look to my left to see horses and cows, sparks a slight sense of shock.

I was born and raised in the city of Syracuse. The sign of my neighborhood read “Eastwood: the village within the city.” The grid-like streets had rows of houses, small in size and very close together. The backyards between our house and our neighbors’ was divided by a very short, chain link fence. For greenery, my brothers and I had a couple parks here and there, which were small in size and limited to only a few swings on a swing set. We walked everywhere: the library, the corner store, my grandparents house. Shoes tied together by the laces would hang from the telephone wires.

I briefly lived in Liverpool, N.Y., the suburbs of Syracuse. It was another world to me. The houses were larger and it was clear that the art of landscaping was prevalent in our neighborhood. There was an overwhelming sense of calm and quiet.
THE FEELING OF FALL — I found some beautiful landscapes, while adventuring around the town of Boston. A pond at the Boston Town Park reflects the blue skies. Photos by Alicia Greco.

When I moved to Buffalo to attend Canisius College, I lived in the area surrounding the school. I would walk those streets in complete alertness, always with heightened senses at dusk, watching the faces of the unknown pass by. Ever so often I would receive email notifications from public safety about muggings, knife injuries or exploding bottle bombs.

When Editor Jessie Owen and I ventured off into the town of Boston for an adventure, I felt as if I was on a road trip. She is a native of the area and knows it well.
ALL THE LEAVES ARE BROWN — An expansive view from Cole Road shows the changing leaves of the season.

Our first stop was her father’s church, Berean Free Presbyterian Church, located on 8435 Boston State Road. Small, quaint and white, it reminded me of the church from the fictional small town Stars Hollow in “Gilmore Girls.” Beside and stretching behind it is the Maplewood Cemetery. I frequented the mammoth Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo, especially during my freshman year of college; I found the Boston location to be comfortable and more intimate.

Examining the stonework and the aged graves, I came across one that read “John Love” and told this man’s story.
WHO KILLED LOVE — John Love\'s story is told upon this gravestone in the Maplewood Cemetery.

Love was murdered in 1824. Nelson, Israel Jr. and Isaac were three bothers from the Thayer family who confessed their slaughter of Love. They were sentenced and hanged on the west side of Niagara Square in Buffalo in 1825.

We moved along and stopped at the Boston Town Park and walked alongside the creek. The birds were chirping and the sun was bright, but not yet warm enough to dry the dew.

In the spirit of the season and inspired by the foliage, we stopped at the Red Barrel Cider Mill on Boston State Road. I whipped the money from my purse and grabbed a plastic foam cup, filling it to the brim with hot mulled cider, one of my favorite festive treats. My eyes scanned the shelves of apples, flavored syrups and jams. It smelled like fall. Pumpkins and gourds were scattered around the red mill building and I could not help but flash back to a moment of nostalgia.

When I was a child, my mother would tell me I was born in a pumpkin patch, since my birthday is in October. Remembering this memory I hadn’t visited in a while, I could not help but smile, as I walked amongst the crunching leaves and grazed my hand over the bright orange pumpkins.

The town of Boston can be described in one word: peaceful. It is quiet and seems friendly. The landscape is breathtaking and the vistas from certain points are other-worldly. Fall accentuates the town of Boston’s wonderful features.
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