Clink - locked up at the Liberty Hotel in Boston

The Liberty Hotel, the ultra chic urban retreat that was formerly the historic Charles Street Jail. 

Gazing through the iron bars, I couldn't help but wonder what I had done to end up in the Charles Street Jail. Did the Boston Police Department misinterpret my post about stalking Julia Child? Or, perhaps my crime was related to Shear Madness, the whodunit murder mystery? Whatever the reason, I found myself wearing a black and white striped uniform in a place known affectionately as "Clink" by the other inmates.

Apparently unconcerned by our incarceration, Philippe and Stephane suggested that we share some savory mussels and Faro pasta while we waited for Mike, Peter, Sara and Jon to join us in our cozy nook in the octagonal rotunda.

Even though the prisoners used to be segregated by sex and category of offense when the Charles Street Jail was built in 1851, the warden allowed the convicts to mix freely prior to the Fashionably Late Show last night. Released from the confines of his cell, one of the younger inmates started dancing to the booming music while our group discussed complicated capers involving dog sledding in Lapland, public health, Shazam and Tuscany.

Just as we were starting to acclimate to life in the slammer, the guards released us early for good behavior. Hopefully, we'll find ourselves incarcerated in Clink again. With a range of social events, like Yappier Hour for dogs and their friends, live music, weekly fashion shows and Spring Stretch Saturdays, the Liberty Hotel is a vibrant Beacon Hill destination.

Liberty Hotel
215 Charles Street
Boston, Massachusetts

Vestiges of the original 8 by 10 foot jail cells in Clink.


  1. Very interesting, Mary Kay. I did not know that they converted the jail and looks like you had a great lockup...
    Are you at all familiar with the murder trial which took place in Massachusetts in the 1920's? Sacco and Vanzetti? (They were actually imprisioned and executed in Charlestown jail, I beleieve) The case caused havoc and protest and to this day there are memorials and tributes for the Italian immigrants (?wrongly) convicted for that crime. Makes a fascinating read, and I think there is also a film.

    1. If you have to be locked up, the Liberty Hotel is a great place! The Massachusetts General Hospital bought the jail in 1991 and converted it into a luxurious hotel. The first time that I heard about it was during my last visit when I met a doctor and his wife from New Orleans. They were very pleased to stay there during a medical convention.

      Thanks for mentioning that Sacco and Vanzetti were imprisoned in the Charles Street Jail. I had intended to include a list of the famous prisoners who were incarcerated there and completely forgot. I don't know much about Sacco and Vanzetti but vaguely remember that their names kept coming up in my American Literature classes. "Grapes of Wrath" (?).

      From Wikipedia: Over the years, the jail has housed a number of famous inmates including James Michael Curley, Malcolm X, Sacco and Vanzetti, suffragists imprisoned for protests when President Woodrow Wilson visited Boston in 1919, and World War II prisoners from the German submarine Unterseeboot 234.

      It would be an interesting place to visit when you're in Boston in the fall. Plus, it's a good spot for photos because the light coming through the windows in the atrium is very dramatic.

  2. Clever intro, nice way to tie it all together.

    Okay, and I'm going to guess you didn't know what Shazam was--right? Ah, and dinner with Mike and Peter again, I'm feeling a little jealous.

    1. Joseph, why did you immediately assume that it was me who didn't know about Shazam? ;) But you're right! Mike was using it to get the names of the songs that they were playing in Clink so he's the one who told me about it. The music was really loud but had a good beat. Perhaps we'll get lucky and he'll come out of blogger retirement and post a playlist!

      Feeling all hip and tuned into the latest apps, I was excited to tell my son's girlfriend about Shazam. She told me that she used to use it but has moved on to ?. Oh, I just realized that I don't remember the name of the app. I'll have to get it from her before I leave.

      No need to feel jealous about us getting together because we always end up talking about you! There is an official race to see who gets to meet you first! :)

  3. I've heard of all sorts of conversions, but not this one! Seems a little spooky particularly the photo with the lock-up gates!

    1. It didn't feel spooky, perhaps because there was a lot of light. Plus, the conversion was really well done.

  4. Uh oh... I'm going to have to let Mike know that his lax blogging habits have been fully uncovered.

    Time for another trip!

    Was great to enjoy the time with you and your lovely family here in Boston, Mary Kay. Hope your re-entry was straightforward.

    And yes, Joseph, your ears must have been burning! Seems you have many fans here in Boston.

    1. Mike's lax blogging habits have been the subject of conversation for quite some time now! I think that another trip is in order to get his creative juices flowing! I've heard that the climate in France is particularly conducive to writers.

      It was wonderful to see Mike and you - we're all still raving about "Pete's Pesto Poppers"! They'll be making their debut on our table in the near future.

      Thanks again for the articles on Paris. I plan to put them to good use.

  5. My ears are burning. My god, my ears are burning!!! It was truly wonderful to catch up with you while you were in Boston, Mary Kay. Not just once, but twice! And to meet the rest of your family. What a fun, engaging group. And might I note that Mary Kay looked quite stunning in her black-and-white prison get-up at Clink. And i was lucky enough to sit between her and Stephan, so I could soak up all the good will and laughter. So will be returning to Beantown in August???


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